NSW’s Northern Rivers region is home to some of the state’s most alluring coastal and inland destinations, from Byron Bay and Ballina to Lismore and Nimbin. With stunning natural attractions, cultural festivals, exquisite local food and idyllic beaches, the Northern Rivers attractions set the scene for an idyllic romantic or fun-filled family holiday.
Things to do in Northern Rivers
If you’ve got food on your mind, head straight for Byron Bay, where you can dine on farm-fresh produce and meet cuddly animals at The Farm. Wash it down with locally-brewed beer at either Byron Bay Brewery or Stone & Wood Brewing Company, both of which offer brewery tours and tasting paddles. Head inland around The Tweed or Lismore to discover creative meals of locally-sourced food paired with organic coffee and juices, such as at the Flock Cafe in Lismore.
You can’t miss the area’s natural spoils, from golden beaches in Byron Bay and Ballina to lush hinterland around Lismore and Nimbin. Be sure to experience the towering Mount Warning, right outside Murwillumbah, by hiking up the 8.8-kilometre-long summit trail from Breakfast Creek. If you prefer a bird’s-eye view, take a scenic helicopter flight around the mountain.
Looking for local art and culture? Make Ballina one of your stops and cycle or walk along the Coastal Recreational Path, which includes informative signs and displays highlighting the local Indigenous traditions. You can also visit the weekly Nimbin Farmers Market for live music and fresh produce or explore local street art at Back Alley Gallery in Lismore.
Getting around Northern Rivers
There are direct flights to many Northern Rivers towns, including Grafton, Lismore and Ballina. From here, your best bet is renting a car and driving the Legendary Pacific Coast route from one town to the next. While most Northern Rivers towns can be explored on foot, some of the larger city’s provide bus and taxi services.