It’s time to head off the well-beaten path in Northern NSW, with a visit to Lismore.
Known as the ‘Rainbow Region’, Lismore is a friendly, culturally diverse community in Northern New South Wales. With its wide array of activities, natural wonders, delicious food, and unique shopping experiences, this lovely pocket of NSW should be on the cards for those who want a laidback escape. Read on to find out six things we recommend doing when you visit Lismore.
Check out Lismore’s thriving art scene
As the cultural hub of the Northern Rivers region, Lismore boasts a thriving art scene. Walk down the main street and you’ll see right away that the city has a diverse community of artists bursting with creativity. There are multiple galleries dedicated to showcasing the work of regional artists, including the Lismore Regional Gallery, Northern Rivers Community Gallery, and Serpentine Gallery. Take a piece of Lismore culture home with you (and in doing so, help the local economy), or just immerse yourself in the local art scene. There are plenty of inspiring outdoor installations to see when you visit Lismore.
Get out and about in nature
There’s nothing quite like spending time in nature to rest and recharge. With multiple National Parks situated near Lismore, there are ample options available for exploring the subtropical rainforests and local waterfalls. Take the Border Loop walk at Border Ranges National Park to enjoy an easy stroll through a World Heritage-listed rainforest, which supports a population of koalas. The Protesters Falls walking track is a short 3 km roundtrip hike in Nightcap National Park that winds through the rainforest to a beautiful waterfall. Check out the below video for a sneak peek into this wonder courtesy of Mother Nature.
Browse the local farmers’ markets
Situated in a largely agricultural region, Lismore offers multiple farmer’s markets each week. The Lismore Farmer’s Market, chockers with locally made goods and produce, is held at the Lismore Showground every Saturday morning from 8:00 to 11:30 am. If you prefer organic produce, be sure to hit the Lismore Organic Market every Tuesday morning from 7:30 am to 11:00 am. If you’re not much of a morning person, then the Lismore Produce Market on Magellan Street is for you, which is open every Thursday from 3pm to 6pm.
Take a scenic drive along the North Coast when you visit Lismore
Explore the winding country roads around Lismore to experience the many hidden gems that the Northern Rivers region is famous for. A driving tour of the countryside can take you on a journey through picturesque hinterlands, charming villages, and beautiful National Parks. Head east to celebrity-filled Byron Bay or laidback Ballina, and take in the views along the stunning NSW North Coast along the way. Or you can head north toward Nimbin –Australia’s world-famous hippy destination and alternative lifestyle capital.
Sample some delicious local cuisine
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or are a dedicated foodie after a long lunch or dinner, Lismore offers a wide variety of dining options to choose from. The Loft, which is tucked away in Lismore’s colourful alleyways, offers a modern Australian culinary experience. Awarded 13 Chef Hat Awards from the Australian Good Food Guide, the restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, kicking off at 5pm.
Or you can enjoy a warm family dining atmosphere and indulge in Northern Italian cuisine at Café Cappello. Located in the heart of Lismore CBD, it’s open Monday through Friday from 7am until 3pm, and Saturdays from 7am to 1pm. If a trip to the pub is more your style and you want to mingle with other tourists and the locals, check out Mary G’s in the Lismore CBD. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week, with live music on Saturday nights.
Ride the rails downtown when you visit Lismore
If you have the kids in tow (or you’re a kid at heart!) located in the centre of Lismore at Heritage Park is the Heritage Park Railway – a miniature train ride that’s big on fun. The train runs on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays during the school term, and every day except Monday when it’s school holidays. Pack a picnic and enjoy a day at the park with the family.
Make sure to check the Visit NSW website for up-to-date travel alerts in regards to COVID-19 restrictions before planning your trip.
How to visit Lismore
Rex Airlines flies direct to Lismore from their Sydney port. Click here to book your next flight.
And if you enjoyed this article you should check out our guide to your next New South Wales holiday.