The stunning region of NSW’s North Coast is a traveller’s paradise with lush hinterland, World Heritage-listed rainforests, a rich cultural scene and world-class food and wine experiences just waiting to be discovered. From regional art galleries, amazing local produce to hinterland adventures, Destination NSW offers these ten ‘must-do’ experiences for visitors to the North Coast:
Located in the quiet village of Chillingham in the Tweed Valley, meet the Tweed’s very own bush tucker man Buck Buchanan who grows native bush tucker and exotic fruits including lemon myrtle, fresh native finger limes, warrigal greens and more. A true blue Aussie bloke, Buck is often spotted tending to his orchards or taking visitors on tours of his famous Bush Tucker garden.
While the area is renowned for its stunning coastline, scenic drives and bushwalks, it’s the historic river town of Kempsey which will appeal to the shopaholics. Combining shopping with history, the recently launched Smith Street Experience is a shopper’s paradise with a number of independent retailers selling unique and local products, homewares and fashion
Dorrigo Rainforest Centre
Part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre in Dorrigo National Park on the Coffs Coast offers stunning scenery that has been millions of years in the making. The World-Heritage listed rainforest offers a variety of rare flora and fauna, swimming at Crystal Shower Fall, a Skywalk lookout which takes in Bellinger Valley and scenic barbecue and picnic spots perfect for a family day out.
One of NSW’s smallest wine regions, the developing region of the Hastings River extends 50 kilometres along the coast and hinterland with around 150 hectares under cultivation. Renowned for their chambourcin, chardonnay, verdelho, semillon and merlot, guests can enjoy a winery trail around the region’s best local wineries which include; Cassegrain, Bago Vineyards, Innes Lake Vineyards, Long Point Vineyard & Art Gallery, Sherwood Estate, Rose’s Vineyard at Innes View, Douglas Vale and Dangars Creek Vineyard
Ricardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries
Located just 20 minutes out of Port Macquarie, Ricardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries is one of the North Coast’s most loved hidden gems, offering pick your own strawberry experiences for all. Suitable in rain, hail or shine all year round, the strawberries are grown in greenhouses on vertical latticed racks, making it easy to grab a bucket and some friends and race to see who can pluck the most strawberries the fastest
Over the past two decades, Byron Bay has cemented its reputation as an escape for artists and creative types, but the town is really just the beginning. Follow the Tweed River inland to find a major gallery at Murwillumbah – the Tweed River Art Gallery which includes The Margaret Olley Art Centre– and charming boutiques in Tyalgum. On the banks of Wilsons River, Lismore is a cultural hub and university town, and the Lismore Regional Gallery is a standout.
Summerland House Farm
Macadamia and avocado lover? Then you will love Summerland House Farm, a working farm attraction in the Northern Rivers. With a water park, mini golf and tractor farm tours – kids will be entertained for hours with the museum and café providing plenty of fun for the grown ups too
Coffs Coast Arts & Culture trail
Taking in Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Dorrigo, the Coffs Coast Arts & Culture trail highlights some of the best galleries, sculptures, museums and local artists in the region. This diverse trail includes unique collections such as the heritage listed Bunker Cartoon Gallery housed in an old World War 2 bunker which features the largest collection of contemporary cartoons in the Southern Hemisphere and the Nexus Community Gallery in Bellingen which hosts monthly exhibitions featuring local artists
The picturesque town of Bellingen makes the perfect road-trip stop, located halfway between Brisbane and Sydney, offering rural charm, a plentiful local food scene and one of Australia’s largest regional markets. Held monthly, the community market offers an amazing selection of handmade arts and crafts, locally-grown produce and live entertainment
The spectacular Ellenborough Falls, north-west of Taree are a sight to behold. At 200 metres high, it is one of the longest single single drop waterfalls in the Southern Hemisphere. With various walks available for different fitness levels, you’ll be enjoying the impressive grandeur of these falls in no time.