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With its lush green countryside, vibrant cultural scene, and country charm, Lismore is the best little Australian town you've never heard of. Located less than two hours south of the Gold Coast in the Northern Rivers region, it's a wonderful stop-off for anyone spending a few days exploring northern NSW.
While many travelers stick to the beautiful beaches on the nearby coastline, those who venture inland to Lismore are rewarded with rolling hills, national parks, and beautiful waterfalls. The town itself boasts historic buildings, a surprising arts scene, and a host of quality cafes, so there's plenty to keep you entertained for a couple of days or more.
Keep reading to find out how to enjoy the ultimate adventure in a motorhome rental in Lismore.
The Northern Rivers region is known for its natural beauty, featuring a landscape of rolling hills, national parks, and hidden waterfalls. Before you set out to explore it all, however, you might want to start your adventure in a park right near the center of town.
Leafy Heritage Park is a great spot for families and a must-visit if you're traveling with kids. Located within walking distance of Lismore's best cafes and pubs, this popular park is a wonderful adventure playground for kids. You can sit down for a family picnic in the shade and let the kids run off to enjoy the many swings, slides, and forts dotted throughout the space. But the real highlight is the miniature railway that runs around the park — it only operates on certain days, so check in advance to find out whether it will be running when you visit.
Next, it's time to steer your RV rental from Lismore to one of the region's many beautiful waterfalls and swimming holes. There are several options to choose from, but our pick is Killen Falls in nearby Tintenbar. Located roughly a half-hour drive away, this stunning spot is a hidden gem surrounded by big scrub rainforest. After you park your car, take the walk to the viewing platform for the perfect photo, then continue on to the base of the falls. It's roughly a 0.6-mile return, and well worth the trek.
Finally, another of Lismore's best outdoor attractions is found roughly half an hour north of town at Rocky Creek Dam. This picturesque spot features picnic and barbecue areas, a platypus viewing platform, and a kids' playground. There's also a boardwalk where you can take in the best water views, and a series of walking trails branching out to explore the surrounding forest. The one-mile Platypus Walk is a favorite, while the 3.7-mile Scrub Turkey Walk is perfect if you're looking for something a little longer.
If you'd like to stay awhile in Lismore, book an RV in New South Wales and then start searching for somewhere to stay. There are plenty of Lismore RV parks to choose from, so compare a variety of options before making a booking.
One Lismore RV campground you might like to consider is Lismore Centra Tourist Park. Located right in the heart of town, the park comes equipped with all the essential amenities, like well-kept restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, and electric hookups. Pets are welcome, while shopping options and restaurants are all within walking distance.
Another option worth a look is The Channon Village Campground, found within half an hour north of Lismore. Located on a working farm next to the site where the Channon Market is held, this peaceful Lismore RV park offers 10 grassy sites. It's a primitive campground for those who like immersing themselves in nature, but flushing toilets and cold showers are provided.
If you're keen for some culture when you start exploring in your rental RV in Lismore, make Lismore Regional Gallery one of your first stops. This excellent gallery features the work of local artists telling local stories, as well as exhibitions of national significance. It's also home to the Quad, a welcoming open-air space that holds regular cultural events throughout the year, and is well worth checking out while you're in the neighborhood.
If you can, it's worth trying to time your visit for one of Lismore's eagerly anticipated annual festivals. One popular option is the Lismore Lantern Parade held in November. As well as the beautiful lantern parade, this community celebration also features markets, a buskers festival, and plenty of live entertainment. Lantern decorating, fireworks, and a family-friendly feast round out the list of highlights.
Finally, the best way to get a feel for this lovely region of northern NSW is to hop in your rental RV and explore some of the charming local villages. Head north and you'll find yourself in the famous hippie destination of Nimbin, known for its Hemo Embassy and colorful locals. To the east, Alstonville boasts lovely local cafes, while Eltham is a little further north and is home to a quintessential country pub.
Whether you're searching for relaxation, adventure, or beautiful natural scenery, you'll find plenty to admire when you rent a motorhome near Lismore. And with other fascinating destinations like Byron Bay and Ballina also within easy reach, there's no shortage of attractions and beautiful sights just waiting to be explored.