After bushfires ravaged much of NSW in late 2019, followed by floods in 2020 and 2021, my hometown of Kyogle, and local Border Ranges region were spared disaster, and continue to thrive and flourish. In an interview with Kyogle Culture magazine, I was questioned, as a travel professional, what my top tips are for the Rainbow Region of Northern NSW…
1. What would you consider to be the ultimate travel experience in our region. and why?
I would consider the ultimate travel experience in our region to be a visit to the Border Ranges National Park. Jump in a car (doesn’t have to be 4WD), the drive up from Kyogle to the Border Ranges is gorgeous. As you go deeper into the green rolling valleys, keep an eye out for koalas, breath deep as you rise up into the clear, fresh rainforest air. There are some breath-taking lookouts that you can easily drive to, such as The Pinnacle, and once you’re in the National Park, there are multiple idyllic picnic and/or camping spots, plenty of really great walks, from short 1km strolls to 9km treks, encountering ancient trees, pristine Gondwana rainforest, refreshing creeks, abundant wildlife and cool ever-flowing waterfalls.
2. Your favourite self-drive route and destination, and why?
I love driving the Lions Road into NSW. It is apparent as soon as you cross the border from Queensland into NSW, that different logging laws have been applied over the years! Whilst the QLD side has some impressive equestrian facilities, and river crossings, there’s nothing like crossing the border grid, from expansive open country of Queensland, into the nurturing embrace of the forests of New South Wales, where the temperature drops as the rainforest closes in overhead and the sounds of whipbirds and wildlife implore you on your way. The Border Loop Lookout is a beautiful place to stop and admire the majestic views. The numerous bridge and river crossings crossings are just delightful, and the historical significance of the existence of the Lions Road gives the journey even more depth – It was funded, planned and built by volunteers of Kyogle Lions Club in the late 1960s and is testament to the determination and community spirit that Kyogle still has in abundance today.
Border Loop Lookout on The Lions Road
3. What are some of the reasons you think Kyogle and it’s villages are a great tree-change holiday? What does this area have that makes it special?
Tree-change holiday? That’s what first brought me here back in 2005… a holiday. Kyogle and surrounds were green, lush, friendly, a bit quirky and alternative, yet laid-back and welcoming. Kyogle’s not fast-paced like the city, you can stroll leisurely and that’s ok… people look up and are happy to say, “Hi”, and engage with you. Kyogle is cultured, colourful, creative, adventurous. It’s accessible to Brisbane, Gold Coast, Tweed Coast, Byron and beyond – so perfect for folks who need to get out of the hustle and bustle for a day, a few days, or like me… a lifetime ; )
4. After droughts, fire, floods… how can travelers support small regional communities to recover?
Travelers support small regional communities by visiting. By bringing their friends and family, their wallets and their cameras. By enjoying the local shops, cafes, galleries, parks, markets and experiences on offer. By sharing their experiences, all the “instagrammable” moments with others, so that the word can spread … that life has a way of recovering, and thriving.