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The beautiful far north coast hinterland lies between the major service town of Lismore, in the fertile Richmond River valley to the south, and Murwillumbah, in the even lusher valley of the Tweed River near the Queensland border. Much of the area dances to a different tune, with hippies, communes and Kombi vans very much the norm in this “Rainbow Region”. The hinterland’s three rainforest national parks and several reserves are World Heritage–listed: Mount Warning National Park rises in the middle of a massive caldera, on whose northwest and southern rims lie the Border Ranges and Nightcap national parks, the latter near countercultural Nimbin and The Channon, home to the largest and most colourful market in the area.

You need your own vehicle to get the best out of the area, particularly to complete one of the most scenic drives in New South Wales, the short round-trip over the mountainous, winding country roads north and northeast of Lismore to Nimbin, The Channon and Clunes, and then via Eltham and Bexhill, with superb views from the ridges and hilltops.

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