Discover Ballina - Ballina to Nimbin - Rainforest and Waterfall

Ballina to Nimbin - Rainforest and Waterfall

  • Protestors Falls

Plan your Ballina Coast and Hinterland escape…
  • Protestors Falls
  • Ballina to Nimbin - Rainforest and Waterfall


Take a drive and discover one of the region's most stunning waterfalls, art works, quaint villages and uncover the beauty and history of a remarkable natural landscape.

Ballina to The Channon

Embark on a journey of discovery as you set off from the Ballina Visitor Information Centre on a captivating road trip to Nimbin. This adventure promises a smorgasbord of engaging sights and unforgettable experiences, inviting you to explore the unknown and uncover the hidden gems along the way.
As you set off down River Street and out through West Ballina, don't forget to stop in and take a selfie with our iconic Big Prawn, situated to your right at the Bunnings Warehouse, then straight down the Bruxner Highway for approx. 30 minutes, and you'll arrive in the beautiful and resilient city of Lismore.

Lismore NSW Art 12 


Lismore’s town centre, although still recovering from the devastating 2022 floods, once again pulses with vitality. Offering some of the best coffee shops and cafes in the region, along with some diverse art galleries and eclectic retail stores, it’s a great place to explore. Be sure to wander through the hidden treasure of Lismore's Back Alley Gallery, the street art gallery features primarily local artists with others coming from further afield: Murwillumbah, Nimbin, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, Brisbane and even one high-profile artist from Germany.

As you depart Lismore, from the city centre, take Woodlark Street over the bridge where you'll cross the majestic and sometimes threatening Wilsons River. The Wilsons River is the reason that Lismore is here today. The city was built on river transport and from 1842, timber-getters arrived by sea via the Richmond River.
Take the turn right onto Bridge Street then at the roundabout turn left onto Terania street then at Tweed Street take a right and stay on Tweed street as this soon becomes Dunoon road.

With views looking back over Lismore, this picturesque drive meanders through lush farmland, past macadamia, and stone fruit orchards, over a captivating 20 km stretch of natural splendour, up through the village of Modanville, a little way past this village you will veer to your left to continue along Channon Road and onto your next stop, The Channon!

The Channon

The Channon is a quaint village nestled in the foothills of the Nightcap Ranges. Renowned for its original North Coast craft market on Turntable Creek Road. The Channon has embraced a 'make it, bake it or grow it' philosophy for over three decades. On the 2nd Sunday of each month, the vibrant Channon Market comes alive with up to 250 stalls, offering an array of homemade cuisine and handcrafted goods. Operating from 9 am to 3 pm, this is one of the largest markets in regional NSW.
While there, visit the Channon Tavern in the Old Butter Factory, where a mix of locals and visitors gather, especially on market days and during the Open Mic afternoons held every 4th Sunday.


Rain Forests & Waterfalls

Continue a 15 km drive along Terania Creek Road, which brings you to the World Heritage-listed Nightcap National Park, a drive that includes short stretches on unsealed roads, but don’t let that put you off, its fine for two-wheel vehicles and it leads to the historic Protesters Falls.
Here at the Terania Creek Picnic Area, you can begin a gentle 1.4 km walk amid Bangalow Palms, culminating at the base of Protesters Falls. The falls are named after the protesters whose anti-logging campaign in the late 1970s led to the declaration of the National Park in 1983 and generated worldwide awareness of the need to preserve our natural environments.

Protesters falls

Swimming is respectfully prohibited to protect the endangered Fleay’s Barred Frog.

From Protestors Falls, backtrack to The Channon, then head towards Nimbin on Turntable Creek Rd, eventually veering onto Newton Drive towards Mount Nardi.
Here, immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature with walks like the Mt Matheson Loop or the Pholis Gap track. These trails offer a harmonious blend of lush rainforest scenery, distinctive drier vegetation, and breathtaking views of Mt Warning and the surrounding valleys. 


Now, let's journey onto Nimbin, a place deeply rooted in the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Original Custodians.

For the Original Custodians, Nimbin has always been a sacred site of learning and transformation. The valley, now home to the village, served as a communal gathering place. The imposing Nimbin Rocks to the south, remnants of the ancient Wollumbin Mount Warning Volcano that erupted about 20 million years ago, were designated for men’s business.
Similarly, significant areas to the north and east were reserved for women’s business. These rocks hold immense cultural importance for the Bundjalung nation's traditional owners, being sacred sites of initiation and higher learning.
Access to these landmarks is restricted, honouring their sacred status, however, as you make your way back to Ballina, you'll have the opportunity to admire the Nimbin Rocks from a designated viewing area located 2kms south of the village.

This respectful distance allows visitors to appreciate their majesty without intruding on their sanctity.

Nimbin itself is now a tapestry of history and modernity. Once a serene dairying village, it has transformed into a renowned hub of eclectic hippy culture and alternative lifestyles. The 1973 Aquarius Festival, hosted in Nimbin, marked a significant cultural shift in Australia. It was one of the first events where the indigenous custodianship was recognized, with the festival organizers seeking approval from local Elders. This acknowledgment paved the way for a deeper understanding and respect for the land and its original caretakers. Today, Nimbin's vibrant community stands as a living testament to the dreams and ideologies of that transformative era, blending its ancient cultural roots with the spirited aspirations of newer generations.

Some not to miss highlights of the Village include a visit to Nimbin Candle Factory.
For over 40 years, this family-run business has been making beautiful traditional, non-toxic candles using essential oils and vegetable dyes. Open daily at The Old Butter Factory by Mulgum Creek. A selection of their beautiful candles is also available in the Ballina Visitor Information Centre.

Call into Nimbin’s Hemp Embassy, where you will find information and alternative hemp-based products such as building materials, fashion, body products and vitamin supplements or Nimbin Artists Gallery, A gallery run by local artists with locally made arts and crafts for sale is open daily 10am-5pm

Just down the road is Djanbung Gardens Permaculture Centre. Djanbung Gardens is a living ‘learnscape’ of sustainability in action. Take a walk through 5ha of organic gardens and see innovative natural building technologies, wildlife, and bush regeneration.
Open: Wed to Sat 10am-3pm.

If you’re visiting over the corresponding weekend, Nimbin Markets are held on the 4th & 5th Sundays of the month at Nimbin Community Centre, 8am-3pm.
The Nimbin Farmers Market at Green Bank Car Park is Wed 3-6pm. 

This journey from the Ballina Coast up through the Hinterland promises not just a road trip, but a discovery of culture, nature, and the unique enduring spirit of the Northern Rivers region.

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