Living near the Gold Coast the use of the main highway gets us to anywhere we need to go. This time around we took the less used road and so glad we did. Out past Beaudesert and a left just before Rathdowney is the Lions Road which takes you down through the valleys and on the sides of the hills to northern NSW. The view of the scenic rim and heading down through it was magic and worth the extra time it took. A lesson learned and hopefully when I choose to travel from now on I will take the road less travelled.
The Lions Road is so called because the Lions Club of Australia (a group of dedicated people making big differences in their local communities all over Australia) helped build this road. In 1969 the NSW government would not support the funding to build this road. As with anything near the border of two states there is always one party that does not agree to assist and therefore nothing happens. In stepped the local Lions Club who decided to do it themselves. For more on this project and information on the scenic rim please go to the link here. There is a donation box at the top of the road and I encourage anyone using this road to donate to help fund other local projects.
Part way down we arrived at the Border loop lookout (see my previous MM50 post here for lookout photo and explanation of why it is called the Border loop). A quiet looking lookout with only one other car who were leaving. A nice picnic was had in this tranquil setting seemingly miles from anywhere just before about 15 people turned up for a meeting – conservationists, rangers etc had descended in droves to this spot at the same time we were there. On we drove down the winding road with glimpses of rolling hills, beautiful vistas and a step back in time in the local paddocks. In this area there was evidence of days gone by with old run down shacks still standing long after they would have been torn down elsewhere, paddocks full of old machinery and cars like a visual time line of what car was owned and when. Even old car bonnets were used for artistic purposes along a fence line.
Nearing the end of our journey we came to Kyogle which sits on the Richmond River in NSW. Its main industries have been cattle grazing, dairy and forestry. We didn’t have much time unfortunately to spend there as I had stopped so often on the trip down to take photos that we were running late to check in to our B&B – terania creek green. This lovely B&B is tucked into the hillside around The Channon and quite near Nimbin, very interesting alternate towns in northern NSW, quite unique in themselves and worth a visit.
Apparently the dairy industry had hit hard times in this area in the 1960s and was suffering economic decline. In 1973 a large group of university students, alternative lifestylers and hippies held the Aquarius Festival there and a lot remained and stay there to this day and have changed the urban landscape dramatically. A melting pot of different cultures coming together in one play -definitely worth a visit to Nimbin, The Channon and Byron Bay!
This area is only about 30 kilometres from Lismore and alternatively easier to reach from the Pacific Highway turning off at Mullumbimby but for the road less travelled I highly recommend the Lions Road Route.