More than just
a way to
the rainforests…

The Rainforest Way is more than just a way to the rainforests. It is a ‘way’ of experiencing the region – a way of life, a way of seeing and a way of doing things.  It can be an alternate scenic route to the Pacific Highway or it can be a time-out to touch the earth, smell the rainforests and connect with something real.

With the ancient volcanic caldera of Wollumbin (Mt Warning) National Park at its centre, the main drive of The Rainforest Way leads you through the heart of Australia’s Green Cauldron, linking the towns and villages of Casino, Kyogle, Rathdowney, Beaudesert, Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain, Murwillumbah, Nimbin, Lismore and Byron Bay.

Take it all the way…

With 14 World Heritage-listed National Parks and over 650kms of scenic drives to explore, you can easily spend a week. Experience the high waterfalls crashing into steep gorges and stunning escarpments with incredible vistas. There is an amazing concentration of primitive plants, including the world’s highest concentration of ancient Antarctic Beech trees, hundreds of kilometres of walking tracks and over 170 bird species to discover.


Then there are the numerous art galleries, cafes and wineries, fresh local produce crafted into tantalising delicacies, as well as alternative lifestyle communities where you can spend hours exploring all these hidden cultural wonders and getting back to nature.

Or experience just the bits you want to…

With 11 loops and trails from a half-day to full-day experiences, you can choose a rainforest hinterland experience to suit you.  No matter where you are starting from you can easily access an enchanting glimpse of these amazing rainforests, short walks into lush green stands of ancient ferns and palms, crystal clear streams that you can picnic beside or just stand and take in the gorgeous views.

Rainforest Way Picnic

Looking for a bit more…?

You can even get off the beaten track and have a more back-to-basic experience with some tourism operators offering 4WD-ing, camping and extreme nature and adventure-based experiences – just contact one of the local Visitor Information Centres for more information.

What’s the best time of year?

The Northern Rivers of NSW and south-east Queensland are renowned for their moderate temperature throughout the year, however, there are some distinct seasons to remember: December to March is generally considered the wet season so be prepared for rain. Evenings in the mountains can be much cooler, especially during winter, which is perfect to snuggle in front of a cabin fire.


Daylight Savings


Don’t forget daylight savings from October to April each year.  NSW participates but Queensland does not. Remember that crossing the border during this time of the year may mean adjusting your clocks by one hour.

What is World Heritage?

UNESCO’s World Heritage List sites are places of outstanding universal natural, cultural or historic value and are recognised and legislated for their protection.


Australia’s World Heritage places include the Sydney Opera House, Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park and the Great Barrier Reef. In this cross-border region, the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia – Shield Volcano Group, which were listed in 1986, include the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, large areas of warm temperate rainforest and nearly all of the Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest. Few places on earth contain so many plants and animals which remain relatively unchanged from their ancestors in the fossil record.

UNESCO World Heritage Listed

Project Mission

To develop and promote a primary touring route with complementary experiential loops and trails through Northern Rivers NSW and south-east Queensland which will provide enhanced experiences for visitors and greater environmental, cultural, social and economic benefits for the cross border region.


To increase drive tourism activity in the hinterland areas of the Northern Rivers NSW and south-east Queensland.

Principles & Values

Throughout its development, The Rainforest Way has been guided by the following core principles and values.

These principles underpin the consultative process, the development of the touring routes and the identification of key attractions and support services.

  • ecologically sustainable development;
  • environmental and World Heritage protection;
  • quality visitor experiences;
  • integrity of products and experiences;
  • cooperation between public and private organisations;
  • responsible marketing and promotion; and
  • economic, cultural and social benefit.


Promote The Rainforest Way brand for the Northern Rivers, NSW and south-east Queensland.

Develop and promote a primary touring route with complementary experiential loops and trails through Northern Rivers NSW and south-east Queensland.

Provide enhanced experiences for visitors and greater environmental, cultural, social and economic benefits for the cross border regions.

Raise awareness of the region’s rainforest areas and their global significance, and promote appreciation of their beauty and irreplaceable values.

Disperse tourists visiting the coastal areas of the regions to less visited parts of the region.

Increase visitation and extend length of stay in the hinterland of the region – and, in so doing, offer opportunities for the development and growth of businesses in hospitality and tourism in rural areas.

Promote alternative access routes and entry points to the region other than the Pacific Highway.

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