most-welcoming-regional-towns-in-nsw

Regional towns aren’t just destinations on a map. They’re places where communities have come together and made their own. It can be daunting to be an “outsider,” but to get a true sense of a community, you have to spend time there. Stay longer, breathe deeper, and listen closer.
Four things that will make you feel at home.

Albury-Wodonga

The twin cities of Albury and Wodonga are divided by the Murray River but also connected. This allows visitors to reconnect with their roots. Bonegilla Migrant camp, which housed over 300,000 migrants who arrived in Australia from 1947 to 1971, has been a part of the Australian culture for more than 20 years.

The Albury Library Museum has a post-war immigration exhibit, Shared Bonegilla Stories. It shows how the new Australians experienced their first life in Australia. The city also has a permanent exhibition called Crossing Place that explores the first contact between the Wiradjuri and the traditional owners.

Jindera Pioneer Museum is located about 15 minutes north of the city and explores life in the late 1800s. Charge your phone, and take a scenic walk along the Murray River on the Yindyamarra Art Walk. Each sculpture on the route is equipped with QR technology, as well as interpretive panels that tell the story of local Aboriginal people.

Echuca Moama

The majority of visitors to Echuca Moama are there to view the paddle steamers on the Murray River. But if you take a closer look, the locals focus more on the land.

A well-established food and drink trail, an active local market, and the Perricoota Pop and Pour Festival are all part of the region. This festival, which shuttles visitors from vineyard to grapevine to sample the local produce, is a popular event. Throughout the area, some places have united to protect and shape the land.

The Moama Botanic Gardens is a community project that has been in the works for many years. It is one of the first native gardens designed in Australia. The garden recreates semi-arid Australian landscapes and includes a rain garden, native plantings, and a dry bilabong.

The theme of stewardship is carried out throughout the entire region. Restdown Wines, a winery, organic vineyard, and beef farm located on a 445-hectare property less than an hour from Moama, operates a winery, organic vineyard, and beef farm. This place is unique because of its wetland boardwalk. It features indigenous cooking hearths and scar trees and is preserved by the owners. There are both guided and unguided tours, as well as wine tastings and meals.

Lismore

While Byron Bay has a glam image on Instagram, and Nimbinis is known for its counterculture, quirky festivals, and community spirit, Lismore, in the Northern Rivers, is all about creativity, inclusivity, and community.

In Nightcap National Park, you can walk through the rainforest on the Bangalow Palm Forest Trail to Protesters Falls. This waterfall is named after the Lismore residents who led Australia’s first anti-logging protests.

This town is resilient: the local club Tropical Fruits has been welcoming members of the LGBTIQ Community for many years. The popular cafe Flock, which was destroyed by the 2017 floods, has been rebuilt with the community’s support.

The Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens is a new garden that was established in 2002. It’s still in its infancy, and volunteers give tours every weekend. The back streets are filled with art, and each weekend, there is a series of farmers’ markets and fairs. Channon Craft Market is the oldest art and crafts market in Australia.

Narooma

It is a coastal town that you must wade slowly into. The city has a reputation for being a waterworld. It is home to a number of stunning beaches, the protected Wagonga inlet, and some of the best diving and snorkeling on Montague Island.

The region is at the heart of Australia’s oyster coast. There is an annual oyster festival and tours that include tastings of this delicacy right from the water. A number of restaurants serve up the slippery seafood, including The Whale Inn & Restaurant.

Narooma is home to a number of biking trails, which are often overlooked. These are some of the best-kept secrets in the town. Rent a bike from Southbound Escapes and tour the 21km return Narooma-Dalmeny cycle track. The local community constructed this family-friendly route.

There are many mountain biking trails near Bodalla State Forest. A local group of riders is developing more than 30km.

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