This full day drive takes you through scenic and culturally significant areas of NSW, offering segments of the Border Rangers National Park’s lush tropical rainforest, cultural icons such as the Border Loop Railway and the magnificent Mount Lindesay. Food, fuel, and toilets are available on the drive.
Duration: Full day from Kyogle
- Village of Wiangaree
- Border Ranges World Heritage Rainforest
- Border Loop Railway Lookout
- Old timber town of Grevillia
From Kyogle: Journey north following the Summerland way towards Wiangaree. As you cross the Railway Bridge, the rich alluvial river flats on your left were part of one of the district’s first squatting runs, ‘Wiangaree Station’ (circa 1840). In the quiet, friendly village of Wiangaree relics of the past can be found in the local General Store and enjoy the staghorns and hundreds of orchids in their rainforest nursery. Continue for 6km north of Wiangaree crossing Jenny Constable Bridge over the Richmond River until you come to a sign The Lions Road to Brisbane. Turn right into this breathtaking drive exposing you to the Border Ranges World Heritage Rainforest, over the McPherson Range and into Queensland.
This community project initiated by the Kyogle Lions Club provides visitors easy access to breathtaking views, spectacular scenery and the historically significant Border Loop Railway Lookout. Initially road authorities rejected the suggestion of a 30-kilometre shorter route to Brisbane, so the Kyogle and Beaudesert Lions Clubs joined forces to construct this now popular tourist route. Pass Simes Road, a link with the World Heritage Listed Border Ranges National Park is on your right. There are good walking tracks in the park, which covers more than 31,000 hectares of forest. Early pioneers sought cedar and hoop pine and local creeks were used to move logs. Breathtaking views of the rainforest that greet the traveler at every corner make up the Border Ranges NP. Caution is advised when driving in this area because of its winding nature and wildlife crossing the road. Keep an ear out for the beautiful song of the bellbird.
Turn left to the Border Loop Railway Lookout, which has amenities and picnic facilities and is an ideal area for a break and a must for train buffs. Completed in 1930, this is possibly Australia’s most significant railway engineering feat. The project employed 1500 men to construct a series of tunnels and spiral loop through the McPherson Range. Construction began in Kyogle in 1926 and linked Eastern Australia with the first ‘same gauge’ rail line interstate upon completion. As the name suggests, one tunnel is built through the NSW/QLD border.
Return to the Lions Road and continue the drive into Queensland and count the times you cross Running Creek during the downward drive. At Rathdowney, you turn left onto the Summerland Way. Mount Lindesay dominates the skyline as you drive westwards. Bellbird and whipbird songs follow as you continue along this road, which changes its name to Mount Lindesay Highway just before you get to Woodenbong, where you can refuel, find food, or picnic at this important inland centre.
As you retrace your drive along Mount Lindesay Highway, note the new tree plantations on both sides of the road as you leave Woodenbong. Turn right onto the Summerland Way, which continues through forest and farmland. The old timber town of Grevillia was named by the early settlers because of the many silky oak trees, Grevillia robusta, in the vicinity. Stop at the General Store for information about the old days. At one time, three sawmills operated in the town, but all have now closed. Old Grevillia offers an opportunity to look inside a unique remnant of riverine rainforest. Take the Findon Creek Road turn off on your left for Moore Park Nature Reserve, home to colonies of Grey Headed Flying Fox. Its dark interior gives an insight into the type of forest that existed prior to European settlement.
Leaving Old Grevillia, return to Kyogle via the Summerland Way after experiencing some of the finest scenery to be found anywhere in Australia.