The name of the town may be more famous throughout Australia for a flower, the towns signature tree, the Tibouchina Alstonville. Every March, this pretty country town and surrounding areas are a purple wonderland from this beautiful flowering tree. The tree was bred from the native Brazilian tree Lasiandra many years ago by the late Ken Dunstan, a local from the area. The Tibouchina is available in many shades of pink, purple and white and is also available in miniature variety.
Some History of Alstonville NSW
The town sits on the Alstonville plateau, an area rich in volcanic soil said to be 12m deep and among the best agricultural land in Australia. It was originally part of the 'Big Scrub' - a once lush rainforest that covered the whole area. This was what attracted the first european settlers to the area in the mid-nineteenth century - the Toona Australis - Australian Red Cedar tree, was exploited until there were hardly any mature specimens left.
The Importance of Agriculture
This prime land grows a wide variety of produce now, including vegetables, macadamias, guavas, blueberries, avocados, custard apples and various other fruits.
It's a pretty country town with some nice older style buildings along the main street with the Federal Hotel, antique shops, coffee shops and arts and crafts galleries. The town has 2 shopping centres and has grown somewhat and swallowed up some of the surrounding farmland and basically joined up with the nearby Wollongbar which is home to the local TAFE.
Between the 2 towns is the Russelton Industrial Estate which services the area with a wide range of industries including the Rural Buying Service and several Macadamia processing plants.
There are several pockets of the rainforest which originally covered the whole region protected and preserved now for posterity. One worth checking out is the old growth forest in Victoria Park Nature Reserve.
The Federal Hotel in the town itself is a good place to stop for lunch or refreshments.
The Summerland House with No Steps is located on the outskirts of the town, on Wardell Road and is also a great place to stop off.
The core business of the house is a thriving nursery business of native and exotic plants, as well as offering a packaging and grading service for local growers.
Visitors can relax and enjoy the tearoom and craft shop staffed by disabled people.
The house is available for weddings and functions and is open 7 days a week and public holidays.
Site Facilities : BBQ Area, Cafe / Coffee Shop, Children's Playground, Facilities for Disabled, Information Centre, Off-street Parking, Picnic Area, Public Telephone(s), Public Toilets, Restaurant(s), Sheltered Area, Coach Parking, Information Booth(s), Souvenir Shop
The 'House with No Steps' is a nationwide organisation servicing many
across NSW and Queensland