Alstonville is a pretty, well-established town servicing the local agricultural area. It is the regional centre of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and is well situated as a base to explore both the coast and the hinterland area.

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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.

At this time, the area was known as Duck Creek Mountain, being serviced by Duck Creek - the original access to the area, via the Richmond river which flows to Ballina. The forests were cleared and the valuable timber sent down Duck Creek to the Richmond River, then shipped to Ballina.

From Ballina it was transported to the rest of Australia and indeed the world. Many of eastern Australia's historic houses have doors, windows, architraves and staircases made from this cedar. Not to mention being furnished with tables, sideboards and wardrobes made from this rich, durable, dark red timber.

With the rainforest gone, farmers moved in, mostly dairy back then as can be evidenced by all the old romantic looking dairy bales still dotted around the countryside, many converted to granny flats and self-contained accommodation now.

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.

Tourist Information

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.

There is a boardwalk running through the forest for easy access and to protect the flora and fauna.
To get there - head out of Alstonville along the Wardell road from the roundabout at the shopping centre opposite the main street. Further along Wardell road, turn onto Rous Mill road and follow the signs.

It feels a bit surreal as you have a 17.5 hectare patch of Rainforest in the middle of some cow paddocks, but it is well worth a look as the remaining rainforest is well preserved and gives you a great sense of what the whole area once looked like.

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.

It is run by an organization predominantly for the training of the disabled in vocational and independent living skills. It is easily accessible by car and coach tours are most welcome.

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 locations across NSW and Queensland

Other local Information :-

  • Council -------------- Ballina Shire
  • Population ------------ 4720
  • Transport services --- Bus


  • Rodeo ---------------------------------------- January
  • Home & Lifestyle Expo ---------------------- May
  • Needle, Wood & Craft Fair ------------------- June
  • Orchid Society Spring Show ----------------- August
  • Teven-Tintenbar Country Fair --------------- August
  • Highland Games - Tintenbar ---------------- October
  • Agricultural Show -------------------------- October

Leave Alstonville and return to the villages

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