Alstonville Heritage Trail

Alstonville is situated in the Far North Coast of NSW and has an interesting history. Many of the buildings date back from 1900s and are still being used for their original purpose. Come and visit and see for yourself.,_New_South_Wales The New Settlers Firstly the red cedar cutters moved into the area to glean the "Red Gold" from the Big Scrub Rainforest that covered the area.Situated close to Ballina with the Richmond River flowing out into the ocean, smaller barges could make their way to the small wharf at Uralba and collect the logs that had been floated down Duck Creek. [...]

Holidaying on Two Wheels

With the cooler weather, its the perfect time to get out and explore. The Ballina Coast and Hinterland has a multitude of hidden paths and rural roads to cycle. Throw the bikes on the car or jump on your motorbike and come and visit the Northern Rivers. You can also hire standard or ebikes locally at Ballina Bike Hire, Sunrise cycles and The Bicycle Emporium. Suggested Hinterland Rides The Bicycle Emporium in Ballina is passionate about all types of cycling. It has a wide range of suggested road cycleways through the hinterland with suggested coffee stops and scenic lookouts. The rides are [...]

Donkeys on My Mind

New Arrival We had a wonderful present last Sunday. Freda our pregnant donkey gave birth to her second son, Freddy. He was born about 5am and soon was tottering around on his too long, gangly legs and suckling at his mother. It was a lovely treat for everyone staying at the cottages over the weekend. Freda was very proud of her new offspring and let us all have a good look at him. Three days old now he is frolicking around the field giving his calm placid mother a hard time as he jumps over her and pushes under her. His extra [...]

Time to get into the water-the best natural spots

As the weather heats up its time to get into the water. Here on the North Coast we have some amazing beaches from Wategos at Byron to Seven Mile Beach at Lennox to Shelley Beach and Lighthouse Beach at Ballina. Visit to read about the surf, swimming or dog friendly beaches. However not everyone wants to swim in the ocean or sit on a hot open beach. At Alstonville Country Cottages we are perfectly situated to reach a variety of watering spots. If you want somewhere easy, calm and relaxing with the possibility of a bit of shade these are our [...]

Birds of Ballina and the Big Scrub

With Spring in the air and Summer around the corner, the birds are out and about and we have seen some unique sightings both in Ballina and in the rainforests of the Big Scrub remnants in Alstonville. Ballina Birds In Ballina there are several great areas to birdwatch. There are the waterways in West Ballina where visiting birds are often spotted. Also there is the large T- tree  Lake Ainsworth at Lennox. Along the banks and mangroves of Richmond River and North Creek are good spots to view cormorants, sea eagles, ospreys and kingfishers. On South Ballina  there are reserved areas [...]

The Magical World of Fireflies

Have you ever seen a Firefly? Now is the time to see Fireflies as they emerge from the dark, damp depths of the rainforest looking for a mate.  Have you ever seen the twinkling, mesmerising little glow that flickers around the rainforests of Northern NSW in September/ October?  You may remember them from your childhood when you tried to capture one in a glass jar to study more closely. The blinking, surprisingly bright light is the mating dance of this increasingly rare insect, the Firefly. What are they? The firefly is in fact not a fly at all but a beetle from [...]