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Casino Richmond River
Relax, have a picnic or spot a platypus at the Richmond River

With so many grey nomads seeking a more relaxing alter­native to the crowded Pacific Highway as they head up and down the east coast, smaller inland towns such as Casino in New South Wales are sud­denly appearing on travellers’ radars.

An increasing number of motorhoming and caravan­ning adventurers are travelling along the Summerland Way, which stretches from Grafton in NSW to Woodenbong near the Queensland border, and those who choose to break their journey in the self-styled Beef Capital of Australia are rarely disappointed.

Casino – which also sits on the Bruxner Highway which heads into inland NSW – boasts wide, tree-lined streets and a relaxed country charm, not to mention a fascinating history and great natural beauty.

With a population of around 11,000, the town is renowned for its beef, its timber and agriculture, and as being the rail and freight hub of the far north. The focal point of the town though is the Richmond River, which offers lots of sce­nic places for visitors to picnic and there’s even a chance for them so spot the elusive platy­pus at Platypus Pool beneath the Irving Bridge.

This is a real Australian country town with art deco buildings and interesting and unique shops. Some of the more interesting and historic structures include the Post Of­fice and the Commercial Ho­tel, as well as the town’s oldest existing business, Tattersalls Hotel, established in 1859.

The past is everywhere here and this history is best explored at the Casino Folk Museum, which houses a large collection of photographs, artefacts and machinery from times gone by.

Rail enthusiasts love the Casino mini railway which will take them on a half an hour ride through the Jabiru Wetlands on miniature trains before ending up at the old Casino Station, which has been developed into a railway museum.

Ultimately, this is beef country though and this is never more evident than in late autumn when Casino Beef Week sees cattle in the street, a steer auc­tion, and a huge parade. Grey nomads lucky enough to be in town at this time will also be treated to readings from bush poets, an arts and craft exhibi­tion, a rodeo, and a country race meeting. This is country Australia truly celebrating what makes it unique … and it’s a special experience.

Casino is also a great location from which to explore the natural attractions in the area, including World Heritage list­ed Border Ranges, Richmond Range and the Cambridge Plateau forest drive. These offer some top camping spots including the grassy Peacock Creek campground in Rich­mond Range National Park.

There is also a choice of caravan parks in Casino and these include theBIG4 Casino Resort. Some nomads love this area so much that they have bought places in the resort, and made Casino their permanent ‘nomad base’ from which to explore Australia. It is a town and an area that has that sort of effect on people.

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