Northern Rivers Rail Trail workshop aims to boost local business opportunities

6 March 2024

Original media release issued by Lismore City Council

Lismore City Council is stepping up efforts to empower local businesses as construction progresses on the Lismore to Bentley section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail (NRRT).

Council hosted a workshop this week designed to guide local operators on ways to capitalise on the potential marketing and sales opportunities the trail will provide, through the anticipated surge in tourism.

The 16.3km stretch from Lismore to Bentley has seen significant development since its commencement in January, with substantial strides including the removal of railway infrastructure, finalisation of designs, and completion of approximately 5kms of track.

Council is on track to deliver the Lismore section in late 2024. This section will connect with the Casino to Bentley section, which opens on Saturday, 23 March.

Lismore City Mayor Steve Krieg emphasised the workshop’s significance as part of a series designed to equip local businesses with insights into the diverse demographics of Rail Trail users and their preferred visitor experiences.

“In the first four months, the Tweed section of the Rail Trail attracted more than 70,500 people, smashing expectations of 27,000 people a year,” he said.

With the impending influx of tourists, the council is urging local businesses to gear up for the economic boom and ensure the delivery of top-notch experiences. Simultaneously, the council remains dedicated to leveraging the Rail Trail as a catalyst for economic growth within the community.

Mayor Krieg also hinted at the exciting prospects the Rail Trail holds for the Lismore community.

“The Lismore to Bentley section promises to substantially benefit the entire community by providing a fun and safe accessible pathway for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and people using mobility aids to enjoy and connect to our natural environment, as well as more job opportunities,” he said.

Lismore City Council Manager Destination and Economy Tina Irish echoed the sentiment, calling the Trail a game changer for the region.

“With insights gleaned from the Tweed section’s successful launch, we can maximise our preparation”, she said.

“We know that over 94% of Northern Rivers Rail Trail visitors expressed a desire to return to the trail, we know the most popular days of the week, times of the day and how visitors like to experience the trail.

“We want to share this with our business community to help make the Lismore to Bentley section the best experience it can be so are working on some exciting new business initiatives with our community as part of Lismore’s Rail Trail offerings.”

The Lismore to Bentley leg of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is funded by the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions program and is poised to unlock a wealth of opportunities for local businesses and communities alike.

To stay up to date on the Lismore to Bentley section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail or to enquire about workshops and business development support, go to


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