Update April 2018

Zest Magazine is likely to be merged with LismoreBiz, a new directory/magazine style site currently launching.
Find out more here or you can check out a quick video here.

Zest Magazine started life as a free community magazine for the Northern Rivers.

From the first issue in 2011 through to mid 2014, the magazine was called 2477 Magazine and it had a specific focus on the Alstonville/Wollongbar region. The magazine was renamed “Zest” from the Winter 2014 issue. There were practical reasons for this (the twofour7seven.com.au url was troublesome!) and there was a desire to expand into a wider region.

2477 Magazine Issue 6 August-September 2012 2477 Magazine Issue 5 June-July 2012 2477 Magazine Issue 4 April-May 2012 2477 Magazine Issue 3 February-March 2012 2477 Magazine Issue 2 December 2011-January 2012

The founding editor handed the reins to Lindsay Bidwell (bidwellmedia.com.au) in 2012 and Lindsay continued to manage the magazine, building a loyal following with advertisers and readers. Late in 2014, Lindsay found the pressures of the magazine, her own business and young family meant she could no longer devote the time needed to the magazine, and looked for a new ‘owner’.

Late in 2014, Ellen Kronen took on the editorship for Zest Magazine. Ellen owns local website design company – Leumesin Design – and is looking forward to the challenge and opportunities of managing the magazine. Ellen is very connected with the local business community – most of her clients are local businesses – and sees a need for affordable advertising for business owners, that reaches their customers and works for them. She has been a member of the Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry since 2012, a board member from 2012-2017, and was President of the Chamber in 2014-5.

From 2017, Zest will be an online publication only. This is for very practical reasons only – the cost of producing and distributing a free print publication four times a year proved to be a costly business and far outweighed the advertising revenue, which sadly made it not viable at least in the short term.

Our Area – The Northern Rivers

The Northern Rivers expands from Grafton to Tweed Heads in the Far North of New South Wales, and features the best of both country and coast. A pleasant climate and an abundance of magical coastline the Northern Rivers is the perfect holiday destination. Also referred to as the Green Coast, the Northern Rivers is located an easy 1 hour drive from the Gold Coast, and 2 hours from Brisbane.

Murwillumbah, Kyogle, Mullumbimby, Lismore, Casino, Ballina, Evans Head, Grafton, Tenterfield Tweed Heads, Alstonville, Lennox Head, Bangalow, Byron Bay, Wooli

Attractions include:

  • Local Villages
  • Village Markets
  • Local Events & Festivals
  • Fine dining, classic country pubs and cafes
  • Rainforest walks, lakes, waterfalls, wildlife
  • Pristine beaches with 300kms of coastline
  • Fishing, surfing & 4wd treks
  • Farming and local food produce


Situated in the subtropical valleys South of Mt Warning is the town of Lismore and a number of picturesque hinterland villages. Visitors can follow the arts trail, visit local villages or get back to nature in the many National Parks. With the largest retail shopping precinct in the Northern Rivers, Lismore is a shopper’s paradise. The wide streets of the shopping precinct are lined with beautiful heritage buildings and the Wilsons River meandering through the city centre enhances the relaxed country atmosphere.


European history of Lismore begins in c. 1843. A pastoral run covering an area of 93 square kilometres was taken up by Captain Dumaresq at this time covering the Lismore area. The run was stocked with sheep from the New England area. Ward Stephens took up the run in the same year, but the subtropical climate was unsuited for sheep grazing, so the run was eventually abandoned. In January 1845, William and Jane Wilson took over the run. The Wilson’s were Scottish, and they arrived in New South Wales in May 1833. The hypothesis is that Jane Wilson was responsible for naming the location for Lismore, Scotland, where the couple had honeymooned. Another theory is that it was named after Lismore, Ireland because of the similarity in scenery.

In 1855, the surveyor Frederick Peppercorne was instructed by Sir Thomas Mitchell to determine a site for a township in the area. Peppercorne submitted his map of the proposed village reserve on 16 February 1856. The chosen site was William Wilson’s homestead paddock, and the area was proclaimed the “Town of Lismore” in the NSW Government Gazette on 1 May 1856. The township was soon settled and its Post Office was opened on 1 October 1859. Lismore was incorporated as a municipality on 5 March 1879, and was eventually proclaimed a city on 30 August 1946. From the mid-1950s until the early 1960s Lismore hosted an annual Floral Carnival in early September. The week-long programme of events culminated in a street parade of decorated floats, crowning of the Floral Queen and a fireworks display.

The Plateau – Alstonville & Wollongbar

10km off the Pacific Highway at Ballina and 20km from Lismore, the Plateau covers areas including Alstonville and Wolllongbar. Alstonville is a pleasant hinterland village surrounded by rolling hills where avocados and macadamia nuts are grown. A must visit for tourist with wonderful local attractions, shopping, historical buildings and fine dining.

The nearby Victoria Park is a 17.5-hectare remnant of the ‘Big Scrub’, the original all-but-impenetrable rainforest that once covered this entire area. It was the Big Scrub that first attracted Europeans, particularly the beautiful ‘red gold’ timber from the Australian red cedar. The timber was channeled down Duck Creek to the Richmond River, then shipped to Ballina and the world. Many of eastern Australia’s historic houses have cedar doors, windows, architraves and staircases, as well as being furnished with tables, sideboards and wardrobes made from this rich, dark red, durable timber.


The area was settled by Europeans in the 1860s when cedar cutters moved into the hinterland in search of the trees. By 1865 Andrew Freeborn and his brother Thomas had settled and were farming in the district known then as Duck Creek Mountain. A later settler, John Perry, named his home after his wife, Annie Alston, and the name stuck resulting in the emerging township being known as Alstonville.

Alstonville has given its name to a variety of tibouchina, a plant native to Brazil, which has intense purple flowers. The late Ken Dunstan bred the plant that has become synonymous with the North Coast town, and which flowers over a long period throughout autumn, adding brilliant colour to the town and the wider region.


Northern Rivers towns are located in the Bundjalung people’s nation area. The aboriginal people of this area are the Widjabul. This country is sacred to them and we urge you to respect their land, culture and beliefs.