News

Obama drama over itinerary

An artist’s impression of the surfing leg of President Obama’s Northern Rivers tour.
An artist’s impression of the surfing leg of President Obama’s Northern Rivers tour. Isobel Rogers

TWEED Tourism has snubbed Nimbin and the rest of the Northern Rivers by putting only Tweed destinations on a proposed itinerary for US President Barack Obama’s visit next month.

Tweed Tourism boss Phil Villiers yesterday upped the ante in a tongue-in-cheek push to have the leader of the free world spend some time on the North Coast by sending a proposed itinerary for Mr Obama’s visit – expected some time late March.

But after last week recommending the President stay away from Nimbin, raising the ire of the village’s residents and triggering a push to have the President visit the village, Mr Villiers has again given the Northern Rivers’ most colourful village – along with the rest of the region – the cold shoulder.

The idea of Mr Obama visiting Nimbin has won strong support with The Northern Star’s online readers.

A web-poll run on Tuesday found 70 per cent of respondents supported the idea.

The itinerary sent by Tweed Tourism includes a helicopter tour over Mt Warning and surrounds, followed by a rainforest drive and short walk, lunch at Mavis’ Kitchen at the base of the mountain, then a surf lesson with world champion surfer Mick Fanning.

Mr Villiers said he had received a ‘polite’ reply from Tourism Australia’s global public relations manager, Kerry I’Anson, saying the proposed itinerary had been passed on to the US team co-ordinating Mr Obama’s visit.

Although pleasantly surprised, Mr Villiers said he still regarded the chances of a presidential visit as ‘pie-in-the-sky’.

Northern Rivers Tourism chief executive Russell Kelly defended Mr Villiers’ failure to include a trip to Nimbin on the itinerary, pointing out the Tweed Tourism manager’s job was to promote the Tweed – not Nimbin.

However, Mr Kelly said Northern Rivers Tourism strongly supported both Tweed’s push to have Mr Obama fly over the Green Cauldron and Lismore’s push to have the President make a stop in Nimbin.

“If this does happen, it would be a miracle,” Mr Kelly said.

“But if he came to Tweed or Lismore we (Northern Rivers Tourism) would like to be the bridge to make sure he visits both.”

Proposed itinerary:

  • Arrive at Brisbane or Gold Coast Airport
  • Scenic helicopter flight over Australia’s Green Cauldron, largest shield volcano in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Land at Mavis’ Kitchen at the base of Mt Warning
  • Drive (6km) through the World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia to Wollumbin (Mt Warning) National Park
  • Welcome by traditional owners
  • Short (200m) interpretive walk through the rainforest, with indigenous and NP guides, highlighting the spiritual significance and unique biodiversity of the mountain
  • Return to Mavis’ Kitchen for lunch
  • Helicopter flight to Rainbow Beach for a surfing lesson with reigning World Champion, Mick Fanning at the Snapper Superbank.


43 animals netted in North Coast shark net trial

A number of at-risk animals were killed during the first 30 days of the shark net trials.

Five sharks, one turtle and one dolphin died in the first 30 days

LAND VALUES: Figures reveal how much your property is worth

Land values in Ballina have increased over the past 12 months.

Property in one Northern Rivers town has increased by almost 14%

Funnel webs in 'plague proportions' due to hot weather

A funnel web spider found in Tom Storey's pool at Wollongbar.

There's nothing worse than finding a deadly spider in your pool

Local Partners

Highway traffic changes that you need to know about

SPEED limits are being reduced and there are some delays expected as part of upgrade works on the Pacific Highway.


Northern Rivers murder mystery takes out award at Flickerfest

MURDER MYSTERY: Northern Rivers young actress Yasmin Honeychurch in a still from the award-wiining film In a Canefield by Emily Avila and Coralie Tapper.

Finding'little star' brought film shoot to the region.

Join the challenge to Live Life Large this Friday

Deborah and Neil Marks have been inspired by Jodie's Inspiration to Live Life Large.

Business owner's invitation to join her on Jodie's Inspiration hike

Things to do with your kids these school holidays

Founder of byron4kids, Michelle Ruthven, with her children.

One mother made it her task to help families discover what's on

New doco argues ‘OJ Simpson is innocent, and I can prove it’

O.J. Simpson

NEW documentary series claims to have found “missing evidence".

REVIEW: Undressed is more than titilating entertainment

Nathan and Tahlia meet for the first time on the TV series Undressed.

'DIVERSE' dating show goes more than skin deep.

Northern Rivers murder mystery takes out award at Flickerfest

MURDER MYSTERY: Northern Rivers young actress Yasmin Honeychurch in a still from the award-wiining film In a Canefield by Emily Avila and Coralie Tapper.

Finding'little star' brought film shoot to the region.

Will there be a Game of Thrones spin-off?

Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage in a scene from season six episode 10 of Game of Thrones.

HBO’S original programming president has teased fans.

Ed Sheeran's intimate gigs down under

Singer Ed Sheeran

CHART-topper playing invite-only shows in Australia next month.

Eddie McGuire's scandal-free focus and new-look Hot Seat

Eddie McGuire hosts the new Millionaire Hot Seat Super Game.

HOST wants out of the hot seat himself to focus on game show revamp.

LAND VALUES: Figures reveal how much your property is worth

Land values in Ballina have increased over the past 12 months.

Property in one Northern Rivers town has increased by almost 14%

6 new estates to build a home on the Northern Rivers

Land estates are available now on the Northern Rivers with some stages opening up soon.

Looking for a place to put down roots and raise a family?

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!