Better than a walk in the park
THE Lismore Visitor Information Centre's tourism co-ordinator Mitch Lowe was hoping for one present this Christmas - the opening of the refurbished interior.
Boasting a new rainforest walk and modern panels depicting special places for visitors to see and stories of the district's past and present, it had been hoped the centre would be ready for opening before Christmas.
But there have been delays in pulling together the centre's first big makeover in several years, with the opening now slated for January 16 - just in time to catch the last couple of weeks of the school holidays.
"We've been waiting on the production of panels, and for our advisory groups to sign off on them, and that process is a bit stalled at the moment," Mr Lowe said.
"We need to run everything past our stakeholder reference groups of history, environment and diversity experts and Aboriginal custodians.
"It's actually been amazing that we have come so far in the past 12 months.
"The 16 panels are ready. They cover huge subject areas and contain more than 400 images of Lismore's history and the present day - it's a massive body of work.
"Since we are telling many stories about our environment, history and culture, we have to make really sure we are getting them right, so they need to go through a lengthy approval process."
When The Northern Star visited late last week, artist Burri Jerome was painting the rainforest walk, where he pointed out the touch-pads on the floor that will start up soundscapes as visitors walk on them.
At the same time the Aboriginal Cultural Centre was being prepared to have indigenous artworks hung on its walls, and the rest of the Visitor Information Centre was full of tempting Christmas present ideas showcasing local handcrafted goods and Northern Rivers produce, available in hampers.