Located 755 km north of Sydney, 10 km off the Pacific Highway and 19 km from Lismore, Alstonville is a pleasant little hinterland village which is largely driven by the usual array of attractions – antique shops, gift shops – surrounded by rolling hills where avocados and macadamia nuts are grown.
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 which was known by the oxymoronic title of 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.
Not surprisingly, given the proximity of the booming towns of Lismore and Ballina, Alstonville tends to concentrate fairly heavily on tourism with the locals using the larger centres as their major shopping destinations.
Summerland House, known as the House With No Steps, has been operating in Alstonville since 1971. Summerland House provides training and employment opportunities for people with physical and intellectual disabilities in fields such as farming and hospitality.