Modern Coraki might be regarded as the tea tree capital of Australia, but the town' s fame was forged in the mid 19th-century as the pivotal port in the northern NSW river trade. Coraki's historic buildings dating from that period include several old churches and the original council chambers.
The name of pioneer landowner and driving force behind Coraki's pre-eminence as a river port, William Yabsley, lives on in Yabsley House on the town's fringe.
Built in 1911 by a son of the Northern Rivers pioneer entrepreneur, Yabsley House remains in family ownership and currently operates as a guest house.
Today the river traffic in and round Coraki, which sits at the junction of the Richmond and Wilson rivers, is exclusively recreational.
The region's prosperity is generated from the staple sugar cane and the emergent crop, melaleuca alternifolia, from which the tea tree oil is extracted. The entire region worships of the natural oil altar every October with the Tea Tree Festival.