Gems across the southern border

Flutterbies Cottage the perfect high tea spot at Tyalgum.

By Tania Phillips

Nestled between the glitz of the Gold Coast and the glamour of Byron Bay is the Tweed Shire – set in the lush green valley of an ancient Caldera, this hidden gem is a place of long wide beaches, ancient rain forest and beautiful little villages.

Taking the trip down the M1 (now that we can again), the moment you come out of the Tugun tunnel and cross the border you know you’ve come to somewhere just that little different. Still within a short drive of all the attractions of it’s better-known neighbours, Tweed is, if not the undiscovered country, at least a respite from the more touristy regions around it.

Whether it be taking long sunset or sunrise walks at Dreamtime Beach in Wommin Bay from Kingscliff to Fingal or taking a leisurely drive out to the Art Deco beauty of Murwillumbah – nestled not far from Wollumbin (Mt Warning) or out to the quaint villages that surround it Tweed has something for everyone.

Sticking to the Coast a bike track allows you to explore the villages from Fingal down through Kingscliff and Bogangar to Pottsville, it’s a leisurely trip past beautiful beaches, café’s, shops, a tiny but perfectly formed family-run cinema that looks more like a beautiful speak easy than a multiplex, take in the award-winning icecream of Tango Gelato and there is even a place where you can indulge in creating pottery while you sip coffee. Then there are also places where you can just stop and enjoy the whales jumping (at the right time of year) or you could book a tour with Water Sports Gurus to explore the Cudgen creek or head up to Tropical Fruit World for a farm tour or a meal (enjoying a stop at Earth Brewery or Farm Co on the way)

With plenty of options for overnight stays from Beachside caravan parks in the middle of towns crammed with award-winning restaurants to clamping facilities at Bogangar and Hastings Point, a myriad of Air BNBs, well-appointed resorts including Mantra and Peppers at Salt south of Kingscliff and everything in between, the Tweed Coast in particular offers a great place to base yourself for a weekend away.

From there you can explore outside the valley but you will find there are is a lot to do in the Tweed Valley. Take a trip down to the riverside village of Tumbulgum where you can enjoy the delicious food of The House of Gabriel or the ambience of the historic hotel, a picnic by the river or head out to the nearby Husk Gin Distillery or book a cruise on the Tweed River.

Down river, past the Condong Sugar Mill is Murwillumbah with plenty of riverside dining and the beautiful Tweed River Regional Art Gallery – home to the Margaret Ollie Collection and with a stunning view of the Tweed River. Check out a movie at the newly renovated historic Regent Cinema or live music at the equally beautiful Citadel.

Or drive out to picturesque Tyalgum and enjoy a high tea at Flutterbies or drop into the beautiful historic old Tyalgum Store for a snack and some supplies. If you come back to Murwillumbah through Chillingham (or stay out in some of the Rainforest accommodation out that way) you’ll pass Bucks Farm where you can pick up the Tweed’s own native finger limes.

With amazing producers and businesses and natural beauty the Tweed is the perfect place for a mini-break just a few hours from home.

Five Things You Must Do On The Tweed according to people who live there!

1. Check out the Tweed Regional Art Gallery on the banks of the beautiful Tweed River at Murwillumbah.

2. Enjoy a Tweed River Cruise.

3. Take a Tour at Tropical Fruit World in the Tweed Coast Hinterland at Duranbah

4. Lunch and champagne at The Oyster Shed, Birds Bay Drive, Tweed Heads West

5. Picnic at the Fingal Lighthouse or Norries Headland at Hastings Point (with food from Hastings Point Store or if you want something a little more up-market contact the award-winning Blue Ginger Picnics).


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