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It is a pretty drive across the border into the lush Green Cauldron region of New South Wales. The drive takes you along the Tweed River, through cane fields, the country town of Murwillumbah, past dairy farms and finally into rainforests. Touring the Tweed Valley is absolutely one of the musts of Tweed Heads things to do.
We have taken many a day trip exploring the ancient landscapes in the Tweed Valley of Northern New South Wales, where there are five national parks and the Gondwana Rainforests. From Tweed Heads you drive south along the Pacific Highway and turn off into Tweed Valley Way.
Just after the turn off into Tweed Valley Way take a left hand turn onto Duranbah Road and stop to sample seasonal exotic fruits and maybe take a plantation safari tour at Tropical Fruit World.
Around half-way to Murwillumbah is the picturesque village of Tumbulgum that I would recommend as a lunch stop, so maybe leave it for later on in the day. It’s located on the Tweed River and has magical views over cane farms and to the foothills of the caldera (Mt Warning).
It is extremely popular with locals who gather for a riverside picnic, hire a boat, water ski, and utilise the public wharf and boat ramp. A stroll along the heritage shop fronts lining the river is very pleasant or partake in the enormously popular lunches and evening meals at the Tumbulgum Tavern.
The picturesque rural township of Murwillumbah is located in the centre of the stunning Tweed Valley. The countryside surrounding this town is a blend of rolling green hills and gently flowing rivers, punctuated with pockets of sugar cane, banana plantations, hobby farms and small village communities.
The town itself has a lot to offer; From some fine examples of Art Deco architecture to the award winning Tweed River Art Gallery. Murwillumbah Also has great shopping, dining for all tastes and has sporting facilities for all different sports.
Once you leave Murwillumbah get onto Kyogle Road and follow it to the village of Uki. This quaint little village has an organic-alternative vibe with the beautifully restored old Norco Butter Factory accommodating art studios, funky bric-a-brac stores and an antique shop. There are also the interesting Happy High Herbs, Glorious Organics and Holistic Health Centre in the heart of the village.
The imposing Mt Warning stands at a very impressive height of 1157m above sea level and it can be seen from almost every location in the Tweed Valley. If you are adventurous and fit you can try climbing the 4.4km distance, with a challenging final rock scramble, to the summit of the mountain.
The walk takes you through stunning scenery and offers magnificent views of the Tweed Valley and beyond. A very popular time to do this climb is prior to sunrise when you can sit on top of the world and watch the sun come up!
Captain Cook named Mt Warning in May 1770 to warn future mariners of the offshore reefs documented. The mountain is now protected by the surrounding Wollumbin National Park and is an important area of the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia.
Only a short drive off the Kyogle Road past Wollumbin National Park is the Clarrie Hall Dam which has an impressive steep spillway. Built on Doon Doon Creek, a tributary of the Tweed River, Clarrie Hall Dam has a storage capacity of 16,000 mega-litres of water and the primary function of the dam is to provide storage for Tweed Shire’s water supply. The recreation area surrounding the dam is perfect for photography, bird watching, nature observation, environmental studies, picnicking and bush walking.
Further along Kyogle Road you can access Cram’s Farm which is at the other end of Clarrie Hall Dam and is accessed from Doon Doon Road. Cram’s Farm, as the name suggests was once a dairy farm owned by the Cram family with the old farmhouse, timber mill and the Doon Doon Hall still remaining.
On first sight you would think you were beside a lake in the US with its spectacular scenery. It is a incredibly striking area to picnic, canoe, walk and generally spend time just looking and enjoying the scenery.
What was once a remote timber town is now one of the Tweed Valley’s most popular day-trip destination with its dramatic backdrop of the towering western wall of Mt Warning. Tyalgum has blossomed into a vibrant village with lovingly restored quaint old buildings transformed into cottage cafes, gift shops and art galleries.
Flutterbies Cottage Cafe is a delightful place to stop for an organic coffee, savour the elegance of the Tea Room and partake in high tea or just tuck into some good wholesome country cooking. You must also check out the gorgeous gift shop full of cottage craft, cuddly teddy bears and magical fairies.
From Tyalgum continue down narrow twisting roads of Limpinwood and Zara Roads until you reach the charming village of Chillingham on the Rous River.
In Chillingham you can stop by the old Chillingham Store or take a stroll through the bushtucker rainforest behind the unique fruit and veggie shed, which also stocks a range of bushtucker and traditional beauty products, along with local fruit and veggies, and home-made bushfood jams and condiments.
Remember I mentioned earlier that you should save Tumbulgum for a lunch or dinner stop for later on in the day? Once you depart Chillingham via Numbimbah Road it’s a picturesque drive directly through dairy farms and cane fields, a distance of 25 kms, until you reach the Tweed River and the town of Tumbulgum. Here you can enjoy a fantastic meal and a cold drink or two before you return to Tweed Heads.
There are a series of Tweed touring brochures available from the Visitor Information Centre that vary from a Historic Pub Tour to the Tweed Valley Art Trail or to the Tweed Food Trail or Border Ranges Circuit to Wollumbin Mt Warning View Circuit.
There are a few motels in Tweed Heads or you can stay just across the border in Coolangatta in a high-rise beachfront holiday apartment. Check out Tweed Heads/Coolangatta Accommodation HERE
The Tweed Valley is a stunning region and should be high on your Tweed Heads/Coolangatta travel itinerary. You won’t only breathe the cleanest air you’ll ever experience but you’ll also soak up the tranquillity of some of the best World Heritage listed national parks found anywhere in Australia!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.