72 hours in the Tweed
Veer off the beaten track and spend 72 hours letting your senses guide you through the Tweed. From swimming with turtles to sampling the region’s finest eats, discover the region’s most unique experiences.
Perched on the stunning Tweed River in sleepy Chinderah,
Your next destination is just down the road, where you’ll embark on an environmentally conscious journey on the open ocean with Cooly Eco Adventures. The thrill of spying frolicking dolphins, paddling turtles and migrating whales as sea spray flecks your face will take your breath away. If you’d prefer to get closer to these gentle creatures, the well-informed guides can show you the ropes of plunging into the water to swim alongside them – or you can even hop aboard a citizen scientist expedition to help contribute to research and conservation efforts.
After your saltwater escapades, you’ll be hankering for an on-land feed. Make your way to the red dirt and fertile farmland of nearby Cudgen, wherehas you covered for organic paddock-to-plate meals and friendly encounters with pigs and chickens. Ditch your shoes and walk off your lunch with a revitalising wander around the sunflower-covered property – reconnecting with nature and yourself.
By now, you’ve earned yourself something to sip on. Nearbytakes two things seriously: relaxation and sustainability. Its seasonal brews are made from crushed and fermented local ingredients, so settle in with a round of crisp Avocado Kolsch or Fruit Tree NEIPA against the awe-inspiring mountain views.
Catch the last of the sun from the peaceful channels of the Rous River Canoe Trail, which starts where the river meets the sea at Tumbulgum. Bring your own kayak, and glide past mangrove-fringed bays and subtropical rainforest; you’ll be humbled by this internationally significant ecosystem, which is one of the most important estuarine habitats in the region.
Once the light has dissolved, it’s time to retire to Mavis’ Kitchen for the night – which is set at the foot of Wollumbin Mount Warning, about half an hour’s drive away. There, you’ll enjoy a hearty meal before settling in for a sound night’s sleep in one of their charming country-style cabins.
Rise at Mavis’ to the tranquil call of whip birds before nipping to picturesque Uki to quench your caffeine thirst at Bastion Lane Espresso. The chocolatey scent wafting through this heritage-listed post office building will spring you awake and have you grasping for the take-home beans.
Wind back along the rainforest-lined drive to Murwillumbah: a gorgeous country town in the middle of an extinct volcano caldera that acts as a major centre for many of the surrounding villages. At Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, contemplate world-class exhibitions set against the arresting backdrop of Wollumbin and the Border Ranges. When you’re ready to move into a more bustling space, the
Your next stop is local hangout : a hip bakery and pop-up wine bar located in a '70s arcade. It’s the perfect stop for a flakey afternoon snack before you head back up north to Duranbah to soak up the last of the North-Coast warmth at Tropical Fruit World. Trundle around the orchards on a tractor train learning all about sustainable farming, then treat yourself to an exotic fruit tasting: a refreshing experience that will leave a wonderful taste in your mouth.
Tonight, dinner comes in the form of a robust Italian feast at No. 35 Kitchen & Bar in Cabarita, but do leave room for a few night caps at . Be sure to ask the bartender for a cocktail featuring locally made Soltera rum or Stoken gin. By then, you’ll be ready to hit the hay in one of The Hideaway Cabarita Beach’s iconic glamping temples.
Let the salty air and sound of the waves wake you up this morning, and head to
Once you’ve sauntered up an appetite, the dock at The Oyster Shed in Tweed Heads will satiate you with ridiculously fresh seafood and waterfront vistas. Pass the rest of the afternoon at Husk Distillery in nearby Tumbulgum, where you can learn about how the famously bright purple Ink Gin spirit is made in a behind-the-scenes distillery tour, or simply stretch out on their sunlit lawn with a cocktail made with their lovingly harvested virgin cane rum and reflect on the weekend that was.