From exotic farm shops and experimental breweries to picnic rugs and river cruises – take a leisurely trip around the Tweed, stopping in to visit the best food and drink producers in the region.
With plenty of sunshine and volcanic soil, the Tweed is one of the state’s most fertile, lush food bowls. Be it distilling boutique spirits or handmaking cheese that melts in your mouth, each artisan pours the kind of care you can taste into their products. This route will take you past some of the Tweed’s hidden gems, where you’ll pick up invaluable knowledge from local makers, unique souvenirs for the folk back home and delicious ingredients for your next dinner party. Venues can be combined to form a choose-your-own-adventure tour, with takeaway beverages purchased to ensure a safe drive onwards.
Earth Beer Company – a vibrant brewery set amongst the red dirt of Cudgen that overlooks mighty Wollumbin Mount Warning – specialises in experimental brews that will strike the fancy of those seeking surprising flavours. Think sweet Mango Weisse Beir, crispy Fruit Tree NEIPA, chocolatey Bourbon Stout and punchy Avocado Kolsch. Pull up a stool facing the spectacular view; if the doors are open, the brewery tours are on.
Also in Cudgen you’ll find Farm & Co: an organic family farm planted in the volcanic soil of the Tweed caldera. Let the sun warm your face as you stretch out on one of their picnic rugs and daydream to the shuffles of friendly pigs and chickens or indulge in a leisurely lunch of organic produce washed down with sustainable wine. The menu features fresh vegetables grown just metres from where you’ll sit. Afterwards, take a stroll through the vibrant farmlands ($7 at the door), picking a sunflower or two from the fields on your way to brighten your day.
In nearby Duranbah, you’ll stumble upon the exotic paradise that is Tropical Fruit World: a pioneer of the eco-tourism scene. Admission here will see a guide fire up a tractor train and take you to explore the 200 acres of orchards – where 500 varietals of fruit are grown. Afterwards, sink your teeth into the fertile land’s seasonal offerings with a tasting, from zesty mangosteen to creamy chocolate fruit.
The cutting-edge reputation of Tumbulgum’sfar precedes it: being Australia’s first purveyor of virgin cane rum, which is crafted from paddock to bottle, and the home of the world’s first colour-changing gin. Swing by Wednesday to Sunday to nab a seat under an umbrella at the highly coveted cellar door, feeling stress melt away as you sip on a well-muddled cocktail with a unique spin, such as the thyme-infused Al Peachino. Choose one of the snacky set menus so you can relinquish all decision making and relax.
Connect to First Nations' culture by paying respect to the Traditional Custodians of the land on which you’re on. On Tweed Escapes’ Indigenous Lunch Cruise, you’ll board a traditional Huon Pine ferry from a pontoon at Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club. Cruise the magnificent Tweed River as you soak up story and local knowledge, all the while indulging in two courses of inspired flavours, such as lemon myrtle-crusted snapper fillet smothered in citrus butter.
With plenty of grass for the animals to graze on, you can’t return home without a healthy helping of handmade Tweed cow and goat's cheese. In the gorgeous country town of Murwillumbah, a thriving hub just 20 minutes’ drive inland from Cabarita Beach, you’ll find Kat Harvey Cheese. Located within the funky
sits at the base of the Tweed Valley and boasts the most exotic farm shop in the region. Follow your curiosity down its aisles and stock up on natural beauty products made from Buck’s own finger limes as well as treats like macadamia nuts and creamy bush food fudge that will leave you fighting over the last bite.
If you’re short on time
If you’re running low on holiday hours, there are other ways you can indulge in the region’s most delectable produce. The Murwillumbah, Kingscliff, Duranbah, and Makers & Finders markets all house farm-fresh products and make for a morning adventure as you roam the bountiful stores; Kiff & Culture offer bespoke and flavour-led Hinterland tours for groups; and the Tweed’s many first-class restaurants, such as Pipit (who use outstanding dairy products from Deb Allard), Bistro Livi (where you can nibble on Kat Harvey’s creations) and Tweed River House (where you’ll be plated up produce from Buck’s Farm) are thrilled to look after famished travellers.