Discover the Tweed’s cultural side – & where to eat afterwards

Discover the fascinating museums and galleries of the Tweed region, and enjoy its great food scene after you’ve had a dose of culture.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Jun 2022 -
min read

Discover a marine gem 

The coast and ocean are a big part of life in the Tweed, and protecting this precious marine environment has never been more important. At the Marine Discovery Centre Hastings Point, you can take a deep dive into the region’s marine wonderland through interactive, audio-visual and more traditional displays. You’ll never take our beaches and dunes, mangroves, reefs, rocky shores and wallum heathland for granted again.

Marine Discovery Centre Hastings Point - Credit: North Star Holiday Resort

Marine Discovery Centre Hastings Point - Credit: North Star Holiday Resort

Then eat at … Pandanus Café  

For beachfront dining just a 10-minute drive from the discovery centre, head to the family-owned Pandanus Cafe, located in the Cabarita Beach Surf Life Saving Club. You’ll find international dishes (top pick is the famous seafood pie), made with an emphasis on local ingredients, and views that are often interrupted by breaching humpback whales. Try one of their signature cocktails – like the Soft Rock Sour, with whiskey, pineapple juice, lemon and aquafaba.  

Pandanus Cafe - Credit: Pandanus Cafe and Licensed Restaurant

Pandanus Cafe - Credit: Pandanus Cafe and Licensed Restaurant

Explore the Tweed’s heritage 

Step back in time as you immerse yourself in the past at the Tweed Regional Museum. Discover more than 15,000 fascinating historical objects from the Tweed Shire that make up the collection along with contemporary stories about places, events and people significant to the Tweed community. At the Murwillumbah branch, Land Life Culture is an award-winning permanent exhibition that includes an animation showing 25 million years of geology since Wollumbin Mt Warning erupted, and videos of cultural stories told by members of the Bundjalung Nation.  

Part of the Adrian Smith Mineral Collection. Tweed Regional Museum, Murwillumbah - Credit: Dave Kan, Tweed Regional Museum

Part of the Adrian Smith Mineral Collection at Tweed Regional Museum, Murwillumbah - Credit: Dave Kan, Tweed Regional Museum

Then eat at … Mavis’s Kitchen 

Take a stroll around the organic food gardens and orchard on this 10-hectare property at the foot of Wollumbin Mt Warning, then settle in to enjoy some fine food at Mavis’s Kitchen. Seasonal menus based around local, sustainable produce are served up in a light-filled room that opens on to the wraparound verandahs. (Got a dog on board? You can take your food and find a shady tree to eat under). It’s well worth the 15-minute drive from Murwillumbah for dishes such as Drake Creek duck breast, Jerusalem artichoke, tamarillo and duck sauce, served in an idyllic setting. 

Mavis & The Night Garden

Mavis's Kitchen - Credit: Mavis's Kitchen & Cabins

Revel in art by the ocean 

Just across the road from magical Cabarita Beach is the bright airy space of Mist Gallery. Artist Helen Otway set up the studio in 2020 to provide a space for local creatives to display their works, and now exhibits pieces not just from the Tweed, but all over Australia. You’ll find paintings, sculptures, ceramics and more, and, if you time your visit right, might even get to join an art class (recent offerings include a Drawing from the Heart series, and a watercolour workshop).   

Mist Gallery

Mist Gallery - Credit: Milina Opsenica

Then eat at … Paper Daisy 

Halcyon House, a former surf motel that has been transformed into one of the most stunning boutique hotels on the East Coast, is home to the equally spectacular hatted restaurant, Paper Daisy. Executive chef Jason Barratt (formerly of Attica) serves up sophisticated simplicity such as kingfish baked in local kelp with sweet corn, smoked onion and dried prawn, in a style that celebrates the setting, right on Cabarita Beach.

Dishes available from Paper Daisy restaurant, located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach.

Paper Daisy restaurant at Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach

Enjoy art with a view 

It’s difficult to decide which is more spectacular – the art at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, the architecturally stunning building in which it is housed, or the views across the bucolic Tweed Valley. The gallery focuses on Australian art, with works by artists like Ben Quilty, Nicholas Harding and Jude Rae, and is home to the Margaret Olley Art Centre, featuring a re-creation of legendary Australian artist Olley’s home studio, packed with an eclectic array of objects. The exhibition calendar is impressive – 25 new exhibitions were mounted during 2021. 

Then eat at … Tweed River House  

Just three minutes away is the resplendent Tweed River House, a century-old grand homestead that looks out over the Wollumbin and hinterland ranges. The menu is a showcase of the excellent produce of the region – try the seafood chowder with locally sourced cuttlefish, Ballina pipis, mussels and fish and the vanilla crème brulee that uses Davidson’s plum from nearby Buck’ Farm. Choose a seat on the terrace to gaze at the serene river as you dine for an unforgettable afternoon.  

Tweed River House - Credit: Sally Singh Photography

Tweed River House - Credit: Sally Singh Photography

Meet local artists at an arts precinct 

Why settle for one arts experience when you can have lots? Housed in a warehouse and Art Deco building in downtown Murwillumbah, the M|Arts Precinct is home to 28 small creative businesses. See artists at work, buy arts and crafts, get a picture framed, stock up on arts supplies, visit a micro-gallery, buy some flowers, even go to the movies. And that’s before we get started on the food... 

M|Arts Precinct - Credit: Mitchell Schultz, ZASK Pty Ltd

M|Arts Precinct - Credit: Mitchell Schultz, ZASK Pty Ltd

Then eat at … M|Arts Precinct 

It can be hungry work indulging a passion for the arts, but fortunately, the M|Arts Precinct has you covered. Grab what some people claim is Australia’s best cheese toastie from Kat Harvey Cheese emporium and deli. Try the croissants and French desserts at Ben’s Patisserie, and be engulfed by the warm embrace of Bistro LIVI, where you’ll find share plates and fine wines.

M|Arts Precinct - Credit: Mitchell Schultz, ZASK Pty Ltd

M|Arts Precinct - Credit: Mitchell Schultz, ZASK Pty Ltd

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