It’s hard to find a better setting for a country town anywhere in Australia than Murwillumbah on NSW’s Far North Coast; set as it is on the stunning Tweed River, and in the shade of the North Coast’s tallest mountain, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wollumbin (Mt Warning).
Things to do in Murwillumbah
Murwillumbah is in a green caldera, the vast crater of the eroded Tweed Volcano covered in rainforest and farmland. The shield volcano last erupted 20 million years ago, and the striking Wollumbin peak – named Mount Warning by Captain James Cook in 1770 – is the remnant core.
It's an ideal base for exploring the region’s stunning national parks, including World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park. There are numerous national parks of the Gondwana Rainforests Of Australia to explore. You can go boating and fishing at sites like Clarrie Hall Dam or tee off on the 18-hole course at Murwillumbah Golf Club.
Art and culture
Murwillumbah is the creative heart of The Tweed. Explore the excellent Tweed Regional Gallery, surrounded by lush gardens. The gallery is home to the Margaret Olley Arts Centre, which honours Australia’s most celebrated painter of still life and interiors. Olley attended primary school in the town.
Enjoy the rolling exhibitions in the gallery and stop by the gallery shop for gifts and mementos. For more gift ideas, browse the Red Rattlers Gallery set in two 1928 train carriages in Dungay (just north of Murwillumbah). You’ll find creations by local artists and artisans in the restored carriages.
Markets and shows
The volcanic soil of the region supports dairy, sugar cane, banana plantations and hobby farms. At the weekly Murwillumbah Farmers’ Market held every Wednesday, you can buy a range of fresh seasonal produce, as well as sample the tastiest local treats prepared by locals.
The bustling Makers and Finders Market is in leafy Knox Park, a short stroll from the Tweed Regional Museum. Held every third Saturday of the month, you’ll find local handmade designs, creative workshops, vintage and second-hand wares and tasty food stalls.
The annual Murwillumbah Show is a fun agricultural show for the whole family that’s been run each year since 1951 just outside town at the Murwillumbah Showgrounds. It keeps an earlier era of country Australia alive with night rodeos, fireworks, horse events and rides for the kids.
Getting there and where to stay
Getting to Murwillumbah is easy. It’s around nine hours’ drive from Sydney or 90min from Brisbane. You can fly into the Gold Coast Airport, a 30min drive away, or into Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, one hour away. Accommodation includes caravan and camping sites, a riverside youth hostel, motels and luxurious retreats in the bush.