Tweed region in northern NSW is networked with country roads and
mountain byways that will take you into the heart of World
Heritage-listed rainforests, via tiny rural villages and to
unique attractions, eventually depositing you across the border
via the back door, so to speak.
already left the east coast highway at Grafton in favour of the
Summerland Way to Casino and Lismore, you can stay off the beaten
tourist track by driving through the rainforest-shrouded Border Ranges
and into the back of the Tweed Valley.
the signs to Nimbin then skirt around Nightcap National Park to Lillian
Rock which serves as the gateway to the world’s second oldest shield
detour up into Border Ranges National Park provides some spectacular
views across the volcanic crater to the central plug of Mt Warning. The
well-maintained 64km Tweed Range Scenic Drive follows the upper rim of
the caldera, with picnic spots, lookouts, waterfalls and easy bushwalks
providing plenty of excuses to stop along the way.
on the main Tweed Valley Way, Midginbil Hill offers camping and
cabin-style accommodation as well as the opportunity to explore the area
on horseback or perhaps catch your own supper at the bass-stocked
Clarrie Hall Dam.
babbling Tweed River keeping you company on the left, stock up the
groceries with farm-fresh fruit and veggies tumbling from rustic
roadside stalls dotted here and there along the road to Uki.
gorgeous little hamlet has lots of local art and craft outlets housed in
the old butter factory, where you can also stop for lunch by the river.
looking for somewhere really different to stay, try Castle on the Hill –
a fair dinkum castle built by hand from mud-bricks and stones in the
style of the 14th century Italian Renaissance. Artists Robert
Todonai, Robert Pope and Irene Brown built and own the property, and
conduct regular art works for those so inclined.
Alternatively, you can take the road to Mt Warning, not far out of Uki,
is an absolute must as it brings you to the base of the Tweed’s most
famous landmark and the first place to feel the sun’s rays each morning
on Australia’s east coast. The 4km hike to the summit is not for the
feint-hearted (allow at least four hours) but the rewards are well worth
it: a journey through superb examples of World Heritage sub-tropical and
temperate rainforest capped off with the most incredible 360 degree
views. There’s also a much easier short walk through the rainforest at
the base which puts you in the midst of the wilderness and wildlife
without the effort.
stop, Murwillumbah, is a major business hub in the valley but you’d
never know it from strolling along the historic village-like streets.
There are some wonderful cafes and restaurants (the locals rave about
the pub fare) and you mustn’t miss the Tweed River Regional Art Gallery,
home to one of Australia’s most famous portrait collections.
keeping away from that highway, you can skirt around the other side of
Mt Warning following the Oxley River to Tyalgum, another quaint rural
comes to odd facts, you’ll be proud to add this one to your collection:
Tyalgum is famous for the acoustics in its local hall; so much so that
Australia’s best classical musicians and a selection of international
artists come to perform here each year at the Tyalgum Classical Music
Chillingham is another charmer with local produce
bush tucker for sale at the Banana Cabana and arts, crafts and antiques
on display in the old butchery next door.
some brilliant accommodation tucked away in this corner of the valley,
including Hillcrest - a five-star rated B&B.
you’re finally ready to drag yourself away from this little patch of
paradise, it’s just a short drive through rolling green farmland and
rainforest-shrouded mountains to Numinbah Valley and Nerang on the Gold