17 Mar A Nature Lovers’ Guide to The Tweed
From ancient subtropical rainforest to waters teeming with a rainbow of spectacular marine life, The Tweed is true paradise for nature lovers.
Whether you want to fill your days exploring windy mountain roads, trekking to hidden waterfalls, or just kicking back on a quiet stretch of beach, there’s everything you could desire – plus a whole lot more.
Here are four ways to uncover its natural beauty for yourself…
Explore World Heritage rainforest
Like a sentinel watching over the region, Wollumbin (Mount Warning) – which means ‘cloud catcher’ in the local indigenous language – is one of the most recognisable sights in the Tweed. The summit is a sacred site to the Bundjalung people, and it’s advised not to climb it out of respect, yet the surrounding national park is definitely worth taking time to explore. Beautiful all year round, Wollumbin National Park is a wonderland of plant and wildlife, with sun-dappled walking trails weaving beneath its shady canopy. The distinct call of whipbirds, the scurrying of goannas, and the scratching of brush turkeys are a common soundtrack. The 600-metre Lyrebird Track, accessed at the end of Mount Warning Road and leading through palm forest to a scenic lookout, is a perfect taster for this beautiful park. Nearby in the Border Ranges National Park, the 800-metre Pinnacle Walk offers an amazing vantage of Mount Warning and the Tweed Valley, not to mention a perfect picnic spot.
Find your perfect beach
With 37 kilometres of coastline, there’s no shortage of amazing beaches in the Tweed Shire. Kingscliff, Cabarita, Casuarina, Fingal… there’s a stretch of sand with your name on it, plus plenty of hidden gems worth discovering (we’re looking at you, Dreamtime Beach). The golden sand of Cabarita Beach, situated directly in front of Halcyon House, is a fabulous spot to while away the hours. Soaking up the sunshine, cooling down from time to time in the cool water, and maybe indulging in a Halcyon Signature Beach Picnic – it’s magic. Nearby Norries Cove, a sheltered half-moon of sand tucked between Norries Headland and Cabarita Beach, fringed by horsetail sheoaks and rugged rocks, is also worth a visit. Family-favourites Hastings Point, at the mouth of Cudgera Creek, as well as nearby Pottsville at the mouth of Mooball Creek, both offer protected swimming and ample spots to settle down with a good book beneath a shady tree. Fingal Head, with its basalt rock formations that resemble the famous Giant’s Causeway of Northern Ireland, is fantastic at any time of the day, but it’s phenomenal at sunrise. Just offshore you’ll see Cook Island, a beautiful snorkelling spot accessible on guided tours.
Chase waterfalls and walking trails
Located at the border of Queensland and New South Wales, in the gorgeous Northern Rivers region, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to chasing waterfalls. While there are not falls in the shire itself, there are several just a short drive away. To the south in Nightcap National Park, spectacular Minyon Falls is one of the well-known in the region. From the lookout atop the falls you can witness the cascade plummet some 100 metres down to the palm-shaded gorge below, or you can get a closer look and feel the cool spray on your skin by taking the 13-kilometre round trek to the base of the falls. Just across the Queensland border in the Lamington National Park you’ll find Elabana Falls, a pretty cascade accessed via a 7.6-kilometre round trek from O’Reilly’s. Another Queensland favourite, Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park is one of the area’s most magical and accessible. It’s an easy 1-kilometre round trek to the falls and its famous glow-worm cave. Killen Falls, just down the coast at Newrybar near Byron Bay, is a beautiful cascade and swimming hole adored by locals. Best of all, most people have no idea it’s even there.
Take to the river
The vast Tweed River is the lifeblood of the region, a vital artery weaving among its historic villages, cane fields, and serene nature reserves. A more active option is the new Rous River Canoe trail, which starts and finishes from the Tumbulgum Boat Ramp. The 8-kilometre round trip takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete, leading you alongside gnarly mangroves and lush cane fields to hidden and otherwise inaccessible areas where even few locals have ever seen. Take time to explore the sheltered bays along the way, keeping an eye out for the abundant birdlike like kingfishers, cormorants, honeyeaters and spoonbills that call the river home. If you time it right with the tide, it’s an easy paddle suitable for even kayaking novices. Wherever you go and whatever you desire, the Tweed is a natural wonder worth exploring. Simply ask one of our helpful Halcyon House Front Office Team to organise your adventure!
Book your Tweed getaway at Halcyon House here