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Featuresupplied by Hillcrest B&B

ByTracy Parker

sunset over Mt WarningNestledright up against the NSW/Queensland Border at Tweed Heads in the Northand stretching down the coast and hinterland to just before Byron Bayin the South, the Tweed Shire is not only famous for its unsurpassedbeauty, but for its geographical and cultural diversity and terrificclimate Ë with a summer mean temperature range of 18 to 30 Celsius(64 to 86F), and winter being a marvellous experience with meantemperatures ranging from 7 to 22 C (45 to 72F), which means log firesat night and t-shirts and shorts during the day.

(photo shows sunset overthe Tweed River with Mt Warning in the background)

pristine beachesAswell as pristine beaches (with the added advantage of nostinging jellyfish in summer like the Queensland beaches), the areaboasts the world's second largest extinct volcano. With riversand creeks meandering through lush green valleys and toweringrainforests, the Tweed Shire is not only spectacularly beautiful, buthome to 3 of AustraliaĂs World Heritage listed National Parks, withanother 2 just over the border in Queensland.

Tweed Heads shares a main highstreet with Coolangatta, the southernmost tip of the famous QueenslandGold Coast. Due to their close proximity, Tweed Heads and Coolangattaare often referred to as the Twin Towns and are considered a majorregional centre, with Coolangatta Airport a hub for domestic carriers.

Located at the mouth of theTweed River, Tweed/Coolangatta is probably most famous for itĂs surfbeaches. All manner of ocean and estuary activities are easilyaccessible from here. You can rent a small boat to go fishing in theTweed estuary and Cobaki Lakes, take an offshore deep sea fishingcharter, learn to scuba dive or relax with a fully catered rivercruise.

The Tweed coast is a 35 km-longchain of pristine beaches with grassy headlands and quiet villagesstretching from the mouth of the Tweed River at Fingal, to Wooyung inthe south, with the main hub of the area being Murwillumbah - a 30minute drive south from Tweed Heads.

AtFingal you can see the original Point Danger Lighthouse, Giant'sCauseway and a long stretch of beach thatĂs rarely crowded - even inthe middle of summer. Next stop is the quiet village of Chinderah,well known for water sports. Further south we arrive at Kingscliff,famous for itĂs myriad of beachfront caf«s and restaurants; withSouth Kingscliff boasting a patrolled beach in summer, good boatramps, offshore reefs, and an estuary providing sheltered swimming andfishing.

Cabarita Beach has one of thebest surf beaches in the area, sheltered by Norries Headland. Cudgenhas itĂs lake, a sanctuary for flora and fauna as well as all formsof aquatic sports. Hastings Point has picnic and barbecue areas, abeach and Cudgera Creek. Pottsville is a long established holiday spotboasting the Bicentennial Leisure Gardens, several walking tracks,picnic areas and a multitude of wildlife. The southernmost beach isWooyung, where believe it or not, you can enjoy a beach camel ride.

Mt Warning and the canefieldsSlightlyinland of the coastal strip, as you travel down the Pacific Highwayfrom the Twin Towns, you canĂt help but notice Mt Warning toweringover the canefields that line the highway. Mt Warning, where the dawnsun first touches mainland Australia, is the last remnant of theextinct volcanoĂs central core.

Named Wollumbin, meaning"Cloud Catcher" by the Bundjalung people who were theinhabitants of the area before European settlement, it stands like ahuge reminder that youĂre nearing the hub of the Tweed Shire ~Murwillumbah.

Just off the Highway, nestled ina small park by the Tweed River is the Murwillumbah Rainforest andInformation Centre. ItĂs here you learn that Murwillumbah means"place of many possums", that the volcano is the largest ofits kind in the southern hemisphere and the second largest in theworld, find a fascinating display of how the erupting volcano formedthe areaĂs unique topography, as well as stock up on brochures andpamphlets on things to do and see during your stay.

A short drive across the bridgeand youĂre in the centre of Murwillumbah, a picturesque town thatspreads along the western bank of the Tweed River and up into thehills of the McPherson Ranges. Surrounded, as it is, by the rim of thevolcano and bordering the Tweed River, almost every street hasmagnificent mountain, river and valley views.

Murwillumbah is a place wherethe lifestyle is relaxed and informal, the people friendly andwelcoming and a perfect place to stop for lunch. You can choose fromone of the many al fresco caf«s and restaurants in town, or maybe youĂdprefer to dine at one of the several pubs and clubs. Whichever youchoose, your meal is bound to include fresh, local produce as well asa friendly chat on the best places to visit during your stay.

Time to find somewhere to baseyourself whilst enjoying the many features of the area. There areseveral motels in Murwillumbah itself, but why not immerse yourself inthe area by choosing one of the bed and breakfast homestays justoutside of town?

hillcrest bed and breakfastOnly12 minutes from the centre of Murwillumbah youĂll find HillcrestBed and Breakfast.

Perched atop a hill on 5landscaped acres, surrounded by a 200 acre cattle farm, and withspectacular views from Mt. Warning in one direction and the stunningQueensland Border Ranges in the other; Hillcrest is an oasis of peace,privacy and jolly good food.

You can relax by the solarheated 12 metre salt-water swimming pool, sip on a cool drink and besight-seeing all at the same time!

After a comfortable nights sleepin your queen size bed itĂs time to enjoy a country style breakfastbefore taking a closer look at the 4 world-heritage listed NationalParks in the area.

Never Never Safaris run one day,small group 4WD Adventure Tours which incorporate all the very bestthe area has to offer; including a traditional "Aussie"barbeque lunch.

brindle creek in tropical rainforestHorseriding more your thing? Then take a 5 minute drive to ChillinghamTrail Rides to meet your horse for a 3 hour tour of Lance and SandyĂs1000 acre cattle farm.

The ride includes a stop for traditional Aussie Billy tea and damperby a rainforest creek, followed by a trek through steep bananaplantation country up to some of the best views of the caldera.

Your ride finishes with a swimat Lance and SandyĂs huge swimming hole, complete with largewaterfall. Catering for a maximum of 6 riders, these rides can be aseasy or as advanced as you wish, with horses suitable for allabilities.

12 meter heated salt-water swimming poolMaybeit would be a good idea to have a massage back at Hillcrest in theafternoon to recover from the morningĂs exertions? No problem, afully qualified masseuse can come any time by appointment, or askTracy to mix you one of her famous aromatherapy baths.

fly over hillcrest bed and breakfastHowabout a 40 minute flight across the ranges and around the tip of MtWarning in a replica Super Waco bi-plane?

Whatever your taste runs to,you're bound to find what you're looking for somewhere in thebeautiful Tweed Shire.

As well as pristine rainforests,impressive mountains and beautiful countryside, the Tweed area is ahaven for local craftspeople and youĂll enjoy discovering the manygalleries and craft shops which display their wares. Later on, you canenjoy a round of golf, laze on pristine beaches, dine at a myriad ofinternational restaurants, enjoy one-day river and rainforest cruises,visit the art gallery in Murwillumbah which hosts the richest portraitprize in Australia (the Doug Moran prize), browse the various regularlocal markets or take a trip to the Gold Coast shopping malls torelieve yourself of some of that hard-earned cash!

Whatever you choose to do, youĂrebound to agree that the Tweed is the undiscovered jewel in the crownof the beautiful Northern Rivers area, and not to be missed on yourtrip ŒDownunder".

Getting There

Although the Tweed Valley is in NSW and Sydneyis that state's capital city, the Tweed is more than ten hours driveNorth, so international travellers disembarking at Sydney would bebetter advised to take a connecting flight Coolangatta/Goldcoastairport which is literally 5 minutes over the border to Tweed Heads;or fly directly to Brisbane International airport (less than 1ę hoursdrive).

Hire cars are readily available from bothairports. Alternatively, coach and train connections go from bothBrisbane and Sydney straight through to Murwillumbah, where hire carsand taxis are readily available.

Tweed Shire Festivals

Mid December to Mid January Doug Moran PortraitPrize Exhibition

February Jet Sprint Boat Races

April Tweed Home and Lifestyle Expo

May Kingscliff Food and Jazz Festival

May Mooball Fish Œn Nana Festival

June Wintersun Rock and Roll Nostalgia Festival

June Tweed Valley Cultural & Country HarvestFestival

July Tyalgum Diggers Rodeo

August Tweed Valley Banana Festival and HarvestWeek

September Tyalgum Classical Music Festival

September Rainforest Week

October Kingscliff Main Street Festival

November Tweed River Agricultural Show

November Tumbulgum Water Ski Carnival

December Northern Boat Harbour Dragon Boat Races

December Caldera First Light Festival

Clive and Tracy Parker
Hillcrest Bed & Breakfast

Tel: +61 2 6679 1023