THE ONE RESTAURANT
Set on a four hectare farm amongst the hills above Tweed Heads, spend hours over lunch at The Potager, on a deck looking towards the Gold Coast’s beaches. There’s a cosy farmhouse vibe, but the cuisine on offer is all gourmet fare: only the very best local produce and seafood is served. The grilled octopus should be marked essential.
THE ONE HOTEL
When Halcyon House opened in 2015, Conde Nast Traveler declared “a new era of boutique properties in Australia” (it made its prestigious Gold List in 2019). Two Brisbane sisters bought a run-down ’60s motel in Cabarita and designed regional Australia’s most celebrated property. Every one of its 21 rooms is individually styled by interior designer, Anna Spiro. And there’s a hatted restaurant (Paper Daisy).
THE ONE CAFÉ
A young Gold Coast couple with a flair for pastries aced the competitive Gold Coast café scene, then brought their secrets with them to a café in sleepy Chinderah. Making fresh batches daily using only the best French flour, you’ll eat tasty pastries as you watch dolphins fish the Tweed River. The coffee isn’t half-bad either.
THE ONE GALLERY
Murwillumbah already earns its arty stripes for its Tweed Regional Art Gallery – one of regional Australia’s best galleries. But it’s emerging as a genuine cultural hotspot with M-Arts Precinct. Walk a few metres off Murwillumbah’s main street and you’ll find a whole block of artist studios in shipping containers. There’s also regular exhibitions and workshops.
THE ONE BREWERY
The Tweed’s fast emerging as a happening spot for distilleries and breweries – but it’s Red Earth Brewery which captures the essence of this farming region. Built within an old tin packing shed on a working avocado farm overlooking Mt Warning, everyone from families to hipsters gather within to drink brews garnering attention in national beer awards. There’s often live music on hand.
THE ONE NATIONAL PARK
The Tweed is home to four, but Wollumbin National Park is easiest to access (20 minutes from Murwillumbah). You’ll find large tracts of ancient Gondwana rainforest, beneath 1157-metre-high Mt Warning (Wollumbin). One of the most sacred mountains on Earth, local indigenous prefer you don’t climb it, just walk round its base on the Lyrebird Track, and stop to eat at cafes along the way.
THE ONE PUB
Meet the locals at the first pub in the area, that’s been licensed since 1887. Order lunch or a cold beer (or both) overlooking the slow-moving Tweed River. Built in the tiny village of Tumbulgum, there’s views across the river to Mt Warning, framed by sugar cane farms. The Tumby Pub has flooded more times than locals can remember, but it always bounces back.
THE ONE WALK
Take an easy hour-long coastal walk to Fingal Head Lighthouse (built in 1872), just south of the mouth of the Tweed River. Walk to Fingal Head to watch dolphins surf the point, and whales between June and October. Cook Island sits just offshore, and The Tweed’s own Giant’s Causeway, a hexagonal rock formation at the base of the headland.
THE ONE FARM
Wander among the sunflowers in a working fruit and veggie farm by the edge of trendy seaside village, Kingscliff. Because the Tweed sits at the centre of a volcano which erupted only 20 million years ago, its soil is young and particularly fertile. You’ll see produce grow before your eyes, then sample the best of it at the farm café.
ONE MORE THING
You’ll need a car (all major hire car companies operate out of Tweed Heads or Coolangatta Airport). There’s few big towns in the region, you’ll need to travel on a variety of country roads to get anywhere, and taxis and Ubers are few and far between.
The writer was a guest of Tweed Tourism