DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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Stay and play – Tweed Heads, NSW

Set on the banks of the Tweed River and surrounded by stunning coastline, this attractive spot has all the necessary elements for a memorable getaway.

Cruise mode: Let's start the journey to unearthing Tweed Heads' extensive appeal. Credit: Destination NSW.

Where is Tweed Heads?

Tweed Heads is 105km south of Brisbane (1hr 20min drive) in the Northern Rivers region, perched just south of the NSW-QLD border.

Why go?

For its pleasant and relaxing vibe, ample amenities that invite extended stays, and effortless access to glittering beaches, lush hinterland, major attractions, and much more.

Amazing coastline is never far away. Pictured: Fingal Head.

The essentials – things to do in Tweed Heads, NSW

Boat Harbour to Point Danger-Rainbow Bay walk

Become acquainted with the sparkling surrounds and burn a few calories as a bonus along this 3.8km return trail. The path incorporates radiant river and coastal views in addition to historical points of interest as it drifts over the border and back. It starts and ends at Chris Cunningham Park.

Stroll around this stunning patch. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland/Paul A. Broben.

Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Part of the Tweed Heads Historic Site, Minjungbal details local Aboriginal heritage and culture in extensive and fascinating fashion and is filled with items of interest. Guided tours are highly recommended to enhance the educational experience.

Tweed River cruise

Soak up more spectacular scenery by gliding along the snaking river by boat. Multiple companies provide various cruises, including regular morning and lunchtime outings, monthly sunset trips, and tours that include crab trapping, fishing, and hand-feeding pelicans. 

Get on the water – the options are many and varied. Credit: Destination NSW.

Pickled Pig Brewery

Look past the rather plain façade and enter a world full of delicious craft ales and lagers beyond the standard varieties. A crowd-favourite ginger beer and non-alcoholic options are available as well. And Pickled Pig's friendly staff will help you settle on the perfect tasting paddle.

Duranbah Beach

This is the state’s most northerly beach, so much so that a walk up to its headland will place you on QLD ground. Duranbah receives accolades from surfers; its east-facing positioning creates a reliably exposed swell. It suits casual strolls just fine, too. Oh, and ‘Dee-bah’ regularly rewards those who visit at sunset with stunning skies.

Delightful Duranbah. Credit: Destination NSW.

Things to do around Tweed Heads, NSW

Gold Coast beaches

Only minutes from Tweed Heads’ heart is a string of beautiful beaches that includes the following:

  • Greenmount Beach: Wide stretch of white sand gifting excellent views of the Gold Coast skyline. Neighbours famous surf spot, Snapper Rocks.
  • Kirra Beach: Among the state’s most revered surfing beaches.
  • Coolangatta Beach: Another inviting area that suits swimming and wave hunting.
  • Currumbin Beach: Its aesthetic awesomeness is amplified by the addition of a volcanic creation called Elephant Rocks.

Kirra Beach is among the star-studded beaches just north of the border.

Northern NSW beaches

More sandy stretches are spotted south. These are among the highlights…

  • Kingscliff Beach, Kingscliff: Family-friendly waters and dazzling white sand backed by a grassy foreshore area; 10km south of Tweed Heads.
  • Casuarina Beach, Casuarina: Another spectacular sweep that demonstrates the rich appeal of the area; 18km south.
  • Norries Cove, Cabarita: Beautiful, protected bay with more seclusion than neighbouring Cabarita Beach (it too is great); 20km south.
  • Hastings Point Beach: Also favoured by families. Wide expanse of white sand best admired from headland vantage points; 22km south.

Hidden gem: Norries Cove, Cabarita. Credit: Destination NSW.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Currumbin

This is among the Gold Coast’s best attractions. View loads of native and exotic creatures within spacious, rainforest surrounds. Free-flight bird shows and cuddles with koalas are among prized encounters while a series of ticketed activities add even more excitement to a visit. Don’t miss the Aboriginal cultural show, either.

Distance: 8km northwest of Tweed Heads.

It's a tough life being a cute Currumbin creature. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Fingal Head

Stop by this cute coastal village and head to the lighthouse atop Fingal Headland to spy Giant’s Causeway in the distance. This dramatic basalt feature draws comparisons to the famous formation of the same name located in Northern Ireland.

Distance: 14km south of Tweed Heads.

Wow factor: Giant’s Causeway. Credit: Destination NSW.

Cook Island Aquatic Reserve

Just offshore from Fingal Head, Cook Island is home to various turtles species and other marine life. Snorkelling tours with turtles depart from Fingal and offer a truly thrilling outing. 

Turtle swims off Cook Island are exhilarating. Credit: Destination NSW.

Tropical Fruit World, Duranbah

While this is a working farm, it’s much more than just a working farm. A plantation safari, boat cruises, an animal park, workshops, and plenty more are all on the menu for visitors. The farm – backdropped by the spectacular sight of towering Wollumbin (Mt Warning) – produces 500-plus tropical fruits from across the globe, and there’s ample chances to sample the bountiful goodies.

Distance: 18km south of Tweed Heads.

Sweet attraction: Tropical Fruit World. Credit: Destination NSW.

Pottsville

The seaside village exudes charm and style, making it the ideal daytrip destination. There are more pretty beaches to lap up, along with the fresh waters of Mooball Creek, combined with hip cafés and other enticing eateries.

Distance: 33km south of Tweed Heads.

Springbrook National Park

Planted within the gorgeous Gold Coast hinterland and part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Springbrook is brimming with treasure. Encounter wondrous waterfalls and mountain streams, towering cliffs, and jaw-dropping views from elevated vantage points among a ton of other delights.

Distance: 65km west of Tweed Heads.

Springbrook has a bounty of goodies within its reaches. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Random fact

We’ve alluded to this throughout the article: Tweed Heads is so close to the QLD border that literally crossing the street can mean entering a different state. NSW’s and QLD’s differing time zones in summer – related to conflicting observations of daylight saving – make for quirky festivities on 31 December: revellers can celebrate the arrival of the new year twice with utmost ease.

Border hopping: The Centenary of Federation State Border Marker. Credit: Destination NSW.

Tweed Heads accommodation

BIG4 Tweed Billabong

Park type: Holiday.

Tucked away just minutes south of the main centre, this picturesque and progressive park strongly radiates the ‘relaxation on arrival’ vibe. And things only get better…

Variable cabin accommodation and shaded sites are joined by a wealth of first-rate amenities and entertainment.

They include two resort pools – one heated – with adjoining day beds, a huge water park with a distinct regional theme, mini-golf course, bocce, soccer nets, playground, indoor play area, and a Jumping Pillow.

There’s also an onsite coffee cart and mobile food trucks that dish up pizzas (usually Thursdays) and fish and chips and burgers (generally Saturdays).

Billabong beauty. Credit: @happynessphotography.

The centrepiece of the park is a large billabong, which adds to its character and laidback ambience. Prime caravan and camping sites are dotted around parts of this unique feature.

The billabong invites kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding – equipment hire is available – as well as fishing. Additionally, a spacious camp kitchen with a deck and outdoor seating area overlooks the water. Holiday bliss.

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