Discover New South Wales – Together in The Tweed

Travelling the East Coast of Australia is a dream come true for many, and there’s no better way to celebrate your honeymoon than discovering the breathtaking natural beauty and culinary delights of New South Wales, reveals our Destinations Editor, Emily Williams.

Halcyon House Cabarita Beach New South Wales
Cudgen Creek New South Wales Australia
Paper Daisy Halcyon House Oysters

When you think of Australia, iconic metropolises like Melbourne, Sydney and Perth may jump to the forefront of your mind. But much like their pinpoints on a world map, these cities are just the start of the treasure troves awaiting your discovery. Australia has a special place in my heart and after my most recent trip Down Under, I realise there is still so much more to experience in this corner of the world. This time, I had the opportunity to reach a pocket of paradise in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, which is known as The Tweed.

Situated between the glitzy Gold Coast and the bohemian beach town of Byron Bay, and an hour and a half’s drive from Brisbane International Airport, The Tweed is a tranquil, natural oasis worth your time and exploration. Comprised of serene waterways, picturesque coastal stretches and national parks nestled under the majestic cloud-catching peak of the extinct Wollumbin volcano, it’s the secret garden of Australia, and the kind of place you wished you lived in.

Husk Farm Distillery Tumbulgum Tweed New South Wales Australia
Husk Farm Distillery, Tumbulgum, New South Wales

Wine & Dine The Australian Way

In the Northern Rivers region, there are plenty of wonderful outdoor dining and drinking destinations to savour and toast to days well spent together. For casual daytime bites, Kingscliff is the go-to brunch spot, otherwise associated with the home of the annual Australian Longboard Surfing Open. Choux Box Cafe, set in the parade of shops, has been a cherished family-run institution since 1993. Serving barista coffee, smoothies and eggs any style, when you delve into their menu, you’ll see why brunch is regarded as the best meal of the day in Australia.

The rich volcanic soil and warm sub-tropical climate in The Tweed make it one of the most fertile areas in New South Wales. So time spent tasting its abundance of fresh produce at local farm shops, breweries and distilleries never goes to waste. Husk Distillery in Tumbulgum makes a fun and educational day out, surrounded by scenic farmland and sugar cane fields. You’ll tour behind the scenes, taste their award-winning paddock-to-bottle rums and experience the magic of their world’s first colour-changing Ink Gin. Trust me, you’ll want to bring a bottle home to impress all your friends at your next dinner party. 

Husk Distillery Tumbulgum Tweed New South Wales Australia
Husk Farm Distillery Tumbulgum Tweed New South Wales Australia

Gourmet travellers can also delight in dining on the water, all made possible by Tweed Escapes’ spellbinding river cruise in partnership with Blue Ginger Picnics. This Pinterest-worthy banquet has been rated Australia’s No.2 outdoor dining experience for couples and intimate groups, including bridal showers, date nights and proposals. As you float along the Tweed River and soak in the stunning scenery from coast to country, an Indigenous guide will recount Aboriginal stories specific to the Bundjalung people while pointing out native plants and birds of prey. Appreciating this natural and cultural context becomes a special backdrop to your picnic on the top deck, which features seasonal fruit, jams, pastries and snacks sourced from local markets.

Blue Ginger Picnics Tweed Escapes New South Wales Australia
Blue Ginger Picnics, Tweed River, New South Wales

Ride The Waves

Surfing and Australia go hand in hand, so why not give it a go? Even if you’re a beginner keen to take on a new challenge, In2Surf School will simplify the steps to make it accessible for all. Located at Tweed Heads, this is the longest-running surf school in the region, and their young and friendly team will provide all the equipment you need, including wetsuits and various board sizes depending on your level. On the beach, they’ll show you how to stand up on the board and finesse your technique, before entering the water to help you catch the waves as they roll in.

Kayaking is a way to experience the beauty of the water at a more leisurely pace. With Watersports Guru, couples can hire single kayaks or double up in one vessel to paddle along the peaceful Cudgen Creek together. Passing wetlands and mangroves abundant with bird and marine life, you might spot herons stalking the banks, kingfishers diving for prey, rays gliding along the sandy bed or even an osprey nest. It’s a magical activity that brings a sense of wonder and accomplishment.

Cabarita Beach The Tweed New South Wales Australia
Cabarita Beach, New South Wales

An Artistic Legacy

The Tweed is a place where ancient stories and contemporary spirit come together, inspiring some of Australia’s most acclaimed artists throughout history. The Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre in Murwillumbah is a true celebration of the mesmerising talent in this region and beyond. One of the thoughtfully curated exhibitions is a permanent recreation of Artist Margaret Olley’s studio, transported piece by piece from her former home in Sydney. It’s remarkable to get an insight into her extraordinary gift for capturing its interiors and still life. Round up your visit to the gallery with lunch at the Apex restaurant, where the menu offers fresh Asian-fusion dishes with a side serving of outstanding Tweed Valley views.

Tweed Regional Gallery Margaret Olley New South Wales Australia
Margaret Olley Arts Centre, Tweed Regional Gallery

Where To Stay: Halcyon House

Staying in the coastal hamlet of Cabarita Beach makes an idyllic start to your Tweed escape, with the boutique Halcyon House promising only the best for honeymoon couples. This white-washed beachfront hotel is a breath of fresh air, featuring 22 uniquely decorated rooms, its Hatted Paper Daisy restaurant serving a delightful array of seafood dishes, steaks, salads and home-cooked pizzas, and a sumptuous Halcyon Spa with treatments that leave you floating on a cloud of comfort. The impeccable Riveria interiors also make it a stand-out hotel choice for a special occasion, from its carefully chosen art pieces on each wall to the bold striped loungers by the alfresco pool. As if plucked from the pages of a glossy magazine, Halcyon House offers an elevated experience, while maintaining its cosy feel.

During your stay, couples can slow down and soak up the sunshine on the pool deck, order freshly made picnics to-go, or wander down the garden path to enjoy the wide-open stretch of sand. Whether you want to learn to surf or loan a complimentary bicycle to venture down the 17km trail from Cabarita to Kingscliff, ‘Halcyon’, meaning happy, joyful and carefree, epitomises the feeling of being in a beautiful place with the person you love.

Halcyon House Honeymoons Hotel
Halcyon House, New South Wales

With its friendly country towns, stunning beaches, rambling rivers and celebrated food scene with a farm-to-plate philosophy, The Tweed is a destination to mark on your maps for all things romance. Plus, if you fall head over heels for the idea of a destination wedding here, the region hosts a Tweed Wedding Trail each January, when premium venues open their doors to introduce couples to their stunning wedding possibilities.

Getting There

To plan your itinerary in The Tweed, explore for useful travel resources and visit to book your seamless travel to Australia. Return flights with Emirates from London Gatwick to Brisbane start from £1255 per person in economy class.

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