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Tweed Coast Destination Guide by Sally Raine, Leisure Specialist.

Dreaming, Dreaming, Dreaming…of your next holiday?  With many of us now having more time on our hands to do a bit of “armchair travel”, here is a real gem, right here on this amazing continent of ours!

We may not be able to leave our home shores just yet or even travel domestically, but when we are able to launch again why not explore The Tweed?  A natural paradise ranging from lush mountain rain forests, breath-taking mountain ranges, uncrowded pristine beaches and waterways, and an endless variety of dining options to satisfy the gourmet traveller…

So, where do you picture yourself? …On a beautiful beach perhaps?  Well, in my opinion, the ideal beach holiday destination would be the Tweed Coast. Stretching for 37 kilometres of unspoilt, sparkling waterways from Tweed Heads in the north to the tranquil beauty of Wooyung Beach in the south. Perfect for lazy days under the sun, memorable family holidays or some aquatic adventures such as snorkelling, diving, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, surfing and whale watching!

Fun fact: Some 14,000 whales migrate from June to November from the Atlantic to warmer subtropical waters. 

Quiet seaside villages and luxurious beachfront resorts await your arrival.  The beaches are safe and patrolled for swimming (remember to swim between the flags at patrolled beaches). The coast offers holiday parks, hotels and apartments ranging from a budget stay to first-class holiday accommodation, vibrant shopping precincts with beautiful boutiques to enjoy some ‘retail therapy’ and scores of sun-drenched cafes and restaurants to replenish yourself once you’ve soaked up all that sun, sand and water! 

Love the café lifestyle and dining out?…then drop into Kingscliff, considered to be the heart of the Tweed Coast and a great destination to enjoy popular dining with award-winning cafes and restaurants lining the esplanade.  You’ll be spoiled for choice ranging from the tastes of Japan, Thailand, Spain, Italy, Mexico, India, Nepal and Tibet, and of course Australia’s own specialities, many of which source local fresh produce.  

Alternatively, perhaps you yearn for a quieter interlude of pampering and luxury? Salt Village and Casuarina Beach are perfect for contemporary luxury oceanfront resorts.  Not to be outdone, Salt Village’s eclectic mix of bars and dining venues offer some award-winning restaurants, as well as some great casual dining for a quick bite!  A little journey onwards to Casuarina, more dining delights await ranging from Asian inspired cuisine to more casual options such as fresh fish and chips in a relaxed beachside atmosphere.   Whatever your taste buds crave, there is something to suit you!

If you prefer a more low-key experience, you will be delighted by the beach-side cottages, holiday parks and motels at Fingal Head, Hastings Point, Cabarita Beach, Pottsville and Wooyung and cosy B&B’s and retreats along the coastal hills.

Do you crave the cool mountain rainforests of the hinterland?  Imagine rolling green hills and valleys sculpted from the ancient shield volcano by the Tweed and Oxley Rivers and experience a delicious voyage of discovery with roadside stalls filled with an amazing variety of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. This is the Tweed Valley!

The region is home to 12 National Parks and was nominated by “Tourism Australia” as one of the country’s 16 ‘National Landscapes’.  Five of these national parks are World Heritage-listed, Wollimbin Mt Warning, Nightcap National Park and the Border Ranges National Parks, Limpinwood Nature Reserve and Numinbah Nature Reserve which all form part of the “Gondwana Rainforests of Australia’ and include some of the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world.  Take a walk among the giants and experience something truly extraordinary or drive through the designated accessible areas to enjoy a picnic, some hiking or just marvel at the views of this ancient Caldera.

Mingle with the locals who include the indigenous custodians of the region, former residents of the urban rat race who have made the ‘seachange’, descendants of the early European settlers, generations of farmers, and an array of fascinating artists.  It is a melting pot of diverse cultures. 

The Valley is rich with art and craft and has been an inspiration to many artists over the decades.  Visit the local galleries, starting at Tumbulgum, the Tweed’s oldest village, established around 1840.  It is one of the first European settlements in northern NSW and its name means “meeting of the waters” as the village is at the junction of the Tweed and Rous Rivers.  Drop into the Tumbulgum Tavern to quench your thirst, the regions first unlicensed pub, originally known as “grog shanty” established in 1887 and still going strong today.

For the wine lover, ILNAM Estate is a delightful family-owned winery and is the only winery in the Tweed.  Situated in the Carool area, once a soldier settlement and best known for its banana crop in bygone years.  It has amazing ocean and hinterland views.  Once you have sampled the wines and feel like a “pick-me-up” head over to Carool’s Wirui Estate coffee farm.  It has 4000 coffee trees and produces 2 tonnes of green coffee a year.  After a day of exploring the hinterland and drinking in the wine, relax in Carool’s Potagers Kitchen, a ten-acre farm and restaurant which offers extraordinary gourmet cuisine.

How to get around? There are taxi and limousine operators, bus services, escorted day tours, car hire and self-drive driving routes – whichever suits your travel style!

There is so much more to mention.  Hopefully, this has given you a taster to inspire your next trip!  Whether you are in for an action-packed adventure, sun, surf and other water activities or simply chilling out in a relaxing atmosphere, The Tweed has plenty to offer and is one of my favourite holiday destinations!

For more information on The Tweed, or to plan your next adventure, contact me to make an appointment.

Sally Raine
sally.raine@orbitworldtravel.com.au
(02) 9302 0700

Gold Coast Destination Guide by Aaron Spriggs, Leisure Specialist.

The Gold Coast has been Australia’s playground since the 1950s when Bris-vegans would head to “The South Coast” for weekends away on the golden sands that stretch for miles. The home of dozens of beachside hotels, caravan parks and campgrounds, it was the budget-friendly destination for millions of Australian families. Everyone remembers a past road trip to The Goldie – ours was an 11-hour drive up the Pacific Highway with us cramped in the back with bikes on the back rack and surfboards on the roof with Dad grumbling about the “yuppies” driving past us with their fancy caravans and trailers filled to the brim with necessities for their week away. We always stayed at the same holiday apartment on the canal – I live directly across the water from the same resort now and still have fond memories every time I look across the water at the old Del Ray!

The area has certainly grown up over the decades with 5-star hotels, great dining options and of course the Theme Parks on the Northern end of the coast. With most of the major resort chains centred around Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, there is still a huge range of small privately run resorts and hotels stretching the whole length of the coast.

Starting in the south is the amazing Halcyon House. Situated just over the border in Cabarita it’s easily accessible from the Gold Coast Airport. Located right on the beach with timeless Miami inspired décor, it’s a one-stop-shop with on-sight bar and restaurant – Paper Daisy. Our Virtuoso guests receive an upgrade on arrival (if available), breakfast daily, one-way private airport transfer, wi-fi, a welcome cocktail along with a local cheese plate and bottle of Processo in your room on arrival. If you want to venture away from the beachside luxury you can hire the in house Audi A1 and explore the Tweed Coast and Southern Gold Coast – check out the nearby Husk Distillery for an award with locally made spirits and liquor or The Bread Social in Tweed Head for the best baked goods on the coast, or even take a drive through the World Heritage Listed Mt Waring National Park.

Across the border is beautiful Coolangatta, with the world-famous surf breaks of Snapper Rocks, D-Bar and Rainbow Bay. The huge Twin Towns Club dominates the area but there is also a host of small bars, pubs and eateries such as the awesome Eddies Grub House, The Pink Hotel and the classic Coolangatta Hotel that plays host to live music and everyone from the Hollywood famous, to beach bums and backpackers.

Further north along the Gold Coast Highway is the beachside suburb of Palm Beach. Palmy is home to a host of great cafes and restaurants such as The Collective, Balboas Italian and the top surf club right on the sand with cheap beers and great pub grub.

Burleigh Heads and Currumbin are amazing places to visit, stay and eat in. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a National Trust run nature park and wildlife hospital where you can get up close and personal with native Aussie Wildlife and get swamped by hundreds of Lorikeets during the feeding sessions. Burleigh Heads has a huge range of eating places – Jimmy Wah’s, Justin Lane, The Burleigh Pavilion and The Fish House are all standout places along with a heap of cheap and cheerful places such as the Bistro at the Bowling Club. Just off the Highway in Burleigh Heads State School grounds is a weekly farmers markets held every Saturday from 6.30 am with local produce and handy crafts available. For those who love Market eating should head to BBQ Bazaar on Friday and Saturday nights for a range of food stalls and entertainment, along with full bar facilities.

Broadbeach has a huge range of accommodation options – from Mum and Dad run operations to the Sofitel, Peppers and a range of options at The Star Casino, including The Darling, with its huge suites and 17 – at The Star Restaurant up top, along with The Dorsett next door (currently under construction). This, combined with the casino, restaurant and bars, makes it a destination itself! There is also world-class shopping next door at the recently re-developed Pacific Fair with everything from Tiffany and Rolex to K-Mart and Target in the sprawling complex.

Further North along the highway has you arriving into Surfers Paradise, with accommodation options once again covering all budgets. The beautiful Jewel development is almost complete and will soon host a 5 star Langham Hotel and Beach Club right on the sand, with a view from the upper suites that range from Point Dangar and Mount Warning in the South to South Stradbroke Island and the hinterland. Surfers Paradise has plenty to keep the family busy with weekly markets, various bowling and gaming arcades, bike and scooter high and the almost open slingshot that has relocated to the very centre of Cavil Avenue to keep the patrons flying into the sky with hundreds of spectators looking on. Food options range from Maccas, KFC & Hungry Jacks on the beach to some of the best burgers and wings you’ll ever have at Longboards or House of Brews. If you’re starving, then the Buffet at QT or The Marriot are some of the best chow down options you’ll find, with the accommodation at both properties being great value and both having great pools and bars on site.

Just along the spit from Main Beach and Surfers Paradise, for great family fun, is SeaWorld. Not to forget, the fabulous Sheraton Grand Marina Mirage and the over the top opulent Versace, with great views of the Broadwater with all the glitz and glamour, you’d expect from Versace.

 Dreamworld, Wet’n’Wild, Paradise Country and Movie World are all located on the northern end of the Gold Coast and are surrounded by cheap hotels and caravan parks, but most people stay closer to the beach and drive to the parks for a day out. There are also great transport options with buses and G-Link trams. The area also hosts the Outback Spectacular and Top Golf to really cater to everyone. Close by is the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove, for those wanting to stay in style while surrounded by native flora and fauna – every time I’ve visited I’ve seen Wallabies, Echidnas and Koala within the grounds! The true Australian experience!

The Hinterland of the Gold Coast has a number of spectacular drives and hiking trails that can lead to amazing vistas, beautiful caves and waterfalls such as The Glow Worms Cave and Purling Brook Falls. The area is also home to some great little pubs and the Canungra Pie shop is a must!

Between the Hinterland and the Coastline, there are the sprawling suburbs of the Gold Coast, with a huge network for canals running of the Nerang River giving direct water access to thousands of households. The area also has a huge range of golf course spreading the length of the coast.

The Gold Coast really does have something for every traveller and every budget. With direct flights from most major Australian cities along with international destinations such as Auckland, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, it’s a great spot for a quick getaway or extended stay. There are plenty of car rental options and parking, and with the ever-expanding G-Link Trams accessibility is getting better by the month.

For more information on the Gold Coast, or to plan your next adventure, contact me to make an appointment.

Aaron Spriggs
aaron.spriggs@orbitworldtravel.com.au
(07) 5556 7222

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