Heading south there’s a sense of freedom when you pass through the curvy tunnels and lush mountain ranges with Byron on your mind. Byron Bay, the most easterly point of Australia with that one road in, is a bustling coastal town.We opt for the quieter fringe, our mission to uncover the hidden gems in and around the Byron Hinterland. From the industrial estate (turn left at that illustrious sculpture) to the retro vibes of Mullumbimby to the national parks and beyond.
BYRONS THRIVING INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
9am– we wander around Centennial Circuit in search of some local designer wares, we’re in luck- Cabarita homewares store ‘Salt & Wood’ has taken up residence in the back streets of Byron. An eclectic mix of pottery, linen, cushions, furniture and local label Love St adorns the windows. Across the street we find the exclusive shoe designer St Agni best known for their neutral tones and natural leather weaved shoes- bonus.
11am– we stumble upon more local designers showcased in the super hip and modern ‘Habitat’ precinct. From the renowned Kingscliff sisters ‘The Beach People’ with their retro round towel to Currumbin’s ‘Prae’ store offering an array of sustainable beauty and wellness products. There’s something for the little people, ‘Children of the Tribe’ with seriously funky threads-we just wish they did our size.
12 noon– we can smell lunch wafting across the garden square of Habitat and our senses lead us straight to ‘Barrio’ a chargrilled, Argentinian inspired eatery with fresh and local wholefood on the menu. We can’t go past the array of colourful salads that greet us on arrival, accompanied by a chargrilled chicken and peri peri sauce. But wait there’s more, homemade corn and beef empanadas make their way to our table complimented by a local Jilly Rose. Barrio has a slick, open plan design and plenty of welcoming vibes.
2pm– Last stop in the thriving Byron Industrial estate is ‘Stone & Woods’ new tasting room- the locally brewed craft beer needs no introduction but the new tasting room and eatery is next level. Open plan in design with vibrant street art splashed on concrete walls, amongst a plethora of industrial beer vats and a beer inspired sustainable menu by local foodies 100-mile table.
QUINTESSENTIAL MULLUMBIMBY TOWN
3pm- we head 15 minutes north of Byron to Mullumbimby (Mullum) to chill out after all that shopping, eating and beer tasting. The renowned Kiva Spa is located down a narrow laneway in a secret garden reminisce of a Bali day spa. Kiva is a tranquil bathhouse where you literally go from a therapeutic spa to a sweat lodge to a ginseng plunge pool and repeat. There is an array of wellness treatments on offer mixed with local botanicals; this place has serious Namaste-we opt to stay awhile.
4.30pm– we peel ourselves off the spa lounges at Kiva and catch the eclectic vintage shop‘Silver Lining’ before it closes. In search of cowboy boots and whimsical dresses (It’s Splendour in the Grass weekend) there’s no time to waste so we don a treasured 50’s hat and head to the mountains for sunset.
5pm– Blackbird Hotel, a fusion of Mexico meets Palm Springs meets Byron Bay. Blackbird puts the uber in chic and is a clever mix of contemporary meets industrial, with stunning views across the valley to Byron Bay. Greeted by host and owner James with French bubbles, local cheeses and an open fire that is perfectly positioned by the magnesium pool and array of cacti. The rooms (tastefully decorated by James wife Stella) are complimented by Moroccan tiles, soft furnishings and spacious bathrooms. But it’s the little touches that give this hotel its edge, like homemade pizzas, Spanish red wine and local chocolates to accompany your stay. To say we rate Blackbird is an understatement, it’s a double thumb up and is the ideal honeymoon or couples getaway.
8am– Early risers we enjoy the most picturesque sunrise over the valley, alas its time to check out of our home away from home and head 15 minutes downtown to Mullum to the new kid on the block Flock (formerly Poinciana Cafe). A garden piazza with funky outdoor furnishings and an open fire is the perfect way to enjoy breakfast. There’s an array of freshly baked goodies on display, we fall for the berry donuts, cold press juices and coffee made just the way we like it. Staff are super friendly, the food is delicious and there’s country music playing in the background to boot!
Feeling fresh, fuelled up and totally invigorated, we wave goodbye to the Byron Hinterland and head north to the Tweed Coast- life is good!
It’s the opening we have been waiting all year for. Now it’s finally here. Pass the rum!
Husk is Australia’s first Agricole rum distillery, located on the Tweed River in Tumbulgum (just 15 minutes from Kingscliff), and it opened last week by the very talented Messenger family.
Situated on a 60-hectacre parcel of land, with views out to Mount Warning, the farm follows sustainable practices to produce the most sought after paddock-to-bottle products of rum and gin on the market. The happy herd of cattle that live on the farm are even treated to the waste products used to make the Husk products, and what they can’t eat becomes rich compost for future crops and the adjoining rainforest.
First stop for us, the cellar door. With a seasonal cocktail list, all paired with local botanicals and native bush foods, it’s definitely going to be a local hot spot and one for visitors to place on their Tweed to-do list. With a famous purple Ink gin in hand, it’s easy to see why celebrities such as Margot Robbie are all flocking to have a taste of this smooth drink. With it’s beautiful purple colour made possible by the infusion of the organic indigo-coloured butterfly pea flower.
If you are a rum-lover, you can’t go past the signature ‘Spiced Bam Bam’, made from the fresh juice of the farm’s sugar cane. Infused with whole, organic botanicals.
A lush, green lawn spills out from the charming recycled brick distillery. A perfect place to enjoy lawn games, loaded charcuterie and local cheese boards from the onsite ‘Planter’s Cafe’.
The team at Husk have embraced their local community with several collaborations, including a traditional boozy Caribbean ‘rum baba’ made by the local Tweed bakery Baked at Ancora. As well as coffee poured by Blackboard Coffee, bread from Bread Social and Ink Gin and Husk Pure Cane chocolates.
What a way to spend an afternoon! Rum drinker or not, this piece of paradise is sure to be a popular addition for visitors to experience the local scenery as well as the display of the world-class produce coming out of the Tweed Valley’s ‘Green Caldera’.
We recommend you round out your Husk experience by booking in one of their distillery tours, that run from Wednesday to Sunday at $35 a head. The tour includes an Ink Gin and tonic on arrival and Husk rum tasting flight in the Barrel House. You can book yourself in here.
Last month we were lucky enough to a holiday at Salt Village, Kingscliff, and we were able to experience first-hand all that this stunning seaside community has to offer. We wined and dined, and experienced everything from day spas to tequila bars (all in the name of research!), so we can bring you our list on how to spend your hours in this beachside oasis.
First of all let’s talk Salt Village. Salt Village was built nearly 15 years ago to the south of Kingscliff, just 15 minutes from the Gold Coast Airport. It occupies a 1.2km stretch of untouched beach, and at the epicentre lies two main resorts (Mantra Salt + Peppers Salt Resort & Spa) offering more than 700 rooms to book for your holiday. Connecting the two resorts is a large park, plus a dining and shopping boulevard.
Salt Village has everything you need for a short vacay, or long stay. From hatted restaurants, to casual takeaway joints, and oceanfront bars. We thought it only fitting that after all of our wining and dining, we compile a 72 hour itinerary to help you make the most out of your stay.
FRIDAY ARRIVAL When we were researching our Salt Village stay, we chose to stay in a beachfront 3-bedroom Peppers Bale apartment. With two young kids, it offered us all of the space and luxury we were looking for. Not to mention the access to three pools, spas, tennis courts, kids activities and in-house restaurants, it was certainly a perfect home away from home (and it was just a little fancy!). You can check out and book all of the Peppers rooms here.
Our first stop after check-in was the Salt Cellars bottleshop and the local IGA. Just a short stroll across the park, and a necessity to stock the fridge with local cheeses and craft beers, like Stone & Wood, which is produced in Murwillumbah just a mere 20 minutes away.
With our fridge nicely stocked, we made our way over to Saltbar for happy hour. After all, how can you not be happy in this village on a Friday on your way for drinks? **PSA – For all of the parents out there, there is an indoor kid’s play centre, which goes hand-in-hand with a Friday arvo beverage (did we mention that they have $5 schooners, wine and $10 cocktails during happy hour? Sign us up every day of the week! K. Thanks.)**
After a couple of Aperol Spritzers, and soaking in the ocean breezes on the front deck, it was time to make our way down for an early dinner at La Barrita, Mexican on the main dining boulevard of the precinct. La Barrita boasts over 100 tequilas (#yolo!), and a fresh and healthy Mexican menu that works perfectly with a freshly made fruit-based cocktail.
We kicked off our night with fresh tostadas, and jalapeno poppers and a few tequila cocktails. We were then treated to pulled pork tacos, as our kids devoured a share style ‘roll your own’ taco plate. It was the perfect way to get into the swing of Salt Village, and holiday life. If you are a Mexican fan, make sure you mark this one down!
SATURDAY AM Waking up to the sound of the ocean and no other artificial noise has got to be one of the standout highlights of this village, and being on the East Coast also means a pretty spectacular sunrise over the water for the early risers (ahem.. us with kids).
Saturday, and the village was abuzz with holiday makers and locals alike. Everyone was out soaking up the holiday vibes, and sunshine. The bike paths were bustling, and the kid’s playground echoed with happy shrieks of laughter. We casually made our way over to Saltbean Cafe for a long breakfast, and with bun coffee promptly brought out to our table, we were ready to get caffeinated and kick back.
We started our breakfast with the Saltbean World-famous acai bowl, and a hash brown burger (that’s legit bigger than your head). We flicked through the local paper, and played a few games of noughts and crosses as we watched the Salt Village world go by. It was the perfect way to ease into our Saturday morning.
After a spot of shopping at both Witchery and Sunburn (spending doesn’t count on holidays right?), we hired some bikes and meandered our way around to the connecting town of Kingscliff via the Cudgen Creek boardwalk. A must for anyone that hasn’t been to the region before. We spotted fish, pelicans and even a couple of rays from the bridge, as we watched the locals jumping into the clear blue waters.
Once back in the village we spent some time by the Peppers Salt Resort & Spa lagoon pool, lounging in the sand while the kids enjoyed some hotel-based activities. It was great to know that every school holidays the Mantra + Peppers team have a packed schedule for the kids, including an indoor and outdoor cinema.
SATURDAY PM We opted for a child-free, adult lunch at Fins Restaurant for our Saturday in paradise. We called in the big guns over at Coastal Babysitters to look after the little ones in the comfort of our own room, while we dressed up and took a short stroll over to one of our all-time fave seafood haunts.
If you have been following us for a little while, you will know that we have a little love affair with Fins Restaurant. We met the Snow family many, many moons ago in Casuarina and have always followed their seafood journey and have made it a go-to fine dining restaurant on our list for ourselves as well as visiting family and friends. You can read about our other Fins experiences here.
SUNDAY AM On Sunday it was a lazy morning in the comfort of our own apartment, we grabbed a couple of takeaway coffees and freshly baked ham & Neufchetal cheese croissants from The French Patisserie. The French Patisserie, from Brisbane fame, opened up in the village in 2017 and has been making some serious waves (and pastry addicts) ever since.
Full of fresh-cooked pastry, and with a massage, facial and hair treatment booked at The Spa at Salt (which adjoins Peppers Salt Resort & Spa), our Sunday vibes were off the charts.
The Spa at Salt is a must-visit. It’s the ultimate in relaxation, and really… is any getaway really complete without a day spa trip? We think not. We blissed out with an Aveda facial and hair treatment in the salon, and topped it off with a dip in the underground mineral spa.
SUNDAY PM One of the best things about Salt Village for us during our stay, was the the variety. You can simply walk ‘the strip’ and choose from fine-dining restaurants, casual eateries or takeaway joints. We were looking forward to a lazy Sunday afternoon, and for us that meant old-fashioned fish and chips in the park from Salt Village Fish + Chips.
There’s nothing better than catching some weekend rays, and putting on a fish + chip spread for the entire family. We grazed on delicious squid, battered barramundi, crumbed fresh prawns, grilled salmon, fresh salads and crunchy chips covered in chicken salt. The team at Salt Village Fish + Chips have a large selection to choose from, from old-school classics to fresh and healthy options.
SUNDAY PM For our last night night in the village, we were happy to go somewhere where we didn’t need to make a ‘choice’ and we could just opt for the chef to feed us. We booked in at the Indian-inspired Bombay Cricketer’s Club after hearing great things about their Sunday night plant-based banquet. While we are definitely meat-eaters at heart, the idea of living a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle with plant-based meals is certainly something that is a constant consideration.
We were treated to the famous Bombay bhaji, potato and pea dumplings, a traditional vegetable moliee and a goan vegetable curry. The fresh, and delicious dishes were served as a banquet feast so we could share and taste everything on offer – we never knew Indian could be so light and refreshing!
MONDAY AM On Monday morning we hit Salt Beach, a patrolled stretch of paradise, because no beach holiday is complete without sandcastles and salty water. The perfect way to reflect on the weekend that was, and dream about planning our next Salt Village stay.
We’re excited to say that we are now offering a personalised service to help guide you through your stay on the Tweed. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Here on the Tweed Coast, we have a serious love affair with seafood. Our prime coastal location and pristine waterways allow us to enjoy the freshest seafood year-round, served up by passionate local producers, chefs and restaurateurs across the region.
So where exactly should you head when the seafood cravings hit? Whether you’re looking for the perfect battered Barramundi on a Sunday arvo, or an all-out fine dining feast, we’ve got you covered. From casual eating houses and relaxed takeaway joints to award-winning restaurants, here’s our local guide on where to get the best seafood on the Tweed!
The Inky Squid, Terranora
Not your average fish and chippery, The Inky Squid is located in the lush hills of Terranora at the Pavilions Marketplace and boasts a fresh, vibrant menu. Helmed by chef Ben Jones (formerly of Taverna), expect to find your classic seafood favourites with a modern twist.
Some standouts from our recent visit include handmade potato scallops, lemon-pepper squid with crispy seaweed, and the “Oh My Cod” fish burger – all washed down with a couple of cold bevvies in the courtyard. If that’s not enough to convince you, these guys also do deep fried Mars bars. Enough said.
@theinkysquid | The Pavilions Marketplace, 2-14 Henry Lawson Drive, Terranora
Fins Restaurant, Kingscliff
Keen seafood enthusiasts, this one’s for you. Located in the beachfront Salt precinct at Kingscliff, Fins is one of Australia’s most awarded and iconic seafood restaurants, best known for their ethos towards sustainably sourced (and seriously delicious) local seafood.
With Chef Snowy (otherwise known as Australia’s “seafood guy”) at the helm, this is our go-to recommendation for a truly unforgettable fine dining experience. Our tip? Opt for the degustation menu (read our rave review here) for a selection of beautifully presented seafood dishes paired perfectly with Fin’s extensive wine list. Plus, check out the recently opened Gin Bar for some cheeky pre or post-dinner drinks – we happily sampled it for you here (you’re welcome).
For mouthwatering seafood in an unbeatable location, look no further than Cabarita’s very own hatted restaurant Paper Daisy. Set amongst chic coastal surroundings at the Insta-worthy Halcyon House, Paper Daisy is renowned for serving up the freshest local seafood amongst stylish, sun-drenched interiors. Featuring signature dishes such as spicy clam casarecce and paperbark-roasted fish to share, Paper Daisy have recently introduced new chef Jason Barrat (formerly of Raes on Wategos) to work his magic in the kitchen. Like we needed another reason to visit!
Kingscliff’s award-winning eatery Taverna is where fresh local seafood meets authentic Greek flavours (and some pretty incredible ocean views to match). Wander through Taverna’s peppermint door and pull up a chair beside glass windows overlooking Kingscliff’s pristine beaches, as you devour a selection of share-style seafood plates packed with Mediterranean influences.
Think: confit ocean trout, juicy South Australian mussels and pan-fried white fish, all paired with fresh citrus flavours and premium local produce. Add a couple of cocktails to the mix, and you’re in for a pretty special seafood experience (read the full wrap-up from our latest visit here). Bliss!
Looking for a true ocean to plate experience? Buying seafood fresh from the Tweed Trawlers is as iconic as the Tweed Coast itself. Head on down to the Tweed Marina on River Terrace and collect your seafood haul fresh off the boat from passionate local producers. From juicy prawns to swimmer crabs and Balmain bugs, this is as fresh as it gets.
Tweed Trawlers | River Terrace, Tweed Heads
Scales, Tweed Heads
Another Tweed Coast icon, Scales is a much-loved takeaway joint serving up a selection of tasty seafood sourced directly from the trawlers. Conveniently located by the Tweed River, enjoy your takeaway picnic-style by the water, or grab yourself some fresh local seafood to go. With a stellar local reputation, these guys firmly believe fresh is best, and also offer home delivery right to your door.
Arriving to Fins we were greeted by the team handing out gourmet canapes, and with food in hand we were instantly drawn to the new Fins gin bar. Spread out across the Fins bar, were 22 different botanicals to choose from accompanied by a very extensive list of 20 handcrafted boutique gins from both local and international suppliers.
We picked a Brookie’s Gin, which is handcrafted in Byron Bay for those of you playing at home, and paired it with a fizzy Fever Tree tonic. Next, we had to pick our botanicals to personalise our Friday night pour, and with all of the choice we were pretty much big kids in a gin store. From dehydrated oranges and strawberries, to lemon myrtle, fruit slices and cinnamon, the opportunities to create something unique are endless.
As the sun was setting we sat down to enjoy a ‘feed me’ menu in the Fins bar, while we watched perfectly packaged takeaway bags make their way out the door en route to local residents.
As we sipped our lemon myrtle and cucumber gins, we grazed on a home-made smoked eggplant & white miso dip, teamed with fresh sourdough. Followed by local crispy calamari with smoked paprika salt, lemon and aioli hit the table.
We moved onto a bottle of bubbles (because… celebration!), as we were treated to a spicy local fish poke bowl. The delicate flavours balanced perfectly with a level of spice.
Lastly, we shared a Pescador seafood linguine with Tweed prawns, line caught fish, hand-harvested poppies and cuttlefish. We paired this with a stunning rose, as we spoke to Morgan Snow about their ethos of maintaining a sustainable restaurant with their wine list now featuring only biodynamic and organic wines.
We completed our night with two famous Fins desserts (that we have been lucky enough to indulge in before), the decadent “5 Shades of Chocolate” and a fresh, zesty lemon myrtle pannacotta. Heaven.
If you’re a gin lover, or just a lover of good food and wine in general, get yourself down to the new Fins bar for a night time experience or to try the new Fins takeaway!
We were recently lucky enough to spend an afternoon at the iconic Fins restaurant in Kingscliff, and it honestly exceeded all of our (already sky-high) expectations. With an award-winning degustation menu, sustainably sourced seafood and elegant beachfront setting, we’re calling it: this is one of the best dining experiences on the Tweed Coast.
If you’re not already familiar with this acclaimed local eatery, Fins has a pretty impressive reputation throughout the Australian foodie scene. Helmed by celebrity chef Steven Snow (affectionately known as Australia’s “seafood guy”), Fins first opened its doors 27 years ago on the banks of the Brunswick River, before relocating to Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel and quickly rising to nationwide fame. Now situated amongst the beachfront resorts at relaxed coastal precinct Salt Village in Kingscliff, Fins is one of the most awarded regional restaurants in the country – holding 22 consecutive years of chefs hats and achieving the most Sustainable Seafood Restaurant title in 2015. Safe to say, we were pretty darn excited for our visit.
We headed down to Fins on a balmy Friday afternoon and were greeted warmly by the team before being shown to our seat in the private dining room. Now, while this award-winning eatery might be best known for fine dining, don’t expect stuffy interiors – the restaurant atmosphere is just as impressive and inviting as its menu. Think: rustic timber floorboards, plantation style shutters, lush hanging plants and stone tabletops creating a tropical-meets-coastal feel. The light-filled dining room is cosy and intimate, with luxe charcoal tones, secluded booths, elegant tableware and botanical accents at every turn.
Comfortably seated, our dining experience kicked off with our sommelier Michael mixing cocktails right by our table: the signature Fins Strawberry Fizz, served with the chef’s starter, a fresh and light tuna tartare with a house made cheese. Keen to enjoy the complete Fins experience, we opted for the 6-course degustation menu – a selection of mouthwatering dishes, each paired perfectly with a wine from the extensive drinks list.
Before we get stuck into the dishes we devoured; the first thing you need to know about dining at Fins is that these guys take their seafood seriously. Not only are the Fins team incredibly talented at their craft, but their passion for seafood is unparalleled. Chef “Snowy” (also an ambassador for Tourism Australia) has been working with the same fishermen for decades. You’ll never find a frozen or farmed fish at Fins – each day, there are 5 different sustainably sourced fish to choose from (all local, organic and line-caught). Chef Snowy also has an unwavering commitment to organic and sustainable produce, with many of the herbs and spices on the Fins menu coming from his very own garden.
Over the course of the afternoon, we made our way through some of the best meals we’ve tasted here on the Tweed Coast. Obviously, seafood is the hero on the Fins degustation menu, with contemporary dishes packed with tropical Asian flavours, fresh herbs and spices and organic local produce. Still sipping our Strawberry Fizz, we first made our way through a delicate Tian of Tuna sashimi, served with the most incredible dashi rice bubble and tobiko caviar. Next, vegan tempura zucchini flowers, complete with cashew cheese and crunchy fennel – one of our standout dishes (we had no idea it was vegan until we looked at the menu!), paired with a crisp and zesty Paranga white wine from Macedonia.
For our third plate, we tucked into seared scallops (so juicy and perfectly cooked – you could taste the freshness) with an edamame puree, smoked tomato and yuzu dressing, as well as the Fins “Spice Garden” local fish dish teamed with the tart, citrus apple flavours of a Glenmore Valley Chardonnay. Next, we shared tender BBQ Bangalow pork and prawns with chilli-lime dressing (paired with an organic Gippsland Valley Cider) and a rich, flavourful twice-cooked duck breast accompanied with a spicy New Zealand Pinot Noir. Trust us when we say, this place is a foodies heaven!
In between dishes, we headed into the kitchen to watch the master Chef Snowy at work as he prepared our next plate – Sake fish. This was an experience in and of itself: the Fins kitchen moves like clockwork, with each of the chefs cooking their food to perfection and carefully plating each dish like a piece of artwork. It was incredible to watch.
Back in the dining room, our Sake fish (paired with caramelised miso eggplant, pickled cauliflower and crispy seaweed) was served alongside a tender chargrilled eye fillet steak and Longview Shiraz. Just as we thought our bellies were stretched to the max, we were treated to the most amazing desserts – a decadent “5 Shades of Chocolate” (a masterpiece on the plate) and a fresh, zesty lemon myrtle pannacotta. We’re not ashamed to say we ate every last bit before finishing up with an espresso at the Fins bar.
Our verdict? A visit to Fins is an absolute must-do for all locals, and well worth travelling to the region just to experience. These guys are seriously passionate about what they do, and it shows. Expect some of the freshest seafood dishes you’ve ever tasted paired with an extensive wine list and warm, knowledgeable service. This was a pretty special experience we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Yep – if you’re looking to capture some fresh content for your Insta-feed, the Tweed Coast has you sorted. From golden sunflower fields and tropical cactus gardens to iconic natural landmarks, we have some seriously unique photo opportunities dotted throughout the region.
We recently took one of our beautiful TCG ambassadors Tess Gordon on a Tweed Coast road trip to capture some of our favourite Insta-worthy locations. Keep reading as we share our complete Instagrammers Guide to help you #seethetweed!
Tucked away on Cudgen Road, Farm & Co’s vibrant sunflower crop has quickly become an Instagram sensation here on the Tweed Coast. Take a leisurely stroll throughout these dreamy golden fields and snap the perfect sunflower selfie before treating yourself to some organic, farm fresh local produce. Be sure to follow along with @farm.and.co to stay updated on the best times to see the sunflowers in bloom!
Not only one of our favourite places to spend a day by the water, Cabarita Headland also offers some pretty epic photo opportunities for the keen Instagrammer. With sweeping ocean views right down the coastline, this lush grassy headland provides the ultimate beachfront backdrop – no filter required. Pull up your car and enjoy a sunset picnic overlooking the ocean, or trek up the Caba stairs to soak up 360-degree views from Norries lookout (between May and September, you might even spot a cheeky whale or two). Bliss!
If you can’t swing the airfare to Santorini, #thetavernadoor in Kingscliff is quite possibly the next best thing. Yes, this charming mint door (flanked by bright bougainvillaea and a sweet white facade) is so iconic, it has its very own hashtag. Book a table at Taverna’s renowned Greek-inspired restaurant overlooking Kingscliff beach and enjoy Mediterranean share plates packed with flavour before catching the perfect photo opportunity on your way out the door. Learn more about Taverna’s new summer menu on the blog!
With a crisp white and blue colour scheme and luxe coastal feel, Halcyon House has become one of the Tweed Coast’s most instantly recognisable hotspots. Located beachside at Cabarita, this boutique 5-star hotel features a unique besser-block facade that makes for stunning Insta snaps. Indulge in a luxury weekend getaway or treat yourself to a meal at Halcyon’s award-winning restaurant Paper Daisy before capturing a candid moment in front of this architectural masterpiece.
As if there wasn’t already enough good reasons to visit Baked at Ancora (hello, authentic Parisian pastries), this waterfront bakery also provides some pretty great photo opportunities too. Baked’s modern interiors include statement neon signage, barn-style doors and our favourite feature – rope ceiling swings, allowing you to take a quick snap for the gram as you devour your delicious baked goods!
It’s no secret that Kartel Espresso in Cabarita is one of our favourite places to grab a cuppa here on the Tweed Coast, but did you know this much-loved local coffee joint has been recently revamped with a colourful cactus feature wall? Taking snaps for the ‘gram is highly encouraged as you wait for your (delicious) takeaway coffee – we won’t judge.
Another one for the cactus lovers, Tropical Fruit World in Duranbah has an actual cactus garden for you to explore in real life. Take a tour through this family-owned plantation and taste test some exotic fruits before heading down to the cactus garden for a quirky Insta backdrop. Don’t miss the magic views from the valley right out to Mount Warning during your stay!
The sugar cane fields throughout the Tweed region are well-worth a visit when it comes to dreamy Instagram snaps. These tall grassy crops provide the perfect lush backdrop, especially if you can time it with that golden afternoon light. Take your pick with the various sugar cane crops located on Plantation Road in Cudgen, out the back of coastal village Pottsville, or on the scenic hinterland drive to Murwillumbah.
Be sure to tag #tweedcoastguide and #seethetweed throughout your travels – we’d love to see how you explore our patch of paradise! We will be releasing part II of the Instagrammer’s Guide in the coming months, where we will explore more insta-worthy locations for your travels to the Tweed.
Looking for more local tips to help you plan the perfect Tweed Coast itinerary? Head over to the TCG Edit to read our latest reviews, or see our top picks for accommodation and dining over on The Guide.
Cocktails, canapes, live tunes and coastal views. What more could you want out of a sunset session with your mates?
We recently spent a Saturday afternoon down at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel and honestly, we’re already wondering how soon we can get back there. The Kingscliff Beach Hotel (affectionately known by locals as the “Kingy”) is pretty much a Tweed Coast icon – so when the KBH team invited us in for an evening of Pimm’s, platters and live music, we immediately jumped on board.
Our crew of 10 headed down to the Kingy on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and from the moment we walked in, the vibe was buzzing. Situated in prime position along Kingscliff’s bustling Marine Parade, the Kingscliff Beach Hotel is both a much-loved local watering hole and beachfront venue all in one. Instantly recognisable for its blue and white striped facade, the Kingy hosts live music every weekend (with recent acts including Pete Murray, The Jungle Giants and Daryl Braithwaite just to name a few).
We were shown to our reserved VIP table in the alfresco-style courtyard underneath a striped umbrella, in perfect proximity to both the stage and (perhaps more importantly), the Pimm’s Bar. No matter how big or small your group, the Kingscliff Beach Hotel offers a range of relaxed seating areas – from comfortable indoor lounges to scattered high bars, deck chairs and outdoor picnic tables.
Comfortably settled, we were then treated to a selection of beautifully crafted gourmet platters piled high with exactly the kinda food you feel like digging into on a Saturday with friends. From antipasto boards filled with artisan meats, local cheeses and house made dips, to crowd-pleasing favourites like pulled pork sliders (paired with minted apple slaw), tender salt and pepper squid with tangy lime aioli, crispy sticky wings and drool-worthy mac and cheese balls, it’s safe to say this epic spread was not your average pub grub.
To wash down our feast, we shared fresh jugs of Pimm’s, glasses of iced Rose and crisp Stone and Wood beers – the perfect companions for a warm summer afternoon. As the sun set and eclectic local band The Round Mountain Girls hit the stage, the place was packed and the dance floor was pumping. Let’s face it – how often do you get to enjoy live music right by the ocean? To finish our Kingscliff Beach Hotel experience, we spent the rest of the evening soaking up the infectious atmosphere (and letting our hair down just a little) before finally calling it a night – so much fun.
Our verdict? The sore heads on Sunday were 10/10 worth it. From delish gourmet food platters to ice-cold cocktails, sweet coastal views and an unmatched atmosphere, we reckon the KBH has your next sunset session sorted.
Jess and Ben, the owners of the Inky Squid, greeted us with a smile and infectious excitement they talked us through their new venture and idea to bring the best locally sourced seafood and ‘fish + chippery’ experience to the Terranora and wider community. With Ben (formerly of Taverna Kingscliff) at the helm we knew we’d be in for a treat. We were quickly shown to our table in ’the courtyard’ and with a chilled BYO bottle of rose on hand, and a few cold Stone & Wood Cloudcatchers, we rolled the sleeves up and got ready for the Inky Squid experience.
We feasted on handmade potato scallops, fresh prawns straight from the trawler, oysters and one of Ben’s signature dishes – lemon pepper squid with seaweed. We finished off the feast with an ‘oh my cod’ fish burger (as good as the name suggests), and a beef burger made with ground meat from local Jack Spratt’s butchery. Just when we thought we couldn’t fit another thing in, Jess delivered the pièce de résistance for our dessert stomachs, the deep-fried Mars Bar teamed with some creamy Gelato & Co ice-cream. Drool.
Our Verdict. This isn’t your regular fish and chip shop. While the prices are the same as a regular fish and chippery, the experience and quality is on another level. With some unexpected extras; A mocktail list, Purezza sparkling water on tap, and a play area for the kids – I think this might just be our go-to takeaway (and eat in!) joint for the Summer and beyond.
Let’s face it, the Tweed Coast has serious bragging rights when it comes to stunning beaches. From unspoilt stretches of pristine white sand, to idyllic creeks and waterways, it’s easy to see why our beaches are rated amongst some of the best in the country.
With over 38 kilometres of picturesque coastline, you really can’t go wrong wherever you choose to park your beach umbrella, but here are 5 of our all-time favourite spots to soak up the sunshine this summer!
1. Dreamtime Beach – Fingal Head
Dreamtime by name, dreamy by nature. Located on the southern side of Fingal and accessed by a lush rainforest walk through the headland, it’s not hard to see why this secluded stretch of coastline was recently voted the 3rd best beach in Australia.
Bordered by the natural beauty of Fingal Head and its unique basalt rock surrounds, this sacred space is also rich in Aboriginal history – known as “Booninybah” (Place of the Echidna), and thought to be protected by ancestral spirits. Be sure to check out the panoramic coastal views from Fingal Lighthouse during your visit, and keep an eye out for the local dolphin pods that frequently frolic in nearby turquoise waters.
2. Little Cove – Cabarita Beach
If you’re searching for seclusion, Little Cove Beach in Cabarita is a small, protected bay offering privacy and shade, situated on the northern side of Cabarita headland. With many travellers flocking to the busier Cabarita Beach, you’ll find locals and surfers escaping to Little Cove to enjoy long, lazy days minus the crowds.
Finish your visit by checking out the sweet views (and clocking up some steps!) with a walk up to Caba headland, or cruise through the main street to grab your takeaway caffeine fix from local coffee joints Kartel or Riff Raff Espresso.
3. Duranbah Beach, Tweed Heads
Duranbah Beach (known as D’Bah by locals) is one of the most popular surf breaks on the Tweed Coast, with a consistently good swell year-round. The ultimate surfer’s paradise, D’Bah is also the most northern beach in NSW, making it your ideal gateway to the Gold Coast and neighbouring the world famous waves at sister beach Snapper Rocks.
It’s all about relaxed surf vibes at D’Bah, so expect to find this dog-friendly beach buzzing with families, surfers and backpackers alike during the summer season. And for the early risers, you’ll find this is one of the best spots to catch a stunning Tweed Coast sunrise.
4. Kingscliff Beach, Kingscliff
Kingscliff Beach is one the Tweed Coast’s most-visited holiday destinations, combining spacious (and patrolled) stretches of white sand with plenty to see and do during your visit. This family-friendly beach backs on to the recently redeveloped Kingscliff foreshore; a thoughtfully designed central park with plenty of grassed areas to kick the footy, fire up the barbecue, or enjoy a relaxed picnic by the water.
There’s no shortage of things to explore at Kingscliff during your beach trip, with an array of trendy boutiques, cafes and restaurants dotted down the bustling Marine Parade. Visiting in the afternoon? Nab yourself a table at oceanfront Greek eatery Taverna for a post-beach feast, or enjoy a cool bevvie at local watering hole, the Kingscliff Beach Hotel.
5. Casuarina Beach, Casuarina
If you’re looking to escape the holiday crowds, Casuarina beach is one of the less-populated (but equally as stunning) Tweed Coast beaches, situated along the quiet stretch of coastline between Kingscliff and Cabarita.
Bordered by natural reserves, bicycle tracks and playgrounds for the little ones, the Casuarina coastline is a peaceful patch of paradise offering ample space and seclusion, even during the warmer months. Our tip? Settle in for the afternoon to enjoy pretty pink skies at sunset.
From epic surf breaks to secluded bays and unique headlands, the Tweed Coast is the ultimate beach-lovers haven. The best part? We’re blessed with insanely good weather year-round, so you can enjoy our beautiful coastline no matter what season. Keen to pair your beach visit with some seriously good local coffee? Check out our barista’s guide to the Tweed Coast right here!
Sharing good food with friends and sipping cocktails in the sunshine would have to be one of our favourite ways to spend the summer season here on the Tweed Coast. So when the team at Taverna in Kingscliff recently invited us to experience their brand new summer menu, we very quickly cleared our calendars.
Founded by local restaurateurs Mark Wilson and Lia Mason together with business partner Lee Middendorf of the PLB Group (also behind Tweed Coast favourites Osteria, Bombay Cricketers Club and Baked at Ancora), Taverna is an authentic Greek-inspired eatery best known for their contemporary share-style dishes and stunning beachfront location. Currently holding the #1 ranking on Tripadvisor, we were super excited to hear the team had recently revamped their menu with a fresh summer update – and lured by the promise of modern Greek cuisine and Ink Gin cocktails, we made our way down to Marine Parade on a warm and balmy Friday afternoon to taste test their newest dishes.
If you’ve never visited this beachfront gem before, you’ll first recognise Taverna for its charming exterior: a quaint white cottage with mint trim and glass windows, wrapped in bright bougainvillea and perched on the Kingscliff foreshore. Kicking off your visit to Taverna with a pre-dinner aperitif is an absolute must, so we eased our way into the evening with a relaxing drink outside – Aperol Spritzers for the ladies, Fixx Greek Beer and Ouzo for the gents. Situated on Taverna’s outdoor strip, we’d say these white picnic-style tables are arguably one of the best spots in Kingscliff to enjoy a cocktail or two during summer, with the beach literally right at your doorstep.
Suitably refreshed, we were then led through Taverna’s famous peppermint door (one of the Coast’s most Instagrammable backdrops) to our ocean view table, directly overlooking Kingscliff beach through open glass windows. For those yet to visit, Taverna’s cosy interiors are warm and inviting – doused in golden afternoon light and complete with crisp white linens, elegant tableware and exposed white brickwork. It’s the smaller details that give a special nod to co-owner Lia’s Greek heritage too; with turquoise prints from the Mediterranean dotted around the restaurant (keep an eye out for some of Lia’s very own childhood photos inside the Taverna bathrooms!).
After getting settled with a friendly introduction from the welcoming Taverna team, we started with rustic olive bread fresh from sister eatery Baked at Ancora, along with Taverna’s signature Byron Bay haloumi with bush honey and rosemary (a staple for every visit).
We then proceeded to sample a selection of Taverna’s new summer dishes – each one seamlessly explained by our attentive waitress, and washed down happily with Ink Gin cocktails and lychee martinis. Packed with light, fresh flavours, Taverna’s new summer menu highlights fresh seafood and locally-sourced produce, with a number of contemporary Greek-inspired plates designed to share.
Some standouts: the confit ocean trout (with crispy skin and zesty spring salad), juicy South Australian black mussels coated in tomato, fresh herbs and Greek salami, tender pan-fried white fish on a smooth cauliflower hummus, and for the carnivores – Taverna’s famous slow-roasted lamb, with pickled zucchini and smoked yoghurt.
Taverna’s newest summer offerings also shine a spotlight on vibrant produce and fresh citrus tones, with a selection of thoughtful side plates being passed around throughout the evening. The grilled fennel (packed with flavour) was a favourite amongst our crew, along with the charred broccolini drizzled in tangy lemon yoghurt, and roast carrot falafel atop a crunchy alfalfa salad. Bursting with colour and texture, each dish is also beautifully presented on eclectic ceramic plateware to make the dining experience just that little bit extra special.
As the night went on, the restaurant was packed with a great Friday night vibe – quietly buzzing, while still feeling intimate. Completely stuffed, we finished our meal on dessert cocktails and red wine, watching diners take advantage of the perfect #TavernaDoor photo opportunities as the sun set over the coastline.
Our final verdict? Packed with fresh flavours and stunning local produce (with a killer cocktail list and ocean views to boot), we reckon this is a pretty perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon with loved ones this summer. But don’t just take our word for it – book in to try Taverna’s new summer menu for yourself these holidays. We’ve teamed up with Taverna to offer our Tweed Coast Guide followers a special discount – simply use code TCG10 when booking online to enjoy 10% off your bill!
When it comes to seriously good coffee, the Tweed Coast has you sorted. Whether you’re a Tweed Coast local or simply travelling through for the weekend, finding the perfect caffeine fix has never been easier.
See, here on the Tweed, we’re kinda spoilt for choice with some pretty epic coffee spots dotted down our coastline. Over recent years, we’ve really stepped up our coffee game and established ourselves as a true coffee lovers haven; coupling smooth local blends with fun coastal vibes, delish gourmet food and Instagrammable locations well worth travelling for.
From unsuspecting hole-in-the-wall coffee joints to much-loved community hubs, we’re sharing our keen barista’s local guide with you below. Here’s our pick for 6 of the best places to get caffeinated here on the Tweed Coast!
Kartel Espresso, Cabarita Beach
Next time you’re cruising on up to Cabarita headland, be sure to pull over at hidden gem Kartel Espresso to grab your takeaway caffeine hit. Tucked away along Tweed Coast Road, Kartel serves up smooth Social Espresso coffee amongst eclectic patterned interiors and friendly service to create the ultimate hole-in-the-wall takeaway joint.
One for the ‘grammers, this beachside coffee nook has also been revamped with a totally Insta-worthy cactus wallpaper to provide the perfect backdrop for your morning brew. Our tip? Pair your caffeine fix with a gourmet donut, freshly made sanga, or one of Kartel’s famous “manwiches” to truly satiate your hunger!
Just a stone’s throw away from the pristine Casuarina beaches, you’ll find community hub and much-loved local eatery Osteria. Not your average cafe; Ostera’s vine-covered courtyard, laid-back atmosphere and rustic interiors creates an ideal space to enjoy your long, lazy espresso date amongst light-filled surrounds.
Recently switching their blend to Tweed roasters Ground Control Espresso (along with their new sister cafe Baked at Ancora), Osteria also has a strong focus on sustainability and community support – so you can savour your coffee with all of the warm and fuzzy feels.
Other awesome bonuses include a playground for the little ones and express ordering via the Osteria app to grab your caffeine hit without the queue.
@osteriacasuarina | 1 Barclay Drive, Casuarina
The Salt Mill, Kingscliff
After building up a cult following for their popular Currumbin coffee nook, Tweed Coasters have finally seen what all the fuss is about with The Salt Mill’s second establishment opening earlier this year in Kingscliff. This timber clad hole-in-the-wall coffee stop is located directly across from the sun-soaked Kingscliff beaches; complete with outdoor seating so you can enjoy your delicious Allpress Coffee (or one of their famous acai bowls) amongst salty air and ocean views.
Plus: don’t forget to check out the adjoining Salt Mill Store for a curated selection of handcrafted ceramics, botanical beauty products, bath salts, flower bunches and more (hello, last minute Christmas shopping!).
@the_salt_mill_ | 20 Marine Parade, Kingscliff
Riff Raff Espresso, Cabarita Beach
New kids on the block Riff Raff Espresso have quickly become a Cabarita favourite, with a “positive vibes only” mentality and warm, personalised service – the kinda place where the friendly baristas will remember your name and coffee order from your very first visit.
Located in the Cabarita Ace Plaza, Riff Raff is helmed by a passionate local team serving up beloved Byron Bay blend Moonshine Coffee Roasters, with spacious interiors offering plenty of relaxed seating to chill out as you enjoy your daily brew. Be sure to devour your cuppa alongside a huge array of simple yet tasty food options – from gourmet toasties made on bakery fresh bread, to brekky burritos, fresh salads and sweet treats to fill your tummy.
For those wanting to follow the Tweed locals for your next caffeine fix, you’ll usually find them flocking to Next Door Espresso. This hidden gem is situated riverside along Dry Dock Road in Tweed, and renowned for their organic Moonshine coffee paired with crisp white interiors, an extensive a la carte menu, and good vibes all round.
Dog lovers will also be pleased to know your pup is most welcome, with Next Door’s friendly labrador Harry making regular appearances at this laid-back local nook. Be sure to peruse the cafe’s retail arm during your visit, too, with an eclectic array of goodies including dried flower bunches, printed tees and lush soy candles available to purchase.
@nextdoorespresso | 56 Dry Dock Road, Tweed Heads
Baked at Ancora, Tweed Heads
Newly opened Baked at Ancora has already been filling our insta-feeds, with a chic and cosy interior fit-out, picturesque riverside location and drool-worthy selection of sweet and savoury treats to get your mitts on. But while the glazed donuts and Parisian pastries might be a serious drawcard, these guys don’t mess around with their coffee game, either.
Enjoy Baked’s signature Ground Control blend picnic-style in the adjoining waterfront garden, or pull up a swing chair to dine in and watch the pastry chefs in action. Good coffee and delicious treats – could there be a more perfect match?
@bakedatancora | 118 Wharf Street, Tweed Heads
A huge shout out to our incredible local coffee joints for keeping us caffeinated – suffice to say, we’re in seriously good hands here on the Tweed Coast. Want to stay updated with our latest reviews, travel tips and local insight? Get connected with us over at @tweedcoastguide, or sign up for our newsletter to get our local knowledge delivered straight to your inbox.
All images courtesy and copyright to Tweed Coast Guide.