We all need to escape the city sometimes (even just for the day) and bask in some small town hospitality to rejuvenate the soul.
But with a visit to our southern neighbours currently off-limits, due to the Queensland border closure, we’re going to have to settle for the dreaming and planning part of a Tweed road trip.
So get comfy and grab your notebook, because you’re going to want to add these tiny Tweed towns to your post-corona travel bucket list.
Perched in the shadow of Wollumbin (Mt Warning) Uki has a sweet village vibe that you could easily spend an afternoon soaking up. We recommend making Bastion Lane Espresso your first stop, a super-cute cafe inside the 110-year-old heritage-listed Uki post office. Not just any ordinary post office it also boasts Art Post, an artist exhibition space whose motto is “surprising art in surprising places”. Looking to stay the night? You’ll want to head to Mavis’ Kitchen and Cabins to cosy up in the lush rainforest setting or wander their vegetable garden that produces the tastiest goods for their famous restaurant.
Your first call of business will be to book a few nights at the stunning Heartwood Cabin. A modern version of a treehouse but with the finest of finishings, Heartwood invites you to light the log fire, pour a glass of champers and fill up the outdoor bathtub surrounded by verdant rainforest. If you must escape this sanctuary, the tiny town of Burringbar has everything you need. Pull up a barstool at Elwood Cafe for a gluten-free brownie and a cup of Moonshine Espresso, then wander up the road to Heaths Old Wares antique store for a spot of vintage Akubra shopping. In need of a snack to take back to your eco-cabin? Stop in at Tweed Valley Whey Cheeses for a sneaky stock up on all things dairy!
Teeny tiny Tumbulgum sits right on a bend of the Tweed River and is basically a single adorable street full of character. House of Gabriel, a joyous two-storey bright white Queenslander is the spot for breakfast and coffee overlooking the water—our pick is their ricotta pancakes with seasonal fruit. Stroll across the riverbank to Husk Distilleries where you can throw down a picnic rug and enjoy a Husk tasting paddle, featuring the infamous Ink Gin and Pure Cane Rum along with a Husk fromage board, featuring local Tweed made cheeses. The best way to finish your day in this tiny town is wrapped around a cold beer on the deck of the quaint Tumbulgum Tavern. And keep your eye on their gig guide as they often have a local legend strumming a few tunes.
A compact coastal gem perched between the Gold Coast and beautiful Byron, Casuarina is a one-stop-shop for everything you could need and want on a weekend drive, starting with coffee and breakfast at Tucker cafe, which proudly pumps out locally-loved Blackboard Coffee. Then, just meters up the footpath, is Nikkou Store; a beautifully-curated boutique that stocks many Australian-owned brands like Spell, Peony swimwear, St Agni and Zulu & Zephyr. If you’re looking to stay a night or two, we recommend Grounds of Cabarita a superbly renovated 1960s beach house close to everything you need in this little coastal slice of Tweed heaven.
Nestled in the Border Ranges, Tyalgum is a cute-as-a-button community that has a lot to offer those on the tiny town trail. The Tyalgum General Store is the heart and soul, providing fresh produce, coffee and delicious local treats to take home. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, wander over to Tyalgum Gelato Shop where they make authentic, artisan Italian ice cream. The best time to visit Tyalgum is the fourth Saturday of each month to enjoy the village market where you can meet the locals and truly appreciate handmade homegrown delights. No visit would be complete without an ice-cold frothy from the Tyalgum Hotel—built in 1926, this vintage gem is the ideal spot to finish your tour of this classic Tweed town.
Ready to hit the road this weekend? Check out these short Gold Coast scenic drives.
Image credit: Destination NSW, Nikkou Store, Kaitlin Maree