About Woodenbong and Urbenville, NSW

Yowie Country

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Mount Lindesay Photo © Courtesy Woodenbong Progress Association

If you make to Woodenbong or Urbenville, then you’re well and truly in the “woop woops” of the Wollumbin Volcano!

This is not to say you’ve strayed “beyond the black stump”, although you’ll see a few of these around as a result of the timber getting of earlier times.

If you want experience Australia’s rugged backcountry and countryside vistas without getting beyond the black stump and into the outback, then you’ve found it here.

Dairying and cattle raising, some timber milling, and a farm tourism presence are the mainstays, with the Scenic Rim food bowl over the border in Queensland, providing an abundance of fruit, vegetables and gourmet products like olives and cheese, with a now well established boutique winery trail also a popular attraction.

A popular inland route for “grey nomads”, the Summerland Way/Mount Lindesay Highway via Woodenbong, traverses Focal Peak volcano series, with the most outstanding features being Mount Lindesay in New South Wales, and Mount Barney in Queensland.

If you’re heading north into QLD, Woodenbong is your last chance to stop, stretch your legs and re-fuel before beginning the climb over the “scenic rim”.

Open your vehicle windows and listen out for the distinct and constant “tink tink” calls of Bellbirds in the forests as you cross the border into Queensland and head for Mt Barney, Rathdowney and country towns of the south east.

Area attractions accessible via Woodenbong and Urbenville, include national parks of the “Focal Peak group”, and for railway buffs, the Spiral Loop section of the Sydney-Brisbane line, which can be viewed  from the Lions Road Scenic Link about 45 km south of Woodenbong, toward Kyogle.

Accommodation is limited to farm cottages, cabins and home stays tucked away on large farms or bush blocks adjacent to nationals parks and reserves, while caravanners can find facilities at Urbenville Forest Park, and Woodenbong Camping Ground.

Community camping grounds are also available at Mallanganee and Bonalbo, while walk-in bush camping is available at some national parks, with rugged bush camping a popular and permit limited feature at Mt Barney National National Park.

Tooloom Falls Aboriginal Place in Tooloom National Park, just south of Urbenville, is a special place shared with permission of the local Githebul/Gidabal and Wurlavul peoples.

For more information, please visit the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Woodenbong and Urbenville, which has short descriptions of drives and national parks, links to accommodation, and transport options for getting there.

About Uki, Mount Warning, NSW, 2484

Photos © D Palmer, Big Volcano® Tourism

Founded on timber getting and dairying, Uki (pronounced yook-eye) is a beautiful and peaceful village located virtually at the foot of Wollumbin / Mt Warning, with the village name believed to be derived from the aboriginal name for a water fern with edible roots.

Uki is a community based on dairying, with a base of tourist accommodation and residential small acreage.

The village has been a listed Conservation Area since 1987, with heritage buildings including the old Convent, the old Bank Building and the old butter factory, now known as “The Buttery” and converted to art and craft galleries and artisans workspaces.

While the historic Mt Warning Hotel burned down in 2013 and has now been rebuilt, visitors recovering from a Wollumbin (aka Mt Warning) climb, or on a scenic weekend drive, looking for a friendly country pub to enjoy a break, can soak up the ambience and admire the rural views there.

Or if alfresco is more your style, there are a couple of cafes where you can relish your caffeine hit.  Or find your way to the rear of The Buttery to Uki Pies, where they’re “made with love”, and you can savour a pie, sitting at a nearby riverside picnic table.

The weekly weekend farmers market and monthly market bazaar fill the area surrounding The Buttery with fresh produce stalls from local farmers and local traders.

Just about anywhere in Uki will provide you with stunning views of Mt Warning and ring dykes commonly known as “the 3 Sisters”, while Mount Warning Road leads to the World Heritage listed Wollumbin National Park.

Lodgings in the village and surrounding area, including Mount Warning Road, include both affordable and luxury B&Bs, campgrounds and motel style accommodation.

Hosanna Farm Stay Offers a range of affordable accommodation options including comfortable cabins, “safari huts” to suit families, couples and singles, and a camping ground with powered and unpowered sites.

Facilities include communal lounge, kitchen and dining area, laundry, internet access, and a wood fired sauna next to our swimming and kayaking dam.

Kids can help with feeding the animals, collecting eggs, and try milking the cows.  They’re also dog friendly (in the camping area only). From AUD $12 pp pn. camping to $160 pn. for cabins.

For more Uki accommodation options check out the listings on Booking.com.  (Booking.com affiliate link)

Disclosure:  Hosanna Farm Stay is a Big Volcano Tourism customer.

For more information, please visit the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Uki, Mount Warning, which has short descriptions of other local attractions and national parks, additional information about accommodation, and transport options for getting there.

About Tyalgum, NSW 2484

Tyalgum is an old cedar getting village, located under the rim of the caldera due west of Mt Warning.  This agricultural community produces mostly dairy and beef, but many new settlers are diversifying into alternative crops and enterprises such as coffee.

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Tyalgum Hall © 1996. Courtesy of Tyalgum Classical Music Festival. Optimised by Big Volcano

Famous for its hall, renowned for its acoustics and the attendant Classical musical festival each September, and the many hills, hikers and cyclists with strong legs can stay in the Tyalgum Hotel and other nearby accommodation.

Popular as a weekend drive destination, you’ll often see car club members parked up opposite shops, while motorbike clubs make a stop at Tyalgum Pub, on a riding tour which often includes stops in Chillingham, Murwillumbah, Uki or the Sphinx Rock Cafe at Mt Burrell.

Day visitors can enjoy a stroll along the main street, and visit a variety of arts and crafts shops dotted along its length, or enjoy fresh from the oven treats with your coffee at Flutterbies Cottage Cafe, a coffee and gift shop situated in the “Old Bakery” building circa 1926.

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Tyalgum village signs.  Photo © Big Volcano® Tourism

The Tyalgum Gelato Shop, located adjacent to the hall, like some other shops is open on weekends only, and is already a local favourite.

The Tyalgum Village Market, held on the 4th Saturday of the month, adds to the village atmosphere.

If BYO is more your thing, you can enjoy the local atmosphere with a BBQ picnic at Norco Park, opposite the pub, or let the kids run free at the Skate Park opposite the Hall.

Upgraded with new skate facilities and a playground in 2017, the skate park has day picnic facilities with free electric BBQs, picnic tables, public toilets, and needless to say (but we will anyway), a stunning view to Mount Warning/Wollumbin.

Norco Park, on entry to the village, and adjacent to the Oxley River, has a more cosy, peaceful feel, with older but still serviceable picnic facilities.

For visitors staying more than a few days, you can top up with fresh local produce and general supplies at the Tyalgum General Store, and “travel slow” when you hire an electric bike to explore the area.

Local accommodation includes the Celestial Dew Guest House & Day Spa Retreat (Booking.com affiliate link), and Tyaglum Camping Ground, which is managed by the local volunteer Showground committee.  It’s popular with caravanning clubs so be sure to check availability.

For more information, check out the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Tyalgum, which has a short description of more attractions and national parks, as well as information about accommodation, tours and attractions, and transport options for getting there.

About Tumbulgum, NSW, 2490

Located about 15 kilometres north of Murwillumbah, and 20 kilometres south from Coolangatta, Tumbulgum is a picturesque village with views over cane farms and to the foothills of the caldera, conveniently located just off the Tweed Valley Way.

Originally called the “Tweed Junction”, or just “The Junction”, the name was changed to the aboriginal derivation of “Tumbulgum” in 1880 at the behest of residents, whose petition said the name meant “meeting place of the waters”.

Popular with locals who come for the riverside picnic facilities, visitors can stretch their legs with a stroll along the heritage shop fronts or to partake of the enormously popular lunches and evening meals at the Tumbulgum Tavern.

A plaque monument to well known local Faith Bandler is a feature on the river bank opposite the tavern.

Local cruise and tours operator, Mt Warning Tours, offers river tours & cruises from the jetty, and you can browse for gifts and souvenirs at local arts and antique outlets.

A visit to the nearby historic Tumbulgum Cemetry, the first in the Tweed Valley, and resting place of many of the area’s European colonists from 1887 to 1947, is an intersting side trip, while Ilnam Estate Winery at Carool, and Tropical Fruitworld at nearby Duranbah will whet your whistle and tastebuds – depending on your preferences.

Piggabeen Valley Market is held on the 3rd Sunday from 9am – 1pm (NSW) Febraury to November, with live music, arts, crafts, food, coffee & local produce.

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Tweed Marina.  Photo © Big Volcano® Tourism

A handful of seasonal private weekly holiday rentals come and go, but most holiday accommodation is available at larger settlements nearby.

Alternatively, why not experience Tumbulgum, and the Tweed river upstream as far as Murwillumbah, as many visitors do, from the water, with a houseboat holiday?

Ideal as a day trip, driving options include the Tweed Valley Way via Murwillumbah, and the Bilambil and Terranora scenic ridge drives via Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast from Queensland.

For more information see Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Tumbulgum.

About Tomewin, NSW, 2484 and Currumbin Valley, QLD, 4223

Border Crossing

Straddling the Queensland/New South Wales border about 20 kms inland from Tweed Heads and Coolangatta, the European history of Tomewin and the Currumbin Valley dates from the mid 19th century when the first settlers engaged in timber getting, cattle grazing and banana growing.

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Currumbin Valley.  Photo © Big Volcano® Tourism

Connecting the Currumbin and Tweed valleys, the steep terrain of the route was a feature of any travel along Tomewin Road.

The road now offers an exilerating ride for motor cyclists who need to be paying attention to the road conditions, while car passengers can enjoy alternating mountain views and valley vistas.

Present day Tomewin has seen the general demise of farming with only a few holdings of bananas remaining and the area given over to smaller subdivided lots where hobby farming is practised.

Unfortunately, there are few licensed accommodation providers currently operating on Tomewin Road, (check out “The Luxury Eco Rainforest Retreat“), and just one or two small providers along Currumbin Creek Rd, with most places to stay located on the coast at Currumbin Beach.

Disclosure: “The Luxury Eco Rainforest Retreat” and “Currumbin Beach” links are Big Volcano Tourism Booking.com affiliate links.

However, Tomewin Mountain Road is a popular Sunday drive or midweek day trip, and provides the chance to “discover” a few local attractions, including Freeman’s Organic Farm Stall.

The place to be on Sunday, Freeman’s has live music from 10 am to 2 pm, adding to the atmosphere as you enjoy organic coffee and the delicious cakes on offer.

At other times, you can pick up your organic fruit and veggies as you take time to admire te sweeping views from Mt. Cougal to the ocean, and perhaps even get a brief history of the farm from David Freeman, 4th generation descendant of Arther Freeman, who is credited with establishing Australia’s banana industry in the early 1900s.

Keep driving up the mountain, and hop across the border into New South Wales, for a lovely scenic drive into Murwillumbah.  A thiving alfresco cafe scene and some of the best baristas in the business, won’t disappoint.

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Cougal Cascades.  Photo © Big Volcano® Tourism

In the valley proper, Currumbin Valley Rock Pools are a long time local favourite for a dip on long, hot summer days, with rock “slides” worn smooth by generations of coasters’ enjoying the refreshing waters, and where kids can spend hours exploring the pools and rock formations.

At the headwaters of Currumbin Creek, the Mt Cougal section of Springbrook National Park has a day picnic area at “Cougal Cascades”, with car parking, picnic tables, public toilets and a sealed walking track suitable for wheelchair access, leading to a number of viewing platforms, along the creek.

For more information see Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Tomewin and Currumbin Valley.