Jam-packed January at Tweed Regional Museum

Activities for kids, historic holiday exhibition and more opportunities to visit

Murwillumbah’s Tweed Regional Museum is well and truly in the school holiday spirit, kicking off special Saturday trading hours and bringing back a popular exhibition that gives a nostalgic look at the Tweed’s beach culture.

Museum Director Judy Kean said the facility usually opened on the first Saturday of each month but in January would open every Saturday.

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Photo caption: View of a museum display from the mezzanine floor, © by Big Volcano Tourism

“We know that the post-Christmas and New Year period before school goes back is often a time when families and visitors are looking for something to do and somewhere to go,” Ms Kean said.

“During January we will also have a number of activities set up in the courtyard for children to enjoy, including activities related to a shipwreck exhibition and the Brick by Brick: Build your own capital interactive exhibition that has been available at Murwillumbah Library recently.

“Children can try their hands at building some local historic buildings out of LEGO, including the 1915 Shire Hall and the Fingal Lighthouse.”

Ms Kean said an exhibition about the Tweed’s beach history was back by popular demand.

“Holidays and Hokey Pokey: Tweed Beach Images features images and video footage from the collection, including some wonderful footage by Charles Simpson,” she said.

“Images include postcards dating from the early 1900s when the area first became popular as a holiday destination, crowded beaches during the 1950s and ’60s, holiday makers promenading in Tweed Street, crowded campgrounds at Tweed Heads around 1910, images of the famous Boyd brothers hauling in nets full of fish off Greenmount Beach around 1950, as well as Hokey Pokey contests and girls trying out Malibu boards at Greenmount in 1961.”

Ms Kean said the footage would be on continual loop in large format on the Keith and Norman Tong Images of the Tweed Wall throughout January.

January opening hours for Tweed Regional Museum, Murwillumbah:
•    Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm
•    Every Saturday until 30 January, 10am – 4pm

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Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

See also Big Volcano Amusements, Cinemas & Indoor Entertainment guide and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings

New playground open for adventure at Tweed Heads

Ray Pascoe Park marks milestone for playground replacement program

A brand new playground is now open at Ray Pascoe Park in Tweed Heads, marking a milestone for Council’s playground rationalisation and replacement program.

The $70,000 upgrade to the facility, located on Kennedy Drive, includes an adventure play structure with slides, a climbing wall, track rider, double swing, carousel and an interactive play structure.

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Photo caption: Mia and Ella Hrenek have given their stamp of approval to the brand new playground at Ray Pascoe Park, Tweed Heads.

Resident Jerry Hrenek said his daughters Mia (5) and Ella (2) tried out the new playground and was pleased that the equipment was suited to both younger and older children.

“The playground is safe and in a beautiful spot, and because of the mulch the kids don’t hurt themselves if they fall over,” Mr Hrenek said.  “Mia loved the two slippery slides and Ella loved the interactive cafe, which is great for the younger kids; we don’t have anything bad to say about it.”

Council’s Manager – Recreation Services, Stewart Brawley, said Council maintained 82 playgrounds throughout the Shire and had the replacement program in place for when structures could no longer be safely repaired.

Mr Brawley said the budget for playground replacements was limited, making well-used structures a first priority.  “Coastal parks are currently our most heavily-utilised playgrounds,” he said.

“Some of the recent ones installed at Kingscliff or Hastings Point can have over 40 kids on them at any one time, and this calls for other necessities like car parking, barbeques and more amenities.  “It’s a problem we need to deal with, but it just shows how successful and well-used these new parks are.”

Council has undertaken engagement with the community to develop a Shire wide Open Space Strategy, which aims to determine community expectations and use this information to ultimately develop better parks.

For more information on playgrounds in the Tweed Shire visit www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/ParksAndGardens and for more on the Commercial Recreation Activities on Public Open Space draft policy visit http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/PublicSpaceCommercial

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Originally released 15/5/15

Courtesy  Tweed Shire Council Newsroom

See also Big Volcano Amusements, Cinemas & Indoor Entertainment guide and Big Volcano Natural and Scenic Attractions

Overcome jet lag in Australia

Overcome jet lag from Europe or the Americas, with a short stay in the Northern Rivers – Gold Coast region of Australia.

Yes, we get it.  We’re a long way away from where you are, and the flights are sooooo long and tiring, and you don’t have much time and you want to SEE EVERYTHING – right now!

But wait just a minute.

If you can, try to add on a day or two at the beginning or end of your great Aussie adventure, to relax and recover from the flight, or to have enough time to go through your departure checklists and schedule in a relaxed mood, and maybe even catch up on those “Aussie moments” you might have missed elsewhere. 

With two international airports; Brisbane International Airport (BNE) and Gold Coast Airport (OOL), serving Asia, the UK, Europe, and the Americas, our region is a great place for visitors who want to relax before flying out, and for inbound visitors to have a day or two to recover from jetlag ahead of their forward travel in Australia.

There’s lots you can do to get acclimatised after your long flight, or catch up on before your leave. DSC_1381_LyreBirdWalk_a

  • Laze on any one of the hundred or so beaches from Ballina in the south, all the way to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in the north.
  • Take a personalised half day or full day hinterland World Heritage rainforest tour complete with delicious treats and traditional Aussie BBQ lunch (check out our Day Tours directory.)
  • Go alfresco dining and people watching at any one of the number of “Eat Streets” in the region.
  • Catch up on gifts and souvenirs (and post them to yourself so they don’t add to luggage weight), or buy that essential must have you left at home.  With every kind of retail therapy imaginable; from shopping centres and outlet shopping offering boutique and luxury brands, through to Australian designers, arts and crafts, plus Farmers Markets and Weekend Monthly Markets, you’re sure to find what you want.
  • Or how about some real “pamper me” beauty therapy, day spa, massage and energy re-alignments.
  • Meet the locals you missed seeing on your travels, or get acquainted with Australia’s unique native animals at a wildlife park (we recommend Fleays Wildlife Park at West Burleigh Heads).
  • You didn’t get to Bondi Beach in Sydney?  Well, in that case, go for a swim or learn to surf at the almost equally famous Coolangatta Beach on the Gold Coast or Main Beach in Byron Bay.  Odds on, you’ll be standing up by the end of your (first) lesson.
  • If surfing doesn’t appeal, there’s always a coastal kayak tour and paddle with the dolphins, and whales in season.
  • Or if you prefer something more tranquil, try an estuary/creek paddle tour and experience the scenery from a different view.
  • Or you can do nothing at all and just chill out on the balcony of your apartment overlooking the beach or river
  • Or retreat to the hinterland and enjoy the serenity of Australia’s rainforest accommodation options (where they probably won’t even have mobile phone access.  How’s that for peace and quiet?)

Did we miss anything you’ve discovered visiting this region?  Why not let us know via our Facebook or Twitter channel.

Wollumbin National Park closed

Mount Warning aerial view

Mount Warning seen from the air by David Palmer, 2005

Visitors to the Tweed Valley and Northern Rivers region who were hoping to climb the iconic Mt Warning in Wollumbin National Park, have been disappointed to find that the park is closed for safety reasons, due to extensive storm damage to walking and climbing tracks, and other park infrastructure, in early 2013.

Reconstruction work has commenced and is expected to take until at least the end of 2013.

The question on visitors lips is, “what is there to do instead of the climb?”

Well, that depends on why you wanted to do the climb in the first place.

For the views?  To get back to nature?  Experience the rainforest?  The challenge?

There are lots of things to see and do in our region, other than climbing Mt Warning, and over the next few posts, we’ll bring some of the more popular, and maybe a few unusual choices, to whet your appetite.

But first, a brief description of the Mt Warning Climb.

“An 8.8km round trip walk leads from Breakfast Creek parking area and winds through ever-changing rainforest communities to eventually reach viewing platforms atop the summit. The walk is, on average, a five hour trip with the last section being very steep.

There are no facilities on the summit – camping and fires are not permitted here or in any other area of the park.”  (Extract courtesy Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Mount Warning National Park)

For a more detailed description, check out “The Big Climb” by Stuart O’Neill.

So, here now are a few “local” places and other opportunities to explore during your stay, that can provide the thrill of the climb, the chance to get back to nature and experience the calm of the rainforest, and the views of the caldera, without wondering about the disappointment of missing out on the Mt Warning climb.

Art Gallery – Panorama Painting

Green Cauldron Panorama Painting Caldera Art Gallery at the Murwillumbah Visitor Information Centre, and experience the grand 360 degree view from the summit of Mount Warning Wollumbin.  Surround yourself with the 20 metre long highly detailed painting – over a year in the making, and be inspired to further explore the magnificent landscapes of Australia’s Green Cauldron.

If you’re inspired by the art, then your next stop should be The Tweed River Art Gallery at Mistrel Road, which has panoramic views of the Tweed Valley including – of course, Mount Warning and volcanic ring dykes.

The gallery usually has at least one touring exhibition, and often a craft workshop or masterclass by an exhibiting artist.  The gallery is home to the late Margaret Olley Art Centre and the Australian Portrait Gallery.

The Gallery Cafe has delicious local coffee and treats to enjoy as you look out over the Tweed landscape which inspires so many of our local artists and artisans.

Alternative Views

As an alternative for views, Razorback Lookout (Google Maps location) can be easily reached by car, for the best views of Tweed Heads and the surrounding tapestry of rivers, oceans, mountains and valleys, just behind the Tweed Heads CBD.

If the physical contest of the climb was your goal, then try Razorback as a challenging walking track … “start on the beachfront at Coolangatta and finish on a high plateau in New South Wales… [a] test your fitness level!

The Walking route is along concrete paths and sealed roads [and] slowly climbs and finishes at Razorback Lookout, or officially … “Tom Beatson Outlook”. ” (Extract courtesy of Palm Beach Directory retrieved 16/04/13).  More information at Palm Beach Directory – Razorback

Adrenalin Pumping

You can also get the adrenalin pumping at Circus Arts Byron Bay (02) 6685 6566, Mountain Bike Tours (NSW) Byron Bay 0429 122 504 and Paramount Indoor Rock Climbing Centre West Burleigh (07) 5593 6919.

Scenic Views

And if the view is the thing, then a scenic drive to Border Ranges National Park is the go for the Pinnacle walk and lookout.  “Without a doubt, the journey along the Pinnacle walk to Pinnacle lookout is one of the highlights of the whole park and not to be missed.

It’s a short walk through World Heritage-listed rainforest before the track reaches Pinnacle lookout. Spectacular views include the coastline, the crater escarpment and to Wollumbin-Mount Warning.

If you’re an early riser, and even if you aren’t, it’s definitely worth making the effort to see the silhouette of Wollumbin when the sun rises – it’s a completely inspiring way to start your day in Border Ranges National Park.”
(Extract courtesy of NSW National parks and Wildife Service retrieved 16/04/13)

Or you can also check out Blackbutt Lookout.

Tweed Valley View

Tweed Valley View from Blackbutt Lookout by David Palmer 2002

Located a kilometre or so south of the Pinnacle Lookout, Blackbutt Lookout has some limited parking, with the wheelchair friendly lookout platform and toilet, and picnic tables and benches with great views overlooking the Tweed Valley and to Mt Warning.  A convenient alternative for those who are unable to walk distances.

(Please note – Roadworks and repairs are ongoing in Border Ranges National Park, so please take note of signage and instructions.)  More information at NSW NPWS Border Ranges NP.

Hope you like these options.  We’ll be covering more bushwalking and rainforest experience picks in our next post.