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.

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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 Kunghur and Midginbil, NSW 2484

Northern Rivers Countryside

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Clarrie Hall Dam at Crams Farm, photo © Big Volcano® Tourism

Like most rural settlements in the region, Kunghur and Midginbil were established when timber getters harvesting the sub tropical rainforests, cleared the way for dairy and cattle farmers.

Photo © courtesy of Midginbil Hill

Dairy and cattle farming remain the primary industries, with outdoor activities like bushwalking and birdwatching available at budget camping grounds, and affordable retreats dotted around the district.

Attractions include Crams Farm Recreation Area via Midginbil.

The catchment for Clarrie Hall Dam, the primary water supply for the Tweed Valley, Crams Farm is a “local secret”.

The entry gate is open from 7.30am – 5.30pm, and extensive facilities include under-cover free electric B.B.Q.s, picnic tables, amenities block and shelter shed.

An all weather cricket pitch and kiddies playground near the main BBQs, provides family fun in stunning scenery.  Or you can enjoy an open air fireplace, dotted around the wide open spaces, under the trees.  Even with a large number of people using the facilities, it will seem deserted.

Crams Farm is also becoming popular as a wedding location, with Wollumbin/Mount Warning providing a stunning backdrop across the dam waters.

Nearby Midginbil Hill EcoResort which specializes in 3 day weekend weddings, also offers its own spectacular location for wedding ceremonies, with on-site accommodation and the reception venue included.

The Mt Burrell General Store, with a petrol bowser out front for those low on gas, serves the Mount Burrell and Kunghur communities, and is well stocked with groceries and food basics.

Next door, the Sphinx Rock Cafe offers alfresco dining while you admire the magnificent rural views, or groove out at their very popular Sunday arvo gigs, showcasing local talent.

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Rural view from Kyogle Road, photo © Big Volcano® Tourism

Three World Heritage Gondwana Rainforest listed properties are within easy drive.

Wollumbin (Mt Warning) National Park is less than 30 minutes drive north, with the road following the meandering path of the Tweed River, while Nightcap and Border Ranges National Parks make for a pleasant full day driving tour to the south and west.

For more information see Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Kunghur and Midginbil.

Disclosure: Midginbil Hill EcoResort is a Big Volcano Tourism customer.

Crams Farm, NSW, 2484

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Crams Farm, Tweed Valley, NSW, © Big Volcano® Tourism

Crams Farm, Tweed Valley, NSW.

As seen on “Camp” TV series (2013 NBC), probably “I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here” (UK), and also for eagle eyed TV advert watchers, Mitsubishi Motors “Living out the back of the car” TV ads, but most notably in more and more wedding videos.

Villages of the Big Volcano

Northern Rivers, Gold Coast Hinterland and Scenic Rim

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Chillingham General Store, photo © Big Volcano Tourism

Many rural villages in the Northern Rivers are experiencing a revival in popularity, as young families and retirees decide to “treechange”, and move from the cities to the more relaxed atmosphere that seems to epitomise “the country”.

As a result of the agricultural, farming and logging pioneer past, you’ll find a general store, usually with an Australia Post agency attached, and a garage or petrol station, which usually doubles as the local NRMA or RACQ (motorists association) depot, in most of the villages throughout the region.

In larger hamlets and villages there’s almost always a pub with a restaurant or bistro, which often also provides comfortable but basic accommodation.

Previously empty shops laying long vacant due to changing demands and the “drift to the city”, are being reopened as cafes, arts & craft outlets, and other boutique services, while country markets are springing up in far flung villages, giving local residents a chance to get together more often, and visitors to have a day trip opportunity to a more rural location.

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Tyalgum street sign, photo © Big Volcano Tourism

Cafes offer menus with dishes using ingredients grown on-site, and farm restaurants hidden away in the hinterland, invite guests to experience a “paddock to plate” dining experience.

Local guest houses, B&Bs, homestay and farm stay accommodation provide an ideal location for those who really want to get away from it all, especially the never-ending demands of mobile phones.

Mobile reception can be patchy, and some villages may be in “black spots”, so it’s a wonderful chance enjoy a self imposed “digital detox”.

Many village destinations are popular for weekend getaways, especially the Gold Coast hinterland and Mount Tamborine in Queensland, and Uki near Mount Warning / Wollumbin, in New South Wales.

Beachside villages are usually more developed than their rural counterparts, with a wider range of shopping and professional services available,  including banking and medical services.

Beachside villages are also very popular with families during the QLD and NSW school holidays, with many caravan and holiday parks, and holiday apartments displying “no vacancy” throughout the holidays.

Check out the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Volcano Villages for an index to the beachside and rural villages of the region, with more information, including accommodation options, local tours & attractions, and how to get there.

Villages include Bonalbo and Tabulum, Kunghur, Uki, Chillingham, Mount Tamborine, Pottsville Beach, Hastings Point and Cabarita, Tumbulgum, Tyalgum, and Woodenbong.

About Twin Towns, NSW-QLD border

Tweed Heads, NSW, 2485 and Coolangatta, QLD, 4225

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Hangin’ ten at Coolangatta Beach, photo © Big Volcano Tourism

The Twin Towns can best be summed up by the three Esses: Sun, Sand, and Surf.

Located at the mouth of the Tweed River,  Tweed Heads in New South Wales, and Coolangatta in Queensland, share a main street that straddles the state border.

Some of the best sun bathing, swimming and surfing beaches in Australia are found here, with free barbeque and picnic facilities provided at adjacent beachside parks, by Tweed Shire and Gold Coast City councils.

Over the last decade, the area has re-established itself as a family resort destination, with modern luxury apartment and resort developments featuring sweeping ocean views, sitting alongside quaint single and two story Queenslander style lodgings converted to affordable backpacker hostels.

While the sporting clubs with their gambling and entertainment facilities cater to those who love the nightlife, the beach and ocean are still the primary natural attractions, with water based activities of all sorts easily accessible from here.

Fishing charters will take you on day trips “outside” for ocean fishing, or if your sea legs aren’t quite up to it, check out the local bird watching walks, with a number of accessible walks around the Tweed River and estuary.

Cook Island which is located just off the Fingal Head coast, is a popular diving and snorkelling spot, while Jack Evans Boat Harbour offers a safer “calm water” option, where you may even see the occasional dolphin or turtle swimming with the shoals of fishes.

Local institution – “Big Trev Watersports” has Stand Up Paddle, kayak and sailing equipment hire, and will include a lesson to get you started.

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Into the Blue at Cook Island, photo © Tony Tunstall, with permission

Guided day tours to the hinterland and world heritage rainforests, are available.  And 45 minute drive to the north, the obligatory day trip to the Gold Coasts’ famous theme parks will thrill the kids.

And when you’re too pooped to make like a masterchef in the kitchen, there are more than enough cafes, restaurants and eateries to choose from, from a stroll along Marine Parade and Griffith Street.

It can truly be said that Tweed Heads and Coolangatta stand between civilisation and the wilderness.

Here you can enjoy a Gold Coast stay, indulging in the beaches and the nightclubs, the rainforests and the retail therapy, all in the same day if you’ve got the energy!

Check out the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Tweed Heads / Coolangatta for more information, accommodation options, local tours & attractions, and how to get there.

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Tweed Heads and Coolangatta, photo © Matthew Lewis Photography, with permission