School holidays activities Big Volcano Activities & Attractions Directory

Looking for Holiday activities, attractions, and things to see and do in the Ballina, Byron Bay, Tweed Valley, Gold Coast hinterland region of New South Wales and Queensland, Australia?

Photo courtesy Casino Mini Railway, Casino

Whether it’s sport and recreation, natural attractions, or things to see and do, our extensive Big Volcano Activities & Attractions Directory, has local directories listing all known tours, attractions and places to go.

You’ll find a different place to visit every day!  Some are free, others have excellent family tickets, others offer special holiday tickets.  Our directories also include personally selected tours and attractions in the region, as well as an extensive telephone directory of all known local opportunities.

See the Big Volcano Tourist Attractions directory in particular, for the more popular local attractions, and to book direct via their web site or online.

Our national parks, state forests and natural and scenic tourist attractions are also popular during the school holidays, especially on the weekends, so you might prefer to schedule a visit to these during the week, and soak up the country atmosphere at nearby towns and villages on the way back to your Big Volcano accommodation.

Photo by Big Volcano:  Wollumbin (Mt Warning) National Park, Lyrebird walk.


Murwillumbah Museum reopens

Last days to see breastplate exhibition
Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah reopened yesterday – Tuesday 17th January, 2017, after a temporary closure as a safety precaution during repairs to the building’s air conditioning system.

The Queensland Road facility was closed last week after a piece of the air conditioner ceiling ducting became loose, prompting concerns about public safety.

A solution to secure the ducting, to protect the safety of visitors and staff, has been put in place by Monday as an interim measure until full repairs to the air conditioning system can be completed.

Breastplates exhibition ends this Saturday

Only a few days remain to see one of the Museum’s most significant and thought-provoking exhibitions – of breastplates given to Aboriginal people associated with the Northern Rivers in the late 1800s and early 1900s – before the display ends this Saturday.

Current exhibitions also include some of the most beautiful butterflies from Australia, Asia and South America, featured in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February.


Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah is located at 2 Queensland Rd, Murwillumbah and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

For further information about the Museum visit or 

Photo captions:
1. Only a few days remain to see the thought-provoking Aboriginal breastplates exhibition at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah. Photo by Justin Ealand.
2. The Richmond Birdwing featured in the Beautiful Butterflies exhibition on display in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February. Photo by Trevor Worden.

Knox Park Free Day Sunday 13th March

Looking for something to do in Murwillumbah tomorrow?

Then come along to Knox Park and join in Park Week activities for a celebration of great outdoors.

skateboarding_workshop_170448_640 Photo: Free skateboarding workshop for beginners at Knox Park as part of Parks Week 2016.

A skateboard workshop for beginners, yoga and story-telling will be among a number of free activities at Murwillumbah’s Knox Park tomorrow, Sunday 13 March, to celebrate Park Week 2016.

The inaugural Free Day in the Park will be held at the Nullum Street park from 10am to 12.30pm and will also include arts and crafts, drumming and a free barbecue for participants.

“Everyone’s invited to this community event to celebrate our great outdoors,” Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne said.  “We hope to see the park packed out with people having fun, trying out all the different activities, enjoying the park’s fantastic new facilities, and catching up with friends and locals.”

Council’s Director of Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, said there would be activities for people of all ages, to “celebrate the Tweed’s wonderful outdoor spaces”.

Free_Day_KnoxPark_170329_480 Photo: Storytelling with Annie Bryant

“Tweed residents are particularly passionate about our fantastic parks. That was evident in the feedback we received during community consultation for a new Open Space Strategy being created by Council,” Ms Stinson said.

Parks Week is jointly organised by Parks and Leisure Australia and the New Zealand Recreation Association, to promote the benefits provided by parks and open spaces.  Events are being held concurrently in Australia and New Zealand on that day to raise awareness on the value of parks and open spaces, and to get people to enjoy the outdoors.

The Knox Park celebrations will include a yoga class by Free 2 Be Yoga for all ages and abilities, stories and songs for children with entertainer Annie Bryant, and a beginners skating workshop at the new skate park with Ownlife.

The Coolheads youth service will host drumming groups, slackline activities, a barbecue and sumo suit wrestling. Arts and crafts will be coordinated by Possums Community Preschool.

Previous Parks Week activities in the Tweed included two other Council-supported events, the Tweed Enduro triathlon at Pottsville last Saturday (5 March) and the Relay for Life in Kingscliff today (Saturday) 12 March.

The Knox Park Program tomorrow includes:
 Yoga for all Ages (45-minute class) – 10am and 11am
 Skateboard workshop (1-hour class) – 10am and 11am
 Songs and Stories for Children (30 minutes) – 10am and 11am
 Drumming, slackline and sumo suit wrestling – 10am-12.30pm
 Art and Craft – 10am-12.30am
 Free barbecue for participants – From 11am

Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom

– ends –

See also: Big Volcano towns: Murwillumbah

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.

Margaret Olley Art Centre receives national recognition

Tweed facility wins prestigious MAGNA Award

The Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre tonight won a prestigious national award from the peak Australian body for museums and galleries.


Photo caption:  An interior view of the Margaret Olley Art Centre at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah.

The Gallery was presented with a Museums & Galleries National Award (MAGNA) in the Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fitout category at an awards ceremony at Sydney’s Town Hall.  Other finalists in this category included the Australian War Memorial, Royal Australian Mint, Shrine of Remembrance, the Australian Botanic Garden, Western Australian Museum and the Aviation Heritage Museum.

The award was accepted by Tweed Regional Gallery Director, Susi Muddiman OAM and Tweed Shire Council General Manager, Troy Green.  “The project was a culmination of great teamwork and the community working together and we certainly couldn’t have done without the commitment of Council and the resources of our support organisations – the Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation and the Friends of the Gallery – and the work of the dedicated staff team,” Ms Muddiman said.


Photo caption: Chair of the board of Museums and Galleries NSW, Jennifer Barrett, MOAC’s first curator, Sally Watterson, Tweed Regional Gallery Director, Susi Muddiman and CEO Museums & Galleries NSW, Michael Rolfe.

“The initial gift from the Margaret Olley Art Trust was the catalyst of a period of commitment which saw the Gallery rise to new levels.  “The Gallery is part of a commitment from Tweed Shire Council to cultural facilities in the Tweed, which also includes the stunning new Tweed Regional Museum in Murwillumbah.”

Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Gary Bagnall, said all the Tweed could be proud of this great achievement.  “Last week I called Tweed the regional capital.  Today we have become a national leader.  Congratulations to all those who have throughout the years contributed to making our gallery a winner,” Councillor Bagnall said.

Council’s General Manager, Troy Green, said: “It was a very humbling experience to accept the award on behalf of the Tweed community, especially given the high calibre of the other finalists”.

“The award is testimony to the world class gallery that we have in the Tweed – something that every resident in the Tweed should be extremely proud of and have on their to-do list when friends and family are visiting them in the Tweed,” he said.

The $4.5 million Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC) at the Tweed Regional Gallery celebrates the career, life and legacy of Margaret Olley AO (1923-2011), arguably Australia’s most celebrated painter of still life and interiors.  The purpose-built extension to the Gallery, honours the wish of the late artist that her artist’s studio elements of her Paddington home in Sydney and her collections be re-created at Tweed Regional Gallery.

The MAGNAs recognise excellent work nationally in the categories of exhibition, public programs and sustainability projects. The awards are open to all Australian cultural collecting institutions who are members of Museums Australia.  The panel of judges was selected from staff at the National Museum of Australia and the National Gallery of Australia and a member of the museum-going public.

Press release and photos courtesy of TSC Media Unit Friday 22/5/2015.

Margaret Olley Art Centre celebrates successful first year

New works tell of an incredible life

Tweed Regional Gallery has received a very special present to celebrate the first anniversary of the Margaret Olley Art Centre, with a gift of 14 works by the iconic artist.

The Margaret Olley Estate recently announced the gift to the Tweed Regional Gallery collection to help celebrate the anniversary of the official opening of MOAC on 15 March 2014.  To mark the occasion, a selection of these works were displayed in the Gallery foyer at a gala dinner on Saturday 7 March.

Big Volcano Visitor Guide: Tweed Regional Gallery

Margaret Olley’s niece and representatives of the Margaret Olley Trust were among 75 guests at the event, hosted at the Tweed Regional Gallery by the Gallery Foundation.   Also on display were gifts of the Friends of the Tweed Regional Gallery, the Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation and private donors.

Margaret Olley, The Lands Office Gifts from the Estate included The Lands Office (1967) [above] and Still Life with Seafood (1948) which both survived a fire in 1980 that destroyed the Olley family home Farndon in Brisbane and many of Olley’s early works. 

Gallery Director Susi Muddiman said the dinner provided an opportunity to thank the community for the triumph of the Margaret Olley Art Centre.   “The Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation, Friends and the Margaret Olley Estate have contributed enormously to the success of the Centre,” she said.

The Margaret Olley Art Centre has attracted more than 135,000 visitors since opening in March last year, almost doubling the Gallery’s annual attendance figures.

All new works will remain on display in the Gallery foyer until 5 April 2015.

Photo caption:
Margaret Olley, The Lands Office, Sydney (Cnr Bent and Loftus) 1967, ink and watercolour, 60 x 42 cm, Gift of the Margaret Olley Estate, 2015, Tweed Regional, Gallery Collection , ? The Margaret Olley Estate

Courtesy of TSC Media Unit Wednesday 13 March, 2015

See also: Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Art Galleries; Regional art galleries and retail art galleries in the Northern Rivers NSW – Gold Coast hinterland QLD area.