Just inland from Byron Bay, in the shadow of the area’s tallest peak, Mt Warning, are the cute towns of the Tweed Valley, number 38 on Australian Traveller’s ‘100 amazing places you haven’t been to yet‘. Nominated by: Georgia Rickard, AT editor, Craig Tansley, travel journalist.
Drive just west of Murwillumbah into the shade of the area’s tallest peak, Mt Warning, and you’ll find yourself face to face with beautiful, big sweeping views of fruit farms, cattle, forest and riverland, and a landscape dotted with cute little towns yet to be coloured by the Byron brush.
Stop at Uki, which was part of the lucky four per cent of NSW to avoid the state’s recent drought (rendering it “so green you can’t help but comment,” says Rickard), and you’ll be surprised by the range of activities.
“Mavis’s Kitchen is really good; they serve up home-grown, organic produce on a big balcony that looks across the valley,” says Tansley. You can sleep there afterwards (from $199 per night).
Other must-sees include a handful of antique stores (which offer bargain basement prices), the nine-kilometre return hike to Mt Warning’s summit, and a stay at “conversation-worthy” Amazing Wollumbin Pines Retreat (from $350 per night), adds Rickard.
Next, drive on to the unassuming village of Chillingham, where farmer Buck Buchanan grows some of Australia’s most exotic vegies at Chillingham Bush Tucker, advises Tansley.
He grows Buddha’s hands fruits, Japanese yuzu fruit, kaffir limes, local Davidson plums, and fragrant lemon myrtle, but you must make sure you try his native fingerlimes, says Tansley – they’re so good, they’re supplied to Tetsuya’s.
Then drive a final 15 minutes to Tyalgum, “a really cute little town with just a few little things for tourists,” says Tansley. “Flutterbies [the café] in particular is gorgeous, but there’s an old school pub here that plays music on a Sunday afternoon. It’s very cool.”
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