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					                                                the guide.




the
tweed
coast
Look beyond Byron Bay to the relaxed 
NSW Tweed Coast, with its idyllic blend  
of pristine beaches, lush rainforest, casual 
dining and produce with a tropical flavour.
WORDS sarah macdonald
PHOTOGRAPHY jared fowler




Amazing Wollumbin Palms  
Retreat, Mt Warning


                                                 delicious.  67
the guide.




Nestled between the Gold Coast and Byron       fatbellykat                                         Once you’ve stocked up on staples, stroll
Bay, the NSW Tweed Coast has often             For fantastic modern Greek fare, look to         to the Fish Co-op (Old Pacific Hwy, Boat
played second fiddle to its louder, flashier   this cool taverna where Katerina Williams        Harbour, Brunswick Heads, (02) 6685 1773)
neighbours, but now this north-east pocket     creates vibrant mezze, and her husband,          and take your pick of just-landed whiting,
is becoming a destination in its own right.    Damian, runs the floor. Plump olives from        flathead, bream; prawns and oysters.
From Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads           nearby Casino are cured onsite, and make a
to Kingscliff and Casuarina Beach, the         great start to a meal that might see you         hotel brunswick
region is blessed with a relaxed atmosphere,   sample sumac-dusted cuttlefish; excellent        This grand old dame gazes out across
idyllic beaches and pristine rivers. Journey   lemon-spiked saganaki cheese; prawns             a sprawling beer garden to the pelican-
inland to the sub-tropical climes of Mt        in a piquant chilli, tomato and capsicum         dotted river beyond. Settle under an ancient
Warning and you’ll find lush rainforest and    sauce; and sticky cherry and praline ice         poinciana tree for a cold beer and a steak        Maureen Smith and Todd Arnell of Three Little 
a variety of accommodation options, from       cream. Finish with a Greek coffee, then bid      with mushroom sauce. This is the kind of          Figs, Kingscliff. Clockwise from top right: 
eco-lodges to unique retreats. Whether you     farewell satiated and grateful that your bed     easy-going place where a neighbour who            scallop tortellini at Bamboo, Kingscliff; Katerina 
spend a few weeks in one spot on your          is just a short stroll away. 26-28 Tweed St,     notices you eyeing off his oysters might          Williams of FatBellyKat, Brunswick Heads; 
                                                                                                                                                  her sticky cherry ice cream; Three Little Figs; 
summer break, or explore the region with       Brunswick Heads, (02) 6685 1100.                 introduce himself and send one your
                                                                                                                                                  their antipasto platter. Opposite, from far left: 
an easy-going road trip, is entirely up to                                                      way. Thanks, Flipper! Mullumbimbi St,             Brunswick River; Peter Clarke, Sandi Allaway 
you. But as the many tree- and sea-changers    conti                                            Brunswick Heads, (02) 6685 1236.                  and Charlie Ebell of Mavis’s Kitchen,  
who’ve moved here can attest, once you         Chef Stephen Tuckwell flexes his creativity         Nearby, Sticky Fingers (26 Mullumbimbi         Mt Warning; Mullumbimby’s Middle Pub. 
visit, you may find it hard to leave.          in this sleek, urban space. Here, indoor and     St, Brunswick Heads, (02) 6685 0222) has
                                               outdoor blend seamlessly, and the finishing      funky old-school booths and thin-crust
brunswick heads                                touches – from vintage French posters to         pizzas. Cheekily named offerings include a
& mullumbimby                                  leather-bound menus and bentwood chairs          meaty Mick Jagger with ham, pepperoni
The quintessential seaside town, Brunswick     – make for an impressive dining experience.      and chorizo, and a Diana Ross supreme. In
Heads is all laidback charm and seemingly      The food is a cut above cafe food, too,          Mullumbimby, try Milk and Honey (5/59a
endless summer. In the off-season, this        with choices ranging from breakfasts of          Station St, (02) 6684 1422), for fine woodfired
village at the mouth of the Brunswick River    buckwheat and apple hotcakes with                pizzas with pared-back toppings.
hums along with the gentle rhythm of a         caramelised banana, to pan-fried whiting
paddle steamer. Come December, though,         with a fennel and olive salad for lunch. 3       the breakers at bruns
its population swells with families and        Park St, Brunswick Heads, (02) 6685 0493.        Ideal for large groups, this big block can be
friends who’ve been coming back for years.        Stephen’s latest venture, Pantry No. 8        leased out for 20, or as four self-contained
From here, it’s 10 minutes inland to           (8 Park St, (02) 6685 1118), offers a range of   units. The real star is the quarter-acre yard,
Mullumbimby, where the wide streets and        cheeses, trout from Tweed artisan smoker         a grassy haven boasting hammocks and
hay-laden utes meld with New Age shops         Rodina, and Bangalow Sweet Pork sausages         sun lounges for lazing about, and a cabana
and organic markets. In keeping with this      and ham. There’s also fruit and veg, pastas      with barbecue. From $600 per unit per
casual vibe, the dining options in both        and oils, and ready-made meals from Conti        week. 32 Fingal St, Brunswick Heads, (02)
towns are suitably relaxed.                    for days when you don’t feel like cooking.       6685 1010, thebreakersatbruns.com.au.


68  delicious.
the guide.

   Nearby, Brunswick Seaside Holidays               santos trading                                  mt warning
(brunswickseasideholidays.com.au) offers            For earthy offerings, look to this huge         & surrounds
five comfortably appointed cottages and             wholefoods grocer in a stately Federation       From the coast, it’s an easy 50-minute drive
apartments, sleeping between four and               building. Along with baskets of imperfect       north-west to idyllic Mt Warning. Named
six, with outdoor entertaining areas and            but flavour-packed lemons, tomatoes and         Wollumbin, or ‘cloud catcher’, by the local
barbecues. From $690 per week.                      Asian greens, find vats of quinoa and           Bundjalung people, this imposing caldera
                                                    amaranth grains, dried fruit and tamari         is the first place in Australia to catch the
la table                                            almonds. There’s also a range of intriguing     morning sun, and it stars in some pretty          The beach at Brunswick Heads. Clockwise 
Mullumbimby locals have been eagerly                Japanese ingredients, from sticky natto         spectacular sunsets, too. As Captain Cook         from left: just-picked produce at Mavis’s 
awaiting the opening of La Table, Louise            to agar-agar and arame seaweed. Cnr             once did, use the mountain as your compass        Kitchen, Mt Warning; their tomato and 
                                                                                                                                                      goat’s cheese bruschetta; Mavis’s is housed 
and Bruno Pouget’s brand-spanking new               Burringbar and Stuart sts, (02) 6684 3773.      point to navigate the vibrant Tweed Valley
                                                                                                                                                      in a charming 100-year-old Queenslander; 
cafe-cum-restaurant. This cheffing duo                 Another good option is Edens Landing         and the towns of Uki and Murwillumbah.            Stephen Tuckwell is the man behind Conti 
brings experience from their restaurant in          (4 Stuart St, Mullumbimby, (02) 6684 1007)                                                        and Pantry No. 8 in Brunswick Heads.
Provence, as well as Bruno’s time at Dish           where, along with a rainbow of local            mavis’s kitchen and cabins
and Gaia Retreat in Byron Bay, to present           organic produce, you can source top-notch       When Charlie Ebell and Peter Clarke closed
cafe meals on one side and French bistro            sourdough or Turkish loaves from Jordans        their lauded Gold Coast restaurant, Harley
fare next door – think boudin of mulloway           and yoghurt from Barambah Organics.             Street Brasserie, last year, not only did they
with a vermouth sauce. 70-72 Burringbar                On the third Saturday of the month,          bring their expertise to the Tweed, they
St, Mullumbimby, (02) 6684 2227.                    head to the Mullumbimby Museum                  brought the building with them, too. Now
                                                    Market (Stuart St, Mullumbimby, (02)            sitting pretty on 10 hectares, this darling
poinciana cafe                                      6684 3370), where a host of regional            100-year-old Queenslander is fast becoming
If you’re after a bold beginning, opt for a         producers gather to sell their wares.           a foodie fave, thanks to the organic kitchen
brunch cocktail in this leafy cafe. With a             For deli goods, D-Lush (28 Burringbar        garden and homestyle fare from Charlie
Bambuddha of sparkling wine and guava               St, Mullumbimby, (02) 6684 1660) stocks a       and chef Sandi Allaway – think rustic paté,
juice under your belt, tuck into corn fritters      small range of boutique products including      or antipasti of home-grown veg and local
with a killer housemade chutney, or one of          Tetsuya’s dressings, Northern Rivers Olive      prosciutto. Stay in one of their country-chic
the Caribbean-style mains, such as Cuban            Oils, and lemon-myrtle vinegar and chilli       cabins for the full Mavis’s experience.
fish with a citrus mojo sauce or Jamaican           jam from All the Best Fine Foods. You’ll        From $190 per double per night, including
jerk chicken. From Thursday to Saturday,            also find slabs of housemade rocky road         breakfast. 64 Mt Warning Rd, Uki,
imbibe in the bar, an eclectic space adorned        and decadent choc-raspberry fudge cakes.        (02) 6679 5664, maviseskitchen.com.au.
with bright Mexi-kitsch tablecloths and the            While you’re in the area, call into Nadine
memorabilia acquired by owners Karin                Abensur’s Art Piece Gallery (105 Stuart St,     the white olive
and Keven Oxford during the 15 years they           Mullumbimby, (02) 6684 3446). Here, the         This rustic restaurant offers an interesting
hosted the iconic Blues & Roots Festival. 55        doyenne of vegetarian cuisine now also          blend of mod-Asian and Italian flavours.
Station St, Mullumbimby, (02) 6684 4036.            plys a fine trade in avant-garde artwork        With wife Simone on the floor, chef Le Ping
   Locals in search of a schooner pull up a         and hand-thrown ceramics. Nadine also           Wong does simple pastas and a range of
stool at the front bar of the historic Middle       runs great vego cooking classes covering        adventurous Asian specials. From this
Pub (46 Burringbar St, Mullumbimby,                 everything from modern Middle Eastern to        menu, choose scallops with ginger and
(02) 6684 3229), a century-old charmer              elegant French and a New Year’s detox.          shallot or miso-glazed salmon on wakame
that’s all wrought-iron lacework and                Visit: nadineabensur.com for details.           salad. Finish with a perfect pannacotta, or
breezy balconies. The brasserie has recently                                                        crepes with a Russian ricotta filling made
shifted focus from schnitzels and steaks to         the mullumbimby chocolate shop                  to Simone’s family recipe. 7 Nullum St,
crowd-pleasing Mediterranean options.               From behind a counter filled with hundreds      Murwillumbah, (02) 6672 3000.
                                                    of lolly jars, Sharon Allen dispenses sweet        For breakfast or lunch, look to Sugar
sushi wala                                          remedies, as a mixed bag of customers calls     Beat (2/6-8 Commercial Rd, Murwillumbah,
For a sushi fix, follow the signs at the florist,   in for a dollar’s worth of eucalyptus drops     (02) 6672 2330), a cute retro shop turning
down the alleyway and past the tattoo               or their favourite liqueur truffles. Lucky      out cakes and bread baked on-site. Pick up
parlour to this Japanese gem. Perch on a            dips, sherbets, slurpies and giant freckles     a fruit-and-nut loaf to go, or stay for a steak
petite wooden stool at the low-slung tables,        will give you cause to reminisce, while         sanger or a slice of mulberry shortcake.
or assume the lotus position in the chilled         coffee from nearby Myocum, and choc-            Around the corner, Luffley Cafe (2 Wharf
tatami room, and dine on nigiri sushi, nori         coated strawberries and macadamias add          St, Murwillumbah, (02) 6672 8590), with its
rolls and virtuous salads. 3/55 Burringbar          a regional gourmet flavour. 1/104 Dalley        chandelier and waistcoated waiters, does
St, Mullumbimby, (02) 6684 4315.                    St, Mullumbimby, (02) 6684 4825.                eggs in various guises, salmon croquettes,


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                                                                                                        Dine in style at Bamboo, Casuarina Beach. 
                                                                                                        From far left: Mullumbimby’s Sushi Wala  
                                                                                                        is a hidden gem; Nadine Abensur of Art 
                                                                                                        Piece Gallery hosts great vegetarian 
                                                                                                        cooking classes in Mullumbimby.




and a neat range of wines by the glass. And     ecoasis                                         fins restaurant
for a dash of culture with your caffeine fix,   This exclusive eco-retreat boasts six chalets   Since departing Byron Bay last year, chef
visit the Tweed River Art Gallery (2 Mistral    scattered throughout the forest. Immaculate     Steven Snow has found himself a sleek new
Rd Murwillumbah, (02) 6670 2790), a sleek       suites offer the ultimate in indulgence, from   home at Salt. Do cocktails and tapas at Fins’
set-up that enjoys impressive valley views.     fragrant candles and myriad MOR body            white marble bar, or linger over a meal in
                                                products, to spas and showers that open         the vine-shrouded dining room. Here,
the modern grocer                               into the bush. Deluxe hampers, barbecues        cataplana (Portuguese seafood and saffron
Jo Nimmo’s stylish food store, housed           and kitchens full of cookbooks and every        broth) shares space with fish tagine and
within a row of Art Deco shopfronts, is a       conceivable utensil mean you may never          tuna sashimi on a daikon salad. Whatever
pure delight. Since moving here from Berry      wish to leave; a pool and walking trails        you choose from this atlas of flavours, the
on the South Coast three years ago, Jo’s        will satisfy any wanderlust. From $550 per      common denominator is superbly fresh
built up a great deli range, including cheese   double per weekend. Tatyewan St, Uki,           seafood prepared with aplomb. Shop 5,
from Tweed Valley Whey, Rodina smoked           (02) 6679 5959, ecoasis.com.au.                 Bells Blvd, Kingscliff, (02) 6674 4833.
fish, oils and dressings. 1/3 Wollumbin St,                                                        Also in the Salt complex, Mahsuri Thai
Murwillumbah, (02) 6672 5007.                   amazing wollumbin palms retreat                 (Shop 7) turns out good curries, salads and
   If your tastes tend towards the exotic,      Weave your way through this tranquil            inventive desserts of macadamia brownies
then call in to Banana Cabana (Nerang-          property, with its gentle creek and zen         with Vietnamese mint ice cream, or tofu,
Murwillumbah Rd, Chillingham, (02) 6679         stone statues, and discover three unique        lemon and passionfruit ‘cheesecake’.
1022). Yes, they sell bananas, but Gerard       abodes. This kid-free retreat offers utter      Saltbar (Shop 1) courts families with its
and Anne Buchanan’s shop also stocks an         escapism, with outdoor showers and spas,        expansive verandah, beer-battered snapper,
exciting range of native foods from their       coffee machines and fresh-baked bread.          hefty steaks and pies. For divine gelati,
chemical-free farm out back. Stroll through     The Javanese-style King’s Lodge is our          visit Gelateria Vernazza (Shop 9). Owner
the garden, then take your pick of finger       pick, with its intricate teak ceilings and a    Valentino Giannoni hails from Cinque
limes, Buddha’s hand citrons, Davidson          serene platypi-filled pond. From $345 per       Terre, Italy, where his parents still run a
plum jams and bergamot marmalade.               double per night, including a breakfast         gelateria, and his dynamic flavours include
   On the way into Kingscliff, visit Tropical   hamper. Mt Warning Rd, Mt Warning,              silky mascarpone and Nutella; vanilla,
                                                                                                                                                NADiNE ABENSuR PHOTOGRAPHy: PRue ROScOe




Fruit World (Duranbah Rd, Duranbah, (02)        (02) 6679 5063, wollumbinpalms.com.au.          lemon zest and wild strawberries; and a
6677 7222), a 165-hectare farm that produces                                                    shocking-pink sorbet of dragonfruit
a dizzying array of exotic fruits. Along with   kingscliff                                      and passionfruit.
50 varieties of mango, plus soursop,            Years ago, Kingscliff was just like any other      With the beach, parks and all of these
dragonfruit and rambutan, discover the          coastal town. These days, the caravan park      dining options at your door, Mantra on
‘miracle fruit’ berry (it makes sour foods      and chip shops are joined by family-focused     Salt Beach (Gunnamatta Ave, Kingscliff,
taste super-sweet). Finish with a wedge of      resorts, such as the huge Salt complex, and     1800 117 258, mantraonsaltbeach.com.au.)
black sapote (chocolate pudding fruit) and      a host of dining options, from casual cafes     is ideal for families. The complex boasts
cream, and a spin around the gift shop for      to city-smart restaurants (thankfully, with     more than 300 rooms built around a central
its flavoursome dressings and teas.             nary a skyscraper in sight).                    pool area. From $125 per double per night.


72  delicious.
the guide.




                                                                                                           Luxury eco-lodges at EcOasis, uki.
                                                                                                           Clockwise from left: relax by the stunning 
                                                                                                           pool at Santai, Casuarina Beach; the Altwood 
                                                                                                           Lodge at Amazing Wollumbin Palms Retreat. 




peppers at bale                                    plunge pools, plus The Golden Door spa          domain santai resort
On the opposite side of Salt Central Park,         and Roughie’s Restaurant. From $234 per         Just 5 minutes south of Salt, the new Santai
this classy resort offers 42 suites with bright,   double per night, including breakfast.          resort at Casuarina Beach has a refined
minimalist interiors and a bevvy of quality                                                        Balinese feel, thanks to a stunning lagoon
extras. Enjoy beach or parkland views from         roughie’s                                       pool and elegant breezeway. Choose from
the balcony of your one, two or three-             Peppers Salt’s restaurant offers surprisingly   one- and two-bedroom suites, all decked
bedroom apartment, or laze by the pool.            edgy food with an Aussie accent. Native         out with spas, king-sized beds and
Miele appliances, L’Occitane bath products         ingredients, such as finger lime and akudjura   kitchenettes, and offering ocean or pool
and personalised service make for a                (bush tomato) from Banana Cabana (see Mt        views. You can do as much or as little as
sumptuous stay. From $379 per double per           Warning & Surrounds), star in a creative        you like here: borrow a bike and ride along
night, with breakfast. Pass St, Kingscliff,        line-up from chef Kylie Burke. French           the boardwalk, curl up with a book in the
(02) 6674 7777, peppers.com.au.                    technique and Asian notes are also at play      lounge area, indulge in a massage poolside
   Nearby, Peppers Salt Resort & Spa               in a menu that boasts house-smoked quail        or at the day spa, or dine at acclaimed new
(Bells Blvd, Kingscliff, (02) 6674 7777) offers    in galangal broth, and duck consomme            restaurant Bamboo. From $283 per double
smartly appointed rooms, from studios up           with ox-cheek dumplings. Bells Blvd,            per night. 9 Dianella Dr, Casuarina Beach,
to three-bedroom suites, some with private         Kingscliff, (02) 6674 7766.                     (02) 6674 9988, domainresorts.com.


74  delicious.
the guide.


                                                                                                    map key
                                                                                                    Amazing Wollumbin Palms Retreat .... 1
                                                                                                    Art Piece Gallery ................................16
                                                                                                    Bamboo ..............................................12
                                                                                                    Banana Cabana ................................... 4
                                                                 9.
                                                                                                    Banora Point Farmers’ Markets .......... 9
                                                                                                    Brunswick Heads Fish Co-op .............15
                                                                         10.                        Cafe Sbiza ...........................................10
                                                                          11.                                     .
                                                                                                    Choux Box  ..........................................10
                                                                                                    Conti ...................................................15
                                                                        12.
                                                                                                    Domain Santai Resort ........................12
                                                                  8.    13.                                                            .
                                                                                                    Down to Earth Organics  .....................10
                 4.                  5.   6.
                                                                                                             .
                                                                                                    D-Lush  ...............................................16
                                                                                                    EcOasis ................................................ 3
                                                                                                    Edens Landing ....................................16
                                           7.                                                       FatBellyKat .........................................15
                                                                                                    Fins Restaurant ..................................11
                                2.
                      1.                                                14.                         Gelateria Vernazza .............................11
                                                                                                    Hotel Brunswick .................................15
                                                                                                    La Table ..............................................16
                           3.
                                                                                                    Luffley Cafe ......................................... 6
                                                                                                    Mahsuri Thai.......................................11
                                                                                                    Mantra on Salt Beach .........................11
                                                                                                    Mavis’s Kitchen and Cabins ................. 2
                                                                                                                    .
                                                                                                    Middle Pub  .........................................16
                                                                                                    Milk & Honey ......................................16
                                                                                                    Mullumbimby Chocolate Shop  ...........16    .
                                                                                                    Mullumbimby Museum Markets ........16
                                                                                                    Pantry No. 8 ........................................15
                                                                                                    Peppers Salt Resort & Spa .................11
                                                           16.         15.                          Peppers at Balé ..................................11
                                                                                                    Poinciana Cafe ....................................16
                                                                                                    Pottsville Beach Markets ...................14
                                                                                                    Roughie’s ............................................11
                                                                                                    Saltbar ................................................11
                                                                                                    Sandbar + Grill ...................................13
                                                                                                    Santos Trading ...................................16
bamboo                                          pork belly and squid salad. Next door,                                  .
                                                                                                    Sticky Fingers  ....................................15
One of the Tweed’s smartest dining rooms,       pick up gourmet goodies, sandwiches and                             .
                                                                                                    Sugar Beat  .......................................... 5
Bamboo is in a prime position overlooking       just-baked eclairs from The General Store.          Sushi Wala ..........................................16
                                                                                                    The Breakers at Bruns .......................15
the glam pool at Santai. Executive chef
                                                                                                    The Modern Grocer ............................. 6
Greg Pieper’s accomplished tasting menu         three little figs                                                         .
                                                                                                    The White Olive  ................................... 5
skips from oysters and a light and bright       This fresh face on Kingscliff’s main street         Three Little Figs .................................10
starter of ocean trout confit with crab and     impresses with its smart fit-out, switched-         Tropical Fruit World ............................ 8
pea tendrils, to pork cheek with scallops       on service and fab cafe fare, such as a             Tweed River Art Gallery ...................... 7
and herb gnocchi. The well-conceived wine       chicken, prosciutto and pumpkin salad, or
list features top Aussie drops and some         a lofty beef, fennel and rosemary burger. At
worthy imports, such as a zippy Salomen         the deli counter, choose pretty cupcakes         on Tuesdays and Saturdays, as well as a
riesling from Austria. 9 Dianella Dr,           from Bangalow’s Choux Choux, Pottsville          range of pastas, mueslis, honeys and jam.
Casuarina Beach, (02) 6670 5500.                smallgoods or a global range of cheese. 3/78        On the first and third Sundays, head
   Greg Pieper also oversees the menu at        Marine Pde, Kingscliff, (02) 6674 1126.          north to Banora Point Farmers’ Market
                                                                                                                                                                  illustration: PRiSCiLLA NiELSEN




Sandbar + Grill (Barclay Dr, (02) 6674             Down the road, Choux Box (1/94 Marine         (Leisure Dr, Banora Point, (0417 759 777) for
9961), a more casual option that achieves       Pde, (02) 6674 1993) is a good spot for coffee   free-range lamb, antipasti and fresh pasta;
a cool coastal aesthetic with earth-toned       and house-baked cheesecake; while Cafe           or south to Pottsville Beach Markets
banquettes, stacks of cushions and woven        Sbiza (Shop 2, 86 Marine Pde, (02) 6674          (Phillip St Reserve, (02) 6676 4555).
cane lights. A broad menu features familiar     4140) prides itself on original breakfasts.      Thanks to Tourism New South Wales for
faves, such as pizza or sirloin with café de    Down to Earth Organics (1/98 Marine              assistance with this story. For more information
Paris butter, and creative Asian gear like      Pde, (02) 6674 2140) has fresh fruit and veg     on the Tweed Coast, visit: visitnsw.com. d.


76  delicious.

				
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Description: the tweed coast