Big Volcano® (Wollumbin) Visitor Guide

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Murwillumbah, NSW, 2484

Place of Many Possums

Tweed Regional Gallery - Murwillumbah

Very much a traditional style agricultural centre, Murwillumbah is located nearly exactly in the middle of the Mt Warning caldera, with the nearby Mount Warning commanding almost every view.

The seat of the Tweed Shire Council, Murwillumbah also serves as the commercial centre for the smaller villages and residential developments in the valley.

Photo: Tweed Regional Museum - Murwillumbah, © D Palmer

The rich alluvial soils washed down from the slopes of the eroding volcanic outcroppings support the production of sugar cane, mixed small crops and vegetables.

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Accommodation in Murwillumbah and nearby

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Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat

EcOasis Resort
EcOasis Resort

Hosanna Farmstay
Hosanna Farmstay

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Local Tours & Attractions

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Tweed Regional Gallery & MOAC

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Tweed Regional Museum

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The surrounding foothills have dairy and beef farms along with bananas, and fruit and nut orchards.

Many primary producers are diversifing into crops like coffee, native bush tucker, or have started operations in farm forestry to supply sustainable saw milling operations.

Much of the volcanic slopes are cloaked in dense forests of mixed sclerophyll euacalypt and rainforest types, most of which are reserves or national parks.

The heights are primarily protected as World Heritage listed Natonal Parks, and you can get a birds eye view from a scenic flight around the caldera from the Murwillumbah airfield or glider flight from Tyagarah airfield, just north of Byron Bay.

Gold Coast aiport at Coolangatta is just 25 minutes drive north.

The town's location on the Tweed River provides direct access vast areas of estuarine lakes for small boats, and to the ocean at the Tweed heads river entrance.

Accommodation

Extensive and diverse accommodation around Murwillumbah ranges from backpacker lodgings, cottages, caravan parks, B&Bs, pubs and motels though to exclusive 5 star cabins.

Many lodgings are within walking distance of the rail and coach stations, or a short and scenic drive out of the town in surrounding villages and localities like Uki and Crystal Creek.

Murwillumbah Showground Trust has a designated Primative camping area with 26 sites managed by the local volunteer committee. Short term accommodation (up to 1 week), with standard charges of $20.00 pn for 2 people apply.  Hot showers, toilets, electricity, water and great scenic views are available. And it's just 500 metres walk to Main Street retail shopping.  (Please note, the campground is not available during major events such as the Murwillumbah Show. See Big Volcano Camping Grounds for camping options in the region.)

Attractions

You'll hear locals refer to it as "Mur-bah" and debate the claim that Murwillumbah means "Place of many possums" in the local aboriginal dialect.

With a number of historic buildings in the art deco or federation style along Main Street, many of the shop fronts reflect the era, while there are also a tempting range of al fresco cafes and eateries scattered along its length for you to sit, relax and enjoy the ambience of a small country town.

For individual cafe and restaurant listings, check out Big Volcano Cafes & Teahouses and Restaurants & Bistros directories.

For a more unique view, take in a pizza or coffee and delicious cake on the balcony of The Regent Cinema (circa 1947) in Brisbane Street, just before enjoying a screening of the latest popular and art house films.

Levy wall art © Big Volcano

Photo: Treasures of the Tweed - Murwillumbah levy wall art, © D Palmer

Caldera Farmers Market, is held (mainly undercover) at the showground every Wednesday, and is a great chance to meet and talk with local growers and getting fresh produce.   The monthly Murwillumbah Community Market, is on the 4th Sunday.

Check out the Big Volcano Farmers and Weekend Markets directory for details of all local markets.

The Murwillumbah Visitor and World Heritage Rainforest Centre, as well as providing tourist and visitor information, has intersting displays of the gological and human settlement. They also host the Caldera Art Gallery, with artists in residence and displays of their work.

Condng Sugar Mill. The Condong Sugar Mill (established in 1880) is located on the left-hand side of the Pacific Highway, 4 km north-east of Murwillumbah. From July to November visitors can view the sugarcane being processed. Inspections are for small groups and by prior arrangement. (fully-covered shoes are essential), tel: (02) 6670 1700.

Madura Tea Estates on Clothiers Creek Road about 5 klms east of Murwillumbah, offers guided tours on Tuesday and Thurday at 10am and 3pm where visitors can view the tea making process from "plant-to-pack" production. Groups of 10 or more please tel: (02) 6670 6000 prior.

Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

MOAC - Marget Olley Art Centre, Tweed Regional Gallery © BVTM&M

Photo: Tweed Regional Gallery, MOAC - Murwillumbah, © J Palmer

The Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, on Mistral Rd, South Murwillumbah, is open from 10am - 5pm Wednesday to Sunday, and is renowned not only for the commanding views over the Tweed River and valley, but is also home to the Margaret Olley Art Centre, a bequest from Australian artist, the late Margaret Olley.

The MOAC features fully transplanted rooms from her Sydney home, with all objects and items in situ.

The gallery also features travelling exhibitions, local artists exhibtions, Art photographs, contemporary art and craftworks including ceramics, glass, fibre and timber, and various artistic activities during school holidays.

Tweed Regional Museum - Murwillumbah is located in the original Tweed Shire Council Chambers of 1915, and features locally significant objects such as the massive Robey steam engine, the original Council Chambers meeting table and larger-than-life fibreglass Banana Jim, mascot of the annual Banana Festival.

Video interviews with local families and business owners provide insights into life in a small country town, and iPads offer access to additional information and collections.  Temporary exhibitions are frequently scheduled with evening talks from local curators and experts.

The Tweed Regional Museum - Murwillumbah, is open from 10am - 4pm Tuesday to Friday, and 10am - 4pm on the 1st Saturday of the month. Schools and tour groups are welcome.

Getting to Murwillumbah

World Environment Day 2011 kids art © Big Volcano

Getting to the region is easy: Visitors can reach Murwillumbah by road and rail, with air services available at Gold Coast Airport, Lismore Airport and Ballina /Byron Gateway Airport.

Road

Murwillumbah is approximately 821 kilometres - about 11 hours drive north from Sydney, and approximately 132 kilometres - about 90 minutes drive south from Brisbane, via the Pacific Highway.

Driving options include the primary coastal Pacific Highway, and inland Summerland Way (via Kyogle) in New South Wales, and from Queensland you can take the Pacific Highway, or come via the Nerang - Murwillumbah Road through the pictureque Numinbah Valley, and enjoy a scenic drive along the north arm (Rous River) via the village of Chillingham.

Air

Murwillubah airfied © Big Volcano Domestic flights operate from all capital cities to Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta and Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport. A number of international carriers servicing SE Asia, New Zealand and the Pacific fly into Gold Coast Airport.

Intrastate flights are also available to Lismore Airport with REX airlines. All airports have airport car hire or other car rental services available nearby.

Daily airport transfer services between Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport and Gold Coast Airport, are available to selected localities in the region, with some shuttles also going to Brisbane International Airport. Visit Gold Coast Airport Transfer Services for more information.

Coach/Rail

Daily interstate coach services to Brisbane and Sydney setdown outside the CountryLink Travel Centre (railway station) Visitor Information Centre, and Sunstate (CountryLink) coaches set down and pick up for transfers to Casino, for the daily or overnight train between Sydney and Brisbane. See Countrylink services for timetables and more information.

Getting Around

Visit Murwillumbah - Transport Services Information for more transport information, including trains, coach and local bus schedules, taxis, airport, and transfer services. Northern Rivers Carpool  provides locals and visitors with the opportunity to share transport in the region.

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