Tumbulgum NSW

The picturesque New South Wales village was established in 1866 and is the prettiest rural village in the Tweed Shire. Tumbulgum (pronounced Tum-Bowl-Gum) is located at the confluence of the Rous and Tweed Rivers; with magnificent views of the iconic and majestic ‘Wollumbin’ Mount Warning and surrounding Border Ranges. There is loads of things to do in Tumbulgum from water-based activities on the Tweed River to exploring the village’s history and landmarks. 

Originally, the riverside village was named ‘Tweed Junction’ in reference to the ‘meeting place of the waters’. Tumbulgum has a rich and exciting history and there are numerous reasons why you should visit this small village nestled in Northern Rivers NSW. According to the 2016 census data, the population of Tumbulgum and North Tumbulgum with the NSW postcode 2490, is 661 residents, living in 294 dwellings.

Fishing, boat cruising and water-based activities such as jet skiing are popular recreational drawcards to Tumbulgum’s river life. Picnic tables and grassed areas along the riverbank are meeting places for locals and visitors. Recreational spaces include Faith Mussing / Bandler Park and Tumbulgum’s Junction Park childrens playground on Government Road.

Beautiful photo opportunities abound!

If you’re looking to snap a few dramatic sunset photos, head to Riverside Drive and capture the sun going down over Mount Warning. Wollumbin Mount Warning is the first place to see the sunlight in Australia and is the centrepiece of the Tweed Valley.

Finding interesting photographic subjects, isn’t difficult in Tumbulgum, whether it be a dog, the landscape, a historic building or an activity on the river. It is easy to see why Tumbulgum is a photographer’s dream location. 

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Where is Tumbulgum?

Tumbulgum New South Wales is located 1 hour 20, south of Brisbane CBD, 20 minutes south of Coolangatta Gold Coast International Airport and less than an hour from Queensland’s most famous Gold Coast beach, Surfers Paradise. Beautiful Byron Bay is 40 minutes’ drive south of Tumbulgum. 

It is an ideal lazy Sunday daytrip or short stay destination for weekend road warriors. Groups of motorbike riders and cyclists’ enthusiasts are attracted to Tumbulgum’s destination as a pit-stop for lunch, coffee or a cold beer.

Where to Stay?

Holiday accommodation in Tumbulgum is limited to floating accommodation (Berger House BoatsBoyd’s Bay House Boats) and private residences offered through accommodation sites such as Airbnb and Home Away.

A river boat holiday is a unique experience combining the freedom and natural beauty of the great outdoor with some home comforts. Explore the Tweed River on a houseboat holiday and along the way discover bushwalks, fishing spots, birdlife, unique flora and maybe encounter a wild river dolphin. 

For more accommodation options nearby visit Booking.com Airbnb and Home Away

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Boutique Hotel | New Hotel

A 16-room boutique hotel has been proposed on the old marine site on Riverside Drive. Completion is expected by the end of 2019.

Holiday Letting | Mid-Week | Weekend Stays

Residents of Tumbulgum interested in casual holiday letting can list their property on Booking.com Airbnb and Home Away. You can rent out your property on a casual basis, such as when you’re on holiday. Registration is simple and fast to complete. Get started today!

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Other Nearby Towns | Cities

There are many eclectic villages and towns just a short drive away from Tumbulgum. Tweed Valley is a beautiful place to explore. 

You can check out these accommodation options:

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Tumbulgum Shops | Eateries | Tavern

Tumbulgum Tavern  | Metropolitan Hotel

Tumbulgum Tavern is part of the history and folklore of the village. The pub was established in 1887 as the ‘Metropolitan Hotel’, it was the first unlicensed pub (grog shanty) and oldest pub operating in the Tweed.

The sprawling riverfront pub boasts an enormous bistro menu and $10 evening meals. Brimming with atmosphere, the Tumbulgum Tavern is the kind of community-minded pub where families are welcomed with open arms. With a shady beer garden, childrens’ outdoor playing area and an extensive kids’ menu, Tumbulgum’s longest standing pub is also one of the most family-friendly pubs in the region.

Live music and open mic sessions are regular events at the tavern. Tumbulgum Tavern is also a destination Sunday ride on two wheels; a place where motorcyclists gather to admire each other’s vintage and classic machines.    

A large picture of a groper hangs on the outside wall with a large fishing hook that hangs above it. Legend has it that Joe Ostram spotted the massive fish in the Tweed River and asked a local blacksmith to make a hook large enough to hold the hind of a calf. He baited up his hook and attached a 44-gallon drum float and bushel bag of rocks as an anchor. Joe’s gigantic catch weighed in at 362kg (800lbs) and was large enough that Joe 107kg (17-stone) was able to sit in its mouth with still some headroom.

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House of Gabriel | Licensed Restaurant

House of Gabriel Restaurant is a stunning two-story white building overlooking Tweed River and Tumbulgum public jetty. The restaurant is open for lunch (Wed – Sun) and hosts monthly dinners inspired by produce grown in the Tweed Valley. Lee Kurnell and wife Joanne expanded the business since purchasing the Tumbulgum café in 2015. The owners pride themselves on the unique history and beauty of their 1913 venue. House of Gabriel was formally ‘PJ Wright Bakery & Confectioner’, however, today it has become a place to experience the little and big moments in life, from a catch-up over coffee, to celebrating a special occasion. The premium venue speaks for itself with such a beautiful outlook!  It’s easy to see why House of Gabriel is a favourite wedding venue in Northern Rivers NSW.

On Friday nights, Lee cranks up the outdoor oven and creates delicious wood fired pizzas to take away or eat in. The riverside cafe is fully licensed with a gift shop of homemade preserves, fashion, homewares and knickknacks. 

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Birdwing Café & Curio’s

Stepping into the Birdwing Café is like walking back in time. The old-fashioned timber house café has a small courtyard overlooking the Tweed River which is suitable for four-legged mates.

Upstairs, there are cosy corners surrounded by an eclectic mix of curios from a bygone era, new and second-hand books, art and bits and pieces for sale. The quirky café is warm in winter and airconditioned in summer.

On the front steps marks the river levels from past floods and serves as a reminder of the devastating floods in 1954 and 2017. Birdwing is known for is generous servings of homemade desserts, delicious scones and homestyle dishes. 

The Blonde Baker | Bakehouse | Coffee

Tumbulgum’s bakehouse coffee shop is the heartbeat of the small village. Nicola Kendall, the Blonde Baker is fighting the war on waste by reducing and eliminating disposable coffee cups by offering a discount to customers with reusable takeaway cups. Nicola’s aim is to showcase the best quality coffee, tea and food in a friendly and relaxed environment. The menu changes regularly and includes a selection of cakes, raw treats, burgers, salads, pastries and artisan breads. The bakehouse has views of the Rous and Tweed Rivers and the houseboats and dinghies that bob-up and down on the water. 

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Tumbulgum Shop & Post Office

Ferryside General Store and Post Office is a typical small town ‘one-stop’ shop exuding timeless charm with modern appeal. The character-rich building opposite the boat ramp carries traditional merchandise like ice, milk, bread, pies, eggs, confectionary, locally-made preserves and honey. Tumbulgum is one of the small regional towns that does not have mail delivered to street mail boxes. Instead, residents have to physically collect their mail from PO Boxes or collect over the counter from the Australia Post shop within the General Store.

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Living Waters Church | Tweed River Chapel

Living Waters Church (formerly St Peter’s Anglican Church) was built in 1888 using locally grown timbers. In 2014, the Anglican diocese of Grafton was forced to sell the church to pay off debts.

Pastors Rob and Brenda Stuttle purchased the building and commenced the slow process of lovingly restoring the church to its former glory. The building has the original altar, church pews, exposed beams and timber floors. 

St Mark’s Presbyterian (1880’s – 1970’s), St Joseph’s Catholic Church (1940), Little Flower School / Convent (1942) and Police Station (1950’s) have since been converted into private homes over the past decades. Across the river at North Tumbulgum, near the original Tumbulgum settlement, stands Tumbulgum Seventh-day Adventist Church. These Tumbulgum historic landmarks are included in the village’s heritage trail. 

Husk Distillers | Local Distillery and Cellar Door Cafe

Husk Distillers creators of Ink Gin, Spiced Bam Bam Agricole Rum and Pure Cane Rum will open its distillery and cellar door to the public in early 2019. A tiny farm-shed distillery was first established in 2012 on the 150-acre cane and cattle property at North Tumbulgum.

Distiller Paul Messenger and wife Mandy and their three daughters have created a premium award-winning range of paddock to bottle Australian spirits. Husk’s alcoholic beverages are made from plantation sugar cane grown on their farm which overlooks the Tweed Valley.

From the success of their floral infused Australian craft gin (Ink Gin), the business outgrew the 9m x 7m farm-shed distillery, and in late 2016 the new purpose-built gin and rum distillery building commenced. Husk Distillers are the proud owners of the first Forsyths copper pot still shipped from Scotland to Australia. The large copper pot still is the centrepiece of the new distillery and is affectionately named the “Fat Bastard.”

Husk Distillers craft spirits Ink Gin, Spiced Bam Bam Rum and Pure Cane Rum are available Online, Dan Murphys, leading liquor stores and duty-free from Australian International Airports. 

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Cocktail Recipes

Looking for new Ink Gin Cocktail ideas? Click on the link above.

All About Australian Gins

For the ultimate guide to the Best Australian Gins check out Yellow Octopus blog here. Of course, Husk Distillers Ink Gin is on the list. 

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Tumbulgum River Tours

Michael Simmons, co-owner / operator of Mount Warning Tours has been delighting tourists with his informative day cruises on Tweed River for over a decade. For an adventure like no other, there is no better way to experience the true beauty of the Tweed than from the ‘Spirit of Wollumbin’, a traditional Huon Pine River Ferry. The ferry glides effortlessly upstream passing fertile pastures, lush cane fields together with breathtaking mountain views. Mount Warning Tours specialises in nature, educational, food, adventure and special-interest tours. 

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Tumbulgum Island

A small sandy island has formed near the bridge which connects Tumbulgum village with North Tumbulgum. The island is an ideal landing spot for water skiers and resting area for kayakers, fishermen and picnickers.

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Heritage Trail | Past and Present

Tumbulgum Heritage Trail was established in 2013 in conjunction with Tumbulgum Community Association and Tweed Shire Council. Informative signs depicting life in Tumbulgum’s past have been installed at 13 sites identifying the historical significance of the landmark. The village trail is a flat walk and takes approximately 30-60 minutes to complete.

There are two sites (Bluey Hill Park and Tumbulgum Historic Cemetery) across the river, on Dulguigan Road, North Tumbulgum. In 2016, Tumbulgum celebrated its 150 year as a settlement in the Tweed Valley. A monument was erected in Bluey Hill Park, recognising the site of the original settlement.

Close to the Two Hill Bridge is another sign commemorating the 1927 royal visit to nearby Stotts Island by Duke and Duchess of York. The future King George VI with his wife were visiting Australia for the official opening of Parliament House in Canberra ACT.

Tumbulgum Cemetery | Tweed Pioneers

From the inscriptions on the gravestones, it is not difficult to see that life for our early settlers and pioneers was not an easy one. The historic cemetery at North Tumbulgum hidden in the rainforest is the oldest resting place in the Tweed Valley (1883 – 1947). Many descendants continue to live and enjoy the life that their forebears created.  111 burials at the Tumbulgum Cemetery are listed on internet cemetery records site up until 1911. A map of the trail is available from Tumbulgum’s eateries and displayed in the Community Hall window on the corner of Riverside Drive and Government Road.

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Future King and Queen | Australian Visit

Close to the Two Hill Bridge is another sign commemorating the 1927 royal visit to nearby Stotts Island by Duke and Duchess of York. The future King George VI with his wife were visiting Australia for the official opening of Parliament House in Canberra ACT.

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Tumbulgum Hall

The 1913 Tumbulgum Hall (formerly Tumbulgum Literary Institute) sits at the southern end of the village on the banks of the Tweed River. The hall is part of Tumbulgum’s Heritage Trail and includes a  permanent informative sign outlining its rich history and historical significance.  

The beautifully maintained hall is regularly used for monthly dances, weekly yoga classes, weddings, celebrations, community activities and general meetings.

The Tweed Shire Council owned hall is managed by the Tumbulgum Community Association and is a great asset of the village.

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Primary School

Tumbulgum Public School established in 1872 was once one of the largest schools in the Tweed region. Today, Tumbulgum Public School caters from prep to Grade 6 and has 33 enrolled students.

The school is part of the Story Dog program which was first trialled in 2009 at Murwillumbah East Public School.  The non-profit Story Dog organisation was created by Janine Sigley and Leah Sheldon who lived in Murwillumbah NSW. The pair saw a reading program in the USA called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D); the first comprehensive literacy program built around the appealing idea of children and young adolescents reading to dogs. The success of the reading program has expanded throughout Australia.

A school rainforest was established in 1991. Twenty- plus years on, the trees are providing ample shade and a place to for students to relax. In September 2018, Jason King, a local indigenous artist created a masterpiece at Tumbulgum Public School. Jason is an ex-student of Tumbulgum and has strong ties with the Tumbulgum School Community.

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Community Association | TCA

Tumbulgum Community Association is an incorporated, not for profit community organisation run by, and for, the residents of Tumbulgum and North East Hinterland of the Tweed Shire. TCA is a membership organization dedicated to building better communities by providing information, education and resources. An organisation which encourages residents and local business operators to have a say about issues affecting their local area, such as flood planning, road safety, events, public space and future development in and around the village.

Tumbulgum Sporting Club

Tumbulgum Rangers Sports Clubhouse and ‘Brian Breckenridge’ field sit between Bawden Street and Tweed Valley Highway. The field was named after local resident Brian Breckenridge in recognition of his commitment to football and cricket since 1959 in Tumbulgum. The Tweed Shire Council land is also used for community Australia Day and Christmas events.   

Bus Service | Transport

A return bus service is available from Tweed Heads to Murwillumbah. Bus 605 services Tweed Heads, Tweed City, Terranora, Tumbulgum, Condong and Murwillumbah. Taxis and Uber services are available and limited. For those arriving by water, there are two public jetties; located opposite the Tumbulgum Tavern and General Store (near the boat ramp).

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M-Arts Precinct

Murwillumbah is the creative and cultural hub of the Tweed Valley.

Gallery Downtown Murwillumbah, an annex of the Tweed Regional Gallery is open in the M-Arts Precinct on cnr Proudfoot Lane and Brisbane Street, Murwillumbah, NSW.

M-Arts Precinct has been created within an art-deco building and industrial warehouse in the small town of Murwillumbah in Northern NSW.

Shipping containers have been converted in to quirky studios, workshops and shopfronts. The artists hub is a place where talented and creative minds come together with art lovers and visitors looking for new and exciting pieces of art.

Regional and visiting artists host exhibitions and workshops, where you can explore your creative side. Bacaro, an Italian restaurant has brought the art deco building back to life with great coffee and food created from local produce grown in the region.

Tweed Regional Gallery | Margaret Olley Arts Centre

Just 10k away is Murwillumbah’s stunning Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Arts Centre. Displaying first-rate exhibitions and the best panoramic views of the Tweed Valley.

MOAC was created inside the gallery in honour of the Australian artist who is renowned for her still life and interiors. After Olley’s death, more than 21,000 personal objects, paintings, including doors and doors, were transported to the Tweed Regional Gallery, where they were set up in a re-creation of the artist’s Paddington studio.

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Gold Coast Beaches | International Airport

Tumbulgum is the most conveniently located rural village of the Tweed Shire. Within 20 minutes of Tumbulgum are the fabulous beaches of the Tweed Coast; Gold Coast Coolangatta International Airport and business centres of Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads. From the Gold Coast airport, you can easily rent a car at the terminal to make the short trip south. Tumbulgum is also a gateway to Byron Bay, less than 45 minutes south. Tumbulgum is a great starting point for exploration of the region and hinterland and beaches of the Gold Coast.

Tumbulgum Real Estate

Looking for a Riverchange? Tumbulgum attracts a diverse population of families, professionals and those seeking a more relaxed village lifestyle. Real estate opportunities ranges from small cottages to sprawling riverfront homes. David Stringer, local resident and owner of David Stringer Property Services Coolangatta and Debbie Conti, First National Banora Point are two dynamic professionals who have been helping buyers and sellers get results.

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Take It All In

Whatever brings you to Tumbulgum, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of nature. Sit back and relax on the Tweed riverbank and admire the magnificent beauty of Mount Warning and surrounding cane fields and lush green pastures.  

Your Feedback Is Important

As always, I’d really love to get your thoughts on this. Do you agree Tumbulgum is a beautiful place? Have I missed anything important? What would you add?

 More Great Australian Holiday Ideas

– 5 Day Family Friendly Road Trip from Brisbane to Sydney (Part 1)

– 5 Day Family Friendly Road Trip from Brisbane to Sydney (Part 2)

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