The most northern town in New South Wales, the Tweed Heads area is also the place I get to call home. Not only is it a beautiful spot to live, it’s a really stunning spot to visit for a quick stay or a week long getaway. This guide has everything you need to know about visiting Tweed Heads, including what you can expect with the weather, accommodation options, where to eat and most importantly, where to swim.
First up, getting there. Tweed Heads is located just minutes from the Gold Coast airport (just head south from the airport, and within 5 minutes you’re on The Tweed), otherwise Tweed Heads is an easy 9 hour drive from Sydney, and just 1 and a half hours drive from Brisbane.
Why visit Tweed Heads? When I moved up just over a decade ago, the area definitely had an aging population. It was an area that people came to retire to, the pace was slow, and it felt a little like we were stepping back in time (which happens when you come from a City!).
Over the past ten years, I’ve seen so much change and development. It’s now one of the fastest growing areas in Australia (population wise), and there’s a definitely a new energy happening. Fun eateries are opening, there’s a real buzz and support for new small businesses, and it feels so fun and alive. I think that makes it a great spot to visit, teamed with all the natural beauty we have around us, it’s now a hive of trendy new eateries, bars, and places to hangout.
Tweed Heads Weather
Having moved from Sydney to the Tweed area, one of the things that I love the best is the weather. During summer the weather sits almost consistently at 30ºC, with varying humidity, which makes it ideal for swimming. Our winters are mild too, with spring and autumn the best months to visit. For an up-to-date Tweed Heads weather report, check out Willy Weather.
Where to stay in Tweed Heads
If you’re stopping into Tweed Heads for just the night, there are plenty of little motels along the river at affordable rates (usually under $100) for an overnight stay. If you’re coming for a little while, I recommend the below options for a beautiful stay.
Mantra Twin Towns
Located right on the QLD/NSW border, Mantra Twin Towns is within walking distance to beautiful beaches. The rooms are generous in size, and there are multiple pools to swim in. It’s also attached to the Twin Towns Club, for easy access to restaurants & bars.
BIG4 Tweed Billabong
Whether you’re camping, carvanning or staying in a cabin, BIG4 Tweed Billabong Park has it all. From a huge dam, to water park, heated pools, jumping pillow, plus it’s located right near the beautiful Tweed River.
Tweed Holiday Park
With it’s own private beach (well, a river beach) Tweed Holiday Park is great for those who like swimming, fishing, and even boating (it has its own boat ramp). It’s located in the middle of everything, so you can find your way to the shops or nearby beach.
For something a little different, you can feel at home in one of the Tweed Airbnbs. Having lived in The Tweed for over 10 years now, I love how many cool Airbnbs are popping up. They’re affordable, and give you more space, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
Where to eat in Tweed Heads
Delightful by Deluxe, Stuart Street
A new addition on the Tweed food scene, Delightful by Deluxe is run by two women who started with a booming grazing business, and then opened up a sweet eatery specialising in sandwiches, delicious salads, and coffees. Grab something to go before heading to the beach. They also do little filled lunchboxes for kids.
Gallura, Stuart Street
This is some of the best food you’ll find on The Tweed. With delicious Italian options, and mouth-watering pizzas, Gallura is a popular choice for foodies (and local celeb surfers) in the area. Bookings are essential as the space is small, and it books out quickly.
Bread Social, Bay Street
If you’re a fan of sourdough bread and baked goods, Bread Social is your go-to. Whether you’re looking to grab sourdough to take back to your accommodation, or if you’re looking for ready made gourmet sandwiches, pies, and indulgent donuts, there’s something for everyone. The menu changes often, so it’s worth checking in regularly to see what they’re cooking up on any given day.
Baked at Ancora, Wharf Street
A perfection option for breakfast, brunch and even lunch, Baked at Ancora is located on the Tweed River (and even has a wedding venue attached to it, it’s that pretty!). Stop by for eggs benedict, a coffee, or even grab a croissant to go.
Next Door Espresso, Dry Dock Road
A popular coffee spot for locals and travelers, especially if you’re staying nearby at BIG4 Billabong, Next Door Espresso has delicious brekky options, from corn fritters to buddha bowls, and is located right across from the river (so grab breakfast to go, and take in the view riverside).
Scales Seafood, Kennedy Drive
Voted the best seafood in Tweed repeatedly, and for good reason, Scales Seafood is a popular spot to stop for Fish & Chips. Located on the Tweed River, you can order and then take your goodies over to a riverside table for lunch or dinner. To save time too, you can order online – I recommend it!
Beaches (& Spots to Swim) in Tweed Heads
One of the best things about visiting The Tweed is all the options for taking a dip in the salt water! It’s the best! One of the main features of the area is the Tweed River, which is a great, safe spot to swim with kids.
Known locally as Pelican, or more formally as Faux Park, this is a local favourite especially for kids who like to jump off a jetty. While it doesn’t look like the best location, right beside a busy road, its easy parking and access make it a great spot to swim. Any part of the Tweed River is best at high tide (check Willy’s Weather for the tides), meaning the water will be crystal clear and stunning (low tide means visibility isn’t as great). Get directions here.
Another favourite for locals, especially for kids, The Anchorage is harder to find a park, but a great spot to jump in from the bridge into the river (a more tamer jump than other bridges – great for little dare devils!). Get directions here.
Duranbah Beach (D’Bah)
Known to locals as D’bah, this is the most northern beach in NSW. It’s favoured by surfers, and definitely isn’t my choice for swimming (too wild!) but perfect if you want to bring a board and catch a wave. Get directions here.
Little Duranbah Beach (Little D’Bah)
Far tamer, and more family-friendly, Little D’Bah is a great spot to settle in for the day and enjoy the water. It’s right at the river mouth, so check for swimming conditions before jumping in. Get directions here.
Jack Evans Boat Harbour
This is a really calm and family-friendly place to swim (ideal if you’re staying nearby at the Mantra Twin Towns). Bring your kayak or paddle boards and take a peaceful paddle around the harbour. If you like to snorkel, grab your gear and snorkel around the rock wall to Little D’Bah as the tide goes out. Get directions here.
Things to do around Tweed Heads
Take a dip. Or hire a BBQ boat. The best thing about The Tweed is the swimming, I think. Choose a beautiful spot to swim during summer or the warmer months, or even hire a BBQ boat. An affordable way to explore with a group. You can fish, feast and swim. No boat licence needed!
Take a ride on the Northern Rivers Rail Trail. Bring your bike or hire one and explore the recently opened Northern Rivers Rail Trail. It’s a great ride with stunning scenery. The trail, which is around 48km a return ride, is best started at Murwillumbah (20 minutes from Tweed).
Check out one of our cute coastal towns. There are so many cute little coastal towns just a small drive from Tweed Heads. Pop down and check out Pottsville, Cabarita, Kingscliff, Brunwsick, or even well known Byron Bay,
Visit Tropical Fruit World. A whole day of fun, Tropical Fruit World has tractor rides, fruit tasting, a boat ride, expert chats, animal adventures, and so much more.
Take a drive inland to Murwillumbah. My favourite town, of all the towns in The Tweed, I encourage you to step back in time at Murbah. With a pool with slides and diving boards, sweet shops and cafes, the Tweed Regional Art Gallery, and so much more, it’s unmissable.
Shopping in Tweed Heads
The shopping game in Tweed isn’t particularly strong… we have two shopping centres, Tweed City and Tweed Mall. Tweed City has everything you could need, with supermarkets, Big W, Kmart and Harris Scarfe. There’s also loads of fashion stores too.
Tweed Mall is a little slower paced, but does have a Target, as well as Coles, Woolworths and ALDI. If you’re looking for a full day shopping experience, most visitors will head up the coast to Robina Town Centre or Pacific Fair.
Chantelle is a curious travel writer, and passionate photographer, who is always chasing sunsets. She loves traveling with her family; her husband Shane, and two daughters, Lacey and Lulu. When she’s not exploring new places, Chantelle loves cooking, catching up with friends, and avoiding the ever-growing pile of laundry.