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Picture Perfect Tweed Heads
tweed headsJust before you cross the coastal border between New South Wales and Queensland, you will be greeted with the charming city of Tweed Heads. Home to a lush mixture of green rainforest and picture-perfect beaches, and set against the backdrop of volcanically formed mountain ranges, this is a NSW town that simply cannot be just passed through. Epitomising the 'coastal chill' attitude of the Australian surf and beach culture, this is the ultimate spot to escape your hectic life and rediscover what it means to relax. A wealth of nearby attractions will also mean boredom is not a necessity... unless you want it to be!

Tweed Heads' sister city, Coolangatta, lies just across the border and marks the beginning of Queensland's Gold Coast. The two towns share many things in common, including a main street that marks the state border! They are also both home to some of the country's most beautiful beaches, which are all within walking distance of each other. Coolangatta Beach can be found just north of the Tweed, and Doppys Beach is the closest one to the town itself, and has Flagstaff Beach to the north and Fingal Beach to the south. 34 kilometres of beaches grace the coast of the Tweed Shire, making it a haven for surfers, fishermen and swimmers! The surf culture is particularly thriving in this region, with international competitions being held up and down the coast. The ever-changing waves here mean beginners to advanced levels are catered for, so if you've always wanted to try out the sport then this is the place to do it.

Another important feature of the town is the Tweed River, which winds through the town and into a large estuary where it enters the sea. The setting here is simply stunning, and is most evident at the broadwater where two headlands enclose the estuary. The northerly headland is known as Point Danger, and the views up and down the coast from here make it a worthwhile trip up. You will also find the memorial to Captain Cook here, which will give you a powerful insight into Australia's past.

The Tweed River is also a perfect base for watersports of all kinds. Hire a tinny (a small aluminum boat), cruise its banks and try your luck at fishing. Alternatively, just take in the sights and sounds of the lush vegetation and its abundant birdlife that like to call this river home. Kayakers and canoeists can also be frequently seen in the waters here as well. There are all forms of watersports equipment available for hire, which means that you have no excuse not to give it a go. Fishing is also popular up and down the coast as well as on the river, and charter boats and tours are available to take you to the deeper water for the real big fish.

The coast is not all that is great in Tweed Heads. If you head inland a little you will take a step back in times and discover a region that was once s a hotbed of volcanic activity. This has resulted in the mountain ranges lying behind the Tweed that will simply take your breath away. The fertile soils from this activity, coupled with the sub tropical climate, has resulted in the dense rainforest vegetation that drapes the surrounding landscapes.

All within a short drive of Tweed Heads you will come across amazing areas such as Mt. Warning National Park, which is home to the world heritage listed Mt. Warning, which is the remnant central plug of an old shield volcano. This is a great mountain to climb as it offers panoramic views the valleys below. It is also immensely significant to the local indigenous population as a place of cultural law, initiation and spiritual education. Plenty of campsites, lookouts and picnic spots make this ideal place for tourists, who above all come here to enjoy beauty, nature and wildlife at its best.

The ciy of Tweed Heads itself is overflowing with character and enjoys a unique style that sets it apart from the northern suburbs of the Gold Coast. It is renowned for its range of seafood restaurants that serve up freshest cuisine, straight from the ocean. A lively and vibrant atmosphere means entertainment is never far away, yet there is always plenty of places to just chill and relax. The friendly and welcoming locals complete the setting for the perfect coastal holiday. With an international airport at Coolangatta, and Brisbane and the Gold Coast easily accessible along the highway, Tweed Heads is an easy and rewarding destination for your next holiday.

Christine Barton

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