The Tweed Valley has some of the best national parks found anywhere in Australia!
The Tweed is home to five World Heritage listed national parks. Wollumbin Mt Warning, Nightcap National Park and the Border Ranges offer walking tracks and scenic lookouts. Limpinwood Nature Reserve and Numinbah Nature Reserve are also World Heritage listed but do not offer public access. These five parks form part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia and include the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world. Few places on earth contain so many plants and animals which remain relatively unchanged from their ancestors in the fossil record.
On your next visit to the Tweed Valley breathe the cleanest air you’ll ever experience and soak up the tranquillity of some of the best World Heritage listed national parks found anywhere in Australia! There are a myriad of walking tracks ranging from 200m to 32km. Explore World Heritage rainforests, Antarctic beech forests dating back 2000 years and spectacular lookouts. Most parks are easily accessible with a 2WD, however a number of access roads are narrow and unsealed. It is best to check details of your intended destination before setting out on your adventure.
If you’re planning a trip to the Tweed Valley, here are links for further information about the spectacular national parks in our region:
- Wollumbin National Park
- Border Ranges National Park
- Nightcap National Park & Whian Whian State Conservation Area
- Mebbin National Park
- Cudgen Nature Reserve
- Cook Island
The Tweed is one of the richest and most diverse regions for flora and fauna in Australia. It is home to an array of species that live in no other place on the planet! There are more species of fish, birds, amphibians and mammals in the Tweed than Kakadu. The region has many threatened fauna species and Australia’s highest concentration of threatened plants.
When exploring national parks and driving country roads it is important to be aware of your footprint. Always ensure you take rubbish with you and dispose of it responsibly. Stick to designated walking tracks, take only memories and leave only footprints.
Description: The rainforests of the World Heritage listed Wollumbin National Park are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. In the centre, Wollumbin Mt Warning stands at an impressive height of 1157m and is the remnant central vent of the ancient Tweed volcano.
Highlights: Lyrebird track is a 300m walk that leads from Mount Warning Road, across Breakfast Creek to a lookout set in subtropical rainforest. For the more adventurous, there is the option of climbing to the summit of Wollumbin Mt Warning. It is a steep 8.8km return trip with a challenging final rock scramble.
Access: 15km south-west of Murwillumbah off Kyogle Road. Follow Kyogle Road until you see the turn off to Mount Warning Road. Limited parking is available at the base of Wollumbin Mt Warning.
Visitor Information: Wollumbin & Mebbin Visitor Guide
Description: This Park is located on the western rim of the ancient Tweed Volcano and lies within the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. Explore World Heritage rainforests, Antarctic beech forests dating back 2000 years and bushwalking tracks with incredible lookouts.
Highlights: The spectacular Tweed Scenic Drive (unsealed) loops through the eastern half of the Park. The Pinnacle lookout offers the most amazing views of Wollumbin Mt Warning. It is from here that you can see the vastness of the ancient caldera as it hugs Mount Warning and stretches towards the ocean. There are 10 walking tracks on offer ranging from 200m to 10.5km.
Access: 38km west of Murwillumbah off Kyogle Road. Follow Kyogle Road west to Lillian Rock. Once you’ve reached Lillian Rock turn right onto Williams Road. From here the route is signposted.
Visitor Information: Border Ranges Visitor Guide
Description: Located on the southern rim of the ancient Tweed Volcano, Nightcap was declared a National Park over 30 years ago and Whian Whian State Conservation Area was created in 2003. In this World Heritage listed area you will find waterfalls and creeks for swimming and fishing as well as hiking, cycling and horse riding trails.
Highlights: Camp in the forest at Rummery Park, take a short walk to Minyon Falls, visit Protestors Falls or set out on an adventurous hike. There are 8 walking tracks on offer ranging from 1.4km to 32km.
Access: The parks are 30km south-east of Murwillumbah, you can reach them via five separate public roads from the south (all are unsealed).
Visitor Information: Nightcap & Whian Whian Visitor Guide
Description: Mebbin lies at the base of the south-western rim of the ancient Tweed volcano and shares its boundary with the Border Ranges. This World Heritage Park is great for hiking, picnics, bike riding, horse riding and is a quiet camping spot.
Highlights: Cutters Camp is a peaceful campground in a pretty forest setting with a large, free-form area. It’s popular with families, birdwatchers and bushwalkers. Camping fees apply. From Cutters Camp you can take a short and easy 900m (return) walk to Byrrill Creek. Explore sub-tropical rainforest and strands of ancient figs in the rainforest.
Access: 35km south-west of Murwillumbah. Take Kyogle Road from Murwillumbah, turn right onto Byrrill Creek Road and follow Cutters Camp Road to the campground (narrow and unsealed).
Visitor Information: Wollumbin & Mebbin Visitor Guide
Description: Cudgen Nature Reserve is a quite spot located near the coastal village of Cabarita Beach. It is perfect for bird watching, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming and picnics. The beach is only 1.5km from the Lake and offers a safe swimming, surfing and fishing location.
Highlights: Escape the crowds and head to the picnic area for some peace and tranquillity. The lake is very shallow in sections and is a fantastic spot for bird watching as well as water sports.
Access: 22km from Tweed Heads. Drive south on the Pacific Highway. Take the Tweed Coast Road exit at Chinderah. Follow the signs to Cabarita Beach/Bogangar. Turn right at Tamarind Avenue and continue to Willow Avenue until you reach the Nature Reserve.
It’s great to escape city life and explore the spectacular national parks and reserves. However, these are natural environments so you need to take precautions when planning your adventure. Many parks are remote and rugged places, weather can change quickly, rivers, lakes and the sea may be unpredictable. The wildlife in national parks should always be treated with respect and you should avoid approaching or feeding them. When visiting national parks be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of any children in your care. Remember to plan ahead, and choose your walks and activities to match your stamina and fitness level. Protect your skin from sunburn by using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing and a hat. Sometimes a bit of planning and foresight makes all the difference. For tips and information on staying safe on your visit, please take the time to check out the National Parks & Wildlife Service website: www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/safety
Some national parks charge a vehicle entry fee. Funds go towards supporting conservation programs and building and maintaining facilities.
Access to parks is often via narrow and unsealed roads that at times can be unsuitable for 2WD. Please use caution when navigating to your destination.
Access and park facilities may be inaccessible or out of order due to unforeseen circumstances. Before setting out it is important to check the very latest information: nationalparks.nsw.gov.au
This information is intended as a guide only.