Over 100 years ago, Cudgen village was the busiest place on the Tweed River.

Blanketed in rich red volcanic soil, this was one of the first areas in the Tweed Valley where early settlers experimented with growing sugar cane. In 1875, William Julius took up a large area of land at Cudgen, establishing a cane plantation and his own mill. At one stage, over 500 workers were employed here, many of them South Sea Islanders who settled in the area on land leased to them by their boss.

The district’s history as a test site for new crops continued into the 1900s when the Department of Agriculture set up a research station at neighbouring Duranbah to trial bananas and ‘new’ fruits such as avocados, lychees, mangoes and macadamia nuts.

The former research station is now Tropical Fruit World where those rich, red soils nurture over 500 varieties of exotic and tropical fruits from all over the world on a sprawling plantation and family theme park that attracts thousands of domestic and international visitors each year.

Cudgen Village itself is now a lot quieter than in its early days but it is interesting to stroll down Memorial Lane where the pine and fig trees have been named in memory of soldiers who didn’t return from the war.

Farmstay and B&B accommodation is available in the Cudgen/Duranbah region or you can base yourself 5 minutes down the road at Kingscliff. To search and book accommodation CLICK HERE to view your options on the interactive map.