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Exploring the Tweed
The highest town on the New South Wales coastline is the inimitable Tweed Heads, a picture perfect coastal resort town that tempts Queenslanders down across the border and tries its best to stop travellers heading further north! Beautiful beaches are complemented by a lush green hinterland that boasts thick rainforests and a diverse array of Australian animals and birds, and the town itself is a friendly, quaint settlement with all the tourist-oriented amenities of a modern holiday town. Rich in surf and beach culture, its a great place to chill out and relax, but there is also so much to explore nearby that your campervan holiday here can be full and exciting rather than laid back if thats what you wish!

Tweed Heads is twinned with the Queensland town of Coolangatta, with only the state border seperating them. Despite being in different states these two towns share a lot of things, including a main street marking the state border! The people all have a similar 'chilled out' attitude towards life, and locals and tourists frequent the same beaches. The beaches are a stand out attraction of this whole region- in the Tweed Shire alone there are over 34 kilometres of sandy white shores which are just begging to be explored by you and your campervan! Coolangatta Beach is the nearest one across the border in Queensland, while Doppy's Beach is the closest one to Tweed Heads itself. To the north of the town you have Flagstaff Beach, and Fingal Beach lies to the south, so even if you do not want to venture too far from town you are still spoiled for choice. Surfing is immensely popular in these parts, and the waves cater to all levels of skill so even if you are a beginner don't be scared to give it a go.

The Tweed River is another focal point for recreation amongst locals and visitors to the Tweed. Where it enters the sea a large estuary is formed, bordered by two large headlands to the north and the south of it. The northerly one is known as Point Danger, and the views of the surrounding coastline from up here are incredible. There is also a large memorial to Captain Cook, which marks the state border. You can actually stand with one foot in each state on Point Danger! On the estuary to the south fishing is very popular, with many choosing to hire tinny's (small aluminium boats with an outboard motor) to traverse the banks and try their hand at catching the many species of fish. Canoeists and kayakists also frequent the waters, and other sports such as kite surfing and beach cricket are common amongst beach dwellers.

With a coastline as beautiful as that of the Tweed, the hinterland has to be something special to drag you away from it. And special it is- once a hotbed of volcanic activity lush and thick rainforests have burst out of the fertile soils and provided a home to a colourful plethora of birds and wildlife. There are five world heritage listed National Parks in the Tweed Shire, the most famous being Mt Warning National Park, home to Mt Warning, which is the plug of the worlds largest shield volcano, and also the spot where the rising sun first touches the Australian land. The panoramic views from the top of Mt Warning make a mission to the peak fully worthwhile, and there are camping grounds throughout the park for those who wish to extend their stay in the park. This area is steeped in Aboriginal history, and is very important to the local indigenous people. The Bundjalung people, who have been here for centuries, named Mt Warning "Wollumbin", which means "Cloud Catcher".

If you wish to learn more about the Aboriginal heritage of the region then you can pay a visit to the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre in South Tweed, which is committed to preserving and protecting the region's cultural heritage. Here detailed exhibits and videos in the museum will inform and entertain you, and you can enjoy the tranquil bush settings and pay a visit to a Bora Ring, a sacred ceremonial site. There are authentic artefacts such as boomerangs and didgeridoos on sale here as well, so its a great place to pick up a souvenir.

With Coolangatta Airport just around the corner from Tweed Heads, its easy to just fly in there, pick up a campervan and explore the region to your hearts content. Alternatively, for those on a longer holiday its a wonderful ten hour drive up the coast from Sydney that takes in some of the best beaches in the country. Brisbane is just over an hours drive away, so all in all Tweed Heads is very easily accessible, and once there it is an easy and comfortable base from which to explore your surrounds in a campervan from Discovery.
About the Author
Gavin Wyatt is a journalist with a passion for travel. originally from Zambia he has traveled around the world to end up on the sunny shores of Australia. For more of his articles visit Discovery Campervans.
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