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Locals Guide to a welcoming LGBTQ+ getaway in The Tweed

17 February, 2023

Couple drinking cocktails at Paper Daisy Restaurant in Halcyon House
Paper Daisy Restaurant by Kiff & Culture

Welcome to The Tweed, a place where Chef Hatted menus rub shoulders with endless views and where local coffee and regional cheeses will bookend your days. It’s where art and life intersect, in sweet small towns where diversity lives, inviting all travellers to come have fun and feel free.

Whether you’re seeking a sunny beach escape or hinterland adventure, planning a romantic break or group getaway, the Tweed is ready to welcome you at any time of year. Read on for more Tweed inspo to map out your perfect holiday away from the everyday.


Get to know the stories, people and places of the Tweed’s LGBTQ+ past and present with Small Town Queer, an award-winning online exhibition developed by the Tweed Regional Museum. This digital journey through both the cheer and challenges of the region’s Queer community is a great place to start your Tweed time. Deepen your appreciation for the region, its First Nations people and remarkable landscapes (while supporting the progressive curatorial team!) with a visit to the Tweed Regional Museum in Murwillumbah.

LGBTQ+ Exhibition

Image by Tweed Regional Museum

Immerse more fully in the Tweed’s cultural landscape with some time spent in our vibrant arts spaces. Browse the working spaces of local artists at M|Arts Precinct, an original Art Deco building that has become a hub for diverse and dynamic creatives.

Not to be missed is the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre, acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading regional galleries. Local and national artists are featured in changing exhibitions and the permanent homage to the iconic still life artist Margaret Olley is a favourite, with rooms from her Sydney home meticulously catalogued, transported and rebuilt within the gallery walls.


Dining and sipping go hand-in-hand in the Tweed, with award-winning restaurants ready to welcome you along to enjoy the spoils of our region’s rich food bowl status.

Gregory Lording and Phillip Hepburn are the owners and gracious hosts of Tweed River House, one of the Tweed’s more recent foodie offerings which has fast developed a national following. The couple has created an elegant dining experience in one of the region’s gorgeous heritage buildings, right on the shores of the Tweed River. Start at the Lawn Bar for a cocktail, move up to the River Verandah for a sumptuous meal and enjoy a digestif as the sun starts to set behind Wollumbin Mount Warning.

Tweed River House Owners

Tweed River House owners Phillip (L) & Gregory (R)

A long-time favourite for locals and visitors alike is Potager – A Kitchen Garden, set high in the Carool hills with breathtaking views of the surrounding scenic rim of an ancient shield volcano. Warm and wonderful owner Peter Burr is a much-loved Tweed local and his passion for fresh-grown food drives this equally beloved restaurant, with its own flourishing kitchen garden to flavour the menu.

Couple dining together at Potgaer - A Kitchen Garden. One sips wine.

Potager – A Kitchen Garden – Photography by Kiff & Culture for The Tweed Tourism Company

Be sure to take time to exhale and imbibe at the gorgeous Husk Farm Distillery, home of Ink Gin and Australian rum. Book a picnic spot on the expansive lawn for a delicious lunch, take a distillery tour to learn and sip and be sure to visit the cellar door to take home some spirits of choice.


If you’re looking for a good coffee, quick treat, snacks for later or a casual lunch, we’ve got a couple of local LGBTQ+ tips for where to shop and stop.

Start your day in Uki with Bastion Lane Espresso and you can’t go wrong! Charismatic Gary Wall is the dynamic owner of this coffee spot that is part post office (it’s housed in the original 1906 heritage listed postal store), part art gallery (Art Post Uki) and part coffee roastery. Get amongst coffee-lovers from near and far and soak up the friendly Uki vibes.

Gary Wall owner of Bastion Lane Espresso – Image by Jared O’Sullivan

Refresh the palate and call in to see Gabrielle and the team at Gelato & Co in Murwillumbah – so gooood! Making everything from scratch with a focus on showcasing unique flavours, this gelateria will become your go-to on all future Tweed visits! They also create vegan-friendly and dairy free options so everyone can enjoy.

Everyone loves Kat Harvey! Not just because she’s a fabulous Tweed human but also because she creates and curates some of the best cheeses around. Aptly named Kat Harvey Cheese, her small but super-stocked store, features gorgeous on-theme watercolours by her talented partner Lynda and is part of the M|Arts Precinct in Murwillumbah.

Kat Harvey owner of Kate Harvey Cheese – Image by Kiff & Culture

From Murwillumbah, head on out along the scenic Numinbah Creek Road, passing by green farmland and through the charming town of Chillingham, to discover Tyalgum, a small village with a big welcome that is known for its diversity, creativity and warm community spirit.

From Flutterbies Cottage Cafe and La Markette Lane (where you’ll find great food, coffee, high teas, working artisans and open-air stores that meander beneath a lush tree canopy) to the friendly Tyalgum General Store (stocking a wide selection of farm-fresh food, locally grown goods and with a lunch burger to gush over), Tyalgum is your new favourite hinterland holiday find.


Keeping in mind that this is just a small taste of all that awaits, our recommendation is: book to stay a night or two (or more) in the Tweed. Expect a warm welcome wherever you choose to rest up, with a few insider tips here for places that are LGBTQ+ friendly.

Wake up and smell the coffee at Origin House Carool! Stay in luxe accommodation overlooking the award-winning Wirui estate coffee plantation in the picturesque setting of Carool. Wirui Estate is a small estate producing one of Australia’s best single origin coffees. An artisan coffee producer, Zeta’s Coffee started planting coffee in 1994 in the region’s rich volcanic soil and today, host and estate owner Zeta Grealy ensures that all guests staying at Origin House have plenty of coffee to enjoy during their stay.

Origin House Carool

Take to the rolling green hills and serene country life at Hillcrest Mountain View Retreat set amidst a 165 acre grazing farm in upper Crystal Creek. Hosts with the most, Paul and Craig have created a bucolic getaway that is peaceful and restorative – think saltwater pool dips, Ink Gin cocktails on the sunset verandah as cows meander home and greetings aplenty from their happy pooches (AKA the ‘security team’!). Another standout at Hillcrest is the food prepared by Paul, a globally trained chef – book ahead for a delicious meal in the Dining Room or splash out with a private dining experience in the outdoor gazebo overlooking Springbrook Ranges.

Ease into some romantic days away and check in to gorgeous lodgings at Halcyon House, beachfront at Cabarita. This lush retro refit of a 1960s surf motel is made for couples and is an idyllic central base to relax and explore Cabarita. Feel nurtured with a soothing treatment at Halcyon Spa, enjoy cocktail sundowners with ocean views then prepare for a dining experience like no other at Paper Daisy. Other than that, lounge by the pool, sleep in late, swim in the sea and just be.

Paper Daisy at Halcyon House

Quirky retro style, Moroccan influenced and with generous bohemian touches, The Cabana is just 100m from Casuarina Beach and a 5-minute walk to local restaurants. The Cabana is the perfect spot to relax and unwind in private luxury. By day, go slow in the tropical courtyard or grab a bike to explore the neighbourhood; by night cuddle up on the cloud sofa with a movie, cook up a feast of local produce in the stylish kitchen or chill outdoors, illuminated by festoon lights in your own sparkly wonderland. Bonus: the fridge is stocked with some complimentary sips, local granola and chocolates to enjoy.

The Cabana Casuarina

So, whether preparing for or recovering from Pride season, taking a romantic winter break or holidaying throughout the year with friends or family, we know you’ll feel free here and love the Tweed as much as we do!

The Tweed Tourism Company is a proud member of GALTA, Australia’s LGBTQ+ Travel Association.

We wish to acknowledge the Ngandowal and Minyungbal speaking people of the Bundjalung Country, in particular the Goodjinburra, Tul-gi-gin and Moorung – Moobah clans, as being the traditional owners and custodians of the land and waters within the Tweed Shire boundaries. We also acknowledge and respect the Tweed Aboriginal community’s right to speak for its Country and to care for its traditional Country in accordance with its lores, customs and traditions.