So, you have swiped right and found ‘the one,’ now Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and you are looking to impress. Whilst it is easy to lean into consumerism and purchase landfill-headed teddy bears this Valentine’s Day, take it up a notch and plan a local (and much more sustainable) date with these romantic ideas. Remember: Lover’s Day falls on a Monday this year so you have the whole weekend to celebrate your undying love.
Pop into The Bread Social for freshly baked pastries and expertly brewed coffee to start your day. Enjoy these by the water in Jack Evans Boat Harbour or walk around to Duranbah Beach and watch the morning surf roll in. Alternatively, pull up a chair riverside at Baked At Ancora for a mouth-watering breakfast.
For the day, book a romantic river cruise with Tweed Eco Cruise spending the day exploring the Tweed River learning the stories that shape it. If you are wanting to get active, head to Big Trev at Watersports Tweed at Jack Evans Boat Harbour for stand-up paddleboarding, paddleboats, wild fish feeding and more.
To finish your date, put on your heels and head to Gallura Italian to be transported to the Sardinian coastline with their exquisite menu. For relaxed waterfront dining, try Ivory Waterside and Marina or, if you are trying to get lucky, order a tower of oysters at The Oyster Shed, we hear they are an aphrodisiac.
The most iconic date location in The Tweed, Husk Distilleries extensive cocktail list, delicious menu and ‘grammable outdoor venue is the place to be this Valentine’s Day. Try a tasting paddle of award-winning Husk Rum or an Inky Martini featuring the pea-flower coloured spirit that made Husk famous, Ink Gin. A popular spot for couples, friends and visitors, reservations are necessary.
If Husk is not your scene (strange, but okay), spend the day cruising the scenic Tweed River on a Tweed Escapes rainforest cruise with your partner. For those couples on the more adventurous side, hire kayaks at Tumbulgum General Store and kayak the Rous River Canoe Trail, best done early morning or late afternoon.
The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, on the boat. Start your day with a trip out to Cook Island with Cooly Eco Adventures. Don your wetsuit and flippers and dive into the underwater world of turtles, sharks, rays and over a hundred varied species of marine life. If your date doesn’t get your heart racing, swimming with turtles certainly will.
Returning at lunch and docking just a short walk from Cubby Bakehouse (how convenient), lunch is a no brainer. After a morning of snorkelling fuel up with the classic karaage chicken bahn mi or their signature croissant eggs benedict. Do not leave too quickly, you will want to grab a box of goodies from their pastry cabinet for later.
With pastries under your arm, make your way up to Fingal Head Lighthouse as the sun sets for views out to Cook Island. The perfect end to a date.
Take your significant other out for breakfast by the beach at Shiny Brew. This sweet café is a local favourite serving up freshly brewed coffee and sell-out specials. If you have forgotten a present, there is even an array of local gifts available for purchase to get you out of the doghouse.
For those couples focusing on getting back to nature, hire a kayak or paddleboard from Watersports Guru and explore the clear waters of Cudgen Creek. This peaceful, adventurous experience will have you reconnected in no time.
For the trendy couple out there, make chic Cabarita your date spot. Check-in to one of Australia’s most beautiful hotels, Halycon House, for a complete romantic experience. This meticulously designed beachfront boutique hotel will have you sipping cocktails by the pool, dining on hatted multi-course dinners, and enjoying couple’s massages in their on-site day spa.
Cabarita’s world-famous surf break is just metres away so bring your boards and plan for a day on the beach. Be sure to take the short walk up to Norries Headland (a popular proposal spot, wink wink) for scenic views overlooking Cabarita Beach.
For a Valentine’s Day, dining experience opt for an Italian-ish lunch at the modern No. 35 Cabarita Kitchen & Bar or dinner at Halcyon House’s hatted Paper Daisy Restaurant, included in your stay. Expert local daters will suggest No. 35 for lunch and Paper Daisy for dinner, why not both?
If you have rugrats tagging along on your romantic day, a day trip to Hastings Point and Pottsville is what you want. These quiet coastal towns offer the quintessential family day out with a little something extra.
Make Baker & Farmer bakery your first stop to carb load for the day before heading to Mooball Creek. Spend the day floating in calm blue waters, paddleboarding, fishing or just reading a book together in the shade while the kids play. To finish off your family date, grab fish and chips from Okky and head up to Hastings Point Lookout.
If you do not have kids (or are just sick of yours), you must book into Pipit Restaurant. This award-winning and highly renowned restaurant provide couples with an unprecedented dining experience. This is a date you will not soon forget.
For the couple with artistic flair, head to the art capital of The Tweed, Murwillumbah. Grab a takeaway coffee at Keith’s before heading into M|Arts Precinct to view local artists and artisan’s studios and buy unique pieces.
Have lunch overlooking the valley at Gallery By Bacaro housed in the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre. Spend time perusing the latest exhibitions from local and visiting artists including permanent works from Margaret Olley.
To wrap up your date head to Kat Harvey Cheeses and Keiths to put together a picnic of local produce. Enjoy this back at your accommodation or head to Clarrie Hall Dam for the afternoon (be sure to check opening hours).
After, head to Hosanna Farmstay in Stokers Siding to meet some of the cutest locals. Spend the day getting up close and personal with the farm life and floating around in the dam.
Visit trendy little Burringbar for a late lunch, a true date destination. Order tacos from an authentic taqueria, Mercado Juarez, and set up in the park. For drinks stop in to see Bronwyn at Brooklyn Tasting Room for an expert recommendation and unique drop.
Stay deep in the hinterland at La Rocher Eco Retreat for a romantic getaway. Take a dip in the infinity pool or curl up together on the day beds by the pool. Oh, the view? Exceptional.
If you would describe your relationship as eclectic and fun, spend Valentine’s Day in the charming hinterland town of Tyalgum.
Book a high tea at the sweetly decorated Flutterbies Cottage Café or dine-in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Explore Marketta Lane for work from local artists and artisans, keeping an eye out for a gift if you have forgotten. Be sure to grab a pastry or two from their cake cabinet, baked fresh daily.
Before driving home, finish off your Valentine’s Day with a scoop (or two) from Tyalgum Gelato Shop, an authentic Italian gelataria.
If you are looking for privacy to reconnect with your partner, stay deep in The Tweed hinterland in secluded lodgings. For a luxurious sleep deep in the rainforest, stay at Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat, for green fields as far as the eye can see and mountain views, rest your head at Hillcrest Mountain View Retreat, or cosy up together on a working coffee plantation at Origin House. We suggest bringing some games, a delightful book and settling in for some R&R together.
While both accommodation options offer exceptional in-house dining, award-winning restaurant, Potager – A Kitchen Garden, is a must-dine. Set on a small 10-acre farm in the picturesque Carool countryside, guests not only enjoy a sumptuous menu of homegrown and locally sourced produce but are treated to an unspoilt view of the coast across the valley.
No matter what town in The Tweed tickles you and your lovers’ fancy, there is a romantic Valentine’s Day experience to be had.