Visited Tweed Heads Lately? Read on and discover the beautiful Tweed Coast..
1. Razorback Lookout your starting point to discover the Tweed Coast
12months ago I visited Razorback Lookout and promised myself that I was going to explore some of the locations that can be seen below from this small plateau over looking beautiful Tweed River.
This lookout is the perfect start to rediscover the Tweed Coast.
But first a little about Razorback Lookout, this location isn’t your usual lookout where you are standing on a platform with a railing in front of you and your back to a mountain or dense rainforest.
Here there is a lush green lawn stretching the whole length of this small plateau and the gardens surrounding it are reminiscent of gardens in the sixties, it’s locked in a time warp, its personal …this garden belongs to someone special. ( If you are in a hurry check the map at the bottom of the page)
You get the distinct feeling that you have walked into someones backyard and perhaps you shouldn’t be there. Fascinating place you must go!
Every time I have visited this spot there has been one or two people quietly gazing into space totally engrossed in the moment. Check out a little bit of history about “The Razorback’ in 1930
A metal plaque stationed at the southern end of the lookout provides some insight into the history of this unique place……
Joongurrabah – Razorback
Also known to local Aboriginal people as Joongurra ngarian
The Place Where the Pelicans Played…
Dreamtime – which was Bootharrum – there was a plateau where the pelicans played. The name of the plateau is Joongurran ngarian, for it was on the plateau of Joongurra ngarian that the corroboree ring of the pelicans was.
Now in the Dreamtime, all the birds were coloured alike. When they wished to look different in colour – as they did one day – they painted themselves different colours.
The colours that are seen on the birds to this day are the colours they painted themselves on the plateau of Joongurra ngarian. Story by James Morgan
What can you see from Razorback Lookout?
This is the beginning of a wonderful few hours spent in the Tweed region.
From this grassy plateau with its 360 degree views you can see;
- Tweed River
- Tweed Bar
- Keith Curran Reserve, including the boardwalk along the river
- Jetty & Boat Harbour
- Fingal Head
- Cook Island just off shore
- Cobaki Broadwater
- Gold Coast Airport
- Gold Coast Hinterland
- Border Ranges
- The Cougals
- Springbrook Plateau with the ‘Best Ever Lookout’
- Mount Warning (hidden now by the tree line)
From this elevated location plans can be made for an interesting scenic drive which could encompass the following…
- A short walk through a native reserve and then onto a boardwalk where depending on the time of day you may see fishing boats returning from their daily catch along the adjacent bank.
- A short drive to Fingal Beach and Fingal Head, and climb the headland to the lighthouse and soak in the views of Cook Island just off shore and feast your eyes on spectacular views all the way to Kingscliff sit on the grassy headland and plan your next scenic drive along the Tweed Coast.
- The morning or afternoon will finish with lunch or dinner at the SheOak Art Gallery. (Try their Thai pumpkin soup it’s delicious) or grab some take away at the general store or a BBQ in Fingal Park.
What more could you want so lets get started, your scenic drive could look like this….
2. Keith Curran Reserve
After feasting your eyes on the spectacular views of Razor Back Lookout, its time to get in the car and head for that boardwalk you can see hugging the native reserve below.
If time isn’t an issue, stop off and stroll through the cemetery it will enrich your perspective of the local history.
There are number headstones that are fascinating to read…
Head down Florence Street and straight for the Tweed River virtually a straight line past the Tweed Bowls Club and Tweed Hospital, turn right along Keith Compton Drive, follow the road over the small bridge and now you are on Harbour Island Drive. Continue until the end which is Keith Curran Reserve.
The Ebenezer Park on your left on Compton Drive is a great little spot to walk during the cooler months to soak up the atmosphere of the Tweed River, especially during the early morning and late afternoon.
Keith Curran Reserve is on the south side of the Tweed River; there is a parking area with quite a few parking bays. This boardwalk is one of those gems that unless you saw it from Razorback Lookout you wouldn’t know it existed.
The walking track
The walking track through this native reserve skirts beside Terranora Inlet and eventually ends up at the boardwalk you could see from Razorback Lookout, if its early morning you might observe the fishing boats returning with their catch.
From here walk through the Reserve the pathway isn’t very well defined, however you wont get lost, if you do you might be able to buy some fresh prawns from one of the trawlers to keep you alive!
After a short walk through this small parcel of native bushland you will arrive at the boardwalk and it doesn’t disappoint.
It’s quite fascinating to stand and soak in the view and glance up and see the lookout above.
The boardwalk finishes at a pergola draped in vines, which is so Tweed Heads;
it’s got that personal touch, like you have entered someone’s garden.
And then opens to a large grassy area with lovely views of The Anchorage and Tweed River.
3. Now to Fingal Head
Our next leg of the drive along the Tweed Coast we are in for a treat, I must confess it’s been some years since I visited Fingal, with the M1 Motorway flying over the top of the location it’s easy to forget the exit and sail on by.
But not today!
We cross the spectacular Tweed River and take the Exit to Fingal with is Tweed Coast Way Tourist Drive Route 38.
Head along Fingal Road, on to Queen Street and Marine Parade.
A large park equipped with BBQ’s a small children’s playground and plenty of parking.
Check the map below to get your bearings.
Now it’s time to investigate go for a walk and rediscover this pretty location.
What will you see?
- Cook Island just 600m off shore
- Walking track skirting the beach Fingal Beach and Headland
- The light House with all its history, along with information plaques
- Wild flowers dotted on the headland
- Fabulous views of Dreamtime Beach
Cook Island sitting in the Coral Sea looks enchanting, it’s apparent that the birdlife is prolific you can see them hovering over the Island.
The original name was Turtle Island and there was a dwelling..however the Island was renamed Cook Island.
3.5 HISTORIC HERITAGE
In 1770 Captain James Cook sighted the island while sailing past the Tweed area but did not name it. In 1823 explorer John Oxley and his party took shelter from a storm on the island and two men from the party investigated the island, noting the presence of turtles and an unidentified ship wreck. Oxley named the island Turtle Island.
In1828 Captain Rous conducted the first official survey of the area and renamed the
Island Cook Island (SMH 2004; Graham 2001).
There was some early ornithological interest in Cook Island. A.J. North recorded that
eggs of the crested tern were taken from Cook Island in September 1890 (North
1914 cited in Lane 1973). In 1963, Battam, Lane and Liddy noted shearwaters
breeding on the island (Lane 1973).
Prior to 1940 a hut was built on the island by Angus McNeil, a fisherman and
Photographer from Murwillumbah. The hut was replaced in 1950 by (Don) L.J
Dorrough who hosted fishing parties on the island. The hut has since been removed
and a memorial cairn was constructed on the island in his honour following
Dorrough’s death in 1963 (The Daily News 1964).
The wreck of the ‘Fido’ is submerged off Cook Island at a reef known locally as Fido
Reef. It sank on the 19th July 1907 carrying 2000 tonnes of phosphate on a voyage
from Nauru to Sydney. (Reference: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/planmanagement/draft/CookIslandNR.pdf)
There is not only abundant birdlife on Cook Island but it’s also a popular dive location, with a variety of marine life and Turtles, why not plan another day with a trip over to the Island?
Time for lunch
Finish off the morning or afternoon with a BBQ lunch or picnic lunch, perhaps a bite to eat at the SheOak Art Gallery (live music on weekends)
What more could you want, rediscover the beautiful Tweed Coast, just a hop skip and jump from the fabulous Gold Coast.
Would you like to explore Cook Island or snorkel with the Turtles at Cook Island? The links below are a good starting point.
- What’s on in the Tweed?
- Water Sports on the Tweed Coast
- Cook Island dives
- Driving on the Gold Coast and Tweed
- Enjoy a few hours cruising on the Tweed River with Tweed River Cruises
- Sheoak Shack is an interesting place to stop for lunch
Explore this map and get your bearings, there is so much more to see on the Tweed Coast.
View Walk to Razorback Lookout in a larger map