Discover the Tweed Coast

Discover the Tweed Coast

Visited Tweed Heads Lately? Read on and discover the beautiful Tweed Coast..

Razorback View, Tweed Heads

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!

Man enjoying Razorback ViewTake a picnic and rug and enjoy a quiet morning or afternoon in solitude on the lawn and listen to the birds, and listen to rising sounds coming from below.

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…


Boardwalk Tweed River

  •  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.

Fish Boats on the Tweed
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

Fingal LightHouseOur 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.

Cook Island

Historical Notes


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:

Fingal Cook Island

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.

Useful Links

Would you like to explore Cook Island or snorkel with the Turtles at Cook Island? The links below are a good starting point.

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

7 Responses to Discover the Tweed Coast

  1. Just wondering if you are able to pass on any history relating to the water features under the walkway at Razorback plateau, Tweed Heads, also if there is any military related history linked to Razorback.

    Thank you.

    Gilbert Brown.

  2. […] The summer of 2014 has been a little short on rainfall and the lack of summer storms drenching this rocky plateau has taken its toll, I’ve never seen it so dry. However something else is going on here. The beautiful manicured lawns and tendered garden beds full of flowers have gone. In fact some of the shrubs look like they have been severely cut back and there is a general lack of care that is beyond just insufficiency of water. I hope this iconic Tweed and Gold Coast Lookout isn’t being neglected because of lack of funding. This is one of the must see Lookout on the Gold Coast and Tweed Coasts, along with Burleigh Headland and North Burleigh and Currumbin’s Elephant Rock Lookout, all authorities whether councils or tourism bodies should remember we tourist’s don’t have borders; we just want the best from these Twin Towns. […]

  3. Just wondering if you could give me any information regarding the Keith Curran Reserve. Keith Curran was my uncle, my late father’s younger brother. Thank you. Philippa Curran

  4. Lookout has re-opened and unfortunately it does look a bit neglected in the garden area. Hopefully they might be onto that next.

    • Thanks Tom, I forgot to remove the note. I went up there recently it’s a shame that Tweed Council have gone to all the expense of a new ramp and the gardens have deteriorated. That watered manicured lawn is gone and the garden beds nonexistent. A location full of local history, for both Tweed and the Gold Coast neglected. The up side is the view of Cook Island and the Tweed is still beautiful although the trees have grown and obscured Mt. Warning.



Leave a reply