Murwillumbah: arts and crafts lovers paradise
Murwillumbah, perched lightly on the banks of the Tweed River in the caldera of an extinct volcano, basks in the shadow of Mount Warning, an impressive lava plug that towers above the town.
The regional hub of Murwillumbah and its surrounding villages and hamlets definitely have a distinct artisan vibe. The area abounds with local artists and craftspeople who are inspired by the beautiful natural surroundings.
The original inhabitants of this entire region were the Bundjalung people who were the inspiration for the name ‘Murwillumbah’. Depending on the source, the word is believed to mean either ‘a good place for camping beside the river’ or ‘a good place to catch possums’.
Art and community in Murwillumbah and surrounds
Arts and crafts unite our community; in particular, Mill & Make yarn shop in recent times has provided essential community connections through knitting and crochet ‒ both in person and online.
Your must-see when visiting Murwillumbah is the Tweed Regional Gallery on the town fringe. Notable for its connection to the much-loved Margaret Olley at the Margaret Olley Art Centre, the gallery has stunning river views and holds remarkable exhibitions that change around every eight weeks. Also worth a visit is the World Heritage Rainforest Centre at the Visitor Information Centre that also includes the Caldera Art Gallery. The art gallery purposefully exhibits artwork that engages with the flora or fauna found in the local area. You won’t be able to miss the huge mural depicting a 360-degree view from the summit of Mount Warning.
Uki has its share of artists, also. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Warning, the village has its own website that showcases the many talented local artists in the region.
Nearby, the small hamlet of Tyalgum with a population of around 300 people has a different claim to fame. From 2015, Tyalgum community has worked to become the first town in Australia to totally disconnect from the electricity grid. The community initiative, called the Tyalgum Energy Project, aims to provide clean, renewable energy to the entire community. We’re proud to report that this project garnered global attention and is featured in several academic papers.
In Burringbar, another tiny town with a population of under 300, it’s all about the cheese (or so it seems). The lush pastures of this area deliver the rich milk that goes into exceptional hand-crafted cheeses. For those looking for other one-of-a-kind products, Heaths Old Wares and Collectables, the much-loved vintage store, is where clever craftspeople will find unique pieces to upcycle or to take home and love.
Who lives in the Murwillumbah district?
The entire Murwillumbah district has a population of around 10,858, according to the 2016 census. There’s a fairly even mix of families with children, young people, empty nesters and retirees.
Murwillumbah and surrounds amenities
Murwillumbah has several primary schools and also two secondary schools, with public schools in Uki, Tyalgum and Burringbar.
For your medical needs, there’s a district hospital in Murwillumbah and the Tweed Hospital is only about an hour away. Outside of hospitals, the area has many medical practitioners and natural health professionals. When you fancy some pampering, or simply want to be the best you, you’ll find local hairdressing and beauty salons as well as a selection of day spas and health retreats.
Murwillumbah and the surrounding towns provide shopping for just about every taste, including some shops that are specific to the area. For everyday grocery and services, the shopping centre in Murwillumbah has you covered.
The many local cafés and restaurants are also sure to delight, taking advantage of what’s currently in season, so meals are always delicious and fresh.
If you’re the sporty type, what better way to enjoy your fitness routine than to take a hike in the great outdoors? This area absolutely abounds with walking tracks, hiking trails and even mountain climbs. Then, there’s also the Tweed River for a cooling swim on a hot day. Or, you can take a short drive to the beach and jump into the surf.
Murwillumbah also has several venues for organised sports, including an aquatic centre, a rowing club, a skate park, a cricket ground and a soccer club.
Come home to Murwillumbah
For artisans and craft lovers looking for a new home among people with similar interests, Murwillumbah should definitely be on your list. The area is home to many artists and crafts people who find inspiration in the beautiful natural surroundings.