Slip, slop & slap up the goodness at this new cafe.
Slip, slop & slap up the goodness at this new cafe.
All of those winding roads around the Tweed and Byron hinterland are simply littered with amazing places to eat and drink, to dwindle the afternoon away. There are also some amazing beaches to lay down your towel before you hit Byron Bay — and often without a soul around. We think Kingscliff is most certainly one of those places.
So whilst you enjoy the great autumnal sunshine on Kingscliff Beach, you’ll be happy to learn there is a new café just off the sand, that is the perfect place to service your caffeine and foodie needs.
Say hello to Zinc, folks.
Located on the northeast corner of Kingscliff Surf Club and just a few feet off the beach, Zinc has itself an incredible little place to call home.
Although it’s a more kiosk-style offering, don’t be fooled: there is ample public seating nearby and because the café is owned by the Surf Club, you have access to the upstairs balcony. Wander up and you’ll be treated to dreamy views and ample photo opportunities across the bay towards Fingal and Cook Island — make sure your phone has enough battery!
The food offering is simple and unfussy with a spattering of hot options such as Halloumi and Egg Turkish Bread Toasties and BLTs on sourdough — not forgetting a rather generous looking Smashed Avo on Toast with chilli flakes. All very sensibly priced if we may say so ourselves. So no giving up your dreams of owning a house millennials! Hooray!
There’s also some great-looking cold/sweet treats for those who might have already had an earlier breakfast and feel like a naughty indulgence before lunchtime. You know who you are!
Coffee being poured is from the clever bunch at Social Espresso with their signature Voyager blend. Think medium roast with notes of dark chocolate and fig — perfect for everyday drinking hot or cold.
Feel like something a little different? There’s a plethora of smoothies and other drinks for you to choose from, including some rather tasty made-on-the-spot Organic Iced Teas. We suggest you give them a try!
Next time a drive down the Coast is in order; why don’t you pull in to Kingscliff and head to the beach and say hello to the team at Zinc!
Location: 61 Marine Parade, Kingscliff, NSW
Hours: 6am-12pm AEDT every day (including Public Holidays)
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
There are very few things we love more than passionate creatives carving out a niche for themselves in the local community. Throw in the desire to share that passion with the rest of us and we’re practically jumping up and down with excitement.
Which is exactly what happened when we ventured down to Kingscliff to check out the new café slash creative space that is Stone Studio aka our new favourite place.
It’s the work of dynamic husband and wife duo Jennifer and Brad who are as into taking time out for creativity and the local community as two people could be. And we know you’re all about that too.
So let’s discuss. Stone Studio can be found on Marine Parade in Kingy, taking up a corner space and overlooking the ocean for some extra chill vibes. Inside, it’s a casual affair with polished concrete floors, a pink tiled coffee bench and stacks of shelves that are home to yet-to-be-fired pottery pieces and delightful homewares goodies (by local makers of course) that you can take home with you.
Think brands like Mayde Tea, Posie candles and Jennifer’s own brand Yucca Stone Ceramics – which you’ve no doubt already heard of.
Now, besides all of those things, there are six pottery wheels and a big old bench for hand building classes. Because yes, all classes and workshops happen right there in the space and it’s a concept we really wish we thought of honestly.
There are many classes throughout the week including during the day, in the evenings and on the weekend, so no matter what you’re up to at any given time, you can get involved. It also doesn’t matter if you’ve never thrown pottery before (a technical term involving using the pottery wheel, not actually hurling pretty things around), or if you’re an old hand, there are classes for all levels. The same goes for the hand building classes.
Jennifer takes the wheel classes and hers is a passion for making that is unrivalled. She fell in love with the art of throwing while living in San Diego for the primary reasons that it is both a grounding practice and one that places you squarely in the given moment, with no room to think about a single other thing than what you’re doing right then and there.
Sounds heavenly doesn’t it.
The pair are big fans of sharing their love of community as we mentioned and beyond that, allowing people to spend time in a space where creative or not, we can all make something with our hands that we can take home and be proud of. So good.
Of course, while you’re doing all the making, you may sip on coffee by local roaster Therefore, who we’re told is as passionate about coffee as any person can be and that absolutely comes through in the taste of the brews.
To eat, there are baked goodies and soon there’ll be gourmet sandwiches among other savoury surprises and stay tuned for booze too.
Right now classes are BYO, so you may take your fave wine with you and let that creativity flow. Also, there are longer courses if you’re keen to really learn the art of pottery throwing.
If you’re keen to switch off, get to know some legendary locals and make something sweet, you can do it all down Kingscliff way at Stone Studio. They’re also planning a local makers market called North County on November 29th too so make sure you don’t miss that.
Okay we’re out. Go there now.
LOCATION: 1/110 Marine Parade, Kingscliff
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Sundays are reserved for one of three purposes; chilling with the fam and getting prepped for the week ahead, sneaking in a little Sunday sesh to delay Monday as long as humanly possible, and our fave, a spot of road trippin! We’re lucky on the GC as we’re inundated with scenic drive options, and only need to travel an hour or two to find lots of beautiful, unique sights and activities.
We’ve broken it down to five destinations and provided a small snapshot of what you can find at each. Toot toot!
A trip up the mountain isn’t complete without a stroll along Gallery Walk. It’s a melting pot of eclectic finds, with over 70 shops in the one block. You’ll find everything from fashion, jewellery, arts and crafts, cellar door outlets, chocolate, fudge, food outlets, cafes…and even a cuckoo clock shop. If you’re looking for something unique or need to buy that friend who has everything a gift, chances are you’ll find something here.
Where: Long Road, Tamborine Mountain
Enjoy a beautiful walk through the rain-drenched Eucalyptus forest to the magical Curtis Falls. Wander past towering trees and through a canopy of ferns, down to this miniature and photogenic waterfall. The 1.1km walk should only talk half an hour or less to get down to the falls, but you will likely want to stay awhile and soak up the peacefulness. Top it off with a spot of morning tea at the Curtis Falls Cafe. Lovely!
Where: 16 Eagle Heights Road, North Tamborine – Get there via Eagle Heights Road and park right at the entrance to the walk.
This 18-acre working distillery is the darling of the Scenic Rim. A Prohibition-style space with an established vineyard, lush rolling meadows and of course, a generous gin and cocktail bar, there’s a lot to love. Settle in for a bev or a feed, or BYO picnic rug and chill amongst the vineyards. You can partake in complimentary lawn games if you so desire, and they’re pro pop here so Fido can come too!
Where: 89-123 Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain
The Glow Worm Caves
Take a guided half-hour walk through lush rainforest to a purpose-built cave, filled with thousands of shimmery glow worms! Everyone can get up close and personal with a glow worm here without damaging delicate wild habitats #CueApplause. And the best part? It’s conveniently located in the Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery, you can enjoy a tipple pre or post tour…or pre and post tour!
Where: Cedar Creek Estate, 104-144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine
Mountview Alpaca Farm
Located in O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard, you can meet alpacas and drink wine and srsly, life made. Choose between 15 and 60 minute alpaca experiences where you can walk and feed these cute creatures, or go all out with an alpaca picnic, alpaca devonshire tea, or a wine, cheese and alpaca package (#us). Set in a boutique vineyard and historic Queenslander homestead, it’s as picturesque as it is fun.
Where: 852 Lamington National Park Road, Canungra
Farm & Co.
No doubt Instagram has informed you there is a field of sunflowers just a short 25 minute drive away where you can frolic, take selfies, pick said sunflowers and generally pretend you don’t have a care in the world. There’s also a coffee shop where you can sink into an oversized lounge chair while gazing at the sunflowers and contemplating a new career in farming, live music of a weekend, a tasty array of brunch eats and fresh veggies you can take home too.
Where: 529 Cudgen Road, Cudgen
Take a 5-minute drive to Duranbah to the iconic Tropical Fruitworld where you can see, taste and learn about fruits from around the world grown in the family plantation. The award-winning farm tour is a must and speaking of musts, you do need to pre-book. Grab a bite to eat from Plantation Café, and shop for the delicious fresh home-grown produce and unique fruit products made on site from the Marketplace.
Where: 29 Duranbah Rd, Duranbah
Check out restful riverside town Chinderah, stopping in for a refreshment and snack at The Chindy. Also known as Chinderah Tavern, The Chindy boasts a big old deck overlooking the widest river in the world (not a fact) and supplies all the cold beer, wine and tasty eats you could wish for on a Sunday afternoon. There’s live music, sunsets if you time it right, and just general non-city good times. Right next door is Cubby Bakehouse you can get yourself some dessert for the drive home.
Where: 156 Chinderah Bay Drive, Chinderah
The Farm Byron Bay
A must visit for everyone (especially anyone with a little person in tow), The Farm is a destination in itself. See how the farm operates and say hi to the animals, and meet the infamous mascots Braveheart the Scottish Highland cow and Bobby the rooster. Collect macadamia nuts from the macadamia trees, have a meal at Three Blue Ducks restaurant, or grab a little something from The Bread Social to eat outside on a picnic rug. There’s a playground for the anklebiters and plenty of beautiful open space to explore.
Where: 11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale
The Crystal Castle in Mullumbimby
Instagood alert! Sit in an ancient amethyst cave, pose with rare and amazing giant crystals, and wander five hectares of subtropical, crystal-filled Shambhala Gardens and rainforest. You can even touch the World Peace Stupa, a project blessed by the Dalai Lama and join in Crystal Sound Healings at 12pm and 3pm! Grab a bite with a stunning hinterland view at Lotus Café and let the kids run amok in the playground.
Where: 81 Monet Drive, Montecollum
The heart of beautiful Brunswick Heads, swing in for a drink or a feed at this classic Aussie pub. Somewhat of an institution and a fave far and wide, relax under the beautiful Poinciana trees in the beer garden and soak up the ambience. Always busy on Sundays, if you can push the friendship and stay on till the early evening, you’ll generally be rewarded with live music and an even more awesome vibe. Pub grub at its best.
Where: Mullumbimbi Street, Brunswick Heads
A collective of creative local artisans and curators of fine goods who are passionate about what they do, this is our jam! Honouring the space and the essence of the Byron Bay Hinterland, Newrybar Merchants enables customers to experience rustic charm effortlessly blended with sophistication within a beautiful and unique retail space. Shop everything from faaarshion, to homewares, to wellness products and everything in between, it’s a must.
Where: 16 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar
The Ivory Waterside
Barely over the boarder but for the northern GC folk, it’s a Sunday drive to Tweed Heads so we’ll let this one fly. Recently undergoing a bit of a nip and tuck and overlooking the adjoining marina and picturesque Terra Creek, it’s the ultimate in casual waterside dining. The food is consistently delish and guys, you can even get your rad on with tons of vintage arcade games in Benny’s Arcade. Talk about a one-stop-good-times-shop! Add it to the list.
Where: 156 Wharf Street, Tweed Heads
Wollumbin National Park.
Unfortunately closed until the end of October due to flooding etc, this World Heritage-listed national treasure is well worth a look once it reopens. Previously known as Mt Warning National Park, lose yourself in some of the largest and oldest tracts of sub-tropical rainforest on Earth. Wollumbin, which rises from the park to a height of 1,157 metres above sea level, is a remnant central vent of an ancient volcano and yep, that’s a drawcard right there.
Where: About 12km south-west of Murwillumbah off Kyogle Road, Mount Warning
Tweed River House
This one is special! From the vantage point of the verdant riverbanks, settled at the tropical foothills of the Tweed Caldera in Murwillumbah, this century-old riverside plantation house has been lovingly restored to maintain its original character and charm. The elegant yet relaxed renovation creates a unique space that reflects the gentle pace of the Northern Rivers, oozing 1930s style with a French twist. They’ve even been nominated for a Chef Hat Award by the Australian Good Food Guide so if the aesthetics aren’t enough to get you there, the nosh will be!
Where: 131 River Street, South Murwillumbah
Baked at Ancora
Another one that’s close by when you’re a bit strapped for time is Baked at Ancora. Believers that sweet treats and waterside picnics go hand in hand, we concur and we can’t get enough of this Parisian style café bakery. From their signature croissants and traditional classics like pain-au-chocolat, to the more unique and inventive flavour combos, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in actual Paris. Well worth the waistline damage.
Where: 118 Wharf St, Tweed Heads
You just know this one will be cool by the name. A small independent boutique bottleshop and delicatessen run by a chef and a sommelier, this trendy yet totally unpretentious local fave is #goals. Grab a sub and stock up on a vast array of sensational deli goodies for your evening platter. Don’t even get us started on the booze, which you can take home (including phenom cocktail ingredients) or enjoy in-house. We recommend passing on DD duty and settling in for a few.
Where: 20 Bay Street, Tweed Heads
Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre
There’s always something new to discover at the Tweed Regional Gallery, housed in a large, modern, architecturally award-winning building with views to Wollumbin/Mount Warning. While you’re there, a meal at the new in-house eats haunt Apex is an absolute non-negotiable. With a stunning outlook and design to reflect the vista, indulge in a unique combo of rustic French patisserie goodies and modern cafe plates with a very ‘now’ pan-Asian twist. Add a cocktail and instant happy place.
Where: 2 Mistral Road, South Murwillumbah
Important side note incoming…. Check out What’s on in the Tweed for the region’s official event calendar here
Words by Bianca Trathen.