Half Dozen Shops, A Pub And A Bit Of History
Have you ever gone out for a ride and stumbled across a place you thought was just perfect?
Not perfect because it has all the mod-cons, or because it has a great view or anything like that, but because it’s a sleepy village with 1/2 dozen shops, a pub and a bit of history.
On my way through Murwillumbah NSW a while ago, I found just such a place.
Not only did it have the required 1/2 dozen shops, a pub and a bit of history, it had a really quaint name too: Tumbulgum.
Originally called Tweed Junction, Tumbulgum lies on the banks of the Tweed River, about half way between Murwillumbah and Chinderah along The Tweed Valley Way.
This picturesque village was established in the 1840’s by timber cutters who logged the local area for its Red Cedar, and grew to become a thriving commercial centre for the Tweed Valley until 1897 when the rail line from Sydney was extended into Lismore 90km (56 miles) to the south.
In around 1901 the Murwillumbah Bridge was built and the rail line into Lismore had proved it’s worth, resulting in Tumbulgum losing its status as a major commercial centre.
It quickly settled into life as the village at the junction of the Tweed and Rous Rivers.
From 1901 on, the village relied on local sugar cane growers and passing traffic along the Pacific Highway to sustain the local economy.
But, in 1996 after the Pacific Motorway bypassed the village to the east, passing trade from the Pacific Highway (now called The Tweed Valley Way) died off, and, like many small towns succumbing to progress, the town struggled.
Today Tumbulgum is a heritage listed historic village which is a popular fishing and boating destination for the locals, and a popular stop for motorcyclists who have come in from Brisbane to the north via the Nerang-Murwillumbah Road, from Billinudgel along The Tweed Valley Way to the south or The Lions Road and Uki to the west.
It’s a great little spot, right by the river, and most riders pull up at the pub for a counter lunch and beverage. While others like me, settle for the typical Aussie staple for lunch: A meat pie and a Coke from the local general store.
It’s cheap, fills the hole under your nose and gives you a chance to stretch out on a patch of grass and watch the locals while you relax.
It’s bit of a boost to the local economy too, who appreciate the trade.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, next time you pass by a turnoff to some out-of-the-way place, chuck a U-turn and check out whats on the other side of that bridge, beyond the wooded glen and to the left of the black stump.
You might just reveal a hidden gem.