18 Things To Do In Kingscliff (and beyond)

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Kingscliff ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for a beach holiday in northern NSW. This coastal town has retained its quintessential Aussie beach charm while continuing to grow and thrive. In recent years, the area around Kingscliff has exploded with cafes, restaurants, bars and breweries. With beautiful beaches, headlands, surf breaks and a lush hinterland, this is an east coast destination to tick off your to-visit list.

Although Kingscliff is in NSW’s Tweed Shire, it’s a more accessible destination for Brisbanites to visit than Sydneysiders. From Brisbane, it’s close enough to explore on a day trip, but there’s every reason to stay longer as you’ll find lots of things to do in Kingscliff and beyond. Although it shares some similarities with Queensland’s coastal towns, Kingscliff and the surrounding Tweed region have a distinct New South Wales character and charm. From visiting farms in the Tweed Valley to surfing, there’s plenty to do, so to help you get started, tick these off your list.

Kingscliff, NSW

18 Things To Do In Kingscliff And Beyond

1- Soak Up The Sun At Kingscliff Beach

woman walking on Kingscliff Beach
Walking on Kingscliff Beach is a lovely way to start the day. Photo: Ryan Fowler Photography.

Kingscliff Beach is a quintessential Aussie beach town perfect for swimming, surfing, sunbaking and long walks.

Surf lifesavers patrol the main section of Kingscliff Beach in town in summer and this is where you will find the best selection of cafes, restaurants and shops.

If you’re looking for less crowded sections of the beach, head to the north or south.

Watch for dolphins and whales from the shore and have fun kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and fishing. Or how about a luxurious picnic dining on 100% local produce?

2- Stroll Along The Kingscliff Esplanade

aerial view of Kingscliff, the river and the heads
Looking for things to do in Kingscliff? This coastal town in NSW has a blend of outdoors and artistic attractions to offer. Photo: @maxandfaye.

The Kingscliff Esplanade runs along Kingscliff Beach and is a lovely stroll along the coastline to stretch your legs and feel the ocean breeze on your face.

There are cafes and restaurants along the way to stop for a bite to eat or a coffee.

The esplanade stretches for around 1.5 km and you’ll come across palm trees and parks with picnic tables, playgrounds and BBQ facilities. 

3- Enjoy A Leisurely Lunch At Farm & Co

outdoor dining at farm & co
One of the things to do not far from Kingscliff is to enjoy a long lunch at Farm & Co.

If you’re looking for paddock-to-plate dining in a beautiful setting, Farm & Co is a fabulous farm-to-table restaurant in Cudgen, just a short drive from Kingscliff.

The kitchen sources ingredients from local farms and suppliers in the Tweed region to create a menu of fresh, seasonal dishes that supports local growers.

Dine in a lovely rural setting, and on a sunny day, the outdoor dining area is the place to sip on creatively named house-made sodas, such as a “surely temple” (mixed berries and vanilla), “leftover lemonade” (lemon, yuzu, grapefruit and bitters) or a “bees needs” (yuzu and local honey).

Dishes are designed to be shared over a long lunch, and for a small fee, you can stretch your legs around the farm among the pigs, free-range chickens, and macadamia trees and pick sunflowers.

Farm & Co is at 529 Cudgen Rd, Cudgen, NSW, 2487.

4- Taste Beer At Earth Beer Company

the brewers at the earth beer company
Pop into the Earth Beer Company for a paddle of beer and a tour.

Earth Beer Company is a craft brewery and taproom in an old corrugated iron shed with loads of character.

Pop in for a cold beer in the outdoor beer garden or the shed, decked out with stained-glass windows and recycled doors.

Its location on an avocado plantation along Cudgen Road offers glimpses of Mt Warning.

Head brewer Zeke Hower (formerly of Stone & Wood) oversees the facility, which offers a range of craft beers brewed on-site using locally sourced ingredients.

Join a brewery tour to learn about their contemporary approach to brewing beer and how they collaborate with local suppliers as you savour a tasting paddle and try their latest seasonal brews.

They are known for their innovative and creative beer flavours produced in small batches for all seasons, from the toffee and dark chocolate notes of their Dark Moon brown ale to the Fruit Tree NEIPA, with hints of mango and summer fruit.

The brewery ascribes to a philosophy of low-impact brewing, which they achieve through various ways, such as minimally packaging their beers and distributing locally, and sending their spent grain to pigs at a nearby farm.

Besides using locally sourced ingredients to reduce its carbon footprint, the brewery is committed to sustainability in its operations and uses solar panels to generate electricity and has a zero-waste policy.

Earth Beer Company is at 592 Cudgen Rd Cudgen NSW 2487.

5- Go Shopping And Eating

Wander down the main street and you’ll have a choice of cafes, restaurants and bars.

For breakfast, try Nectar Juice House for sourdough crumpets, coffee and fresh juice or the dog-friendly Shiny Brew.

Taverna offers a four-course Chefs Sustainable Banquet on Sunday nights, with a weekly changing menu chosen by the chef.

Pot & Pint Kingscliff is a cute European-style cocktail bar with a good craft beer and cocktails selection.

Salt Village, which is 3 km to the south, also has a selection of small local stores and eateries.

Book a table at Fins Restaurant for the best seafood in town. Fins was awarded 2 Hats by the Australian Good Food Guide in 2022 and has been a hatted restaurant for over 22 years.

  • Fins Restaurant and Bar is at 5/6 Bells Boulevard, Salt Village, South Kingscliff.
  • Taverna is at 22 Marine Parade, Kingscliff.
  • Pot & Pint Kingscliff is at 110 Marine Parade Kingscliff.
  • Nectar Juice House is at 3/34 Tweed Coast Rd, Cabarita.
  • Shiny Brew is at Shop 3 62 Cylinders Dr Kingscliff.
  • Can’t decide? Eat a four-course lunch at four restaurants by booking the Progressive Tweed Temptation.

6- Go Glamping In Cabarita Beach

If you can’t get enough of the beach, a short drive from Kingscliff, Cabarita Beach is another seaside town with a beautiful beach, good cafes and restaurants, and a relaxed vibe.

Have lunch at the alfresco Pandanus Café while gazing at the ocean beneath the Cabarita Beach Surf Lifesaving Club.

The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a bistro-style menu created with fresh produce.

For a seaside glamping experience, The Hideaway Cabarita is a lovely cluster of canvas tents a few steps away from the beach.

Bell tents have plush king-sized beds, chairs, floor rugs, bedside tables and lamps to make you feel like you’re on an upmarket safari by the sea.

Tents also have bar fridges, air-conditioning, electricity and sockets to charge your phone.

Shipping containers have been refurbished to create common areas to relax and mingle, including a lounge area and communal kitchen and cooking area.

The contemporary shared bathrooms come with quality toiletries.

  • Pandanus Cafe is at 7 Pandanus Parade Cabarita Beach.
  • The Hideaway Cabarita is at 2-6 Tweed Coast Road, Cabarita Beach.

7- Discover Your Artistic Side

Ben Devlin showing off a piece of squid art
Chef/artist Ben Devlin shows off his squid artwork at Pipit.

The Tweed region is a regional creative hub and has a strong artistic community.

A day trip to discover the region’s creations should include visits to the impressive Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre and M|Arts Precinct in Murwillumbah.

The latter focuses on Australian art and features local artists, while the M|Arts Precinct is a warehouse and Art Deco building where you can wander around watching artists at work. It’s one of the stops on the Tweed Valley Food & Culture tour.

In Kingscliff, Stone Studio has a range of pottery classes for beginners to advanced and children.

Pipit Restaurant in Pottsville has moved its focus on sustainability up a notch by decorating the restaurant with gyotaku seafood prints created by Chef Ben Devlin, who has combined his passion for sustainability and art to create something very unique.

Ben uses seafood such as fish, crabs and squid to create artistic pieces with techniques from the ancient form of Japanese Gyotaku ink painting.

Pipit is at 8 Coronation Avenue, Pottsville, NSW.

8- Go For A Bike Ride

a couple cycling across a bridge on the northern rivers rail trail
The Norther Rivers Rail Trail. Photo: Kiff & Culture/Tweed Tourism Co

Cycling in the Tweed is a popular activity, with the Tweed Coast Cycleway offering a scenic riding path along the beautiful coastline.

The Tweed Coast Cycleway is a mostly flat 35 km coastal bike path from Tweed Heads to Pottsville.

Another cycling path to follow is the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, which, when completed, will be 132 km from Casino to Murwillumbah.

The trail follows the route of the old Casino to Murwillumbah railway line and its first leg from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek (24 km) opened in March.

Hire a bike at Murwillumbah Cycles is at 1/284 Tweed Valley Way, South Murwillumbah NSW.

9- Shop At The Kingscliff Markets

The Kingscliff Lions Beachside Markets has a range of locally made products, including handmade crafts, fresh produce and artisanal foods.

Browse for souvenirs created by local artisans, such as jewellery, paintings, sculptures and clothing.

The Kingscliff Markets are on the second and fourth Saturday monthly (8 am to 1 pm) at Kingscliff Beach (between Terrace Street and Ocean Street).

10- Go Fishing

Both experienced anglers and beginners will find plenty of spots along the coast and in the estuary to cast a line and try your luck.

There are several good fishing spots in and around Kingsclif, such as Cudgen Creek, Fingal Head and Dreamtime Beach, where you can catch bream, whiting, flathead or tailor.

11- Learn To Surf

two women on cabarita beach
One of the top things to do in Kingscliff and along the coast is to hit the beaches.

Surfing is popular in Kingscliff because there are consistent waves, and the beach offers breaks for different levels of surfers, from beginners to experts.

Surf conditions in Kingscliff are more sheltered than in Byron Bay, which can often have larger and more powerful waves.

Kingscliff has a community that eats, drinks and breaths surfing.

Main Beach is a popular surf spot and you will find lessons for all skill levels, including beginners, seven days a week.

Surf schools provide experienced instructors and all the necessary equipment, such as surfboards and wetsuits.

Popular surf schools at Kingscliff include Watersports Guru, In2surf Surf School, and Tweed Coast Surf School.

Other surf spots nearby are Casuarina Beach, Cabarita Beach, Fingal Head, Snapper Rocks and Pottsville Beach.

12- Visit the Fingal Head Lighthouse

The Fingal Head Lighthouse is a coastal landmark with stunning views.

It was constructed in 1878 and was one of the first lighthouses in New South Wales.

Originally powered by a kerosene lamp, it was converted to electricity in 1970 and the is now automated and monitored by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Fingal Head Lighthouse sits on a headland overlooking the Pacific Ocean and can be reached along the Pacific Coast Way.

Walking trails around the lighthouse offers beautiful ocean views and this is a popular spot to go whale watching during the migration season from May to November each year.

13- Go Whale Watching

From June to November each year, humpback whales migrate along the Australian east coast and can be seen from shore.

Vantage points in Kingscliff include Point Danger Lookout, Fingal Head and Hastings Point Lookout.

You can also join a whale-watching tour with Cooly Eco Adventures from Fingal or Coolangatta Whale Watch from Tweed Heads or take a private tour with Watersports Guru.

14- Feel The Energy of Wollumbin (Mount Warning)

a pink sunset over Wollumbin Mt Warning from Clarrie Hall Dam
Wollumbin Mt Warning is a natural landmark near Kingscliff.

Wollumbin (Mount Warning) is the highest peak in the region and a volcanic plug formed more than 23 million years ago.

Wollumbin (Mount Warning) is considered a sacred site to the local Indigenous people, the Bundjalung Nation, who believe it to be the final resting place of Wollumbin, a warrior who died in a battle fighting a neighbouring tribe.

Captain James Cook named it “Mount Warning” during his voyage of discovery along the east coast of Australia in 1770 because of the dangers it posed to mariners.

The area around Wollumbin is known as the Tweed Valley and is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including the endangered Albert’s Lyrebird.

The mountain is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, recognised for its outstanding universal value and significant natural features.

15- Take A Scenic Drive Along Tweed Valley Way

sunflowers against a blue sky
Looking for things to do near Kingscliff? Check out the sunflower farm at Farm & Co.

The Tweed Valley Way is a scenic road that runs through the heart of the Tweed Valley, offering beautiful countryside views.

It connects Murwillumbah and Tumbulgum, passing through charming towns, farmland and hills.

Things to do along the way include stopping for a meal or snack in a lovely village, a hike in a national park and admiring gallery collections.

16- Explore Cudgen Nature Reserve

aerial view of Cudgen Creek Kingscliff
A fun thing to do in Kingscliff is to go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding at Cudgen Creek. Photo: @maxandfaye.

Cudgen Nature Reserve is 110 hectares (270 acres) of nature, making it a great place to explore the natural beauty of Kingscliff.

Walking trails throughout the reserve offer a unique perspective of the landscape.

Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, including wallabies and koalas.

Take a dip and cool off in Cudgen Creek in summer or find a shady spot for a picnic.

The reserve is home to various bird species, including lorikeets, kookaburras, and honeyeaters, so pack binoculars and see how many you can spot.

The reserve has interpretive signage that provides information about the area’s flora, fauna and history.

17- Go On A Farm Tour Of Tropical Fruit World

tropical fruit world tractor train
If you’re visiting with kids, head inland from Kingscliff to Tropical Fruit World.

Tropical Fruit World is a popular attraction near Duranbah.

The working farm grows over 500 varieties of tropical fruits from around the world, including jackfruit, dragonfruit and custard apple.

You can join a farm tour on a tractor train to learn and taste the different fruit and there’s a gift shop and restaurant on the premises.

Tropical Fruit World is approximately 10 km (6.2 miles) from Kingscliff. The drive takes about 15 minutes.

18- Drink Ink Gin At Husk Distillery

four hands holding drinks at husk distillery
Pop into Husk Distillery for a refreshing gin drink.

Husk Distillery is a family-owned distillery that produces award-winning rum, gin and whisky.

You can tour the distillery, which is on a former sugarcane plantation, and learn about the production process and taste the spirits.

The bar and restaurant is a fantastic spot for a lazy afternoon lunch, with delicious food and cocktails made with their own spirits.

Ink Gin is a unique blue gin that gets its striking blue colour from the infusion of the butterfly pea flower, which changes colour when mixed with tonic or citrus.

The gin also features a range of native Australian botanicals, including lemon myrtle, Tasmanian pepperberry and coriander.

Husk Distillers is in near Murwillumbah and about a 30-minute drive from Kingscliff.

Husk Distillery is at 76 Dulguigan Road, North Tumbulgum, New South Wales. This private Tweed hinterland food and drink tour will take you to Husk, Earth Brewery and Tropical Fruit World.

Where To Stay 

Blue Water Motel – the retro redesign of this old-style motel makes it a cool spot to stay and lap up the coastal vibe of Kingscliff, a few steps away from Kingscliff Beach. Rooms have been completely renovated and there’s a saltwater swimming pool, 24×7 kitchen, alfresco common areas and bike hire. Check in at 129 Kingscliff St Kingscliff NSW 2487.

Mantra on Salt Beach Kingscliff – a popular choice for its beachfront location. The resort has an outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and fitness centre, making it an excellent option for a family holiday at Gunnamatta Ave, Kingscliff.

Coolamon Station – a boutique farm retreat and corporate training venue on 105 acres with a three-bedroom cottage and huge barn-style hall. Feed the pigs and chooks and sit around a campfire at 245 Palmvale Rd. Palmvale, NSW.

Jodha Bai Retreat – a luxury B&B designed to resemble the 450-year-old Jodha Bai Palace in Fatepur Sikri, India. The city was Emperor Akbar’s Mugal Empire capital. Live like Indian royalty at 38 Sunnycrest Dr, Terranora NSW 2486.

For more things to do in NSW, read:

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Christina Pfeiffer Travel Writer
Christina Pfeiffer is a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia. She has lived in three continents and her career as a travel journalist has taken her to all seven continents. Since 2003, she has contributed travel stories and photographs to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. She has won many travel writing awards and is a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.