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Murwillumbah - Cities, Towns and Localities
Located along the banks of the Tweed River, at the foothills of the McPherson Ranges, is the township of Murwillumbah. Only 13 km south of the Queensland border and about 850 km north-east of Sydney, Murwillumbah provides services for the surrounding farmlands, whose major industry include sugarcane, cattle, dairy and bananas. During certain times of the year, both sides of the road form a wall of sugarcane.

Murwillumbah is of Aboriginal origin (the original inhabitants were the Bundjalung Aborigines). One of Tweed’s early settlers, Joshua Bray (the future police magistrate) laid claim to the naming of the place in a paper he wrote in 1902. It is also said that the NSW Government had asked a Jonathan Harris to suggest a name for the town back in 1873 and is reportedly in family records that Jonathan had named the town. There are several translations for Murwillumbah, the most common one being either ‘Place of Many Possums’ or ‘Home of Many Possums’. The term expressing the abundance of food and the good things of life.

John Oxley, who named the Tweed River in 1823, was the first white person to the area, followed five years later by Captain Henry Rous who having followed the river from its mouth, named the river Clarence, unaware that Oxley had preceded. The name Clarence was later given to a river further south.

Timber-cutters worked the hinterland rainforest in the 1840s, although the region did not yield as rich a source as the Richmond and Tweed Valleys. Ships were to appear around 1868, with sugarcane grown in the valley region in 1869.

The town site was surveyed in 1872, with the post office transferred here from Kynnumboon in 1877. In 1878, the school was also transferred here from Tumbulgum. Soon there was a courthouse, a bank (1880), a sugar mill (1880) and a ferry service, replacing the punt in 1888. It wasn’t until 1894 that the railway arrived from Lismore via Mullumbimby, making Murwillumbah the terminus of the North Coast Line. This became the impetus for Murwillumbah to grow further, with the a lift-span bridge being built over the Tweed River in 1901. The settlement was declared a municipality in 1902.

Clarrie Hall Dam
Clarrie Hall Dam

The views from Hillcrest Bed & Breakfast
The views from Hillcrest B&B

Images © Hillcrest Mountain View Retreat, 2003

Today, Murwillumbah is a popular tourist destination, making it an ideal location from which to visit the surrounding region.

Check out our listing of Murwillumbah accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre Murwillumbah Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Alma St & Tweed Valley Way
Freecall: 1800 674 414
Ph: +61 2 6672 1340
Fax: +61 2 6672 5948

Visit the Tweed Shire Council for map of Tweed Shire...

Source Include: Hillcrest Bed & Breakfast & Self Contained Cottage, Tweed Shire Council,
Tweed River Historical Society Inc, etc.

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Murwillumbah Distance

Distance to Murwillumbah
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Murwillumbah:
• Ballina 76
• Brisbane 132
• Byron Bay 51
• Coolangatta 959
• Grafton 208
• Lismore 80
• Sydney 814
• Tweed Heads 30
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.


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