The Natural Wonderland of the Scenic Rim

Do you like shopping, casinos the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast? If so I will leave you with the Icons of the Gold Coast.

But if you love the beauty of nature, rainforests, rivers and stunning scenery, come with me today. I am going south, over the border into New South Wales.

Millions of years ago this was an area of volcanic activity. The ground shook and volcanoes spewed forth the molten lava from the bowels of the earth. Mountains were formed and rivers of lava flowed through the valleys leaving behind a layer of rich volcanic ash. The earth cooled and rivers flowed were once the lava created the valleys. Mighty rainforest trees thrived in this rich soil and vines and creepers twisted and tangled into every spare gap. It was a land of abundance. For thousands of years the Aborigine Bundjalung people cherished this land, it gave them all they needed for survival. Their name for the mountain is “Wollumbin”; meaning, “cloud-catcher”. 

 Captain Cook passed by in 1770 and called this mighty mountain “Mt Warning”. A mere 200 years ago pioneers (and convicts) arrived looking for a better place. In awe they looked at this land of abundance and settled here. The mighty Red Cedar trees were cut down and used to build their houses, make furniture and send overseas to an insatiable market. The land was cleared to plant crops and create farms. Slowly the mighty rainforests were raped and plundered and the Aborigines were denied access to their ancestral home land.

Fortunately the park was reserved for public recreation in 1928 and dedicated as a national park in 1966. The Park is part of the Shield Volcano Group of the World Heritage Site Gondwana Rainforests of Australia inscribed in 1986 and added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2007.

Mt Warning-4

Now the mighty “Wollumbin” slumbers on the horizon. Its work has been done. At times shrouded in mist.

Mt Warning-6

At the foot of the range the Tweed River winds through the fertile farm land.

Today I will take you to Tumbulgum, a small historic village nestled on the banks of the Tweed River.


Looking across to Wollumbin/Mt Warning from the junction of the Tweed and Rous Rivers, Tumbulgum was one of the first villages established in northern NSW in around 1840. For many years, it was the Tweed Valley’s main hub of activity, with shops and services springing up to cater to the timber trade and cedar cutters. At one stage it vied with nearby Murwillumbah for commercial supremacy – until Murwillumbah scored the railway in 1897 and a bridge in 1901, guaranteeing its status as the Tweed Valley’s economic centre. In Tumbulgum today it is the tourists who generate the buzz, coming to enjoy the picturesque setting and admire the historic buildings which now house a range of art galleries, gift shops and cafés. murwillumbah-4 One of the most popular reminders of the past is undoubtedly the old Tumbulgum Tavern. Established in 1887, it was the region’s first unlicensed pub (otherwise known as a ‘grog shanty’) and over 120 years later, it is still going strong. The food here is excellent – as are the sunsets that illuminate the river and Wollumbin/Mt Warning. It is too early for lunch. I think I will make a note to come here for dinner one evening. A boat cruises from nearby Tweed along the river and after dinner will take you back again.

murwillumbah-5 murwillumbah-6

As we drive away this interesting old tree calls to my camera. As we reach Murwillumbah another old tree “talks” to me.


Jack has an interesting post about the museum and art gallery in Murwillumbah. Go to this link.

To see more artists impressions of this beautiful area this is the link to the art gallery

Now it is lunchtime and we drive out-of-town and toward the Mt Warning Road. To the Rainforest Café that has been recommended by the lady in the tourist information centre.

Mt Warning-2


We are not disappointed it is set in an idyllic setting on the banks of a small meandering creek. The tables are well spread out and you can choose to sit in the sun or the shade from the large, mature trees and palms. We choose to sit on the veranda. Can you see Jack?


The food is delicious.

There is so much to see in this area. Next time I will take you for a walk in the rainforest.

Categories: aboriginal history, Australia, New South Wales, Tumbulgum, Wollumbin/Mt Warning | Tags: , , , , | 50 Comments

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50 thoughts on “The Natural Wonderland of the Scenic Rim

  1. HI, I LOVE Tumblegum! its such a beautiful area and your photo of Mr Warning in the background is spectalar! The old pub has changed so much, I went there a few years ago with Mum and was suprised to see it had become so upmarket, and great eating place. I love the Tweed River. I was actually about to mention Tumblegum in a post I’m writing and serendpitiously found your post! may i borrow a photo and link back to you? I cant believe its taken my so long to stumble on your blog, having seen you around Badfish’s cafe for so long! Love this post! 🙂


    • G’day Debbie nice to have you drop by. I think we live in such a beautiful area I never tire of the scenery. You are very welcome to use my photos I am flattered you like them enough to use and thank you for asking. I will watch for your post on Tumbulgum (what a great name it is too.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi again – it is indeed a beautiful part of the world. I grew up camping at Kingscliff every summer holidays -but that place has changed so much. I love the Tweed river and surrounds – so pristine and beautiful. I can’t believe its taken me so long to stumble into your blog – and then, i found it because i was simply google image searching Tumblegum for my blog post!!!!! i found the perfect, most beautiful photo, even with Mr Warning watching over us, and what a suprise it was when i opened the photo and it brought me to your blog!! Serendipity!

        I assumed you wouldnt mind and have borrowed your photo and credited you here for it. It’s in a long rambling post called The Ninjas of Haze. lol. but i drift in and out between Australia and China and mention Tumblegum……

        see you over on the Spaceship. the post is linked to this weeks ADMIRE photo challenge , and Tumblegum sure is a very admirable place. 🙂


        • How coincidental badfish was talking about Google links in his last post and people “discovering” you via that source, and here you are!!! Pleased to meet you in this cyber world and I will be over to wander through your world shortly…


  2. Hey…thanks for sending me this link. This is a beautiful post, with gorgeous photos!! Very cool…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some gorgeous scenery and then finishing it off with that wonderful looking restaurant – perfect!


  4. Oh this is a whole other side to the Gold Coast isn’t it. Simply stunning captures and gorgeous locales. The food looks phenomonal too! Lucky you!


  5. “grog shanty” – perfect description! But I guess the hotel is licensed these days. And Mt Warning must be the best ever name for a volcano, dormant or not.


    • Yes it is licensed now, and dear old captain Cook named it because it was in line with and warned him of some deadly reefs off that shore.


  6. Another superb post – much more to my taste than the Gold Coast. I love the trees that spoke to you, and the idyllic shots of mountain and river. You excel yourself with atmospheric information this time too. You are revealing skills as a food photographer too.

    Jack has a very distinctive way of sitting! I recognised him immediately.


    • Thank you for this encouraging comment Meg. Some times the photos and destination just make the words flow. Other times I struggle a bit. Jack is an extrovert and loves to be in the photos. The food was presented as a work of art and just asked to be photographed.


  7. Joan and Terry

    Oh how I love all of that, must go to the cafe, do not remember it, love the photo with Jack also.


  8. Forgot to say that your foodie pics have me drooling. 🙂


  9. Such beautiful scenes, Pauline. I must admit that when I read your post and look at your photos, I’ve often wished that my dad had gone ahead with his plans for us all to emigrate to Australia when I was still a child. Love those old talking trees, especially the green eyelashes on the one in Murwillumbah. 🙂


  10. Wonderland indeed with lush greenery, talking tree barks and boulders in brooks. I love your captures, Pauline. Looking forward to the rainforest shots


  11. Beautiful. I love the area down that way 🙂


  12. How absolutely beautiful – I always imagine Australia as desert, even though I know that is not accurate, looking at these photos makes me want to fly over immediately. thanks for taking me on the walk with you!


  13. I skipped past all the wonderful landscapes and even the old trees to get to the food. Oh, my, they all look incredible! Especially the bottom two… now I am going to have to make some lunch 😀


  14. What a wonderful place to explore, Pauline. I love your photos; they’re really great! I love how you’ve gotten rid of the sidebar and made the pictures larger. It does them such justice. Hmmm. I may have to consider that for mine, since I’m using this same theme.

    Those trees are fabulous; they remind me of the talking trees on The Wizard of Oz. So much green tropical abundance. What a happy day, and topped off by that delicious-looking food which is really tempting right now as I’m on a diet (no fun!). 🙂


    • Thanks for the feedback on the format Cathy. I was wondering how it would be received. It is a very good theme for photos.Diets aren’t much fun but they are a means to an end. I’m surprised you put on weight in China as you are also so active. Maybe it was the dumplings you liked so much!!!


      • I love the large size of the pictures now that you got rid of the sidebars, Pauline; I toy with the idea of doing that as well, but I do like having the information in the sidebar. Hmmm. Such a dilemma. I have played around with so many themes; often I find the ones that display pictures best have tiny little text that no one can read.

        As for the “diet,” I shouldn’t call it that, as I really am trying to make a complete lifestyle change. I don’t know how I gained so much weight in China; maybe sitting around all afternoon after class during the weekdays did me in, or eating too many little chocolate mousse cake desserts after lunch and dinner each day!!! Oh yes, and those dumplings. I often joked that I was going to turn into a dumpling from eating so many dumplings! Oh dear. It’s so easy to get into bad habits. Now I’m walking at least 3 miles every day, eating a very healthy diet, pretty much cutting out sugar, and drinking more water. In essence trying to make conscious healthy decisions at every turn during each day. It’s tough to change a lifetime of bad habits, but I’m getting better each day. Taking it one day at a time. 🙂


        • I have put my format back to the 2 panels with sidebar again Cathy as I wanted to use the blog as a reference point for a house sit I have applied for. They can then search and find other house sits I have done to compare what we have done in the past. Like you say, changing to one panel there is nowhere for that information to go back to previous posts. Ah well I might just switch back and forth between the choices or see what other themes are available.


          • I see, Pauline. I love the Adventure Journal theme, and it looks good no matter what, but I wish it would utilize space a little better and extend the side out so that the pictures would be bigger, but we could still have the sidebar with the information about our other blog posts, etc. There might be other themes that would work, as they’re always coming out with new ones. However, it would be sad to leave that theme behind!


  15. Looks like a great place for a wander, Pauline 🙂


  16. What a lovely visit PP. I love the way you wrote about the history of the area. The Tweed area is so nice.


  17. A lovely stroll PP – we spent some time nearby this area when we traveled through Australia but never got to this small town. What a special day in a special place!!


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