There are many ways that you can experience and learn more about the culture and history of The Tweed on Bundjalung Country, NSW. Sarah’s dug up a range of cultural tours, self-guided walks, and even bike rides that’ll give you an insight into Bundjalung culture.


We acknowledge that these adventures are located on the traditional Country of the Bundjalung people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Quick Overview

What’s better than spending time in nature? Spending time in nature with a local guide, that’s what! There’s so much knowledge to be found in The Tweed, and although not much of it’s written down, you just have to know who to ask. I’ve dug up six ways you can learn about The Tweed on Bundjalung Country, through guided tours or on solo adventures.

1. Guided Bush Walk at Minjungbal Museum & Cultural Centre

A great place to start your journey through Bundjalung Country is the Tweed Heads Historic Site. Here you’ll find the Minjungbal Museum & Cultural Centre ($10 per adult, cash only), a picnic area, and a self-guided bush walk. It’s amazing to think that this dense bushland is across the road from the Tweed City Shopping Centre – it feels as if you’re deep in the rainforest.


Getting to Know Bundjalung Country, Sarah Tayler, The Tweed, NSW, Tweed Heads Historic Site, Forest


Tours with a Bundjalung guide can be arranged in advance via email ($10 per person, cash only) but you can also explore on your own. The bush track was designed to loop onto an elevated boardwalk into the mangroves, but this was damaged in the 2022 flood and is currently closed.

The forest section of the track is open and can be explored as an out-and-back walk. If you’re taking the self-guided option, there are plenty of information boards along the way. One highlight of the walk is the Bora Ring – a ceremonial site and sacred initiation ground for the Goodjinburra clan of the Bundjalung Nation. Initiation ceremonies were still held there as late as 1908.

Hot Tip! Take bug spray – mozzies love this riverside stretch of bush.

2. Tweed Escapes River Cruise

Run by Russell Logan (Goodjinburra clan, Bundjalung Nation), and his business partner, Michael Simmons, Tweed Escapes offer a selection of tours including a cruise on the Tweed River.

‘The Tweed River connects us to Country because we are Saltwater People,’ explains Uncle Franc Krasna, Goodjinburra Elder and your guide for the cruise.

Franc began delving into the history of the Tweed in 1987 when a huge holiday resort and marina development was planned for the old Fingal quarry, or ‘Place of the Black Dingo’ (devil dog). In the process of stopping the development, a lot of cultural history and stories were uncovered.

Uncle Franc wanted to share them with as many people as possible, so he took a tour guiding course at TAFE. After years of collecting stories, Uncle Franc has become a mine of cultural and historical information which he relishes sharing with visitors.


Getting to Know Bundjalung Country, Sarah Tayler, The Tweed, NSW, Chinderah, Tweed Escapes Tour, Welcome to country, smoke ceremony

Welcome to Country at Chinderah with Tweed Escapes


This cruise is a great opportunity to learn some Bundjalung language and ask any questions you have after visiting the museum and important Goodjinburra sites.

‘We started these cruises because we wanted to share our stories with everyone. Stories of the Tweed River and of the Indigenous people and their labour that got the Tweed area to where it is today,’ said Russell Logan of the Goodjinburra clan, Bundjalung Nation.

‘From the beginning, all the way through the years of the cedar, the cane, the oysters. Hunting and gathering for companies such as Tweed Bait, which is now a nationally recognised brand.’


Getting to Know Bundjalung Country, Sarah Taylor, The Tweed, NSW

The Spirit of Wollumbin Cruise partners with local company Blue Ginger Picnics to offer visitors a taste of The Tweed


To hear Franc’s incredible stories, book your tour ahead of time via phone or email. You can also customise your itinerary to suit your group. During the cruise, take in the view of the mighty Tweed River and the centrepiece of Bundjalung Country, Wollumbin.

3. Walk the Lyrebird Track in Wollumbin National Park

A place of huge importance to the Bundjalung people, Wollumbin / Mount Warning is all that remains of a gigantic volcano that shaped the Tweed Valley. Wollumbin rises an impressive 1,157m above sea level and can be seen from as far away as the Cape Byron Lighthouse.

In the past, the Wollumbin Summit Track was available for people to climb, but it’s been recognised as a sacred Indigenous site and the track is closed to visitors.

The World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park surrounding Wollumbin / Mount Warning was devastated by the 2022 floods. Luckily, the Lyrebird Track, a short but steep 600m return walk, was recently restored and is now open. The walk has updated information boards so you can take in the amazing Tweed Valley biodiversity while learning about Bundjalung culture.


Getting to Know Bundjalung Country, Sarah Tayler, The Tweed, Wollumbin Mt Warning, Tweed River, NSW,

That’s Wollumbin / Mount Warning in the distance


Another great place to appreciate Wollumbin is from a kayak on the Rous River Trail, starting at the Tumbulgum boat ramp.

4. Kayak Ukerebagh Island

Ukerebagh Island is important to Goodjinburra people because it has a unique environment of salt marshes, rainforests, and mangroves which provide essential habitats for birds, animals, and marine life.

In the 1920s it was gazetted an Aboriginal Reserve. First Nations families were sent to live on the island by the government and they relied on fishing and hunting to supplement their government rations.

‘It was the birthplace of the first Indigenous politician, Senator Neville Bonner,’ Uncle Franc explains. ‘He was born on the island under a birthing tree.’

Today it’s a nature reserve and no one lives there, but there are still a few people alive that were born on the island during the enforced segregation.

Ukerebagh Island is located just off the Tweed Heads Historic Site and marks the end of Teranora Creek as it joins the Tweed River. A paddle around the island gives you plenty of opportunity to marvel at the biodiversity of the plants and wildlife that call it home.


Getting to Know Bundjalung Country, Sarah Tayler, The Tweed, Tweed River, NSW, kayak,


Circumnavigation is only possible at high tide and takes roughly two hours – unless you forget to check the tide and are paddling against it, in which case it can take considerably longer.

You can access the water along Minjungbal Drive – there’s a small beach opposite the Tweed Heads Fire Station and a spot where you can park close to the shore.

5. Booning(bah) / Fingal Headland Lighthouse Track

Many of the cultural sites and caves on the Fingal Peninsula have been destroyed by quarrying and sand mining over the last century, but there’s still a lot to see. Adjoining the huge columns of basalt which make up Fingal Headland is the rocky outcrop known as ‘Booning’. The name Booning comes from ‘The creation story of the giant echidna who fell off the headland and came to rest,’ Uncle Franc explains.

‘Bah is place of, Booningbah, Place of the Giant Echidna. You will see it as “Pooningbah” because the Europeans got it wrong in the 1800s. There’s no ‘p’ sound in Bundjalung language.’


Getting to Know Bundjalung Country, Sarah Tayler, The Tweed, NSW, Booningbah, Fingal beach,



From here, you can also see Cook Island. Originally named Turtle Island in 1823 by British explorer and surveyor John Oxley, its Bundjalung name is Jungurra Ngarrian meaning ‘resting place of old man pelican’. Uncle Franc tells fabulous stories, bringing the culture and history of the area to life.

‘When visiting Booningbah, be on the lookout for the mischievous mythical creature, the Durrugan, or Hairy Man,’ he explains. ‘His job was to look after the keeping place, which was where people would hide their things when they went hunting.’

To explore the Fingal Headland, the home of the Durrugan, park at Fingal Surf Club and enjoy the 30-minute out-and-back walk to one of the most easterly points of Australia. On the short headland circuit, there’s a lighthouse, two lookouts – Cook Island and Wollumbin – as well as wild wallabies, goannas, and birds to spot.


Getting to Know Bundjalung Country, Sarah Tayler, The Tweed, NSW, Final Headland Walk, Steps,


Access the track straight across the grassy clearing from the surf club car park, or at the southern end of Fingal Beach. The bushland is not well signposted, but if you want to explore further, you can take the 6km walk to the end of Fingal Beach and back, or go south through the bush track and come out on Dreamtime Beach to walk towards Kingscliff.

6. Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Before hopping on your bike to explore the newly-opened Nothern Rivers Rail Trail, pop into the Tweed Regional Museum in Murwillumbah town centre. One of the permanent museum exhibits is Land | Life | Culture, a collection of important Indigenous cultural knowledge contributed by the local community.

Once you’ve soaked it all in, follow the rail trail south through the majestic Northern Rivers countryside to see if you can spot any of the native plants or animals you’ve learnt about.

Want to know more?

If you’ve enjoyed getting to know the cultural history of the Goodjinburra clan and want to know more, there are plenty of places near Tweed you can visit. Try the Bushtucker walking tour run by Explore Byron Bay or a guided walk on Jelluragal / Burleigh Headland, just across the border into Queensland.

Learn the Dreaming stories of the Kombumerri people and about the creation of Burleigh Headland. Discover the history of ochre, see the trees that boomerangs are made from, find breadfruit that’s ground to make damper, and take a closer look at pandanus, the plants used for weaving baskets and nets.


Getting to Know Bundjalung Country, Sarah Tayler, The Tweed, NSW, Jelluragal Walkabout, Burleigh Headlands

Guided Walkabout on Jelluragal / Burleigh Headland, QLD