Confession: I have fallen hard for the Tweed Valley region of New South Wales. And, honestly, what’s not to love? In less than two hours’ drive from Brisbane you’ll discover a world that is entirely separate to the hustle and bustle of city life. An ancient caldera carpeted with a tapestry of quaint hinterland communities and gorgeous coastal towns, all ripe for exploration. It’s here that you’ll also find three luxurious villas tucked away on 130 acres of verdant rainforest at one of the region’s premier retreats for two – Mistere Spa and Retreat. And, it’s here that I was fortunate enough to spend two indulgent days (all in the name of honeymoon research, of course… you’re welcome!)
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From the moment you turn into the long, winding driveway, you’ll fall under the Mistere spell thanks to the quiet serenity of the surrounding lush landscape. Here, folks, is your local honeymoon destination pot of gold. It’s your opportunity to take a step back from the real world, relax and indulge in each other and your private piece of untouched rainforest seclusion.
Your room for two is thoughtfully designed to offer the best in-villa catering and comfort. Awake in your plush, king-size bed to a chorus of songbirds, and breakfast alfresco on your deck overlooking either a spectacular view of Mount Warning, a fountain or a waterfall, before exploring the rainforest on one of the property’s many walking tracks (with the showcase of sculptures that dot the way, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve chanced upon an open-air art gallery!).
Mistere Spa and Retreat makes an ideal honeymoon (or mini-moon) destination. It’s close to beautiful rivers, idyllic countryside and breathtaking beaches, allowing you to pick and choose activities to fill your days, yet it’s delightfully secluded, giving you a haven to retreat to, somewhere you can shut out the world and focus on a special break, designed for just two.
Be whisked around the countryside with the experts from Mount Warning Tours. Start with morning tea at House of Gabriel on the scenic riverbank of Tumbulgum before taking to the water for a casual half-day cruise along the Tweed River and its estuaries (complete with a decadent seafood degustation lunch!). Then drop into the new cellar door of local legends Husk Distillers (opening late 2018) – their Ink Gin and Agricole rums are unique and fascinating boutique spirits. Finish the day with a visit to the village of Tyalgum, and make sure you include a refreshing pit-stop at its charming Flutterbies Cottage Cafe – home to the locally renowned Flutterbie Cakes.
The best of both worlds
Awake under a canopy of trees in your own private rainforest paradise at Mistere, and be at the beach within 20 minutes! The coastal havens of Kingscliff, Cabarita (pictured below) and Pottsville are a stone’s throw away.
Don’t be fooled by the country town vibe of Murwillumbah – this is a small town with a big appetite, and offers visitors a plethora of dining and bar options (make sure the popular Mavis’s Kitchen is on your hit list). You’re also spoilt for choice with the buzzing restaurant and bar scene of the coastal towns, including the renowned Paper Daisy restaurant at Halcyon House in Cabarita.
Back at Mistere, indulge in an in-room massage, or soak in your therapeutic double spa bath – it’s a wonderful way to pamper tired muscles after a day of exploration.
Discover more about Mistere Spa & Retreat
Images courtesy of Destination NSW and Nikki Ernst