Lieutenant James Cook identified and named two of Tweed Shire’s most prominent features, Mount Warning (Aboriginal Wollumbin) and Point Danger (Aboriginal area of Pooningbah), in 1770.The aborigines of the Tweed were not particularly nomadic, having no need to travel for hunting or food-gathering. Their tribes had almost died out by the turn of this century.
In 1823 John Oxley was the first European to see the Tweed Valley where upon exploring 7 miles upstream of the Tweed River he entered into his journal:
"A deep rich valley clothed with magnificent trees, the beautiful uniformity of which was only interrupted by the turns and windings of the river, which here and there appeared like small lakes. The background was Mt. Warning. The view was altogether beautiful beyond description. The scenery here exceeded anything I have previously seen in Australia."
The area was settled by timber-getters around 1844. The first school opened in 1871, and by the 1890’s the river port of Tumbulgum was the centre of population. The focus moved to Murwillumbah when the first Local Government municipality was declared in 1902. The Tweed Shire, which amalgamated the Municipality of Murwillumbah and Shire of Tweed, was declared in 1947.
Today in excess of 80,000 people live in Tweed, scattered through 17 villages, two towns, and the major urban areas of Tweed Heads and South Tweed. The last twenty years have seen enormous growth, with the population increasing on average
approx. 1.9% per year between the 1996 census and the 2001 census, due largely to southern retirees drawn by the temperate climate and relaxed lifestyle.
Caldera to the Sea Overview
This book explores the dynamic forces that have shaped the people and landscapes of the Tweed Valley as we know them today.'Caldera to the Sea' is available for purchase at both Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads Council offices and also at the Coolamon Cultural Centre in Murwillumbah.
Roll of Freeman (918kb)
A roll of those elected to serve in Local Government in the Tweed from 1902 (plus Town/Shire Clerks and General Managers).