I’m A Celeb | How to enjoy a luxurious vacation in Murwillumbah while the celebs live it rough
While we only see the jungle as far as the I can see as ‘I’m A Celeb’ returns to our screens this weekend, what is there to do as a tourist in Murwillumbah?
‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’ once again returns to ITV this weekend, with the rumoured contestants either arriving or preparing to arrive in Murwillumbah ahead of this year’s competition - with Nigel Farage, Josie Gibson and Denise Van Outen among the rumoured celebrities said to be taking part this year.
While we the viewers might think that the area is a wall-to-wall forest, with the ‘jungle’ in question the Springbrook National Park, what we see on screen pales in comparison to what Murwillumbah is actually like. An art gallery, regional museum and haute couture shopping is a juxtaposition compared to the spoils that the celebrities find themselves embroiled in on an annual basis. The area has also become renowned for its art deco architecture, with the area sitting on the southeastern foothills of the McPherson Range in the Tweed Volcano valley, Murwillumbah is 848 km north-east of Sydney, 13 km south of the Queensland border and 132 km south of Brisbane
In 1907 a fire destroyed most of the town's business district. In subsequent years, land developments shaped the town's landscape and gained notoriety in 1978 as the site of Australia's largest-ever bank robbery. The 'Magnetic Drill Gang' stole A$1.7 million in cash from the vault of the Bank of New South Wales. Despite the magnitude of the heist, the case remains unsolved.
So in an era of television and film seemingly influencing the travel choices for holiday-makers, what does Murwillumbah have to offer for tourists that is perhaps more palatable than kangaroo genitalia and raw grubs?
Where to stay in Murwillumbah?
We took a look at five-star properties through Booking.com to find the most well-received accommodation in the area, but many of which were on the outskirts of the New South Wales location. However, a step down into the realms of four-star accommodation brought up The Croft Bed and Breakfast which is located in Murwillumbah.
Ashcroft offers a studio apartment equipped with a queen bed and a sofa bed with a cosy space that includes a separate kitchenette, en suite, and both balcony and patio areas. On the other hand, Beechcroft, a one-bedroom apartment, features a distinct lounge area with a sofa bed, a flat-screen TV, a separate bathroom, and a kitchen/dining space. Enjoy picturesque views of Mt. Warning, the pool, and the garden from Beechcroft.
Guests at The Croft Bed and Breakfast can indulge in various activities such as golfing, snorkelling and windsurfing. The Gold Coast is conveniently situated 32 km away, while the allure of Byron Bay is just 46 km from the property. For added convenience, Gold Coast Airport is a mere 18 km away. Couples have expressed their admiration for the location, giving it a stellar rating of 9.8 for a delightful two-person getaway.
However, if you don’t mind being a commute away from the location, Wollumbin Palms Rainforest Retreat is one of those five-star rated locations, which offers lush forests and lakes, Wollumbin Palms Rainforest Retreat boasts self-contained cottages, each with a fireplace, patio, balcony and a private hot tub.
Each air-conditioned cottage is individually themed, including a temple theme, a cave theme and a 12-sided yurt theme. All feature hand-crafted furnishings, a fully equipped kitchen and original artwork. Some cottages have an outdoor shower.
Those luxuries come with a price though, with the Wollumbin Palms Rainforest Retreat costing between £325 to £525 during peak tourist seasons. Compare that to The Croft Bed and Breakfast which ranges between £122 to £144 during peak seasons, and we’ll leave you to come to your decision.
What can I do in Murwillumbah?
Unsurprisingly, a lot of activities in the area owe themselves to hiking trails and cycling trips around the area, but if floating around the town centre is more akin to your pace during the holiday, then Murwillumbah does have a few activities that might be for your interest.
The Garden of Light encompasses an array of gardens, featuring a Cottage Garden, Tuscan Garden, Wisteria Arbours, a lily-adorned pond, and hillside woodlands inspired by the artistic styles of Butchart and Monet. Additionally, it hosts a Secret Garden and an Angel Walk, as well as vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens, complemented by a splendid treehouse positioned beside the creek. This sprawling 25-acre property has been meticulously cultivated over an 18-year period, evolving into a dynamic canvas for ongoing transformations.
Within these grounds, a home school co-operative and a Noah’s Ark animal menagerie have been established, reflecting a heartfelt and caring initiative. Furthermore, a nursery and farm shop on-site craft and sell products derived from the garden's organic yields. The proceeds generated contribute to supporting the children, animals, and the maintenance of the garden.
The Tweed Regional Museum stands as a beacon of heritage architecture and contemporary interpretations, providing extraordinary cultural experiences through a year-round program of innovative exhibitions, exciting events, engaging programs, and learning experiences. The permanent exhibition, 'Land | Life | Culture,' intricately shares unique cultural, biological, and geological narratives shaping life in the Tweed. It showcases stunning graphics of the region's significant landscapes, a children's interactive area, and cultural stories narrated by local Aboriginal community members.
Meanwhile, the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre reside in a large, modern, architecturally award-winning building with picturesque views of Wollumbin/Mount Warning. The gallery's seven exhibition spaces present a dynamic program ranging from historical to contemporary touring exhibitions, alongside exclusive showcases of regional, national, and international artists. The Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture is a notable component of the program. The Gallery's permanent collection boasts an extensive array of portraits representing Australia’s diverse community.
Visitors to the Gallery can engage in complementary public programs and workshops suitable for all ages and abilities. The facility also includes a workshop and education space, a research library, the Gallery Shop, and the Gallery Café, providing indoor and outdoor seating. The Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC) honours the legacy of Margaret Olley, Australia’s renowned still-life and interior painter, through exhibitions, interactives, and the permanent re-creation of sections of Olley’s famous home studio. MOAC is complemented by the Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence Studio.
How much will it cost to travel to Murwillumbah?
Much like Nigel Farage, you won’t be able to travel directly to Mirwullumbuh, but instead, the closest airport to the New South Wales area is Brisbane Airport. A train from Brisbane to Murwillumbah Station, Coach Bay will take around 3 hours, including a changeover, and will cost around $8 to $11 AUD, while a taxi will set you back between $50 and $56 AUD if you’ve had enough of travelling with other people.
When does ‘I’m A Celeb’ start on ITV?
‘I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’ starts on Sunday 19th of November at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX