Tweed Shire covers 1303 square kilometres and adjoins the NSW Local Government Areas of Byron, Lismore and Kyogle, with the NSW/Queensland border to its north where it divides the twin towns of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta.
With 37 kms of natural coastline, the Tweed Shire boasts a unique and diverse environment.
Centrepiece of the Shire is Mount Warning, where the sun first hits the Australian continent. The surrounding McPherson, Tweed, Burringbar and Nightcap ranges form the caldera of the fertile Tweed Valley.
Prior to European settlement, the area was blanketed in sub-tropical forest and was home to the Bundjalung people. Many of the Shire’s towns and villages derive their names from the language of those Aborigines.
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, largely due to southern retirees drawn by the temperate climate and relaxed lifestyle.
The retail, hospitality, agricultural and tourism industries are major employers, while construction, fishing, and light industry are other significant contributors to the local economy.