Murwillumbah is a town in far north-eastern NSW, Australia in the Tweed Shire, on the Tweed River, 848 km north-east of Sydney, 13 km south of the Queensland border and 132 km south of Brisbane.
At the 2011 census, Murwillumbah had a population of 8,523 people. The town’s name is often abbreviated to M’bah or Murbah.
Murwillumbah sits on the south eastern foothills of the McPherson Range in the Tweed Volcano valley. The area is hilly. Many of the buildings are Art Deco in style and there are cafes, clothes and antique shops in the town. Murwillumbah was nominated one of the top ten sea/tree change towns in Australia. Murwillumbah is the eighth town mentioned in the original Australia version of the song “I’ve Been Everywhere”. The area is used for filming of the British reality series, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, and has been since 2002. Versions of the show for other countries are also produced in the area. Murwillumbah was also used as the location for the film Lou (2010) starring John Hurt.
The first people to live in the area were Bundjalung people. The name Murwillumbah derives from an Aboriginal word meaning “camping place” – from Murrie, meaning “aboriginal people”, Wolli, “a camp”; and Bab, “the place of”. Nearby Mount Warning and its attendant national park are known as Wollumbin, meaning “Cloud Catcher”, in the Bundjalung language.
Timber-getters were drawn to the region in the 1840s. The river port at Tumbulgum was initially the main settlement. In 1902, a local government municipality was declared with Murwillumbah as its center.
The annual Tweed Banana Festival, the second oldest festival in Australia is staged in the town. In 2005, the festival celebrated its 50th anniversary. Since 2002 an annual historic motor racing festival has been run through the streets of Murwillimbah, featuring a parade through town, a one kilometre hillclimb course, and connected events, attracting thousands of spectators. Modeled on the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Speed on Tweed was a highlight of the local calendar attracting cars and competitors from all over Australia and from Europe and North America. In September 2009 the event was held in conjunction with Rally Australia which has scheduled one special stage in Murwillumbah. On the second Sunday of each July, Murwillumbah hosts the Festival of the CTC, attended by many Queensland students.