The green island in the sky

Overlooking the glitz of the Gold Coast, you’ll find the delights of Mt Tamborine. Whether it’s bush walks, wineries, distilleries, delicious foods or antiques, it’s the perfect day out, or to stay for a little longer. So grab your walking shoes, appetite and sense of adventure and head for the hills!

Just one hour from the golden sands and high rises of the coast and Brisbane, lies a place of breathtaking beauty. In fact, Mt Tamborine is so spectacular, the national park and its surrounds were recently voted Queensland’s Top Tourism Town and one of the top 10 places in the world to visit by the Lonely Planet guide.

Don’t let the sleepy atmosphere fool you. There’s a lot to cover during a visit, so it’s best to plan ahead.

Where to stay

Cedar Creek Lodges

If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a rainforest, now’s your chance. The new, luxurious Cedar Creek Lodges are perfect for a romantic getaway. Book the new Courtyard Spa at Wallaby Lodge, which features a vaulted ceiling, private bush courtyard, a couple’s bathroom, oval bed, luxe linen and of course, local produce on a platter at any time.
For those with kids in tow, there’s two-, three- and four-bedroom options, some nestling right next to the waterfall. They boast a fully equipped kitchen, living room and fireplace. Once the kids are in bed you’ll truly feel like you’re getting away from it all.

Where to dine

Picnic Real Food Bar

The Picnic is the brainchild of famed Queensland foodie Brenda Fawdon. Boasting the country’s best sausage rolls (try the Tommerup pork, apple and fennel), the food here is not just delicious, it’s great for the environment. The restaurant boasts a closed-loop sustainability system that turns the kitchen waste into compost to minimise garbage and nourish the soil. Now that’s good food!

Where to drink

The Cauldron Distillery

At home in the Hartley Road Winery Precinct, Cauldron Estate is seven glorious hectares of established vineyards and lush green meadows perfect for picnics, lawn games and sips. Cauldron’s True Blue Gin is a sipper’s salvation. Featuring three outstanding Australian native botanicals in strawberry gum leaves, finger lime (native to Tamborine) and aniseed myrtle, the blue colour came from steeping butterfly pea flower leaves after distillation, while their newest Gin nods to the Mediterranean, featuring figs, olive leaf, coriander, orange and sage. It’s dry, savoury, and perfect for a Queensland summer. Darren Stewart, Head Distiller said: “There is never a bad time to enjoy a quality Gin, but with the growth and talent of local distilleries there are now Gins that perfectly match the season at hand.”

Tamborine Mountain Distillery

Tamborine Mountain Distillery is Australia’s most awarded distillery and liquor brand. Founded in 1993, it is the third oldest distillery in Queensland. The creators use an artisanal approach and multiple distillations with an impressive range of natural ingredients and native flora, creating smooth and unique flavours. Their master distiller employs a range of equipment, from handmade copper pot stills to large multi column reflux stills. This artisanal process has been passed down through generations from founder Alla Ward’s Russian and Ukrainian family heritage, and still remains the essence of the distillery today.

Witches Falls Winery

You can wander the vineyards, sip their famed wines share a local produce platter and talk to the winemakers. Plan to arrive for Sunset Sips in Spring and Summer, held until 7pm every Friday and Saturday night.

Witches Falls offers a tasting experience at the Tamborine Mountain Cellar Door. The wine tasting experience is just $10 per head and includes six pours and you can choose your favourite wine!

Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation

Get your cup of joe with a local coffee experience, grown, roasted and blended on the mountain.

Where to walk

Scenic Rim

A visit to the mountain isn’t complete unless you’ve visited the breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls. For a guaranteed sight, follow the 1.1km track to Curtis Falls or pack a picnic and follow the trail to Cedar Creek Falls to peer up at the 15-20m waterfall. There’s the 3.1km Witches Falls Circuit, which has incredible views. The walk to Cameron Falls takes about half an hour each way and is well worth the effort.

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

An eco-adventure that’s a must do for the whole family. Follow the easy-to-navigate trail through the rainforest, culminating in the canopy top view over the valley and beyond.

Thunder Bird Park

Experience the thrill of flying through the cool, green, leafy world on a zip line, ropes course and over-the-waterfall walk. Use your strength to experience the beauty of sun-drenched gum trees, bush flowers and thriving brush box amongst the towering red gums. There’s even a ropes course for the little ones, so no-one misses the fun. Or keep your feet firmly on the ground and discover the remains of yesterday the Thunderbird Park Egg Mine. Take the results of your labour to the hut afterwards where they’ll cut and polish your finds.

If that’s too sedate for you, then why not get a bird’s eye view of the Scenic Rim. SEQ Hang Gliding uses the purest form of free flight: there no cockpit or engine. Just you, nature and of course, that breathtaking view.

Sound too risky? Take your local produce and blanket and settle down on the mountainside to watch the paragliders and setting sun to the west. Robert Sowter Park at Main Western Rd is the ideal spot, with plenty of parking.

Take a tour through the rainforest and into the famous glow worm caves for a truly magical experience. It’s perfect for kids and grownups. Extremely knowledgeable staff leads groups, with stories and information to light up inquiring minds. Then settle down for a spot of lunch at the adjoining café.

If all that outdoor air has left you hankering for something sweet, head to Gallery Walk. You’ll find ice-creameries, fudge stores, such as Granny Mac’s Fudge Store and Café, Chocolates on Gallery, and the nostalgia-inducing Bygone Days and Vintage Crafts. Park the car and wander down Long Road to explore the art, craft, gift and knick-knack stores along the way. Don’t miss out on the mountain’s legendary art gallery, where you can pick up a local creation to remind you of your visit. Try the Arthur Hamlin Art Gallery or the Mountain Dreams Studio.
All shopped out? Then reward yourself with a pint of local beer at Fortitude Brewing Company.
For more information visit Scenic Rim to plan your itinerary.

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