In the Gold Coast hinterland, an hour south of Brisbane, Tamborine National Park tells a story dating back 20-23 million years, when eruptions from a massive shield volcano laid the foundations of the landscape we see today.
Queensland’s first national park (the Witches Falls section was declared in 1908), it protects pockets of lush subtropical rainforest characterised by massive red cedars and strangler figs.
On weekends the township of Tamborine Mountain is filled with market-goers and day-trippers perusing wares and weighing up the many options for lunch with a view. St Bernards Hotel derives its name from the dogs who live there, and is a popular destination with picturesque fireplaces inside and a deck and terrace overlooking the hinterland. Don’t miss the mouth-watering Guinness pie.
In the quaint little village found atop the winding roads, Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation provides a local coffee experience with beans they have grown and roasted themselves. It’s a boutique micro-lot plantation and they offer tours to visitors as well, just ensure you pre-book your visit online. Afterwards, enjoy a coffee or a cocktail with breakfast or lunch in the Coffee House.
Witches Falls Winery and Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Liqueurs, Vodkas and Gins as well as tantalising wine from freshly harvested grapes can all be found on Tamborine Mountain. Tamborine Mountain Distillery is a special experience. The building is set with Elizabethan Tudor style architecture and the distillery boast numerous awards across their brand. Tastings are only around fifteen minutes in duration, so it’s an easy and must do adventure to tick off the list.
Similarly, Witches Falls’ Winery offers wine tastings and food. The food is mostly an accompaniment to the wine – cheese, chutneys and all your charcuterie board favourites – there is no restaurant on site. The tastings are 60 minutes at $10 per head and there is also an option for an artisanal cider tasting as well. The owners welcome picnic blankets and friends to enjoy the atmosphere at Witches Falls.
Tamborine Mountain – Adventure activities
In 2004, a Glow Worm cave was purposely built at Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery. Although the cave harbours all the natural beauty of a naturally formed cave, the Glow Worms were introduced and have proved to be a popular tourist attraction since their viewing was possible in 2005. There are tours available with a tour guide as well as photo opportunities and even an informative DVD.
Curtis Falls Walking Track is also another Tamborine must do adventure. The trail meanders through the rainforest and there is a decent waterfall located at the finish line for visitors to enjoy and perhaps, even take a swim in. The walking track takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and along the way there will be ample photography opportunities for those who want to keep their Tamborine Mountain visits in the family photo album or on Instagram.
TreeTop Challenge at Adrenaline Park Mountain is a zip-lining adventure high amongst the trees. The course has varying levels of difficulty so children and adults are both welcome to tackle the obstacles in a great day out for the family.
If you’re feeling particularly extravagant, Hot Air Balloon Scenic Rim will give you one of the most thrilling 360 views of the Tambourine Mountain Rainforest you can find. The ride even finishes with a stop in Canungra Valley Vineyard for a champagne breakfast and wine tasting – you might need something to calm the nerves after watching one of the most spectacular sunsets of your life.
Also be sure to check out the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk – a 1.5km walk that takes visitors from the forest floor 30 metres up into the canopy, thanks to a 40-metre-long cantilever bridge. The complex includes an Eco Gallery showcasing local rainforest animals and insects, and the Birdwing Cafe.
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Travel to Tamborine
Fly into the Gold Coast or Brisbane with Rex airlines. Book your ticket here.