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A Day on Mount Tamborine

Emily Toxward | June 2020

Whether you’re a foodie, wine connoisseur, arts and craft enthusiast, adventurer or someone who enjoys picturesque picnics and bushwalks, you’ll adore exploring Mount Tamborine. Best of all it’s just a short 30-minute drive from the Gold Coast.

While there’s plenty of places to stay, such as unique castles and resorts with coastal views, you can squeeze a lot in just one day, especially if you arrive early and have a plan of attack. Here’s a selection of just some of the incredible attractions and experiences you can enjoy during a day on Mount Tamborine.

Walks, waterfalls and rockpools

Tamborine Mountain, home to Queensland’s oldest National Park and the third oldest in the world, is made up of 14 sections. The Witches Falls section, declared in 1908, is a lovely 3.1km return walk down through open forest of banksia trees into rainforest, there’s also a lookout 200m off the main circuit.

For waterfalls and glow worm caves head to the Curtis Falls/Joalah Section, bird watchers will love the Macdonald Section and if you want to see rock pools head to Cedar Creek. The Palm Grove Section, an easy 2.6km return walk, features towering palms and fascinating fungi.

Pack a picnic and soak up the sights

To escape the hustle and bustle of life, pack a picnic or stock up on goodies from eateries at Gallery Walk and then head to the Tamborine Mountains Botanic Gardens in Forsythia Drive. It features a diverse range of flora and fauna with gardens for green thumbs and paths for kids to meander along.

For an epic view out west, pack a wind jacket and make your way to the south side of the mountain to Robert Sowter Park, on Main Western Road. A popular lookout, it’s where hang gliders launch and float down the steep escarpment. The views are unbeatable, especially as the sun sets.

Gallery Walk

An eclectic array of 70 different shops are located along Gallery Walk and it’s worth spending a few hours ducking in and out each one because you never know what you might find. If you’re lucky you can get a carpark in the main street otherwise there’s plenty of designed parking at Macdonnell Road.

You’ll come across alternative therapy providers, health food, cuckoo clocks, Aboriginal art, natural skincare products, handmade wooden homewares, glass art pieces, diecast cars, opals, vintage collectibles, crystals, organic juices, boutique clothing, chocolates galore and oh so much more.

Sip, swirl and savour

Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of boutique wineries, breweries and cheese companies located atop Mount Tamborine. As well as offering tastings, Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery offers daytime and twilight glow worm tours at its purpose-built cave.

Cheese tastings are available at Witches Chase Cheese Company and Witches Falls Winery prides itself on being a ‘small yet bold winery lacking in pretension, with a hint of distinction’. If a cool beer is more your thing, head to Fortitude Brewery Co, a relatively recent addition to the mountain.

Treat kids to an adventurous day out

Head to Thunderbird Park and give your kids a guided horse ride, a treetop adventure or make them fossick for thundereggs or crystals! Also located inside the park is the TreeTop Challenge, an eco-friendly experience that includes the Canyon Flyer Guided Zipline Tour and Australia’s largest high ropes attraction, kids aged 3 and older can take part.

Most of mountain’s restaurants are kid-friendly, especially The Bearded Dragon and St Bernard’s Hotel. For the avid reader in your life, The Piccabeen Bookshop in North Tamborine is stocked with second-hand treasures, with your purchase helping to fund forest rehabilitation projects on the mountain.

Indulge your taste buds

If you can’t find anything to satisfy your taste buds at one of the dozens of boutique cafes, restaurants or coffee shops then you must be too fussy! Catering to every unique dietary requirement you’ll find pizza, Indian, Italian, Bavarian, traditional pub offerings and contemporary cuisine offerings.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Gallery Walk is bursting with homemade fudge, gelato, gourmet ice-cream and sorbet. Fancy a high tea? Then head to Tea & Niceties from Monday to Sunday where you will step back in time to the grace and elegance of a bygone era.

Explore rainforest canopy on Skywalk

An eco-tourism adventure that offers walkers a unique and exhilarating way to explore the rainforest canopies, Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is set across 30-acres beside the rock pools of Cedar Creek.

You depart from the Eco Gallery and walk 1.5km through forest floor trails, 300 metres of high-tech steel bridges through the highest points of the upper canopy. For those who dare, there’s a 40-metre cantilever bridge that soars a massive 30-metres above the creek and rainforest below.

If you’re visiting in winter keep in mind that it’s a little cooler up at Mount Tamborine and more likely to rain unexpectedly, so remember to wear layers.

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