Known as “the green behind the gold”, the lush environs of Tamborine Mountain are a nature-lovers paradise; a welcome contrast to the heady glitz and bustle of the Gold Coast.
DO Hit the hiking trails. Tamborine National Park is part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest and this area offers some stunning scenery. There are six walking tracks in this area of the park – each of varying difficulty. Try the Curtis Falls walk in the Joalah section for a beautiful, moderate stroll (just over 1km return). If you want more of a challenge, opt for the 3km long Witches Falls trail – this section was declared in 1908, making it the state’s oldest national park. Before you set off, stop by the Tamborine Mountain Visitor Information Centre (Doughty Park, 2 Main Western Road, North Tamborine, +61 7 5545 3200) for maps and access information.
Potter around the village community; this area is known for its unique shops and quirky galleries. Try the well-worn Gallery Walk in Eagle Heights or peruse used books at Piccabeen (15 Main Street, North Tamborine, +61 7 5545 4992). View the works of talented local artists at Marks & Gardner Gallery (69 Main Western Road, North Tamborine, +61 7 5545 4992), where there’s also a shop and peaceful café.
Sample local fare: cheeses at Witches Chase Cheese and craft brews at Fortitude Brewing (they share the same premises at 165 Long Road, Eagle Heights). There are also a number of winemakers in the area. Don’t miss Cedar Creek Estate, an award-winning boutique winery (104-144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine, +61 7 5545 1666), which has a gallery and restaurant on-site, too.
EAT AND DRINK Enjoy a romantic dinner of fine French cuisine at Jacques Manor Restaurant in the historic Bungunyah Manor Resort (160 Long Road, Eagle Heights, +61 7 5545 1044). Our recommended stays (below) also have excellent restaurants, particularly Songbirds, known for its seasonal, organic fare.
STAY Songbirds Rainforest Retreat offers modern, spacious villas in a scenic setting (Tamborine Mountain Road, +61 7 5545 2563). Accommodation at Pethers Rainforest Retreat (28b Geissmann Street, North Tamborine, +61 7 5545 4577) is in private, luxurious “tree houses” – perfect for a romantic getaway. Wellbeing buffs might consider Gwinganna Health Retreat in nearby Tallebudgera; it’s one of the country’s top health and spa escapes (approx. 50km south of Mount Tamborine; 192 Syndicate Rd, Tallebudgera Valley, +61 7 5589 5000).
GET THERE Tamborine Mountain is an easy 50-minute drive from Surfers Paradise or just over one hour from Brisbane.