Tamborine Mountain, or is it Mount Tamborine? It’s Tamborine Mountain and the suburbs of North Tamborine, Mount Tamborine and Eagle Heights form this beautiful hinterland destination. With scenic drives past wineries, craft shops and other attractions, along with relaxing Tamborine Mountain walks and waterfalls, there’s plenty to do in this enchanting mountain escape.
Tamborine Mountain is home to Queensland’s oldest national park and the third oldest national park in the world. Located in the southern end of the Mount Warning central magma plug of a once fiery shield volcano, after furious explosions around 20 million years ago, the landscape was coated in rich volcanic earth.
The biggest erosion caldera in the southern hemisphere – one of the largest in the world – was formed. It remains possibly the best-preserved shield volcano in the southern hemisphere.
Welcome to my home.
Where is Tamborine Mountain?
Only an hour’s drive south of Brisbane and a 40-minute drive from the Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain is filled with natural and man-made treasures. Here are a few of my favourites Tamborine Mountain attractions.
For more things to do on the Gold Coast read these posts:
- Tamborine Mountain Waterfalls
- Mount Tamborine Walks
- Tamborine Mountain markets
- Mt Tamborine Gallery Walk
- Mt Tamborine Botanic Gardens
- Tamborine Mountain secret spot
- Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
- Mount Tamborine Lookout
- Tamborine Mountain Wine Tours
- Tamborine Mountain Restaurants
- Tamborine Mountain Accommodation
Tamborine Mountain Waterfalls
Curtis Falls is in the Jolah section os Tamborine Mountain National Park close to the main tourist attractions and is the easiest walk to any waterfall.
It’s the best waterfall in Tamborine Mountain and the only waterfall that can be viewed from the bottom of the fall.
This Tamborine Mountain waterfall is fed by Cedar Creek, which is a permanent running creek that always has flowing water.
The 1.1km return walk down to the falls and Cedar Creek is a Class 3 track with steps and one of the more popular Mount Tamborine walks through the national park.
After visiting the falls take the Lower Creek circuit across Cedar Creek, which is an awesome area to see fungi and giant strangler figs.
Curtis Falls is host to a very special glow-worm colony, so access to the falls and rock pool is prohibited.
But you still get a great view and plenty of photo opportunities from the viewing area.
Getting to Curtis Falls: The best place to park is in Dapsang Drive off Eagle Heights Roa or access the walk from Curtis Corner at the T-junction of Eagle Heights Road and Giessmann Drive, which has eateries and a few tourist shops.
Combine a walk to the falls with a stroll past the Main Street shops, which has a post office, library, bakery and boutiques.
Cameron Falls lookout has a spectacular view of the falls, with Mount Flinders and Brisbane in the distance.
Getting to Cameron Falls: At the end of Main Street in Tamborine Mountain is Knoll Road National Park, where a track follows Sandy Creek to Cameron Falls.
Witches Falls is on the popular Witches Chase hiking trail and there’s a platform where you can soak up the energy of the falls as you admire its gushing beauty.
Getting to Witches Falls: Park in the Main Western Road car park opposite Hartley Road.
Mount Tamborine Walks
Tamborine Mountain National Park is home to an extraordinary natural environment with an abundance of animals and plants.
According to the Queensland Environment and Protection Agency, 85 per cent of fauna and 65 per cent of flora in the Gold Coast City area can be found within the park.
It’s home to the rare Albert’s lyrebird, one of the world’s largest skinks, the land mullet and the Richmond birdwing butterfly.
Witches Falls Tracks
The Witches Falls section of Tamborine Mountain National Park was declared in 1908 and is the oldest part of the park.
This Tamborine Mountain walk can be done as a 3.1 km moderate walk, that should take around one hour but keen walkers can continue for another 2.7km.
There are two ways to get to the Witches Falls Circuit, both from the car park at Main Western Road.
The southern end starts off a little steep but it flattens out and the landscape changes from forest to lagoons.
The entry at northern end begins as an easy-walking trail behind the cemetery then descends into a valley through the rainforest and natural rock steps.
Both trails lead to the Witches Falls viewing platform provides a fabulous view of the waterfall.
Past the waterfall, the track continues along the cliff through a sub-tropical rainforest, past impressive boulder formations.
Cedar Creek Circuit
One of the most delightful walking tracks in Mount Tamborine area is the Cedar Creek Circuit (3.2 km).
Highlights of this walk include cascades, rock pools, dry rainforests and hoop pines.
Cedar Creek Falls Lookout is an easy walk suitable for strollers and wheelchairs while the walk to the Cedar Creek rockpools offers cool swimming holes as a reward.
Cedar Creek Waterfalls is a gentle tumbling stream with swimming holes.
Access to this circuit is near Thunderbird Park along Tamborine Mountain Road.
Palm Grove Circuit
The Palm Grove Circuit is well worth the hike for its breathtaking rainforest scenery, strangler figs and ghost gums.
Entry to the track is via Curtis Road or Palm Grove Road.
Tamborine Mountain markets
There’s a thriving creative community living in Tamborine Mountain and, not surprisingly, there are four markets.
Tamborine Country Market
The Tamborine Country Market is held every second Sunday at the Tamborine Mountain Show Grounds at the roundabout of Main Western Road and Bartle Road.
The Tamborine Country Market is renown for its artisan wares and is a good market to shop for handmade local products.
The market also has stalls selling a range of other things you would expect to see in a market, such as fruit and vegetables, plants, clothing and local cheese.
It’s the place to go for a family outing as there’s a play area for the kids and shady trees to shelter from the sun.
Tamborine Mountain School Markets
The Tamborine Mountain School Markets is on the last Sunday of each month in the car park opposite the state school on Long Road.
The markets have food stalls, locally made wares, fresh fruit and vegetables, plants and an array of regionally produced goodies.
The School Markets are brilliant for their assortment of second-hand wares – bargains for antique hunters are often to be found.
The Green Shed
Located at the showgrounds, The Green Shed is where the locals from across the mountain bring their surplus fruit and vegetables, flowers, honey, herbs and plants to sell.
Most are organically grown and of high quality and freshly picked.
It’s open from 7 am to noon every Sunday and the range on offer does depend on the season.
Organised through the Tamborine Mountain Local Producers Association Inc., it’s a non-profit venture.
It’s one of those little secrets not many visitors hear about but it’s perfect for stocking up for your week’s fresh supplies.
Mt Tamborine Gallery Walk
A charming collection of gift and craft shops, boutiques and cafes, browsing through the shops along Tamborine Mountain’s Gallery Walk is a delightful way to spend the day.
Things you might find here include handmade jewellery, pottery, Australian art and organic skincare products.
The German Cuckoo Clock Nest is an enchanting Bavarian Chalet full of all kinds of clocks, from authentic Cuckoo Clocks made in Germany to Grandfather Clocks.
Browse through a bookshop, buy some gourmet tea and taste handmade chocolates.
Mt Tamborine Botanic Gardens
The Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens are another of the mountain’s treasures.
Located off Forsythia Drive (off Long Road) they are open every day during daylight hours and admission is free.
Walkways lead to specialised gardens, such as a Japanese Garden, rainforest section with a beautiful palm grove, a rose garden, orchid house and wisteria walk.
A lake with a pretty stone bridge forms a central feature to the gardens.
No matter what time of the year you visit, there is always something flowering.
Bring a picnic basket and rug as the gardens are fantastic providing fun and interesting things to see and do for all ages.
Check out the birds currently nesting in one of the sculptures in the lake.
Facilities include covered pavilion with picnic tables and toilets.
There are no BBQ facilities and dogs are not allowed in the gardens.
Maintained by the volunteers of the Garden Club their main event each year is called Springtime on the Mountain, held annually in September.
Along with activities in the gardens themselves there are trails organised for you to visit private gardens across the mountain.
Passes are reasonably priced at $20 and free for children.
Tamborine Mountain secret spot
Esme Lahey Environmental Park
This is one treasure you won’t find on most tourist brochures and one I love because it’s dog-friendly!
The small park is remnant rainforest being regenerated by the Tamborine Mountain Landcare and there is an area for off-street parking from the Licuala Drive entry.
A paved track suitable for prams and wheelchairs leads you around this small protected reserve and there are few interpretive signs identifying plants and key elements.
You will often see land mullets and frogs, if you look closely, and meet locals, like me, walking this peaceful track.
If the mountain has had recent rain, keep an eye out for the red-eyed green tree frogs.
They come down from the forest canopy after rain to breed.
At night in the park, the chorus of males calling for a mate is very loud and makes them easier to find.
Don’t forget the insect repellent as the mosquitoes can be friendly.
There is much more to see on your visit to Tamborine Mountain and I hope you enjoy these tips from my backyard.
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
If you want to experience the rainforest in comfort, the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is a 1.5km rainforest adventure set in a private rainforest beside Cedar Creek.
Although the 45-minute walk meanders across the forest floor, the highlight of the Tamborine Skywalk is being able to walk along steel bridges high in the forest canopy.
There’s a 40m cantilever bridge that allows you to walk 30m above the creek and rainforest offering a different perspective of the forest.
Tamborine Skywalk also has an Eco Gallery, with displays of Australian rainforest flora and fauna, a café and gift shop.
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is at 333 Geissmann Drive, North Tamborine. It’s open from 9.30 am to 5 pm (last entry to the walk is at 4 pm). Admission $19.50 (adult), $9.50 (child under 16), free (child under 5).
Mount Tamborine Lookout
A drive around Tamborine Mountain, stopping whenever and wherever the mood takes you, is a lovely way to spend the day.
Besides stopping to stretch the legs on a bush walk, a coffee and cake in one of the charming cafes or a browse through markets and shops, there are several lookouts on Tamborine Mountain.
Some bushwalking tracks have stunning lookouts but if you’re on the road, make sure to stop at these the Mount Tamborine Beacon Lookout on Beacon Road and the Rotary Lookout lookout to watch the hang gliders launching off the cliff.
Tamborine Mountain Wine Tours
A self-drive tour of the wineries and distilleries of Tamborine Mountain is a fun way to explore or if you plan on drinking, an organised tour where someone else does the driving is a great option.
Here are some wineries and other places to visit:
- Witches Falls Winery (79 Main Western Rd, North Tamborine) – grapes are from the granite belt.
- Cedar Creek Estate (104-144 Hartley Rd, North Tamborine) – the winery has a lovely restaurant and is a popular destination for Mount Tamborine weddings.
- Tamborine Mountain Distillery (87-91 Beacon Road, Tamborine Mountain) – a picturesque Tudor-style building with a tasting room. It’s the spot to shop for delicious liqueurs brewed on the premises and packaged in impressive hand-painted bottles.
- Witches Chase Cheese Company (165-185 Long Road, North Tamborine) – sample local cheeses and taste craft beer at the Fortitude Brewing Company, which are also on the premises.
Tamborine Mountain Restaurants
While there are cafes, pubs and bistros for a casual bite, these Tamborine Mountain are truly unique restaurants and worth putting on your list for a special outing.
- Hampton Estate Wines (52 Bartle Rd, Tamborine Mountain ) – fine dining with amazing views of the Gold Coast.
- Hickory (Corner of Main Street and Main Western Road, Tamborine Mountain) –
- Old Church Restaurant (216 Long Road, Eagle Heights) – dine in a historic church for a heavenly experience.
- George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant (141 Long Road, Eagle Heights) – the Gold Coast’s favourite seafood restaurant has a branch in the hinterland.
Tamborine Mountain Accommodation
A Tamborine Mountain escape is a romantic way to spend a few days. Rug up in front of the fireplace in a country lodge or a cosy B&B. Or escape to the hinterland in summer for a cool change.