Situated in the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland, often described as “The Green Behind The Gold” only a short drive from Brisbane or the Gold Coast lies beautiful Tamborine Mountain.
Whether you are you are a foodie, like to do some wine tasting, adventurer, or just someone that just enjoys picnics and bushwalks you’ll find immense pleasure in a day out exploring Tamborine Mountain. Make a day trip of your visit or book some overnight accommodation and stay a little bit longer, there is definitely no shortage of attractions to keep the whole family entertained.
Leaving Brisbane on a beautiful Autumn’s day winding our way through the outer southern suburbs of Brisbane and Logan City where it doesn’t take long before suburbia is left behind as we drive along sealed country roads with Tambourine Mountain on the not-so-distant horizon.
We’ll pass through Logan Village, onto the Bearded Dragon Boutique Hotel (top place for some food and refreshments) then ziging zaging our way up along the Tambourine Mountain Road, slipping by adventures that can await us at Thunderbird Park, past the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, through ancient rainforests lining each side of the road, (wind the window down, smell the cool mountain air, you can feel the temperature drop the further you climb) eventually arriving at the Curtis Fall’s café.
Park the car, grab a brew, this is the spot where you can embark on a number of excellent walking trails and soak up the views of the magnificent Curtis Falls. It is also only a short drive from here to the quirky Gallery Walk sitting atop of Tamborine Mountain boasting a huge array of specialty shops including cellar doors, fashion, jewelry, chocolate, fudge, cafes and food outlets. There is just too many to mention, you’ll have to come and have a look ❗❗❗❗
If you arrive early and with a little planning, you can pack a lot into your day trip to the mountain. There is a huge array of incredible attractions and experiences to enjoy but on this trip, I will be looking for something a little bit different than the usual “touristy” attractions.
Our ascent to the summit of Tamborine Mountain is only interrupted with a decision to make a quick detour to explore the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. It’s a slow drive up the mountain anyway so there’s no need to hurry.
Tamborine Mountain has no shortage of Rainforest trails to explore. If you want a Rainforest experience without some of the hassles of uneven tracks or long walks, the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk could be the right experience for you. With ease of access, Skywalk information, and a marvelous rainforest experience this is an exceptional adventure for the entire family.
With the car parked in the off-street parking area we’ll start our tour commencing at the Eco Centre complete with the Gift Shop and Cafe.
The walks showcase the unspoiled beauty of a teeming rainforest, including the Skywalk Bridge, the Skywalk Cantilever Lookout or joining a winding route as it snakes its way along the forest floor past tall rainforest trees encased in strangler figs many centuries old, where you’ll arrive at the Cedar Creek Lookout / Viewing platform. If the waterfall is flowing, this is truly a stunning spectacle, best described as finding the gold at the end of a rainbow. 🌈💰
The entire adventure can be concluded in about 60 minutes, but spend some more time exploring at your leisure with the tour concluding at the Main Centre. This is where we started and this is where we finished, the main centre includes the Eco Centre, Gift Shop, Café, Toilets, and off-street parking. 👉 The “Skywalk” is not free and had an admission cost. Clink on the link: Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk for all your up-to-date visitor information and pricing.
From here via Curtis Falls, we’re driving around to the western side of Tamborine Mountain, not only does this area have the most spectacular views of the Scenic Rim but at this location away from the hustle and bustle of the Gallery Walk, situated just back off Alpine Terrace, is the Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation.
This is the place for a Coffee stop. Park the car (off street parking is available), head to the Coffee Café and snap up your choice of table, inside, outside on the Verandah or the Courtyard, the choice is yours.
The “Coffee Plantation” not only is it licensed (local beers are on tap), is not your usual coffee café. You can choose coffee from their own local plantation, be tempted from a huge range of mouth-watering tasty treats all influenced by locally sourced produce or sit back and chill with a glass of wine, there is a special spot here for everyone to enjoy and relax.
Where else can you see the coffee that you are drinking being grown before your eyes. Right here, The Coffee Plantation goes that one step extra to make your visit even more memorable offering FREE plantation and coffee processing tours. Commonly known as the Crop to Cup Tours, this experience will give you a personal insight into the plantation and processing facilities that are on site. Tours operate Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday at 12pm. ❗ No bookings required ❗
Back tracking along the Main Western Road towards Tamborine Village there is a park on the left – The Hang Gliders Launch and Lookout – that is well worth a stop for a few minutes. Not only offering some of the most spectacular views of the Scenic Rim stretching all the way to the horizon, this is also an incredible place to capture that special photo shot with the added attraction of catching local hang gliders in action as they soar high into the heavens, a sight not to be missed. This is an extremely popular lookout with both hang gliders and on-lookers as they watch these fearless aviators drifting past steep escarpments then soaring into the heavens, their wings almost touching the clear blue autumn sky. Bring your camera, this lookout offers unsurpassed views of the Scenic Rim any time especially as the sun is seting into the western sky. Free entertainment for hours.
If the hang gliders are soaring this is a ridiculously hard place to tear yourself away from but onwards, we journey. Check out the video.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle, bring a picnic lunch, and lose yourself in the natural wonders of the Tamborine Botanic Gardens. Where the rainforest meet the bush, the Tamborine Botanic Gardens is an exotic combination of colourful native flora and water features where you can stroll along the walkways exploring the many themed trails, enjoy a picnic by the lagoon or just soak up the tranquility and natural wonders of these special gardens.
Tips: 👉On-site car parking. 👉Undercover picnic tables and seating. 👉Toilets. 👉Easily accessible walking paths (there are a few paths with some hilly sections). 👉Free entry, although a gold coin donation is asked for with small collection points scattered around the gardens.
The sign posts will head you in the right direction so you don’t miss a thing and will guide down past the lagoon. With seating tucked away in the sub-tropical rainforest, take the time out and listen to the clear mountain water rushing past or soak up the serenity of the chorus of sounds from the local inhabitants that occupy the surrounding bushland.
Explore the many trails that Criss Cross the gardens, there are oodles of adventures to be had along the way and always something new around every turn.
The Sooty Owl’s Creekside Trail was one of my favourites. It begins with a sign, then follows a bush track that leads through a creek-side gully and past a crooked water mill, look in the window and listen to the water wheel as it gently turns. Follow the route over a number of bridges past the informative signs along the way revealing the story of the elusive Sooty Owl. This is a remarkable experience the whole family will enjoy. Remember, Look Up, Look Down and Look Around, you don’t know what you might catch sight of.
Along the way stop and smell the fragrant perfume radiating from the Rose Garden and then enter the serene surrounds of the peaceful Japanese Gardens. Bordered by Tamborine Creek this garden has its own special appeal with selected Camellias, pruned shrubs, water features, and a little raised bridge that leads us to more intriguing places to go see.
Here, you also find one of the 10 contemplative sights which are located in specially chosen locations throughout the gardens all designed to allow visitors to take some time out and enjoy the ambience of the surrounds.
You will enjoy exploring the various pathways, several of which are pram and wheelchair friendly. You’ll easily negotiate the board walks around the lagoon, through the palm groves and rainforest walk investigating the sculptures and exotic plant life along the way, then climb to the Rotunda sitting high on the hill offering the most expansive views of the gardens.
Grab your spot around the central lagoon, spread the picnic blanket under a shady tree, you’ll now see why the Tamborine Botanic Gardens is one of the most outstanding places to visit when visiting this the Mountain.
Our sojourn to the “Tamborine” is coming to an end and as we were not staying the night, we wanted to travel before the sunset. Tamborine Mountain is a bush and rainforest retreat, far away from the bright city lights of Brisbane and the Gold Coast but close enough for an easy day trip. I have visited a number of places that might not be on everyone’s tourist list but the highlights for me were the Para Gliders at the hang gliders launch and lookout with the breathtaking views of the Scenic Rim and the spectacular Tamborine Botanic Gardens. There is unquestionably a whole lot more to Tamborine Mountain and is definitely a place well worthy of a Road Trip.
Let me know your thoughts on this Blog and what you uncover on your Road Trip to Tamborine Mountain, The Green Behind The Gold. Also, if you enjoyed this post I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Instagram or Facebook. Thank you!