This guide brings together our top things to do in Mt Tamborine, there’s no shortage of good entertainment, fresh air and great food to be found. The relaxed mountain village is located in the Gold Coast hinterland, an easy 50-minute drive from the Gold Coast beaches or an hour from central Brisbane. Heading out here is an ideal day trip or equally good for a few nights away from the city.
Your map of attractions on Tamborine Mountain
Click on the personalised map below to view it in Google Maps, you can save it or used it to navigate and plan your own visit to Mt Tamborine.
Table of Contents
- Our top things to do in Mt Tamborine
- Walking Tracks of Mt Tamborine
- Where to stay in Mt Tamborine
Our top things to do in Mt Tamborine
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
The Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk provides a new birds-eye perspective from the cantilevered bridge and metal sky bridges that take you right into the upper canopy. The full walk here is a 1.5 km long passing up to 30 metres above the creek and forest floor below.
The skywalk experience is set on 30 acres of private rainforest adjacent to the National Park. Extend your visit at the informative eco-gallery or stop for refreshments at Birdwing cafe, the deck looks directly into the canopy where we watched a white-throated treecreeper run up the trunk of a nearby tree as we drank our coffee before the showy king parrots swooped in to steal their stage.
Take in the views from the fantastic lookouts
There is a range of lookouts on Tamborine Mountain, some look into and over the forest while others face out to the ocean.
Sites like the Rotary, Beacon Road and Hang Gliders lookouts are easy to access while others like the ones at Witches Falls and Cameron Falls are a 25-30 minutes walk on the track to the lookout point.
We’ve included several of the best lookouts on the map above and marked them with the binoculars icon, not that you actually need binoculars to take in the view.
Gallery walk and shops
The ‘Gallery Walk’ is a section of Long Road between Wongawallen and Eagle Heights Road although the shops, cafes and attractions now extend a little beyond these markers. There is a lot to take in within a fairly small stretch so park the car and take amble up one side and down the other.
A few icons on the Gallery Walk include the family-owned German Cuckoo Clock Nest in the distinctive Bavarian-style chalet that has been a mainstay of the area and Granny Macs Fudge which has been making their renowned fudge on the premises for 25 years.
Foodies love to stock up in boutique stores like Funny Honey which is owned and operated by a beekeeper or the Truffle Discovery Centre with an extensive range of truffle and other gourmet products. We often head back to the car with favourites like freshly baked lavender shortbread or rosella jam, all made locally of course and a couple of cheese for the esky from Tamborine Cheese.
Mt Tamborine Botanic Garden
The botanic garden in Mt Tamborine is only a short distance beyond the Gallery Walk. The 11-hectare block was developed in 1983 thanks to the foresight of the local garden group, today it is a stunning garden that takes full advantage of its sub-tropical to temperate climate.
It showcases its winding pathways, an attractive lakeside area, the rainforest section, a Japanese garden and an excellent selection of bromeliads and succulents. In season the camellia and azalea put on a stunning display and there is plenty of colour and interest all year round, the massive sweep of clivias is a personal favourite.
There are plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the garden views or a picnic including a large covered area with tables above the lake that provides an all-weather option. There are toilet facilities and good parking available.
Visit the wineries
There are several wineries, brewers and distilleries on Mount Tamborine that can be built into your itinerary or can make a great day out on their own.
Witches Falls Winery is a personal favourite located almost adjacent to the walking trailhead and cottage accommodation. They use premium grapes predominantly from Queensland’s Granite Belt and offer wine tasting and artisanal cider tasting. Sit out overlooking the vines and pair your choice with cheese, crackers and preserves available onsite.
Mason Wines are open Wednesday to Sunday with tastings at the cellar door and restaurant. They will soon add a build your own cheese and charcuterie platter option at the cellar door. Finally, Cedar Creek Estate Winery and Vineyard are also open 7-days, their wine tasting covers, red, white, rose and fortified wines, and they have a restaurant on-site.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery has a tasting room that opens 7-days from 10 am to 5 pm showcasing their artisanal liqueurs and spirits many featuring Australian botanicals. Albert River Wines production exclusively uses Queensland grown grapes, they are open 7-days and offer wine tasting at the cellar door and a restaurant.
Fortitude Brewing Company sits somewhere between craft and mainstream with a range of bold but balanced brews. Sit out in the sunshine, there’s plenty of choice with 15 beers from their range on tap or try a tasting paddle and round out the afternoon with a pizza and live music on weekends.
If you are interested in exploring the wineries and foodie culture on the mountain but prefer not to self-drive you can join a wine tasting tour that includes 4 boutique wineries with comprehensive tastings, a distillery visit and a winery lunch.
Glowworms are all around us in the Tamborine, Lamington and Springbrook National Park but you will rarely see them in the wild. They like to be in a spot that is constantly dark, damp and undisturbed, ideally a cave but we are short of those in this part of Queensland so we have mostly glowworms of the species Arachnocampa Flava which live around waterfalls where the banks and rock stay damp.
For most people getting out into the bush to discover a natural glowworm display at night is neither safe nor practical so the Glowworm Grotto is an opportunity to see these glowworms inside a manmade cave during the day.
This is not the same sort of experience as visiting a naturalised colony like the Waitomo Glowworm Caves or Ruakuri Caves but the ecological, educational and environmental objectives are the same. Tourism and deforestation have been devastating for glowworm colonies in Queensland as they have in many other places around the world. The Grotto is a fully eco-certified sanctuary that started with 300 larvae and now has a colony of over 8000.
A different way of exploring the area for foodies is with a mystery picnic. We’ve written about our own experience on the Amazing Co couples picnic and even though we know the area well it was still a great opportunity to discover some new local artisan producers and products and have a chat with some locals.
Your clues are sent to you in the morning directing you to your starting point, you then solve clues and riddles that take you between the various shops, wineries and other venues where you will pick up the treats that fill your picnic basket. There are ideas of other things to do in the area before or after your lunch and they suggest a lunch spot to lay out your picnic spread and enjoy.
Support local growers and producers at the markets
There are many artisans, craft producers and growers on the mountain and you can support them through local stores, farm gate sales and at the markets.
The Tambourine Mountain Country Markets are held on the 2nd Sunday of each month at the Showgrounds from 7.30 am until 1.30 pm with parking available on site for a gold coin donation. The focus of the market is homegrown, homemade and handcrafted.
On the last Sunday of the month, it is the State School Markets from 7 am until 1 pm. There are up to 130 stalls of all kinds and you will find local produce and artisan products among them. The school is on the corner of Long and Curtis Roads.
Walking Tracks of Mt Tamborine
The dramatic landscape around Tamborine Mountain was carved out millions of years ago during the eruption of a huge shield volcano that stretched south from here to Mt Warning in northern New South Wales. Much of the diverse vegetation and habitat for the wildlife of the region is protected today as Tamborine Mountain National Park and forms part of the World Heritage, Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.
The Tamborine National park is made up of 14 sections of land, 6 of which have walking tracks winding through them to explore.
Witches Fall’s walking track
One of the tracks we do most often is the Witches Falls walking track. It’s a circuit so you could do it in either direction but it’s a narrow path on the side of the mountain with steep edges in parts so it’s not ideal for passing others coming the other way so following the recommended clockwise direction makes sense. This way also takes you mostly down the slope and up the steps which is easier on the knees.
We have a guide to walking the Witches Falls track with tips and photos to help you plan your visit.
In the village not far from the Gallery Walk is Curtis Falls with an easy walking track, pretty falls and an extended walk that follows the cascades downstream. While the pool does look inviting, especially on a summer’s day, you can’t swim at this one to protect the platypus and glow worm environment. We’ll get to the best swimming hole to cool off after your hike down below.
There is good parking at the top and toilet facilities but no picnic area here, there is a cafe back on the road only a short detour down the track to the left if you need to caffeinate before you start.
The tracks here are great for birding, we’ve regularly seen Noisy Pitta, Log Runners and even Alberts Lyrebird here but while platypus is recorded in the area it’s not a location that we have personally seen them.
From the falls you can return to the car park, which is a 1.1 km round trip or continue on to the Lower Creek Circuit for a 2.5km round trip, this one includes little boulder hopping across the creek. It’s rated a grade 4 difficulty but unless it has been very wet when the creek will be up and the track possibly muddy it’s not difficult.
Take a dip at Cedar Creek Falls
Cedar Creek Falls is a section of the park and walk that is often forgotten. It’s located slightly further north than most of the attractions in the area but is only 6km from the Gallery Walk in the ‘centre of town’ which is a 10-minute drive on the mountain roads.
What is special about this section of the National Park is that it is the only local swimming hole, other waterfall pools are either inaccessible or swimming is not permitted to protect the fragile ecosystem.
From the car park area on Cedar Creek Falls Road, you can access the picnic facilities and the viewing platform for the Falls. There is a grassy area with picnic tables, free BBQs and toilet facilities.
Follow the sealed path and wooden walkway down to the cascades below Cedar Creek Falls where they form a series of swimming holes in the rock. Three pools are easily accessible from the track and these are the ones that are open for swimming, the are other pools further downstream. The walk down to the gorge is 500 metres and will take 10-15 minutes. The path is suitable for strollers and wheelchairs with assistance.
Rainforest Walk in the Macdonald Section
The Macdonald section is an easy and mostly flat walk along a 1.4km loop track through the rainforest. It starts on Wongawallen Road and is above and behind the Botanic Gardens although the two aren’t connected. This one is a particularly pretty section with all the palms, ferns and strangler figs.
This section was particularly recommended for bird watchers and it delivered on that with a surprisingly good list in a short time. There is parking and a picnic table at the start but no toilets, you are very close to town here which has good facilities.
This is not a negative reflection on the walk or track in any way but more a word of warning that this is the only place to date where one of us has had a run-in with a Queensland stinging tree. Luckily it was the lightest of brushes with a young sapling but it is every bit as nasty as they say. Just a word of warning that this plant is common and on an easy stroll like this you can easily miss seeing those young plants that spring up in the extra light at the edge of the path. Don’t let it put you off getting out in nature but do watch out for them.
Where to stay in Mt Tamborine
Most accommodation on the mountain is boutique style or holiday rentals rather than the larger operators.
Songbirds Rainforest Retreat has 6 villas tucked away within 50 acres of rainforest. They are well-appointed and spaced apart for a feeling of seclusion with a balcony to enjoy the landscaped gardens. They are fully self-contained so you can self cater during your stay and have fireplaces for cozy winter evenings. There is a restaurant on-site and breakfast can be added when you book.
If you prefer to book a whole house for your stay there are many options for that such as the Linger a While Chalet right on the Gallery Walk that is suitable for a couple or The Bank House with 4 bedrooms and bathrooms for friends or a larger family.
Another good choice for couples could be the Witches Falls cottages with their easy access to the walking track, lookout and winery. There are 3 well-appointed cottages/suites available, each with a spa bath situated under a glass roof to soak up the night sky. They have a variety of breakfast hampers to choose from and the option to self cater or enjoy the local restaurants for dinner.
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