Looking for things to do in Mount Tamborine and unsure how to plan a day trip from Brisbane or Gold Coast? This popular Gold Coast Hinterland town is located on a plateau in the famous Scenic Rim.
After quite a few visits, we’re pleased to bring you our best things to do in Mount Tamborine guide. Put this place on your bucket list to visit next time you’re visiting Gold Coast – you won’t regret it!
Wondering why you need to visit Tamborine Mountain? Let’s break down some of the highlights so you can see why it’s one of the most popular weekend getaways from Brisbane and the main town tourist love to visit along the Scenic Rim in South East Queensland.
Firstly, it’s home to the oldest national park in Queensland.
That’s right! Tamborine Mountain National Park is the oldest national park in Queensland.
Don’t be confused by The Daintree which is the oldest rainforest in the world, and the nearby Lamington National Park which is home to the oldest and largest subtropical rainforest in the world.
Expect to find loads of little walking tracks that don’t require more than an hour’s walk in an incredible subtropical rainforest, some cracking swimming holes such as the famous Cedar Creek Falls, loads of wineries and much more.
If there’s one thing I personally love about Tamborine Mountain, it’s the English feel to the area. I love seeing the big English style homes, complete with front gates and manicured gardens and the light is just so beautiful here.
Where is Mount Tamborine?
Mount Tamborine is about a 45 minute drive from Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast. It’s also a 1 hour drive from Brisbane and 2 hours from Sunshine Coast.
It can be confusing to know what to type into Google Maps. Is it Mt Tamborine, Mount Tamborine, Tamborine, North Tamborine or Tamborine Mountain? This is what I was really confused about before visiting for the first time. You actually need to type in Tamborine Mountain to get to the centre of town.
North Tamborine is just up from Tamborine Mountain and is known as the area for the locals, while Tamborine Mountain is the touristy side. Tamborine is a 15 minute drive from Tamborine Mountain which is a totally different town yet again. Mount Tamborine is the area where Tamborine Mountain is located. Confusing right?
Best Things To Do In Mount Tamborine
1. Visit Cedar Creek Falls
Cedar Creek Falls is definitely one of the best things to do in the Gold Coast Hinterland. This spectacular collection of rock pools really is worth visiting. Don’t get this one confused with Cedar Creek up in Samford North of Brisbane which is also absolutely amazing!
You have to turn off the main road to get to the car park but the problem is, it’s not very big at all. If you can’t get a car park, you’ll have to drive all the way back up to the top where the turn off is. If this is the case, you’ll have to add on about 15-20 minutes to the walk, but it really is worth it. I would recommend going early in the morning personally to avoid this.
If you do get a space at the car park, it’s literally about a five minute walk to the falls. The path is clear and clean and easy for anyone with a pram to the lookout section. From there, you’ll find a few steps to get to the bottom of the falls. There’s a path leading the way down which you might think looks quite long, but it’s not. Within five minutes, you’ll make it to the bottom of the swimming holes.
There’s about three swimming holes to choose from but as we flew our drone up, we could see loads all the way up and down the creek.
There’s toilets and lovely picnic tables closer to the car park here and would make a lovely day in the summer to spend here.
2. Glow worm caves
I didn’t really know what to expect about the glow worm caves Mt Tamborine but it’s so cool. Honestly we loved the guided tour to the controlled glow worm caves and learned loads about them.
One of the most famous waterfalls in Gold Coast Hinterland is the Curtis Falls in Tamborine National Park, making it one of the most popular hiking trails in the area. The bush walk down through the thin and tall palm trees are really impressive and you’ll be down at the bottom of Curtis Falls within 10 minutes or so to do the 1.6km return walk.
If you’re not up for going on a hike and would prefer to do a walk that is pram and wheel chair friendly, I would recommend doing the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. Although you have to pay around $20pp, the walk is only 300 metres long and will take around 20 minutes max.
The Witches Falls walking track is one of the most popular Tamborine Mountain bush walks to do. It’s only a 3.6km circuit and it took us 75 minutes due to it being really muddy at the time of visiting. The circuit takes you right into the rainforest in Witches Falls National Park and gives you a side view of the falls, before heading back up to the car park.
6. Watch the sunset at Hang Gliders Launch & Lookout
I fee like a central point in Tamborine Mountain is the Hangliders launch & lookout. It’s got a spectacular view which is popular all day long but mainly at sunset. People bring their camping chairs and picnic blankets and set up to watch an amazing sunset from the plateau.
7. Thunderbird Park
Known as Australia’s number 1 adventure playground, Thunderbird Park is a fantastic place for families to spend quality time together. You can either camp and stay at Thunderbird Park or come for a day trip as they have plenty of Mount Tamborine activities here, making it one of the best adventure holidays for everyone!
There’s heaps to do here including: the Treetop Challenge (we’ve done it in Sunshine Coast and loved it!), the famous Thunderegg Crystal Mine, Laser Skirmish, mini golf and bird feeding to name but a few!
8. Visit The Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens
The Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens are a must visit experience when you’re looking for things to do in the Scenic Rim. Take time out from the touristy areas of Tamborine and step into a tranquil Japanese garden complete with a tropical rainforest walk and much more.
9. Dog friendly Esme Lahey Environmental Park
The first time we visited Tamborine Mountain we brought our dog with us which probably wasn’t the best idea because we couldn’t do very much with her. As the majority of walks are located in Tamborine National Park, we couldn’t take her with us.
So, we went into the Information Centre to find out if there are any dog friendly walks in Tamborine Mountain and it turns out there’s one. If you bring your dog with you, you can go to the Esme Lahey Environmental Park to walk your dog along the plateau. The walk isn’t hugely trodden on, but at least it’s something to take your dog to.
We’ve since learned our lesson and have put our doggy with a pet sitter whenever we visit Tamborine Mountain now.
10. The Gallery Walk
The Gallery Walk in Mt Tamborine is jammed packed full of 70 touristy shops that you’ll just feel totally overwhelmed. By the time you reach the end, you’ll be greeted by a castle!
We found out that there’s two sides to this town, The Gallery Walk street which is for tourists, and North Tamborine which is the locals side with facilities you would usually see in a regional town like a postoffice and supermarket etc.
There is an obvious European theme going on in Tamborine. Expect German beer houses, a Polish restaurant, and even an Italian farmhouse here to name but a few. Take it all with a pinch of salt – I love the British pub which we’ll talk more about below which is a 15 minute drive out on the Tamborine and Oxenford Road.
11. German Cuckoo Clock Nest
Speaking of the European theme, if you venture to one shop on The Gallery Walk, you have to check out the German Cuckoo Clock Nest which is a themed building full of incredible German clocks. I know it doesn’t sound particularly interesting, but it is actually really fascinating.
There’s a similar German clock shop in Montville, Sunshine Coast and we took Steve’s uncle to it and he thought it was brilliant too.
So, it doesn’t surprise me this shop is one of the best places to visit in Tamborine Mountain!
12. Jasmin organic farm
Jasmin Organic Farm is a must visit for beauty lovers. You can do a guided tour and learn all about how they make their products and visit the store to purchase any that catches your eye.
13. Hot air balloon sunrise ride
I couldn’t think of a better way to wake up in the Scenic Rim than to to a hot air balloon sunrise tour over the national parks. It would be an incredible experience and one that’s on our bucket list!
14. Sandy Creek Circuit to Cameron Falls walking track
When we first visited Mt Tamborine, we ended up driving up to the top of Knoll Road which is just stunning. As soon as we drove up here, we instantly talked about whether we should move to Tamborine! When you drive up this road, it ends with the carpark to do the Sandy Creek Circuit. This Tamborine walking track will take you to Cameron Falls and takes about 1 hour to do this walk.
At the end of the car park is the Knoll Road Lookout which is really beautiful. There’s some picnic tables here which would be so gorgeous to bring your own picnic and chill out for the day here.
15. Witches Falls Winery
There are quite a few Tamborine wineries to discover, but one of the most popular wineries you need to check out is the Witches Falls Winery. It s gorgeous place and perfect for a romantic getaway as you can sit back and try a couple of local wines here.
16. Palm Grove Circuit
If you’re looking for a quieter bush walk in Mount Tamborine, check out the Palm Grove Circuit which is a 2.6km return walk. This walking track will take you through towering palm trees, gum trees, and hoop pines. The best part is you’ll see a fallen strangler tree and giant trees on this track.
17. Walk the Macdonald Circuit
The Macdonald Section walking track is a quick 1.4km circuit which will take you to past two giant strangler trees. Perfect for families, the 35 minute walk is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Queensland’s oldest national park.
18. Drive around looking at the amazing homes
I just love driving around Tamborine Mountain while looking at all of the amazing houses there. It really reminds me of England seeing the gated houses, beautifully manicured gardens and big houses which is super comforting in a weird way. Take your time and drive around the streets to see how beautiful it really is.
19. Local producers markets
You’ll have a couple of local producers markets to choose from when you visit Mount Tamborine. Support local farmers and head to one of the following:
State School Markets are on the last Sunday of every month at the Tamborine Mountain State School. It’s a chilled out market selling everything from food to local artisan products.
The Country Markets are on every second Sunday of the month at the Tamborine Mountain Showgrounds.
And the Green Shed Market is held every Sunday at the Tamborine Mountain Showgrounds.
20. Spend the day at a spa
Going for a girls weekend away in the Scenic Rim and looking for a day spa in Tamborine Mountain? Check out Getaway Day Spa for some classic relaxing spa packages including facials and massages.
21. Pick a picnic spot
There are so many awesome picnic spots in Tamborine Mountain! Why not treat yourself to a champagne breakfast or a lovely afternoon lunch with a picnic at Cedar Creek Falls, the Hangliders Launching Pad or at Knoll Road Lookout?
When we recently visited, it was so nice to see a big group of people were making a day of it with a volleyball net set up at Cedar Creek Falls. If you’re looking for romantic getaways from Brisbane of Gold Coast, a picnic in Tamborine is a must!
22. Have a drink at Cauldron Gin Distillery
We haven’t been to Cauldron Gin Distillery yet but it’s definitely on the list as it looks great. (As someone who isn’t usually a fan of gin, my mind was changed after visiting Sunshine & Sons in Sunshine Coast.) I love that Cauldron has a lovely outdoor area, complete with fairy lights and an inviting atmosphere, making it a must visit Tamborine Mountain distillery to check out.
Where To Eat In Mount Tamborine
With so many Mt Tamborine restaurants and cafes to choose from, how do you know which one to choose? Luckily we’ve tried out loads of places to share with you!
23. Fox and Hounds English Pub
My favourite place to eat and drink in Mount Tamborine is the Fox & Hounds English pub which is about 15 minutes down the road from the town. The pub is literally like the real thing – complete with carpeted floors, a fab bar area and themed rooms, including a Scottish room, Irish room and British room.
Order a proper English roast and a proper pint of cider and you’ll feel right at home just like I do every time I come here. It makes me realise how much I miss a pub with character from back home!
24. Tea And Niceties
Opposite the start of the Curtis Falls walking track is Tea And Niceties – a brunch and high tea cafe. I’d pop in after you’ve been down to the falls or if you’re looking for somewhere to chill out in a beautiful garden.
25. Eagle Heights Hotel for Surfers Paradise views
We were told by someone that if you want to have a drink with amazing views of the Gold Coast skyline, then Eagle Heights Hotel is the place to visit. We’ve not been yet, but it’s definitely on our list to go next time.
26. St. Bernard’s Hotel
We ticked off St Bernard’s Hotel on one of our first visits to Mt Tamborine! The massive pub is iconic with excellent views and a large outdoor balcony area to sit and enjoy your pub meal. There’s three St Bernards dogs that usually sleep in the front of the pub which is why no dogs are allowed here. The food is standard pub food, but it’s worth visiting for the views.
27. The Polish Place
The Polish Place is a long standing Mt Tamborine restaurant you need to check out on the Scenic Rim. This iconic restaurant and accommodation is right on plateau with incredible views. Pre-book for the outdoor seating but be careful as the lorikeets are a little overly friendly.
The staff wear traditional Polish clothing and the food is authentic Polish food. We wanted to order the speciality duck for two but they had sold out so we opted for the dumplings. It wasn’t quite to my taste but it was fun to experience something different for once. Order the Polish hot chocolate – it’s super good!
28. Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation
We stopped off at the Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation for a quick bite to eat and a coffee and we were really impressed. This is one of the more hipster and modern places to eat in the area, complete with outdoor dining. Steve had the brekky burger and would definitely recommend. Next time we come to the area, we will definitely eat here for lunch!
29. Fortitude Brewing Co.
If you’re looking for a decent Mt Tamborine brewery, you must check out Fortitude Brewing Co located at the end of The Gallery Walk. They serve up food such as pizza and have a massive outdoor seating area.
30. The Bearded Dragon outside of Tamborine
The Bearded Dragon is situated on the outskirts of Tamborine and is more of a local’s pub. We came here the first time we visited Mount Tamborine as our airbnb hosts told us about it. It’s a big pub and worth it if you’re after a good pub meal without the touristy prices attached to it. The outdoor beer garden is big and impressive.
Where To Stay
Looking to find the best places to stay in Mount Tamborine? Look no further. Here’s our top picks!
Witches Falls Cottages – It’s the perfect romantic getaway for couples! The adults-only private accommodation is situated in the heart of Mount Tamborine and has a glass roof so you can literally sit back and watch the stars from the comfort of your double spa bath. Sounds like bliss!
Songbird Rainforest Retreat – Stay in one of the best rainforest areas of Mt Tamborine at Songbird Rainforest Retreat, located just over the road from Curtis Falls. When we drove past this Tamborine accommodation, we quickly looked it up on the internet as it looks so beautiful. This is definitely somewhere that’s on our bucket list to stay for sure which is along the beautiful Tamborine Mountain road.
Mt Tamborine Stonehaven Guest House – It would be hard to miss Mt Tamborine Stonehaven Guest House when you visit Curtis Falls. The huge Scottish guest house is surrounded by two acres and has a rating of 4.5 stars. Surrounded by 2 acres of beautiful gardens and ponds, the 4.5-star Stonehaven Manor offers boutique accommodation with free WiFi. Curtis Falls Rainforest Walk is just 100 m away. I’m dying to see what it’s like inside as it’s highly rated by guests who have stayed here.