Tamborine Mountain:
Things to do

18 JANUARY 2023

Located on Brisbane's doorstep, it may only be an hour’s drive, but Tamborine Mountain feels like you’re a world away. The beautiful and picturesque area in the Scenic Rim has a rich history, is home to stunning national parks and rainforests, and has its fair share of food and wine experiences. Pack a camera, you’ll be needing it.

01. Feel on top of the world

The Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is probably the best – and easiest – way to get your head around just how beautiful Tamborine Mountain is. Wander among the treetops and follow the path that gradually descends to the lower canopy, past rock pools to the cantilever that stands 30 metres above the valley and offers views for miles. The walk takes about an hour, including a stop at the Rainforest Eco Gallery, which explores some of Tamborine Mountain’s local and indigenous history. A must-do on your list of things to do in Tamborine Mountain.

02. Reach for the sky

Start your day by watching the sun rise from above Tamborine Mountain. Hot Air Balloon Scenic Rim takes you up into the sky, giving a 360-degree view of the beautiful landscape of the Scenic Rim and out to sea. Once back on ground, stop in at Canungra Valley Vineyard’s historic grand homestead for a Champagne breakfast and wine tasting. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

03. Explore the glow worm caves

Take a trek through the rainforest and go on a unique guided tour through the Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves. Unlike most wild glow worms, this colony is fully visible during the daytime, so don’t miss your chance to see thousands of them glowing inside the cave all before exploring the rest of Cedar Creek Winery.

04. Tuck into some local producers

We realise that the food and drink options on Tamborine Mountain are seemingly endless, so follow your nose and eat the best of it at the Tamborine Mountain Scenic Rim Eat Local Week events. It’s held annually throughout the Scenic Rim, so keep an eye out for dates. There’s also plenty of local eats available all year round, try Lemon Gelato Lovers for an icy treat or let the Picnic Real Food Bar pack you a picnic box so you can relax under the trees and soak up the views from across the mountain.

05. Soak up all the caffeine

See where your coffee addiction begins while you wander through over 600 coffee trees in the only coffee plantation on the mountain. Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation grows, harvests and roasts all of its beans to make fresh and delicious coffee, so stop in at the onsite café to taste it for yourself. And if you’re wanting to take your coffee experience to the next level, head to Curtis Falls Café to enjoy a warm cup amongst the beautiful rainforest or Splice of Life Café Deli for a classic coffee and cake.

06. Follow the Gallery Walk

Park the car and wander down Long Road to explore the art, craft, gift and knick-knack stores along the Gallery Walk. On the eastern side, there’s Granny Mac’s Fudge Store and Café, whose name speaks for itself. Across the road, there’s chocoholic haven Chocolates on Gallery Walk and the nostalgia-inducing Bygone Days and Vintage Crafts. Once you’re all shopped out, finish with a pint of local beer at Fortitude Brewing Co.

07. Wander through the botanic gardens

Sprawled over 11 hectares, the Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens holds a colourful and diverse range of exotic and native flora. Including a tranquil Japanese garden and a tropical rainforest walk, follow the trail to discover the beautiful species that grow here before finishing the visit with a lakeside picnic.

Tamborine Mountain Distillery Couple Cheers
Tamborine Mountain Distillery

08. Say cheers with local beverages

What better way to curb wastage than to turn it into alcohol? Tamborine Mountain Distillery started more than 20 years ago when a family on the mountain was growing too much fruit. Today the internationally awarded distillery produces liqueur, vodka and schnapps using native flowers and local produce. Our recommendation? The lilly pilly gin or the eucalyptus gum leaf vodka. 

Stop in to try a paddle of beers from the purpose-built Fortitude Brewing Company’s two labels, Fortitude and Noisy Minor. There are mouth-watering eats to be had at the restaurant and a cheese shop too.

Visit Cauldron Estate and Distillery, set on an expansive 18-acres with vineyards and picturesque green meadows. Sample their Queensland-inspired gin range, partake in gin-making classes and sip 'n' paint sessions, or simply relax while listening to live tunes.

09. Enjoy a damn fine vino drop

Like wine? You’re going to love Tamborine Mountain. Witches Falls ranks in Australia’s top 4.9 per cent of wineries, Cedar Creek Estate Winery and Vineyard has a purpose-built glow-worm cave and Albert River Wines gives you the chance to try your hand – or feet – at grape-stomping in the barrels. Mason Wines also has a stunning winery restaurant and cellar door on the mountain and is worth a stop for a tasting with a side of lunch, and spectacular views. There are even cottages on site if you'd like to stay the night!

10. Hire the designated driver 

There’s much wine and beer to be tasted on Tamborine Mountain (see points 8 and 9), so make a day of it and join a tour to discover the best the mountain has to offer. The Vino Bus picks you up and drops you off at your front door, taking you around a number of Tamborine Mountain’s wineries and ending with a two-course lunch. Tash Maree Travel’s wine-tasting tour is another great option and includes the all-important cheese tasting. Or experience the endless picturesque views your way with Pineapple Tours, the list of things to see on Mount Tamborine is endless! 

11. Crack a 200 million-year-old mystery

Don your best cap, dig out your magnifying glass and head to Thunderbird Park to fossick in the world’s largest thunderegg mine. Put on your hard hat, rummage through fresh soil and demolish tyre towers at Dig IT's mini excavator park. Whatever your pick - dig deep and see you can find!

12. Conquer your fears with the Treetop Challenge

Scared of heights? How does relying on just a harness across more than 100 challenges in the Treetop Challenge at Thunderbird Park sound? Hang from trees, climb the ladders, balance on bridges, navigate through suspended tunnels. Our hearts are racing already. 

Spread across 3.6 hectares of unspoiled bushland, there are six courses designed for the different levels of adrenaline junkies (think 0-100 real quick). To be fair, conquering your fears is completely worth it once you have a turn on the zipline, and the Treetop Challenge has 11 in total.

Shot of woman standing in front of waterfall, O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat.
A waterfall and a hiker at O'Reilly's

13. Go chasing waterfalls 

Pack a camera, put on your best activewear and grab your walking shoes to explore the waterfalls on Tamborine Mountain. For a guaranteed waterfall, follow the 1.1km track through the mossy forest to Curtis Falls, or pack a picnic and follow the trail to Cedar Creek Falls to peer up at the 15-20m waterfall. If you want to explore more, choose the 3.1km Witches Falls Circuit and take the waterfalls in from the viewing platform, which also has some incredible views. If waterfalls really are your thing, it is possible to visit all four in one day. 

14. Everything the light touches is ours

Set the alarm for nice and early and catch at least one sunrise while you’re on the mountain. The picks of the vantage points are Eagle Heights Resort, Golf Course Road, Magnetic Drive, Licuala Drive and Guanaba Road. Tamborine Mountain is 550m above sea level, so on a clear morning, views can stretch from Tweed Heads up to Moreton Bay. 

Facing inland, the view from the lookout points is no less spectacular. Pack a picnic and eat overlooking the views from Knoll Road, or take a hike and follow the Cameron Falls or Witches Falls trails. In the mornings you can see hot-air balloons floating below you from Rotary Lookout, and Hang Gliders Lookout is the spot to seek out for photographers - watch hang-gliders launch and picnic at sunset.

Couple hiking at Tamborine Mountain
Hiking at Tamborine Mountain

15. Go on, take a hike

Even if you’re not the most outdoorsy person, there are hikes on Tamborine Mountain that even the most cynical hiker will enjoy. The short, easy and extremely popular trails will take you to Curtis Falls, Cedar Creek Falls Lookout, Cedar Creek Falls Rock Pools or the MacDonald Circuit. A little longer, but still doable even for the only moderately fit, are the Witches Chase Track, Witches Falls Circuit, Palm Grove Circuit and the Cameron Falls Circuit.  

If you’re feeling particularly up for the challenge, follow the 4.2km Joalah Circuit, which passes through a flying fox colony and past a giant fallen strangler fig tree. 

16. Wander through the markets

Tamborine Mountain hosts a number of markets each month – each is different and worth checking out. Every Sunday, the Local Producers’ Market at The Green Shed offers organic produce as well as other locally made goodies including honey and preserves.

The Country Markets are held on the second Sunday of each month, selling fresh produce, plants, collectables and arts and crafts. Tuck in to a knackwurst with mustard and top it off with poffertjes (Dutch pancakes).  

The Tamborine Mountain State School Markets are held on the last Sunday of each month and are worth visiting for the variety of locally made products – from hand-made cookies to hand-crafted soaps.

17. Discover local art

You’ve done the Gallery Walk, now it’s time to walk the galleries. See the outback Australian landscape through the eyes of Arthur Hamblin at the Arthur Hamblin Art Gallery, or visit the Mountain Dreams Studio to view unique creations by Maki Horanai. Wander through Hilltop on Tamborine and browse the gallery of contemporary and traditional art from local and other artists, followed by lunch in the restaurant with a side of coastal views.

18. Go antiquing

Have you always wanted to describe yourself as someone who goes antiquing? Here’s your chance. At Antiques Plus you will notice a luxury vibe inspired by items from the past. Try your hand at picking a unique item for yourself or a gift for someone special.

19. Put romance first

Escape to Pethers Rainforest Retreat and enjoy a private and secluded retreat designed exclusively for adults. Set amongst five hectares of private and pristine rainforest, you’ll be able to settle into a private treehouse each with a spa for two and five-metre-high glass windows leading to an outdoor balcony. Relax in the tranquil hinterland and watch the sun go down at the luxurious Avocado Sunset B&B. Or enjoy a bit of country charm at the Mountain Manor, one of the oldest manor hotels in South-East Queensland (circa 1882). Think Victorian suites, leather lounges and an open log fire, it’ll feel like you’re a world away from the busy city life. 

20. Savour fancy flavours

The restaurant at Pethers Rainforest Retreat is cosy and intimate. Once you stop drooling over the menu you will be amazed by the intimate setting centred on an open fireplace. The restaurant has a vegetable and herb garden just metres from the kitchen, and the property also features an avocado orchard and four beehives.  

21. Fudgin’ delight

Those with a sweet tooth, rejoice – there are two fudge shops on Tamborine Mountain and both are pretty great. Granny Mac’s has more than 40 varieties and encourages sampling. We like the

22. Get the wind beneath your wings

Have you ever dreamt of soaring like an eagle? Get a bird’s-eye view over the hinterland with SEQ Hang Gliding, using the purest form of free flight. No cockpit, no engine – just you and nature.

23. Take a day drive

Follow one of two drive routes to ensure that you see the best of Mount Tamborine in one go. The Tamborine Mountain Drive and Tamborine Circuit are detailed but just remember to stop in at one of the many vantage points and get snap happy along the way. 

24. Pick up goodies along the side of the road

Keep an eye out as you’re driving around Mount Tamborine. Dotted along the roads, next to mailboxes, are stalls selling fresh produce, plants and other home-made goodies – chances are they taste better than anything you’ll ever buy in a supermarket and they’re a fraction of the price. They’re rarely manned, so drop some money into the honesty box and keep going until you see the next side-of-the-road stall.

25. Find this hidden gem

You don’t need to travel to Lightning Ridge to get your hands on a beautiful Australian opal. Wander through Australian Outback Opals, admire the striking colours of this beautiful gemstone and learn a little more about it.

Couple picnicking at sunset on Tamborine Mountain
Picnic on Tamborine Mountain

26. Pack a picnic

The waterfalls and hiking trails get us out and about, but we also need to refuel. Pack a picnic and have lunch overlooking spectacular views from The Knoll, or grab a picnic table after walking back from Cedar Creek Falls. Just remember to leave nothing but footprints so that visitors to the mountain can continue to enjoy the beautiful region.

27. While away the hours at the Scarecrow Festival

Scarecrows line the roads on Mount Tamborine during the annual Scarecrow Festival. Creativity runs wild with some of the displays – with everything from quite literally scary crows to nativity scenes a la scarecrows. We dare you to not get If I Only Had A Brain stuck in your head.

28. Pamper yourself

Indulge yourself with some much needed R&R. Getaway Day Spa will allow you to kick back and relax with a glass of Champagne, while its quality beauty and massage therapists work their magic. 

Head to Jasmin Organics and treat yourself to their locally made skincare range. Do their factory and farm tour while you're at it to see how all the products are produced,

A day cruise boat docked next to a shipwreck. People snorkelling the Tanglooma wrecks in the background.