It’s Friday afternoon and you’ve left work early. This well overdue weekend escape has been on your mind forever, and finally it is your time to relax. Your destination is Mount Tamborine, a mere 70 kms out of Brisbane. If you are searching for beauty and tranquility then look no further. As you wind your way up the calm country mountain road you soon forget the stress of city life and enter the Witches Falls National Park, which is the oldest national park in Queensland. As you move into rural mode, this spectacular drive allows you to encounter the best of nature at every turn in the road, building up to the sweeping views of the iconic plateau masterpieces; the peaks of Mt Warning, Mt Barney and Lamington National Park.
Mount Tamborine’s best views are from The Polish Place, where you can stop for a sunset wine and cheese platter, or in true Polish fashion, a shot of vodka (there are twenty eight different Polish vodkas on the menu). Your gracious hosts, Ania and Phil, who have run the business for over 30 years, specialise in traditional Polish cuisine served by wait staff in colourful Polish costumes. The restaurant has a nice ambience and the cultural experience is one you will not forget in a hurry.
Their little place is perched on the hillside, next to the hang-gliding jump off point and is by far the most spectacular viewpoint overlooking the western rim of the Great Dividing Range. If you fancy an overnight stay here, you can have all this from the privacy of your own chalet. There are five chalets, all with romantic lofts, open fireplaces, cathedral ceilings and a double spa bath featured in the lounge.
Mount Tamborine is an absolute gem of a place to unwind and do nothing, or busy yourself on the gallery walk, where you will find fudge tasting, wine tasting rooms, cheese tasting and there is even a distillery. Trolley tours are available, which is a great way to get around on a hop-on hop-off basis. If you fancy taking a walk amongst the treetops, then the Skywalk offers a chance to hang out 30 metres above ground level. You are literally at one with the trees, surrounded by rainforest, with a bird’s eye view of the spectacular rainforest, which is both below and above you.
From caves to coffee. Did you know Mount Tamborine has its very own coffee plantation? The small family owned boutique coffee plantation also has a roasting house on site, specializing in high quality gourmet coffee. The rich volcanic soil and high altitude (550 metres above sea level) makes for a mean bean. What’s more its organic, the beans are hand picked and custom roasts are available on request.
So, a weekend in Mount Tamborine invites much more than clean mountain air. The country markets operate every second Sunday, there are several bush walks through the Witches Falls National Park, including a selection of waterfall walks – Curtis Falls, my personal favourite, and over 40 accommodation establishments to chose from. Treat yourself to a tantalizing and tempting Mount Tamborine experience. Go visit and lose yourself in a magical weekend escape.
Story by Stephanie Brookes
Photos by David Metcalf
Fact File :
Close to Brisbane – 1 hour drive
Close to beach – 45 min drive from Gold Coast
The Polish Place – www.polishplace.com.au
Things to Do:
Skywalk – www.rainforestskywalk.com.au
Glow Worm Caves – www.glowwormcavetamborinemountain.com.au
Fudge Heaven – Free Fudge Tasting 40 varieties – 2 locations – 134 Long Rd, Gallery Walk and Cnr Signato St, Mt Tamborine
German Cuckoo Clock Nest
Witches Chase Cheese Company
Trolley Tours – Hop on Hop off tours – self-guided
Best National Park Bushwalks:
1. Curtis Falls – Joalah (aboriginal word meaning Lyrebird Section – 30 mins Moderate Grade
2. Macdonald Rainforest Circuit – 30 mins Easy Grade
3. Witches Falls Circuit – 1 hour Moderate Grade
4. Cedar Creek Falls – 15 mins Easy Grade or 30 mins Rock Pools
Wineries – A selection of 7 wineries to visit
Best Sunset Views – www.polishplace.com.au
Tourist Information – check events calendar including Annual Scarecrow Festival, Murder Mystery on Tamborine Mountain, Mount Tamborine Brewery Beer Fest and more.