Visit Tamborine Mountain!
VisitTamborineMountain.com.au is the Official website and the most comprehensive guide to places to stay, attractions, things to do and see on Tamborine Mountain. You will find a range of accommodation, places to eat, taste the local wines and liqueurs, explore our wonderful walks and National Parks, enjoy one of our unique events or markets, and even choose the Mountain for your wedding.
Visit Tamborine Mountain, located in the peaceful and picturesque Hinterland only an hour from Brisbane and the Gold Coast – truly one of Queensland’s secret treasures. Spoil yourself and your family, escape for a while and enjoy all the outstanding experiences that the Mountain has to offer!
Queensland is known as the Sunshine State of Australia. On Tamborine Mountain you can enjoy abundant sunshine without the heat and humidity that more northerly parts of Queensland sometimes have to endure. A few very light frosts mark the winter season. Winter days usually dawn to clear blue skies. The first part of summer is marked by warm clear days and spectacular evening thunderstorms in traditional tropical style. Sometime after Christmas the summer rains carried in from further north by the North-West Monsoon reach down to replenish the underground water supply that provides both garden and irrigation water for most of the area. Although the humidity can be relatively high during this latter part of summer, the temperatures are quite mild and you only realise how high the humidity must be when you see the Mountain mists – rolling in like huge breakers over the eastern escarpment as the sea breeze blows across in the late afternoon. Bureau of Meteorology
About Tamborine Mountain
The Scenic Rim Located 62 kilometres from Brisbane and sitting on the edge of the escarpment behind the city of the Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain is both an actual geological phenomenon (the result of an outpouring of lava from Mount Warning) and also a collective term for a number of small villages stretching along the eight kilometre ridge of the mountain range.
The stunning increase in demand for property on’ the Mountain’ has occurred in part because Queensland prices have traditionally lagged behind those in other state capitals. Therefore, people selling in these areas can move to the Mountain and replace their home while keeping a tidy sum left over for investment. Nowadays many people are also seeking a ‘green change’ and find ‘the Mountain’ superbly matches this requirement. It offers a modern sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of city life, while being just 30 minutes from the Gold Coast and 1 hour from Brisbane.
The plateau of Tamborine Mountain is 550meters above sea level, 4 km wide and approximately 8km long. It has a subtropical climate, good rainfall, deep volcanic soils; the ideal conditions for the local flora and fauna to thrive. The residents of the Mountain do not have access to town water and each home uses tank water for household purposes and many use sub- surface water which is readily available.
The attractions of the district are the beautiful views which exist on both sides of the ranges, the number of rainforest areas with quiet streams and attractive waterfalls and the many craft and antique shops, galleries, wineries, tearooms and restaurants of the area’s villages which attract an artistically/craft-oriented community and a tourism focus. The rich volcanic soils also support a diversity of horticulture. Commercial crops include avocado, kiwifruit, avocado and macadamia nuts. Tamborine Mountain is a volcanic plateau set within the Gold Coast Hinterland.
From Tamborine Mountain you can get great views out over the splendid surrounding scenery, as well as out over the Gold Coast, to Brisbane and Mount Warning. You will also get the opportunity to see a range of wildlife including Lorikeets, Lyrebirds, Platypus, Scrub Turkeys and Wallabies. There are some gorgeous waterfalls surrounding Tamborine Mountain, including the pretty Cameron Falls, Cedar Creek Falls and the Witches Falls. There are some amazing lookouts on the Mountain, offering stunning views over the Gold Coast and out over Canungra.
The beautiful Botanic Gardens are set on nine hectares, and located on Forsythia Drive, Eagle Heights, the Gardens are open 24 hours a day and entry is free. If you enjoy walking then the 9 National Parks within the Tamborine Mountain region are the place to go. There are plenty of walking tracks leading through magnificent subtropical rainforest, with several picnic and BBQ areas.
A number of wineries and vineyards are in the area for those that enjoy wine or would like to sample the local produce. Winery tours are also available. There are a number of attractions around Tamborine Mountain, as well as several accommodation places. You can also visit one of the fabulous cafes, wineries or restaurants within the area as well as some of the unique art and craft galleries. Tamborine Mountain also hosts the Tamborine Markets at the Showgrounds on the Main-Western Road. The Tamborine Markets are held on the second Sunday of every month and are worth a visit as is the school market on the last Sunday of every month in Long Rd.
This small plateau is rich in animal and bird life. Bird feeding is a local hobby enjoyed by many residents. The most friendly and colourful birds are the parrots, especially the aptly named Rainbow Lorikeets. The beautiful red and green King Parrots, the pastel blue and yellow Pale Headed Rosellas and the red and purple Eastern Rosellas are all to be seen in most Mountain gardens. Magpies, Butcher Birds and the shy Whip Bird harmonize from daybreak until sundown. The Brush Turkey inhabits the rainforest and home gardens. The hen Turkey is the perfect female liberationist. The male builds huge mounds of leaf mulch then she lays her eggs in the mound and walks away leaving him to manage the entire incubation process. Electricity wires have become ‘Possum Superhighways’. That ‘bump’ on your roof at night is not some burglar trying to invade, but simply a possum taking a short cut. Bandicoots, dainty Wallabies, even Koalas and various other small Australian natives all call this area home. Butterflies add passing colour throughout the Mountain and a wide variety of frogs, from large Green Tree Frogs to Dwarf Tree Frogs and frogs with iridescent green spots on their backs, welcome the summer rains with a cacophony of sound.
Kindergarten and preschool facilities are available as well as excellent private child care centres. One located close to the North Tamborine State School with the other close to St Bernards Junior school. St Bernards Junior School + Tamborine Mountain State School 2003 saw the first graduation of students who had entered Tamborine Mountain High School in year 7. It is now a fully independent school with its own Headmistress Tamborine Mountain State High School Tamborine Mountain College is a private, non-denominational high school located on Beacon Road. Tamborine Mountain College
The choice of schools off the mountain that offer a bus service are St Stephen College in Upper Coomera, Trinity Lutheran College (co-ed), St. Hilda’s Girls School, The Southport School (boys only) and the Aquinas College.
There are a wide range of facilities on the mountain and some of these include the large new Tamborine Mountain Medical Centre, Ambulance station, physios, acupuncturists, dentists, two pharmacies, two bakeries, an IGA in North Tamborine and a Foodworks at Eagle Heights shopping centre, a large Mitre10, two butcheries, specialist veg shops, health food store, plenty of take-a-ways, coffee shops and restaurants as well as the famous Gallery Walk that attracts over a million visitors a year.
Places to stay
What’s on in the community
The population on the plateau has settled in three suburbs, North Tamborine, Eagle Heights & Mount Tamborine, although locals do refer to a few more such as Olde Eagle Heights & Forest Park. Tamborine Mountain is classified as rural with no reticulated water supply or sewerage system. Residents are dependent on rainwater, bores and septic tanks. Many residents commute to work on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane. The schools are Tamborine Mountain State Primary (1900), Tamborine Mountain State High (2001) and Tamborine Mountain College (1995). Mount Tamborine (the southern locality) has the St Bernard State Primary School (1914)
Mount Tamborine Situated at the southern end of the Tamborine Mountain plateau is Mount Tamborine. Many describe it as the “rural side of the mountain” consisting of acreage properties ranging from 1 to 50 acres with the exception of the Golf Course Estate, which was divided into 300 blocks in the 1950’s, nestling around the Tamborine Mountain Golf Course. The evening dew ensures that the flora retains its greenness even in protracted periods without rain. Mount Tamborine offers scenic walks for its residents, the St Bernards School, day care centre, St Bernards Hotel, plentiful B&B’s, hairdressers and its famous, convenience store, Taste Buddies.
North Tamborine North Tamborine is situated between Eagle Heights and Mount Tamborine. It’s Main Street, two one-way roads, is flanked with cafes, a supermarket, post office, hardware stores, a newsagent, library, take-a ways, banks, various other shops and is the main hub for the locals of Tamborine Mountain. North Tamborine is a popular suburb due its close proximity to shops, schools and general village atmosphere.
Olde Eagle Heights Olde Eagle Heights residential area adjoins the Botanical Gardens and National Park and is only a short walk to the ‘ Olde Eagle Heights Shopping Centre’ and to the popular Gallery Walk precinct.
Eagle Heights Eagle Heights is situated at the northern end on the Scenic Route from the motorway. It is a rural / residential area on the Tamborine Plateau, is 50 km south of central Brisbane and 18 km west of Labrador on the Gold Coast. The origin of the name is unrecorded. In 1997 Eagle Heights was designated a locality within the larger district of Tamborine Mountain which also included North Tamborine and Mount Tamborine.
Clagiraba Clagiraba lies within the Hinterland on the way to Tamborine Mountain, its residents enjoy a quiet lifestyle with many horse properties in this area. Clagiraba Creek is a tributary of the Coomera River and the name is derived from the aboriginal name ‘Kalagareebah’ meaning young or single men’s ground. This was a region where young men were taken on tour during their initiation ceremony.
Guanaba Guanaba is a rural zoned area with large acreage properties & farms. Guanaba has a lovely swimming hole and picnic facilities at the back of the Guanaba Reserve next to the Guanaba Rural Fire Station. The Guanaba waterways are home to platypus, which can apparently be spotted in the evening if you a very quiet! The land was mainly used for dairy farming, but these days, the school and dairy farms are gone and there are many new families living in the area. The name Guanaba remains as both a district located at the foothills of Tamborine Mountain as well as the name of a creek which flows into the Coomera River.
Tamborine Mountain was inhabited by Aborigines for tens of thousands of years and was the territory of the Wangerriburras. The Yugambeh language is the origin of the name Tamborine, which means wild lime and refers to the finger lime trees that grow on the mountain. The Tamborine district was included in the Bunton Vale pastoral run (1843) which was renamed Tambourine. In time the name was applied to the parish and the plateau. In 1875 the first of several farm selections was taken up; the hilly terrain was considered inferior to the coastal flats, but it had excellent timber and deep soils. By 1886 most of the plateau was under selection, although not necessarily occupation.
Mount Tamborine (the locality) was definitely occupied, with citrus and other orchards, vegetable crops and St Bernard’s Hotel. A village settlement, on farms much too small, started in 1888. A short-lived provisional school was opened in 1893. North Tamborine was more easily accessible from the Logan Village railway station, and in 1898 a Brisbane family, the Geissmanns (Swiss and German) built Capo di Monte, serving as a residence and guest house. They succeeded in having a school opened in 1900 and a store was added to their guest house in 1909. The arrival of the Geissmanns coincided with a growing clientele of natural history holiday-makers, and Queensland Governors lent their patronage to the Capo. The first of several sections of the Tamborine National Park (and Queensland’s first), Witches Falls, was reserved in 1908. Meanwhile Mount Tamborine children tramped daily to the Capo school, until a gradual growth in population satisfied the opening of a second school in 1914, named St Bernard.
The increase in population mirrored a decrease in the acreages of rainforest timber, as the Big Scrub was cut out and snigged down to saw mills. The supposed reserves of timber prompted the opening of a railway line from Logan Village, southwards across the plateau to Canungra. Opening in 1914-15, the line carried decreasing quantities as much of the best timber had been cut out, but it also did service with mixed freight and passengers. The line closed in 1955. The Tamborine local government division (1893) had the unenviable task of maintaining local roads, and as late as 1930 tolled a road to stay financial.
A splurge of land subdivisions during 1918-25 brought in rates, but also more traffic. The sub-dividers sold blocks to both permanents and weekenders, who incidentally provoked a building boom and kept Geissmanns’ sawmill (1911) going profitably. Guest houses were built to accommodate holiday makers. The Tamborine Progress Association agitated for road spending, the North Tamborine public hall (1923) and the Tamborine Show and memorial hall (1930) near Mount Tamborine. Farming included dairying and citrus (until the 1930s) and flower growing (freighted to Brisbane). Vegetable growing increased sharply to feed Allied servicemen during World War II, sparking a number of co-operative arrangements for farm machinery, transport and distribution. Tamborine Mountain attracted a number of writers and artists, contributing to a local feeling for the preservation of natural landscape. At various intervals from the 1920s to the 1960s, lands were donated and reserved for national parks. Notable examples were Palm Grove on the eastern escarpment (1925), the Knoll (1954) and Franklin (1957), which contains a Lepidozamia cycad reserve.
The reserves contributed immeasurably to Tamborine Mountain’s tourist appeal, made more accessible by a road from the Gold Coast (1958, officially opened 1966). A country club golf course and several residential estates were promoted during 1958-60s. The Tamborine Mountain Road (1922-25) linked North Tamborine to the Tamborine railway station, serving both local farmers and tourists. A short section, known as Geissmann Drive, passes through a national park, and it is listed on the Queensland heritage register. Dairying tailed off in the 1950s, and avocado farming increased sharply.
Proximity to the Gold Coast provoked a proposal for a theme park in 1979, replete with a fiberglass avocado and miniature train. Local residents opposed the scheme, in keeping with their willingness to do without reticulated water and sewerage. As a consequence, the mountain’s landscape has been less severely touched by building activity, maintaining the mountain’s tourist appeal. The national parks are liberally interspersed by relatively modest galleries and cafes, particularly at Gallery Walk in Long Road on the way into Eagle Heights. Tambourine Shire (changed to ‘Tamborine’ in 1939) was amalgamated with Beaudesert Shire in 1949. Its census populations were:
Its area was 740 sq km. Tamborine Mountain’s census population in 2006 was 6534. The median age of its residents was 46 years, compared with 37 for Australia. A selector, Cornelius Brady, was the first to take up farm land at Eagle Heights (1879), but the nearest place of settlement was North Tamborine, immediately to the west. After 1918 there was considerable land subdivision on the plateau – the railway had opened in 1918 – and the Eagle Heights subdivision began in the early 1920s. Buyers were weekend visitors and a few permanents. A post office receiving point was opened in 1926, and the spacious Eagle Heights Hotel was opened. A two-storey, Tudor design building, the hotel burnt down in 1964. In 1932 a resident, Jessie McDonald, donated land for conservation purposes. Situated in Wongawallan Road, the McDonald Reserve was later enlarged and is one of the numerous parts of the Tamborine National Park. A botanic garden adjoins it.
There are several points around Eagle Heights with views over the Gold Coast or back to the McPherson Range. In between are rainforest walks and waterfalls. Eagle Heights experienced moderate growth in the postwar years and sudden spurts in the 1980s-90s. The main approach, Long Road, is a strip shopping centre for antiques, galleries and eateries.
As the Tamborine Plateau’s largest population centre Eagle Heights has the local library and main shopping area. Churches, schools and halls are in or close to the older settlements of North Tamborine and Tamborine Mountain. The old church (c1882), among the oldest buildings on the plateau, is in the galleries strip but erected there after transfer from Nerang. In 1997 Eagle Heights was designated a locality within the larger district of Tamborine Mountain which also included North Tamborine and Mount Tamborine.