Everybody needs a little time away, and heading to Tamborine Mountain is the perfect escape for Brisbane families. Finding things to do with kids at Tamborine Mountain before you go will ensure a lovely peaceful escape too.
Tamborine Mountain, with its lush, green peak, is positioned snugly between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Whilst in no way a secret to the many people who already adore it, there are so many wonderful little spots, parks, tracks and waterfalls here to be discovered that even the regulars love to explore time and time again. There is also the shopping, the wineries, the eateries, the markets… the list is endless!
Whether your aim is to laze with a picnic beneath sun-filtered tree canopies, cool off with a swim in crystal clear pools, get active and explore the many glorious tracks (at whatever pace suits you best), or immerse yourself in a world of lush green rainforest, there is seriously something for everyone here; offering the perfect reset that’s so close to home, but feels a world away. Below is a list of all the great reasons to head to Tamborine Mountain when you next need a small break.
The Winding Drive Up Tamborine Mountain
A small, low convertible with its top down would be most ideal way to arrive, but, as most families need a small people mover instead to get around, maybe you’ll just have to settle for checking out the amazing rainforest through your open windows instead. With sunlight sprinkling down though dense forest crowding in from either side of the road, the winding drive up the mountain is a simple highlight in itself and many people choose to do just that – enjoying a picnic at the top and then heading on home is all they need to give their heart and mind a lift.
Cedar Creek Rock Pools
The breathtaking Cedar Creek Rock Pools section of Tamborine National Park is easily reached via Tamborine Mountain Road, with the turn-off to Cedar Creek Falls Road being just past the information map stopping bay on the left. Parking is limited, so get there early!
Just beyond the carpark you will find beautiful picnic spots, an accessible lookout reached by a sealed walking track beneath lush tropical rainforest filled with Strangler Figs and towering Cedar trees. Beyond this, and after a small hike (not accessible to prams or wheelchairs), the crystal clear Cedar Creek Falls and Rock Pools will greet you with water that flows all year ’round.
Glow Worm Caves Tamborine Mountain
What child doesn’t love something that glows or sparkles? Even better if it is a tiny little bug which, along with thousands of his other bug mates, can be found within a darkened, dripping cave tucked away at the end of a rainforest walkway. Although only a small tour and area, the kids will love being guided into the replica limestone world complete with stalagmites, stalactites and water features. A short video on the hero bugs in question is played and then (the best part!) you get to head into the pitch black, watery cave that is home to thousands of these little insects. Expect lots of excitement as little eyes adjust to the darkness and many more ooohs and aahs as they learn about their new glowing friends. Tours are conducted daily between 10am – 4pm and are available to tour groups by arrangement.
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
For a more tranquil experience, you can spend a few hours high in the rainforest canopies thanks to the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. Your journey begins at the Eco Gallery, where you are introduced to the local flora and fauna and given information on what you should look out for. From here, you follow an elevated walkway that gradually ascends from the middle to the upper canopies before gradually heading back down to the lower canopy. There is plenty to look at along the way, including pristine rock pools and butterfly lookouts, but the real highlight comes as you reach the breathtaking 40 metre long span cantilever which hovers 30 metres above the valley – the views from here are truly breathtaking! This pram-friendly walk only takes about an hour, but make sure you bring comfortable shoes. Family tickets start at $44.00 (2 adults + 1 child), with kids under 6 free!
Sure, Tamborine Mountain has much to offer in natural landscapes and scenery, but it also caters for those who love to shop as well! The Gallery Walk is the main street and boasts over 70 art, craft, gift and knick-knack shops that are a delight to wander through slowly, even if your purse is feeling lighter than usual.
Be sure to check out the German Cuckoo Clock Nest which is just as popular for its amazing range of cuckoo (and all sorts of other) clocks as it is for its very German-looking exterior. There is an abundance of great shops that are worth checking out, which are located on the Gallery Walk.
With its laid-back vibe, it’s no wonder Tamborine Mountain is also host to several markets that bring local growers and artisans together to share their wares.
For fresh, mostly organic, fruit and vegetables, head to the Local Producers Market, which is on every Sunday morning from 7am – noon, at ‘The Green Shed’ next to the Tamborine Mountain Showgrounds.
Held on the last Sunday of the month from 7am – 1pm, the Tamborine Mountain State School Markets is a true country market, complete with up to 125 stalls from growers, local artists and crafts people, including fresh produce, plants, books, clothing, vintage items, collectibles, jewellery, bric-a-brac, candles, crystals and more.
The Tamborine Mountain Country Markets are on every second Sunday of the month at the Tamborine Mountain Showgrounds, offering an extensive range of fresh vegetables and fruit, locally produced cheeses, coffee, flowers, herbs and other plants, arts and crafts, collectibles, clothing, and more.
Food and Drink
Although a blanket thrown casually on one of the many green hillsides with a picnic hamper nearby is a clear favourite at Tamborine Mountain, there are plenty of great food places to try out as well. Along with an array of restaurants on the Gallery Walk and scattered around the mountain, there are also some specialities that you should time to visit if possible.
If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to get a sample (or buy a whole bag) from Fudge Heaven. Kids will love it and they also have an adults only range. With over 40 to try and free tastings every day, you would be crazy not to stop in and say hi.
Another popular tourist stop is the Witches Chase Cheese Co. If you love your cheese, then this is where you want to be (there is also yogurt and ice-cream on sale here as well).
The Tamborine Mountain Distillery may be Australia’s smallest operating Pot Still Distillery, but it is world-renowned and attracts visitors from all over. With the mountain’s abundance of fruit fermented and distilled on site, Michael and Alla Ward have established an enviable reputation as creators of high-quality liqueurs, vodkas, schnapps and eaux-de-vie.
You may also want to visit one of the breweries on the mountain. Fortitude Brewing Co offers beer tasting tours and the opportunity to relax with a cool ale as the sun goes down.
Tamborine Mountain is also famous for its many wineries that are scattered around the mountain. Many groups make a day of it with wine tasting tours, or you may wish to visit just one or two of your favourites.
Tamborine Mountain is home to many talented artists and sculptors and it’s not hard to see why, with such beautiful scenery and landscapes offering unlimited inspiration for their creativity. Many of the locals display their work at the local galleries – of which there is a huge range to choose from. Art and craft classes are also on offer, for those looking to create some masterpieces of their own.
Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens
Nestled in a valley and covering 11 hectares, the Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens is often referred to as a jewel in the crown of the Scenic Rim and has specimen collections from all over the world. There are 10 contemplative sites that allow an ambient rest for visitors and a Japanese garden with it bridge and pond to admire. Various pathways and a boardwalk through the palm grove entice quiet walks or strolls and are all accessible by prams and wheelchairs as well.
Thunderbird Park offers an onsite adventure escape, with both camping and cabin accommodation available. Along with all the natural scenery and rock pools there to explore, the park has many other facilities that cater for all ages and interests. There is laser skirmish in the jungle, a mini excavator park, the TreeTop Challenge high ropes course, mini golf, and also a chance to find treasure-filled thundereggs formed when dinosaurs roamed the earth! The camping facilities include a fully equipped camp kitchen and an outdoor BBQ area, whilst the Rainforest Restaurant and the Terrace Cafe on site give visitors a break from cooking.
Outdoor things to do with Kids at Tamborine Mountain
Tamborine Mountain is a nature-lovers wonderland, with rainforest walks and trails scattered all over the mountain. They wind beneath rainforest canopies along dappled paths and moss-covered boulders with wildlife and waterfalls a-plenty to discover.
Below are some of the main tracks you can explore during your next visit:
Witches Falls is a popular track and is housed in Queensland’s first National Park, “Witches Falls National Park”. Access is via the Main Western Road, and the track zigzags beneath towering rainforest, down the steep mountainside and along seasonal lagoons before you reach the falls. Something to note is that the falls only flow after recent rain and can be viewed via a small detour from the circuit to a lookout platform.
Curtis Falls (pictured above), located in the heart of the mountain, is the only falls that can be viewed from the base and is fed by Cedar Creek so its falls run all year round.
Cameron Falls can be reached after an extremely beautiful and serene 30 minute walk starting from the Knoll Road Lookout. This lookout is breathtaking in itself, with a gorgeous picnic tabled spot that is well worth a visit. The Sandy Creek Track is a simply stunning walk that makes up part of the track that leads to Cameron Falls. Moss-covered boulders, fern-blanketed pathways and crystal clear creeks are just some of the sights to behold on the way. A secure concrete bridge crosses Sandy Creek, a viewing platform a few metres to the west offering great views inland as well as on to Cameron Falls to the east. The circuit is about 2.5kms and there are steps, but it is only moderately strenuous.
It seems that whichever way you turn at Tamborine Mountain, you are greeted with inspiring and wondrous views on the mountain. To make the most of these spectacular outlooks though, and to gain the best vantage points, there are a number of lookouts scattered around the mountain that are well worth a visit.
One of the most popular is the Hang Gliders Lookout, which is located along the Main Western Road. This spot offers uninterrupted views and comes alive with energetic hang gliders who use this cleared mountain section as a launch site on a good day. It’s a great spot to take a picnic and watch the festivities!
Another one worth mentioning is the Rotary Lookout on the same road, but directly opposite the Bavarian Grill Haus Restaurant. This lookout even comes equipped with benches and binoculars!
There are so many amazing things to see, places to visit and adventures to be had at Tamborine Mountain that one visit alone is never enough. No matter how often you are able to make the small trip though, always remember when you are there to stop, relax, breathe and allow yourself to be rejuvenated completely by the magic that is our very own Tamborine Mountain.