If you’re looking for an escape that’s surrounded by nature and still an easy one-hour drive from Brisbane, you can’t go past Thunderbird Park at Tamborine Mountain. Not only does Thunderbird Park have a range of accommodation options for all families, but the massive property also features a selection of the best things to do in the Gold Coast Hinterland that can also be enjoyed in a simple day trip.
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Accommodation at Thunderbird Park
For a weekend away (or even longer!), Thunderbird Park has a variety of accommodation options on offer. From self-contained lodges to suites within their larger ‘Hillside Lodges’, Cedar Creek Lodges on the property provides a relaxing getaway surrounded by nature. Also available are campsites, caravan sites and glamping tents that can be booked directly through Thunderbird Park.
Thunderbird Park Lotus Tent Glamping
The most recent addition to the Thunderbird Park property is a cluster of gorgeous ‘Lotus Tents’. For those wanting the camping experience, but also needing a few luxuries, this experience is the ultimate. Already set up for you, and fully equipped with beds, basic furniture and even a microwave and kettle, the super-private Lotus Tents are located along the ridge overlooking Cedar Creek below. With a private bathroom including an open-air shower and a toilet, a fire pit and a gas BBQ, this accommodation is both tranquil and unique.
The Lotus Tents can accommodate up to 3 people, however, family-sized Lotus Tents are currently being installed.
Thunderbird Park Campsites & Caravan Sites
A lovely change from beach camping, and great for families wanting a few extra facilities, camping and caravanning at Thunderbird Park gives you a real ‘under the stars’ experience. The caravan and bush campsites are surrounded by towering eucalypts, with some sites fortunate enough to overlook the rock pools and cascades of Cedar Creek. Both powered and unpowered sites are available. Facilities include modern amenities blocks and a well-equipped camp kitchen, as well as access to everything else the park has on offer (read on to learn more).
Thunderbird Park Bush Lodges
The two-bedroom Bush Lodges at Thunderbird Park can sleep up to 6 guests, making them great for families. With all the amenities you could need—equipped kitchen, washing machine and TV with DVD player—these lodges are located in the higher section of the park and are surrounded by trees.
Cedar Creek Lodges
Located on the Thunderbird Park property, Cedar Creek Lodges offers several accommodation options for families to enjoy the unique bush setting whilst also having their own private space and modern facilities. Accommodation includes:
- Self-contained lodges, complete with fireplaces or fire pits and kitchenettes
- Hotel-style rooms within their larger ‘Hillside Lodges’, catering to between 2 and 4 people per room
Cedar Creek Lodges Garden Lodges
Cedar Creek Lodge’s Garden Lodge is one of two 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartments in The Log House. Each bedroom has its own TV/DVD player and ceiling fan. There is also a 5-piece outdoor setting and a campfire pit, always set with wood and kindling. A canopied hanging chair is another way to enjoy some quiet time in the garden.
Experiences to enjoy at Thunderbird Park
Whether you’re staying for one night or two weeks, there’s honestly no reason to leave Thunderbird Park with all they have on offer. From physical adventures to animal encounters, families can fill their days outdoors before dropping into bed. Book in advance to ensure you don’t miss out and get the best price possible for these activities:
Mini Excavator Digging
Looking for a fun and educational experience for your kids? Look no further than Mini Excavator Digging with Dig IT at Tamborine Mountain!
At this program, your kids will get hands-on experience operating a mini excavator, digging and moving dirt and rocks. Experienced instructors will teach them the basics of excavation and safety, making sure that everyone has a great time while staying safe. Plus, at the completion of each challenge, your kids will receive their induction card, meaning they have been fully inducted into the worksite!
The program offers four exciting zones for your kids to explore:
- The Dig Zone: where they will get trained on a 1.7 tonne excavator, digging in the earth.
- The Demolition Zone: the challenge is to use the wrecking ball to knock over the towers with a BANG.
- The Croc Zone: on a 1.7 tonne excavator, using precision, they’ll try to hook a croc!
- The RC Zone: using state-of-the-art remote control machines like dozers, dump trucks, excavators, and rear loaders, your kids will get to use machines just like on a work site.
But that’s not all! The Mini Excavator Challenges are a great way for your kids to test their skills and compete against their friends. They’ll get to navigate obstacle courses and complete tasks, while learning about the importance of teamwork and safety.
Safety is a top priority, so all operators are trained and experienced, and all safety equipment is provided. All activities are age-appropriate, so your kids can have fun while staying safe. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity – sign up your kids for Mini Excavator Digging today! You can book the experience here.
Thunderegg Mining at Thunderbird Park
With a certified mine on the Thunderbird Park site, Minecraft enthusiasts (and the rest of the family) will love fossicking for their very own thundereggs! Created by bubbles in prehistoric volcanic lava that has solidified into rock form, thundereggs can range from the size of a pea to the size of a boulder. These ‘eggs’, when cracked in half, can display a variety of colours and crystal formations that are completely unique in every egg.
After a quick information session about safety and what to look for, you are given a bucket which you can fill to the brim (remember, whatever you find you also need to carry down and out of the mine). Sensible, closed-in shoes are a necessity for this activity, as it is a bit of a hike up to the mine from the mine shed and real tools are provided for you to use. Gloves are also highly recommended.
Once you have filled your buckets, you head back down to the gem shop where staff will advise you on which rocks to have cut and in which direction the cut should go. Cutting prices are based on size and are listed at the shop. You can choose to take all your finds home or leave them at the shop if you are just too tired to carry any more. The gem shop also sells a range of cut rocks and gems.
TreeTop Challenge and TreeTop Challenge – Juniors
For those aged seven years and over, the TreeTop Challenge at Thunderbird Park is a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Mount Tamborine. Through a series of platforms, flying foxes, rope bridges and more, the challenge could easily provide an entire day’s worth of entertainment for families.
For kids aged 3-7 years, the TreeTop Challenge – Juniors is a fantastic alternative. First building confidence on the two lower-to-the-ground courses (under full supervision from the instructors), smaller kids can try out a ropes course of the very own. The lower courses lead on to two higher courses where kids can challenge themselves one the net bridges, wobbly logs and more. Sessions are limited to two hours in length.
The Canyon Flyer
Think the TreeTop Challenge is pushing your limits? You’ve not seen the Canyon Flyer! Hook up to this high-speed zipline that reaches speeds of up to 70km per hour and takes you gliding high above the treetops some 7om above the ground. With 7 ziplines totaling a length of 1.4km to try out, this is not for the faint-hearted.
Please note that, for safety, this experience is only open to those weighing over 40kg and under 120kg. Harnesses have a maximum diameter of 120cm.
Adventure Mini Golf
Providing a golfing experience designed for all levels of skill, the Adventure Mini Golf course features three holes per green, each of varying difficulty. New golfers can choose to putt the ‘Beginners’ holes, those with some experience the ‘Intermediate’ holes and the pros can do the ‘Professional’ holes. This means the whole family can enjoy the same course and be challenged at the same time.
The course itself is beautifully landscaped, making the most of the natural setting of Thunderbird Park. Rock traps, bridges, water hazards and more make this a great outdoor experience for families.
The residents of Thunderbird Park have recently become more diverse, with the addition of Fairytale Farmers’ ponies, located by the lake on the property. Kids can meet the colourful characters (admire Romeo the Pony’s fantastic fringe!) and go on a pony ride* around the lake. Fairytale Farmers adds animal adventures to the full outdoor experience that Thunderbird Park has developed and is such a fantastic escape from city life. *NOTE: Fairytale Farmers are only on the Thunderbird Park property during Queensland school holidays.
Another recent addition to Thunderbird Park, the FunFair provides hours of enjoyment for families. Choose from water bikes and paddle boats to cruise around the lake on, race your mates on the pedal go-karts, or bounce the day away on the jumping castle – it’s the perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon.
For the adrenaline junkies who want to kick it up a notch, why not go on a 4WD buggy ride adventure? Families of all ages can enjoy these buggy rides, with different options for the type of experience you are after—fast or slow, hill climbs and splashy water crossings, or just cruising around the property—it is a lot of fun and a great way to see a side of Thunderbird Park that you do not always get to see!
Other activities to enjoy at Thunderbird Park
Rock Pools (FREE activity) – With Cedar Creek running right through the Thunderbird Park property, there are plenty of opportunities for swimming and relaxing in the natural rockpools.
Rock Pool Walk (FREE activity) – Created especially for guests staying on the property, Thunderbird Park has built a walking trail that runs along a section of Cedar Creek, taking you to the higher-up rock pools. In summer, this is a great walk to warm you up, then take a cooling dip in the stunning rock pools to cool down.
Pickleball – 2 tennis half-courts have been converted to pickleball courts, where players combine badminton, tennis and table tennis in this enjoyable sport (that you’ve likely never heard of!).
Bird Feeding (FREE activity) – Gorgeous rainbow Lorikeets are often seen heading inside the restaurant and hanging out on the kiosk deck, but, at 2pm daily, guests can join in the free bird feeding activity.
Cedar Creek Falls Walking Track (FREE activity) – No need to get in the car and battle for a carpark for this popular track! The walking trail to Cedar Creek Falls and Rockpools can be reached via a private path on the Thunderbird Park property.
Eating at Thunderbird Park
If you want a break from cooking or need some extra supplies (or just a hot cup of coffee!), there is a restaurant and a kiosk on the Thunderbird Park property.
Open for breakfast daily, the Rainforest Restaurant serves up light and full breakfast options. Breakfast can be added to your accommodation booking, so check this out as an option.
The Rainforest Restaurant is also open for lunch Friday to Sunday and dinner from Thursday to Saturday. Meals include contemporary food created with local produce and a full wine list is available.
On the evenings the restaurant is not open (Sunday to Wednesday), you can also choose to order a food platter to enjoy in the comfort of your lodge or room. The platter includes a generous selection of antipasto and nibblies.
The Terrace Kiosk
Open daily from 9am and closing mid-afternoon, the Terrace Kiosk is perfect for that caffeine hit for parents or iceblock treat for the kids. Serving up pizzas, burgers, hot chips, baguettes and bagels, salads and cold drinks, the kiosk is a lifesaver in between adventures on the property.
How to make the most of your stay at Thunderbird Park
- Pet-friendly — dogs are welcome at this campsite, but not on long weekends or school holidays.
- Book activities online in advance to obtain the best price and to avoid disappointment.
- Pack firewood and marshmallows for campfires.
- Don’t forget to pack swimmers for the rock pools.
- Bring closed-toe shoes for activities such as thunderegg fossicking and bushwalking.
- Enjoy a meal or a treat at the on-site restaurant or kiosk.
- Explore the quaint township of Mount Tamborine (a short drive from the campsite), have a coffee in one of the many funky cafes, or browse the eclectic mix of shops nearby.
Thunderbird Park is located on the corner of Cedar Creek Falls Road, Tamborine Mountain. To make a booking for accommodation or activities, or for more information, visit www.thunderbirdpark.com.
Brisbane Kids thanks Thunderbird Park for sponsoring our writer and their family on their stay at Tamborine Mountain. Costs were covered. All the opinions stated in this review are true, honest and genuine with the sole aim of providing enough information for families to make an informed decision about future holidays to this scenic local leisure destination.
You might also like to read more about How to Spend a Family Weekend at Mount Tamborine.