Are you looking for the best things to do in Mount Tamborine with your family? Have you and your family been to the area before but you are wondering if you have made the most of the beautiful Mt Tamborine district? Check our comprehensive overview to see if you’ve missed any hidden treasures!
We’ve compiled an exhaustive list (but it was our pleasure, really!) of everything that’s waiting for you and your family at gorgeous Mt Tamborine.
Things to do in Mount Tamborine
There are oh, SO many awesome things to do in Mount Tamborine. Perfectly situated a mere 70 kilometres from Brisbane lies a gorgeous community hub nestled into a picturesque natural setting. It’s as if the hustle and bustle of the rat race has completely passed by. One visit to Mount Tamborine will have you seriously contemplating a tree-change!
This sometimes over-looked local destination boasts the most incredible scenery. It is located in what we call The Scenic Rim and it houses the most gorgeous national parks and native wildlife that you will see in Australia. And, because it it up a mountain, there is of course, that clear, crisp air that you can’t find anywhere else.
When everyone else is cramming into their cars to sit in traffic for hours only to arrive at a completely packed holiday attraction ask yourself – where would you rather be? The answer for us is ON the mountain!
How do we get to Mt Tamborine?
Tamborine Mountain is in the Scenic Rim (in the Gold Coast hinterland) and covers an area of about 28 square kilometres.
Leaving from Brisbane CBD, you’re looking at just over an hour drive via the M1. If you’re coming from the Gold Coast you’ve got a public transport option in the “Hop On Hop Off” bus service leaving from Oasis Gold Coast.
What to do at Mount Tamborine
What activities and attractions are waiting for you and your family at Mt Tamborine? Only just a skip, hop and jump from the Gold Coast, Mount Tamborine has so many things for you to do! Why go anywhere else?
We have divided our suggestions into five distinct categories:
- Adventurous Mt Tamborine activities
- Relaxing Mt Tamborine activities
- National parks, walks, waterfalls & wildlife
- Accommodation and places to eat
- Culture and shopping on the mountain
These activities and attractions are just the tip of the iceberg – if we’ve missed anything please let us know in the comments down the bottom! There’s just SO many things to do at Mount Tamborine!
Adventurous Mt Tamborine activities
Consider the Scenic Rim a ‘one stop shop’ for thrill-seeking family attractions. From toddlers to teens – there’s something here for everyone to get those eyes away from the screens and on the spectacular environment instead.
Glow Worm Caves
You’ll never glow if you never go! The Glow Worm Caves have long been a popular destination for Queensland families as well as visitors from all over the world. Inter-connected caves provide both education and entertainment. Your kids will be awestruck by the gorgeous visual displays – they’re really something else!
Glow Worm Caves are open 10-4 daily, closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day. Kids 4-12 are $8, Adults are $15, Seniors are $13 and students are $13. Tours run half hourly but if you’re in a big group you might want to book ahead. Read our Glow Worm Caves review here.
Southern Cross 4WD
This is a fully guided, all inclusive experience where local guides will take you on either half or full day tours of the rainforests of the Hinterlands. You’ll be popping in and out of the car to visit isolated pockets of rainforest, visit exclusive venues, soak in the amazing vista and sample local cuisine.
If you book a private rainforest tour you’ll take in such sites as the Skywalk, Tamborine Distillery, Glow Worm Caves, Tamborine Brewery, famous Gallery Walk as well as make the most of the beautiful natural environment.
This family-owned business is always very popular so make sure you get in contact as soon as possible to arrange an adventure to these family attractions that your family won’t forget.
Hot Air Balloon Scenic Rim
Sometimes you’re presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you need to grab it with both hands before it floats away. Literally, in this case! $250 will secure you an early morning high-class adventure over the region with the kind of views that people write songs about. You’ll receive a champagne breakfast while onboard followed by a sumptuous breakfast at the Canungra Vineyards. There are a number of meeting points where the crew will pick you up and take you to the balloon site – and then take you home again!
These experiences are popular, as you can imagine, so best get in contact as soon as possible.
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
30 privately-owned, untouched acres of land bordering Cedar Creek is home to this amazing eco-adventure that allows you to brush the canopies of the tallest trees in the rainforest. It’s a 45 minute walk at an ambling place (and you’ll want to take your time) as you travel 30m above the ground.
You’ll also find an Eco Gallery, a Birdwing Café, a gift shop, modern toilet facilities and plenty of parking.
Anyone who’s ANYONE in this area has been to Thunderbird Park. There is so much here for families to enjoy! One of the main aspects, Tree Top Challenge, has it’s own section just underneath here but apart from that you’ll also find…
- Thunderegg Fossicking
- Horse Riding
- Mini Golf
- Laser Skirmish
- Bush Walking
- Bird Feeding
- Interactive Reptile Show
- Accommodation and Camping facilities
- Birthday Party Venue
- Kiosk and Deli
Thunderbird Park is open seven days a week, including all school holidays and public holidays. At these family attractions adventure meets nature!
Tree Top Challenge
Not for the faint hearted! The Tree Top Challenge is a ropes-course adventure with over 100 different challenges. Here you’ll find the Canyon Flyer (the largest zip line in Australia!) and a High Ropes Adventure Park that spans over 6 courses! If you’ve got a Ninja Warrior in your family who is looking to burn off some hardcore energy then this is definitely the place for you!
Mount Tamborine Festivals
A beautiful day trip to the Scenic Rim could be made even more exciting by timing your trip to take advantage at one of the many cultural events, festivals and markets put on by the good people at Mt Tamborine. Find out about festivals and events at Mt Tamborine.
Relaxing Mt Tamborine activities
After the death-defying thrills of the adventure activities it might be time to slow things down a little! Here are some slow-paced activities for you to dawdle through…
Botanic Gardens Tamborine Mountain
You’ll find more information about the Botanic Gardens at Mt Tamborine in our section on walking trails and gardens (make sure you check out all of our recommendations for bush walks!). Covering 11ha, the gardens consist of exotic species, rainforest, flowering cherries, rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias and maples. Themed areas include the Japanese garden, rose garden, bromeliad garden, wisteria-covered pergolas, perennial cottage garden and a lake. This is a great place for a picnic, some contemplation time in the Japanese Garden, a short rainforest walk or to organise a family game of cricket.
Some great photographic opportunities here for budding snappers and artists in your family, as well! The Gardens are open every day of the year during the day.
There are many spectacular views in this area but none more romantic (so maybe leave the kids at the hotel) than Rotary Lookout. Follow the Main Western Road until you find the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the Scenic Rim. Panoramic, postcard quality views blanket this area of peace and tranquillity. See our section on wineries, vineyards and distilleries for ideas about where to pick up that perfect bottle of plonk on your way up.
Jasmin Organics Farm
Take a tour of Australia’s largest organic skincare farm. Learn about the distilling process for essential oils and pick up some factory specials of this award-winning range. Gorgeous gardens, sumptuous orchards and delicious food – what an afternoon.
Jasmin Organics Farm is open every day from 9-5 (Saturdays 10-4).
Finally – one of our favourite types of activities! One with food and drink involved! Have a look at these delicious destinations…
Tamborine Mountain Wine Tasting Tours
Your tour will pick you up and return you to either the Gold Coast drop point (945-430) or the Tamborine point (1030-4). These are full day tours that are completely personalised so you get to make a lot of choices (helped, of course, by the professionals!). You’ll visit 3 or 4 wineries and taste 4 to 10 wines per winery. Some of your tour destinations are:
- Witches Falls Winery
- Cedar Creek Vineyard and Winery
- Tamborine Mountain Distillery (not open Sundays)
- Mount Tamborine Brewery
- Mount Nathan Brewery
- Mason Wines
- Queensland Wine Centre
- Mount Tamborine Vineyard and Winery
These tours sell quickly and are available year round. Book your group in today!
Witches Chase Cheese Company
Cheese, please! The Scenic Rim Robotic Dairy helps supply Witches Cheese with the finest ingredients for the production of extremely high quality cheese, ice cream and yoghurt. You’ll also find delicious eats (of the non-cheese kind) in the bistro and the brewery can offer you a cheeky glass of wine to go with your platter.
Walking trails and gardens at Mt Tamborine
Quality time spent with our families goes a long way to improving healthy relationships as well as personal qualities like resilience and self-esteem. When this is combined with both invigorating exercise and an appreciation of the great outdoors you’ve got the recipe for some excellent bonding time. Find out about the walking trails and gardens at Mt Tamborine.
Beauty and wellness spas at Mt Tamborine
Why fork out for a flight to an island when we’ve got access to world-class beauty and wellness facilities right here in our own beautiful backyard? Mt Tamborine is quickly becoming a hot destination for those wanting to momentarily drop out of the rat race to relax and rejuvenate. Find beauty and wellness spas are at Mt Tamborine.
National parks, walks, waterfalls & wildlife
It shouldn’t surprise you that an area this beautiful is protected by law ad it houses the stunning Tamborine National Park. The park protects over 2000ha of precious remnants of the 23-million-year-old legacy of the Tweed shield volcano, where Tamborine Mountain lies along the northern end of the biggest erosion caldera in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest on Earth!
Below are our favourite walks through the Tamborine National Park:
Cedar Creek section (Cedar Creek Falls)
Please note that this is on Cedar Creek FALLS Road, not Cedar Creek Road. You’re looking at about a half hour (900m return to rock pools or 900m return to lookout). This is a beautiful walk with a lot of water features (falls, pools and cascades) but isn’t suitable for wheelchairs or strollers. You can swim here and we wrote more about Cedar Creek Falls in our review.
Joalah section (Curtis Falls)
A moderate track, this should take about 30 minutes. The name comes from the Aboriginal word meaning lyrebird – they are out in force in this area in winter. You can access via Dapsang Drive carpark or Eagle Heights Road shops. You’ll find rainforest, steep stairs, a large water pool, beautiful views and impressive rockfaces. You absolutely cannot swim here, though.
Sandy Creek Circuit (Knoll section)
This is an easy track that should take around an hour. Lots of beautiful views, gorgeous rainforest and transition forest. Steep cliff edges mean careful supervision of little ones. You can access via Main Street, North Tamborine and Knoll Road. Check out the view to Flinders Peak and Brisbane!
Palm Grove section (2.6km/1 hour)
This is an easy track and should take around an hour. You’ll see a stunning variety of fauna on this circuit – Piccabeen palm groves, strangler figs and yellow carabeens to name but a few. Find access on Palm Grove Avenue.
Macdonald Rainforest Circuit
Another easy track – this one should only take about a half hour. It’s relatively flat and you’ll go through rainforest to see large strangler figs. A beautiful route to take for birdwatchers and those looking to get away from other visitors. Start at Wongawallen Road, off Tamborine-Oxenford Road.
Witches Falls section (3.1km/1 hour)
A moderate track that will take about an hour. Criss-cross steep mountainside terrain over open forest and into the rainforest. There are seasonal lagoons to navigate before arriving at Witches Falls. After heavy rain this is an especially beautiful and wildlife-dense route. Your return will take you behind the cemetery and then back to the picnic area on Main Western Road.
Wildlife at Mt Tamborine
If you’ve got some little nature lovers in your family you’ll be happy to know that this is also the home to an incredible array of native flora and fauna. Ask your children to look out for…
- A healthy snake population (including carpet snakes)
- Giant earthworms (up to 1 meter long!)
- Lots of birds! Lyrebirds, scrub turkeys, Tawny Frog Mouths, whips, bowerbids, parrots and lorikeets! Bird feeding and watching is encouraged and celebrated.
- Ringtail and brush-tail possums
- Butterflies by the THOUSANDS
- Frogs (especially after the rain!)
Accommodation and places to eat
Sure, day trips are fine, but in order to take full advantage of everything the beautiful Scenic Rim has to offer you should spend a night or two in one of many wonderful Mt Tamborine accommodation options. Luckily Mount Tamborine is awash with accommodation options for families. And we have done our homework on your behalf to find the BEST family friendly accommodation on the mountain!
The best 3 places to stay on Mount Tamborine for families are:
This is an awesome play to stay at Thunderbird Park. It is right in the heart of all the activities to do on the mountain. Adventurous guests can enjoy the Canyon Flyer Guided Zipline Tour and TreeTop Challenge. Other activities at the property include thunder egg and crystal fossicking, laser skirmish games in the rainforest battlefield, horse trail rides, the championship mini golf course and daily bird feeding. We recommend Lorikeet Lodge for families (sleeps 6)
This is a lovely self-catering accommodation option for families. It has a fully equipped kitchen, a fireplace, a seating area with a sofa, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with shower and a hairdryer. It has a fridge, an oven and stovetop, as well as a kettle. We recommend the Delux Villa with a large double and 2 single beds
Cloud 9 is a holiday home that sleeps up to 9 people in 4 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms. Huge kitchen, huge living room and outdoor deck with gorgeous views. Families rated this property 10/10.
Whilst researching the best Mount Tamborine accommodation, we simply could not stop… so we actually wrote a WHOLE additional article just about family friendly accommodation on Mt Tamborine. Here is our comprehensive article about accommodation at Mt Tamborine.
Where are the best places to eat at Mt Tamborine?
Read our article on the best places to eat at Mt Tamborine.
What about wineries?
There’s just something about a cheeky glass set against a beautiful, natural backdrop. Something about that mountain air that really fills your lungs while you sample the latest and the greatest in what QLD beer and wine has to offer. At the variety of wineries, vineyards and distilleries in the Mt Tamborine district you’re bound to find that perfect drop.
Culture and shopping on the mountain
Ensure your visit to Mount Tamborine is complete with a little dash of culture and art. There are many gallery and shopping options that you may not have even considered! Make sure you visit the popular Gallery Walk at Eagle Heights. The mountain’s tourist hub is a strip of intriguing shops, restaurants, cafés, wineries and art galleries. Don’t miss out on this little dose of local flavour.
Tamborine Glass Blowing
If you fancy trying your hand at creating your own artwork, you could give glass blowing a try! Tamborine Glass Blowing offers small group workshops where you can learn glass blowing techniques and create a beautiful bowl, glass or vase to take home. Find out more here.
Did you know?…
The Wangerriburra tribe refer to the mountain as Wonglepong!
The highest peak is 578.2 meters above sea level AND you can drive RIGHT to it?!
Before white settlement most of the area was sub-tropical rainforest which was quickly cleared until efforts were made in 1908 to begin protecting the beauty of the area.
More things to do in Mount Tamborine with kids
- The best Mt Tamborine accommodation for families
- Activities & attractions suitable for families
- Walking trails and gardens
- Festivals and events
- Places to eat on Mt Tamborine
- Galleries and shopping
- Vineyards and distilleries
- Massage & wellness spas
This article was published in Issue 52 of our print magazine, June/July 2022.