A Rainy Day Roadtrip… and A Mini Guide to Mt Tamborine

You may have gathered by now that for Ramai and I, a fulfilling weekend means jumping in the car and seeing where we end up. Sometimes we choose our final destination ahead of time, and other times we don’t and just see where the open road takes us. 

Last Saturday, though, we planned. After spending quite a lot of time lately down south (the last time was the Bangalow/ Broken Head roadtrip I posted on) we thought it was high time we gave some love to our neighbours to the west – so despite dreary, drizzly weather and dense fog, we hit the road early bound for Tamborine Mountain.

*** I’ll just digress a moment and share a fun little fact here: most people (including me) refer to Tamborine Mountain as Mt Tamborine – but Mt Tamborine is actually a village of Tamborine Mountain, along with North Tamborine and Eagle Heights. Anyway, for ease, I’ll just refer to it as Mt Tamborine, ok!

Anyway, we didn’t get a great deal of photos because every time I jumped out of the car to capture something, the camera and I would both end up covered in water, but here’s a few shots from our day out:


Rain, fog, zero visibility. This was our view as we made our way up the steep incline of the mountain. Ramai’s face pretty much says it all.

There’s some amazing produce grown around Mt Tamborine (the region is particularly known for avocados and macadamia nuts) and on the way up, we found a market stall selling organic fruit and vegetables so we stocked up.

I’m going to wait until Wednesday to show you my other op shop purchase, but managed to nab this cute leather bag (all the way from Pareeee!) for $8. Bargain!

By noon, our stomachs were rumbling so we stopped off at Spice of Life cafe for a quick bite. Ramai had the Indonesian curry (top) and I had a chicken tagine. The meals were probably about a 6 out of 10 (hate saying that, but want to be as transparent as possible!) and considering there are some great spots to eat on Tamborine, we’ll probably go elsewhere next time. In saying that, their selection of wraps and sandwiches looked awesome – lots of salad and rye bread options too.

After lunch, we moseyed around a bit and went to Witches Chase Cheese/ MT Brewery (details below). Tamembert is the mountain’s version of camembert – geddit, ‘tam’ for Tamborine? – but my favourite is their Triple Cream Brie, which is to-DIE-for and also wins them lots of awards. Definitely try it if you’re up that way!

On our way out, we dropped into the lovely – but expensive – antique shop next door (they had a ‘no photo’ policy unfortunately) and then drove down Gallery Walk to pick up some of Tamborine’s world-renowned, totally delicious, calorie-free (ha, I wish) fudge from Granny Mac’s. Somehow we ended up with three 50 gram slices – caramel vanilla, cookies and cream and plain old vanilla. Y.U.M! And yes, I shared. Reluctantly.

This is what happens when you eat the mountain fudge. Crazyface. Hello!

Honesty boxes line the roadside up and down the mountain and we found a fabulous little one on our way home.

Picked up some homemade rhubarb jam for $4 (they also had chutney and some strange jam concoctions like green pepper and passionfruit that we weren’t game enough to try), four limes for $1 and a gorgeous bunch of bright flowers for $3. These reason I don’t have a photo of the flowers is because I accidentally left them in the back of the car overnight and they were kinda wilted by the time we remembered to get them out. Not so purrrtty anymore.

And finally, to finish the day off, a big cheesy smile for Ramai. Probably still high on sugar at this point.

So that was our day! But that’s not all… read on below for a few of my favourite haunts on the mountain.

My Totally Quick, but Totally Useful Mini-Guide to Mt Tamborine

{ EATING }

If your wallet’s on the fat side: you must, must, must go to Songbirds in the Forest. Amazing restaurant set in the rainforest, incredibly good food, and a worthy wine list. Go for a lazy long lunch or a romantic dinner. If you’re feeling particularly spendy, stay the night in one of their six luxurious mountain villas which are perfect for special occasions. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a mountain villa, people. Take me there now!

If your wallet’s dieting and looking a little skinny: grab a cheese platter and finger food (as well as a preservative-free beer) from MT Brewery. The brewery is located on the same premises as Witches Chase Cheese, mentioned above, and next to the beautiful Liquid Amber restaurant. Head into the cheese factory part first up to do a tasting, and then chill out in the bar part with a beer. They also have live music on Sunday afternoons. Rancho relaxo.

For decadent fudge: my pick is Granny Mac’s. They have every sweet under the sun in this place too as well as ice-cream, coffee and so on.  

{ EXPLORING }

For op-shopping: I found my treasures at the RSPCA store located at 45 Main St, North Tamborine. The lady that runs the place is so lovely! And by the way, if you need it, here’s a list of all the thrift stores on the Gold Coast.

For a laugh: visit the very quaint Tamborine Mountain Distillery. I won’t ruin it for you, but the guy that runs the place, Michael Ward, is as lovably eccentric as they come. He’ll have you trying every liquer under the sun. I’ve had absinthe thrust upon me at 10am before! Cool little story with this place too – Michael and his wife moved north from Tasmania after she fell ill, and started wondering what they could do with the abundance of fruit that was falling from trees all over their property. With no experience in distilling whatsoever, they bought a few pieces of equipment, and started making their naturally produced, chemical-free liquers using a variety of fruits and native plants like lemon myrtle. They’re now the most awarded distillery in Australia and have won a whole bunch of international awards! Love a great little success story like that.  

For wine-tasting: Witches Falls Winery would be my pick of the bunch.

If you have kids: check out Thunderbird Park. I remember LOVING that place as a child because the whole idea is to go fossicking for “thunder eggs” (rocks with crystal geodes inside – I had a small obsession with crystals growing up that I’ve never really gotten over!) There’s also the Adventure Parc high ropes course and lots of other cool activities.

Getting amongst nature: plently of different tracks to explore on Mt Tamborine. Check them out here.

+ Hope you enjoyed the pics and my mini-guide and if you have any questions, feel free to ask away!  x

5 Comments to “A Rainy Day Roadtrip… and A Mini Guide to Mt Tamborine”

  1. Your weekend plans sound alot like mine except i have 2 kiddly winks in tow! Im happy with anything if it gets us out & about.
    Im currently trying to convince my hubby to make the move to Brisbane (we’re from Melbourne) and the thoughts of day trips to Tamborine Mountain after reading your post certainly isnt changing my mind! LOVE Mt Tamborine… :) x

  2. Thanks so much Stephanie, I bet it’s nice to get out and about with your little fam! Tamborine is such a nice place to visit… I like how it’s a mix of high-end villas/ dining and then these really quaint husband and wife-style operations. Thanks for your lovely comment! xx

  3. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog.
    You have some really great articles and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really
    like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back
    to mine. Please send me an email if interested. Thank you!

Leave a Reply