Only a 30-45 minute drive inland from the city (depending on traffic and where you start from), we don't want to be accused of indulging in hyperbole, but Tamborine Mountain is a truly magical place – not only the best day trip from the Gold Coast, but one of the best excursions from any major city we've ever been to, and we've been to a lot of them. What makes the mountain a special destination first and foremost is the people who live there – a tight-knit community of laid-back locals, where you can't help but feel at home from the moment you arrive. It would only be a slight exaggeration to say that everyone knows everyone here, and from our experience you can pop into pretty much any shop, café, restaurant or galley and whomever you find there will be happy to answer your questions, make recommendations, fill you in on some local gossip and then point you in the right direction for whatever it is you're looking for.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Tamborine Mountain is the sheer variety of things to see, do, eat, drink and experience. The most popular places to visit include Thunderbird Park, the Rainforest Skywalk, Cedar Creek Estate Winery, and the Tamborine Mountain Distillery, which has not only made a name for itself by taking home literally hundreds of international awards, but has also developed a dedicated following in the United Kingdom thanks to being featured on a popular BBC travel program. In addition to these 'Big Four' attractions, other highlights include the exceptional wines at Witches Falls Winery, Heritage Estate and Mason Wines, the award-winning cheese from Australia's finest cheesemaker at Witches Chase Cheese, finely crafted beer at Fortitude Brewery, the so-called Gallery Walk with some 60 different galleries and shops to visit, and an unbelievable fish and chips shop called The Local Codfather. And these are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg!
Surrounded by Tamborine National Park, which is comprised of lush, tropical rainforest, natural sights and the opportunity for outdoor adventure is what brings a lot of visitors here. Although it only reaches 525 metres at its highest point and the Gold Coast's impressive urban skyline can be seen in the distance from its eastern edges, Tamborine Mountain is a world away from the city in terms of climate, with fresh breezy air and slightly cooler temperatures greeting you as soon as you arrive. There are lots of hiking and cycling opportunities within the national park itself, and for those looking for some adventure, the mountain boasts a great launch point for panoramic paragliding flights. For further details about all this and more, the Tamborine Mountain Visitor Information Centre should be your first stop on your trip to the mountain.