When we conjure ideas of Queensland’s Gold Coast, majestic rainforests and quaint villages are generally not the first images that spring to mind. Indeed, it can be hard to look past the world-class beaches and waterways when seeking out the best of Australia’s most storied coastal strip.
But venture just 30 minutes beyond the pristine shorelines and seaside cityscape and you’ll be rewarded with a mesmerising hinterland region veiled in lush greenery, picturesque landscapes, and wonderful diversions of the eating, drinking, doing, and seeing varietals. So come along and take a bushwalk through one of the Gold Coast’s lesser hyped but equally enthralling attractions—Mount Tamborine and the surrounding Scenic Rim region.
Stay—Verandah House Country Estate
While there are quaint B&Bs by the dozen in this delightful pocket of southeast Queensland, Verandah House stands tall among its contemporaries, not least for its elevated design, country charm, and all-round five-star experience. There are nine individually appointed suites to choose from, all featuring spectacular mountain views, a soft pastel palette, plush king bed, and crackly fireplace. In other words, everything you need to melt into your romantic mountaintop surrounds. Just dreamy!
Lunch & Coffee—Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation
Locally grown and sourced produced is the name of the game at the Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation. You can tour the boutique micro-lot onsite, garnering a crop-to-cup ‘caffeination education’ along the way, or else beeline straight to the restaurant to get the best of the region on and around your tastebuds. Witches Falls Winery pours, house-made breakfast gnocchi with crispy pancetta, swimmer crab poached eggs, slow cooked corned beef hash, and a cannelloni cassoulet are just a few of the standout mouthfuls!
Dinner—Main Street Providore
Unassuming café and pastry bar by day, Main Street Providore takes on a whole new persona by night, with chef Brenden Schutz plating up four-course Mod Euro prix fixe menus on Friday and Saturday evenings to 16 hotly contested covers. Seasonal and sensational, and the mountain’s unrivalled top table. Don’t miss it!
Vegetarians, look away now! Mountaintop meat stop Hickory is the place to go for hearty, smokey share plates of rich carnivorous goodness. 14-hour Hickory smoked brisket, 8-hour smoked ribs, homemade smoked sausages, Hickory lime and maple wings… oh my! There is not a misstep to be made on the delectable menu, and thus the hugely popular weekends require a booking. Stretchy slacks on, and away you go!
Any hinterland town worth its salt is home to at least a handful of vineyards, but an award-winning craft gin distillery… well that’s certainly worth a mention (and a visit!). Cauldron’s three core gins will take you on a journey from Sunset to Navy strength, with skewers, nachos, burgers, and baos to keep them company in your tum. Just add live music and an umbrella-shaded weekend setup for the win!
Get your boots on and get ready to discover one of the most stunning hiking regions in the country, the spectacular Scenic Rim. There are walks, runs, scrambles, and waterfall ascents to suit just about any experience level, with bird and wildlife watching opportunity, sensational vistas, and miles of glorious solitude along the way. Curtis Falls and Lower Creek Circuit plus Witches Chase Track to Witches Falls Circuit are just a couple of the best! Note: some trails aren’t dog-friendly, so check ahead.
If whooshing over crocodiles and kangaroos at the rainforest canopy top at around 70km per hour is your idea of fun, then the TreeTop Challenge is for you. Australia’s largest zipline and high ropes course located inside Thunderbird Park has a range of heart-starting courses for all ages. Hours of fun, but not for the faint of heart!
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