AUSTRALIA Queensland - TAMBORINE MOUNTAINS Gold Coast

Mount Tamborine Rainforest

March 2006

We drove the Pacific Motorway to Oxenford and exchanged the flat highway for the steep, twisting narrow road through farmland to Mount Rainforest National Park. Tamborine, a 600 foot high plateau contains nine small national parks of subtropical rainforest and definitely highlights the natural beauty of the Hinterland.

The Gallery Walk

The small town of Eagle Heights was our first stop, where we spent some time on The Gallery Walk, a collection of antique and arts and craft-type shops, ranging from ethnic to modern to aborigine. Here Gord spotted a Didgeridoo that he liked but we decided to wait until we were in the Northern part of Australia and get one directly from the maker.


A pleasant walk through the Rainforest took us through giant gum trees, their huge flat gnarly root systems artsy sculptures in themselves. The trail carved its way through the dense bush to the picturesque Curtis Falls.

We hiked back through the rainforest admiring the Strangler Figs, ferns, palms and varieties of eucalypts.

We stopped briefly at Witches Falls National Park to admire the view but weren't inclined to hike the steep trail to the waterfall. The stretched out valley below was a patchwork of farms separated by small wedges of leftover rainforest.

Continuing along the road we passed through charming farmland settlements. The area heading to the heritage town of Mt. Tamborine presented panoramic views of the Tamborine Range. At Canungra, we turned off and headed to O'Reillys in Lamington National Park.

Lamington National Park

A narrow one lane switchback road tunneling under the rainforest canopy took us through the section of Lamington National Park that led to O'Reilly's Green Mountains. The winding road was much like a slalom course weaving through the large trees of odd Strangler Figs with the epiphytes co-existing in the sub tropical rainforest.


At O'Reilly's we had lunch overlooking the extensive valley and could see another example of the "blue eucalypt" haze that we had seen in the Blue Mountains. Overlooking the treetops we noticed something slithering among the branches and realized it was a Python, (right) very close by.

Exotic Birds

In the courtyard were crowds of colorful Rosellas (parrots)  waiting to be fed, accompanied by the unattractive Brush Turkeys


We walked toward the start of the trail passing some Pademelons grazing alongside the path. These animals are even smaller than Wallabies!

Tree Top Walk

We walked along a boardwalk through the forest and came to a long swinging bridge that stretched high above the canopy. You really got a feeling of what it is like to be a koala or other tree dweller so high up!

Partway through the Sky Walk was a ladder disappearing into the branches of a very tall tree, so of course Gord was compelled to start climbing. He soon disappeared from sight as he ascended 30 meters above the ground. Right are photos he took from his high perch in the tree.

Botanical Gardens

Continuing our hike through the red cedars and gum trees amidst a chorus of  birdsongs, we took a detour through the Botanical Gardens. A network of paths led through the tropical garden which included a wide variety of orchids, ferns and flowers.

Orchids and other epiphytes are started on the host gum trees.

Curious Wonga Vines twist their way through the forest

Mom stops for a break on a stone bench in the Garden

Heading out of the Park we stopped to explore an old Tramway Mining Tunnel not far off the road. It had been used to store ammunition during the war.  

Wildlife Sightings

The sign we passed turned out to be accurate as we rounded a bend and came upon a large group of kangaroo grazing in the ditch. They didn't hang around too long for photos though and soon scattered into the bush.

A recap on the day proved pretty productive in the wildlife sighting department with Roselle's, parrots, brush turkeys, skink, a python, pademelons, wallabies and kangaroo!

We drove to a lookout hoping to catch a glimpse of the setting sun. We were a little too early for this but we took pictures of the cows contentedly grazing in the green rolling fields with a panoramic view of the plateau as a backdrop.

Capturing the Colors

As we drove back to Manly, the sky turned into a pallet of brilliant reds and oranges. We were able to record some of the progression of the event by taking pictures out the car window because the traffic was usually too heavy to pull over.




Links to TOURING WITH MOM & DAD Manly, Brisbane Zoo, Glass House Mnts, Hinterland Sunshine Coast & Aquarium