BRISBANE – MOUNT TAMBORINE
After an extended time at the Hertz office we loaded our luggage into a Toyota RAV4 and were on our way out of Brisbane with the assistance of the GPS, heading for Mount Tamborine. First stop was at Springwood Conservation Park, a former quarry site which was saved from development by the community and Logan City Council and is now natural parkland in the middle of suburbia. This area is great for walks along the Stringybark Lookout track or longer Gorge Discovery Circuit through open eucalypt forest, passing interesting rock formations and criss-crossing the gorge via wooden bridges. The day was hot and so were we after our walk so it was back into the car and a short drive to a cafe for morning tea.
Next stop was at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre. Built by the Queensland Government, 25 km south of Brisbane as a dedicated koala education facility, the centre was opened to the public in 1995, extensively refurbished in 2009 and most recently in 2018. Nestled amongst eucalypt trees and featuring a large outdoor koala enclosure and many interactive displays, the Centre is a unique place to learn about koalas and their conservation. There are films in the Woodland Theatre and Wildlife Officers give presentations to groups of visitors at allotted times of the day. Time was spent watching the koalas – namely Molly, Janice, Aretha and Kyra.
Tamborine Mountain is a plateau (8km long by 4 km wide) and is located in the Scenic Rim, the name given to a group of mountains in South East Queensland. The name is of Aboriginal origin and has nothing to do with the musical instrument. It is considered part of the Gold Coast hinterland and has a strong tourist industry. Settlement on the plateau is centred on three villages with approximately 5,000 residents. There is no reticulated water supply or sewerage system. Many residents commute to work in Brisbane or Gold Coast.
The girls had booked their accommodation through a Travel Agent in Switzerland and I booked mine from Australia so, although each night we were in the same town, we were in different places. This meant that I was picked up in the mornings and taken back in the evenings, but it was never far. Here I was at Mt. Tamborine Motel and they were at Witches Falls Cottages (much more upmarket than mine) but I had the most amazing view from my bed. A breakfast basket was delivered to their room each morning. Hence they came for me prior to breakfast as there was more than enough for the three of us. (Photos below are views from my balcony or room)
Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens combine a colourful and diverse range of exotic and native flora. The gardens include a lake as the centrepiece, a tranquil Japanese garden, a tropical rainforest walk and are open during daylight hours. Erika and I spent the remaining hours of light wandering in this beautiful garden. The gardens are maintained and administered by volunteers and members of the Tamborine Mountain Garden Club who instigated its development in 1983. The 11 hectare plot of land was formerly a weed-covered swamp.
Dinner was at Hickory, a small Mount Tamborine Restaurant, full of character – what a treat! Quote from the Menu…… “Enjoy our amazing full plate dry rubbed whole rack of ribs, succulent maple chilli chicken wings, our new Seafood Shovel! Rosemary real potatoes. Decadent desserts. VEGE’SAURUS Trencher (my choice) – House made felafel, roasted pumpkin, quinoa and beets + red onion, feta and toasted macadamia nut salad served with blistered truss tomatoes, our rosemary potatoes + warmed flatbreads, pumpkin hummus and beetroot hummus”……….