Hiking in Tamborine Mountain National Park

Overcast but very warm when we woke up. No rain forecast though. We decided to head inland and visit one of the national parks that we can see from our apartment: Tamborine Mountain NP. About 40 minutes drive from us in the hinterland.
We bought some road maps at the mall yesterday to help with our touring. The GPS is great for getting us from A to B, but not so good at deciding on a scenic route to take.
Our first stop en route was at the Mount Nathan winery. A bit disappointing in comparison to some of the others we’ve visited but we did try some nice red wines. Didn’t buy any though. Their main offering are a range of sweet wines, made using their own honey. We saw all the hives.
After that our road became narrower and very, very steep as we began the climb up Mount Tamborine. The over-whelming impression of the whole day was just the lush green-ness and the huge vistas of eucalyptus trees, as far as you could see. There were fabulous homes along the ridges that must have had incredible views, all the way to the coast.
We stopped at a viewpoint used for hang gliding. You could see right down across the plain, to Surfers Paradise in the far distance. Must be incredible to fly from there. On we went, reaching the main street of Tamborine village. We stopped here for coffee and a most wonderful muffin that we shared. I must say that Australian coffee is fantastic. Outside of Rome, I think it is the best I have tasted anywhere. This coffee house had all sorts of offerings, including different milks, bubble tea, chais….. fantastic. I couldn’t resist the muffin: it was rhubarb and custard. I don’t know what I expected but when cut in half (well… we were sharing) there was a layer of pureed rhubarb and a thick creamy custard. Oh, and it was hot!!!! YUMMY!
Well, after that it was just as well we’d planned a couple of hikes through the rainforest. There are about 12 possible hikes up there, none of them more than about 3km. We first took the trail to Curtis Falls. It was a good trail that wound down through the woods, to a river at the bottom, and the falls which were flowing well after all the recent rain. The woods were just beautiful. Tall eucalyptus trees reaching right up to the sky, with huge trunks, some of them hollowing out. There were lots of ferns too and it was quite a wet forest. These tall eucalyptus are called flooded gums or Eucalyptus Grandis. They are commonly 150+ feet tall and some are 260+ feet. Stunning.
The falls erupt into a small pool before cascading down through the forest valley. The pool is now protected because there are glow-worms around it and also duck billed platypus. They only come out at night though so we didn’t see one. Sadly.
The forest was absolutely quiet and silent except for a bird chorus and in parts a chorus of insects or maybe frogs. It felt like you were walking in primeval times, the first person to ever go there. Well…. Apart from the people who kindly made the trail!
We then drove to another section of the park to take a longer hike to Cameron Falls and back around a loop trail. Again, we saw no one on the whole trail and heard nothing except for birds. We did see some wild turkeys: black feathered bodies, red head and a yellow neck band. Later we asked a ranger and he said that apparently they are not good eating. This trail was much narrower and wetter than the previous one and quite steep in parts. The sun had broken through by now and we were sweating! The river looked good but we didn’t dare get in….. At times we were having to push through the plants to go on and a bit of wading through shallow water. It was worth it to see the falls though. They were high falls that just dropped off the sheer cliff and down to the valley below. The trail continued right behind this drop off which was quite spectacular.
We definitely knew we’d had a walk by the time we got back to the carpark!!! It was really good though, a beautiful place, well preserved and we were very fortunate to enjoy it on our own in such a private manner.
On the way home we took a slight detour to see Advancetown Lake. This lake was created in 1977 by damming the Nerang river and building the Hinze Dam. The old town of Advancetown (a logging town) lies beneath the lake and there is a modern town holding the same name around it. It’s a big lake! We drove right up onto the dam and had a snack in the café up there looking down on the lake. It was quite windy, as if the wind was being funnelled up the lake valley. It supplies all the water for the Gold Coast region. The spillway was quite spectacular to look down on.
Got back to the apartment at about 430. Really enjoyed our day so much. There were lots of things up in Tamborine I would have liked to have seen: a distillery; a cheesery; lots of shops and art galleries (nowhere near as kitschy as Hahndorf near Adelaide though). Some wonderful looking guest houses. It would be a lovely place to go for a weekend. We plan to visit some of the other national parks while we’re in Queensland. There’s quite a few to choose from.
Tomorrow is forecast to be much sunnier so we are planning to go to a beach and try out our new beach equipment!!!!!
Dinner on our balcony again! So lovely to eat outside in a t shirt …. Or actually…. In some lounging pyjamas!!!!! Breached a bottle of cab sauv from Dan Murphy’s…. the cheapest one which was a Yellowtail Big Red. Utterly delicious. I’ve only had their white wines before but the red is fabulous.

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