Tamborine Mountain (also known as Mt Tamborine and Mount Tamborine and often misspelt as Tambourine Mountain) is a 28 km 2 plateau (8 km long by 4 km wide) in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland Australia. The name is of Aboriginal origin and has nothing to do with the musical instrument. Tamborine Mountain is located 30 minutes from the Gold Coast and one hour from Brisbane.
Geological Origin The geological origin of the plateau is the result of eruptions from a huge shield volcano in the Mount Warning area of northern New South Wales about 20-23 million years ago, which smothered the surrounding landscape with layers of basalt lava flows.
History and Culture Tamborine Mountain was inhabited by Aborigines for tens of thousands of years and was the territory of the Wangerriburra family group. Until it was opened for selection in 1875 it was covered with subtropical rainforest. In that year, the first white settler, John O’Callaghan, selected a parcel of land on the Mountain. Much clearing for agriculture took place, though efforts were made to protect the natural values of the area, with Witches Falls National Park (now part of the Tamborine National Park) being declared in 1908, the first in Queensland. The Tamborine National Park is made up of 12 separate sections of land, mainly remnant rainforest on the plateau and surrounding foothills. A tourist road to the mountain was opened in 1924.
Six designated walking tracks are located within the Tamborine National Park. The walking tracks take you through rainforests with large strangler figs, peccabeen palm groves and tall trees festooned with vines, ferns and orchids. The Parks are also a bird watchers paradise. Three of the walking tracks are a short stroll from Amore.
All walking tracks are easy to moderate and vary in distance from 1.4 kilometres (30 minutes) to 2.6 kilometres (one hour).
The main sections to visit are detailed below:-
Witches Falls – The Witches Falls section became Queensland’s first national park in 1908. The main walking track here is the Witches Falls Circuit (3km) which snakes down a steep slope through closed in forest into rainforest with cyclad groves, seasonal lagoons, enormous strangler figs and palm groves en route to the falls. The Circuit starts from the picnic area on Main Western Road – electric barbeques, picnic tables and toilets available.
Palm Grove Rainforest Circuit – 2.6km circuit (allow one hour). Easy grade. Piccabeen palm groves and rainforest with emergent strangler figs and distinctively buttressed yellow carabeens feature on this walk. Palm Grove Avenue is the main access point and carpark for this walking track. Parking for buses and caravans is not available. A short stroll from Amore.
Joalah (haunt of the Lyrebird) – to the north west of Palm Grove, is the Joalah section of the park which features the 1.5 km Curtis Falls Walk (return). It descends to a rock pool at the base of the falls, offering fine views of the basalt rock face. Brush-turkeys can be seen along the Joalah Circuit (4 km) which links up with the Curtis Falls Walk. Access is off Eagle Heights Road or Dapsang Drive – toilets available. Another Walking Track a short stroll from Amore.
Macdonald Rainforest Circuit – 1.4 km circuit (allow 30 minutes), easy grade. This relatively flat walking track passes through rainforest with large strangler figs, piccabeen palm groves and tall trees festooned with vines and ferns. The track is ideal for birdwatchers and visitors seeking a quiet rainforest walk away from road noise and large numbers of people. Yet again just a short stroll from Amore.
The Knoll – The Knoll section of the park is located in the north-west of North Tamborine. Walk there from Amore. It contains the Cameron Falls Circuit (3 km) which offers fine views, rainforest environs, open forest and the occasional black skink sunbathing on the rocks. Knoll Road runs off Main Street. A favourite with both locals and visitors.
Cedar Creek – One of the most delightful walking tracks in the whole Tamborine area is the Cedar Creek Circuit (3.2 km) which explores the creek’s various cascades, rock pools and plant communities, such as open and dry rainforest and hoop pines. The falls tumble (gently rather than spectacularly) down into a gully. The 1.5 km Rock Scree Walk intersects with the circuit walk for a potential detour.
(Walking Tracks and National Park information is based upon public information available from the Government Department)
Nature Tamborine Mountain is home to ten different types of forest including subtropical rainforest, wet eucalypt forest and open eucalypt forest. Incredibly, these forests contain more than 900 different species of plants representing 65% of all the plant species found in the “mega-diverse” Gold Coast area.
The forest communities of Tamborine National Park also provide important habitat for wildlife and are essential refuges for native animals from surrounding urban and rural development.
Wildlife in the park includes Lyrebirds, the elusive Platypus, Brush-turkeys, Lorikeets, Eastern Whipbirds and Satin Bowerbirds. The significance of the park is underscored by the fact that it provides a habitat for 85% of all fauna species in the Gold Coast city area.
While walking in the cooler months, you may be rewarded by hearing the song of the Albert’s lyrebird Menura alberti. The lyrebird is an excellent mimic, intermingling its own calls with other rainforest noises. The lyrebird’s call is distinctively clear and powerful, sounding like many different birds calling in quick succession. The lyrebird is a poor flyer, so vigilantly keeps watch for danger while foraging for invertebrates and frogs in the damp leaf litter.
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