Last updated 16 October 2014
Every now and again I feel the need to get up and go. To re-charge the batteries and change the scenery. Planning a week-end escape is almost as good as the escape itself. In South-East Queensland we are spoilt for choice. With wheels to get you there and the desire to go, adventure or relaxation is only around the corner.
I decided on heading “bush” for a change – to Mt Tamborine. Although only a 50 minute drive from Brisbane, it had been 15 years between visits.
Why Mt Tamborine?
Nothing better than the Aussie bush to calm your senses; cooler mountain temperatures; bush walks for exercise (and to re-connect with nature); a few markets and craft shops to indulge the shopaholic within and a cheese factory and winery (or two) to treat the palate.
The drive to Mt Tamborine was an easy 45 minutes from Brisbane CBD. The information centre off Geissman Road heading into North Tamborine is handy for local maps, brochures and clean toilets.
Keen to sample local wines at the Aussie Vineyards winery on Hartley Road, I discovered the wines aren’t local to Tamborine. Despite the labels bearing local names, the grapes and wines are actually from the Granite Belt region. (Semi-local, I guess!)
Shopping along Gallery Walk (Long Road) was fun despite the crowds. I loved the handmade glass jewellery at The Glass Castle (my first distraction of the day). So many beautiful hand-made, unique dichroic glass pieces. Had to stop in at one of the numerous fudge shops in the street – Granny Mac’s Fudge Store and Cafe perfect place to grab a couple of calorific pieces of fudge.
The cheese factory/brewery, (more like a store than a factory) is where you can taste test many interesting cheese combinations. Injecting more money into the local economy, it was time to check into the B & B.
Witches Falls Cottages, a quick turn off Main Western Road are on the Witches Falls section of Tamborine National Park. They have five concealed cottages, each one nestled into a secluded section of the gardens. The cottages offer a cosy fireplace and double spa in a split level room. My cottage was comfortably fitted out, complete with kitchenette and private courtyard, including a gas Bar b q. A perfect place to disappear from the world and cocoon yourself in comfort and enjoy the surrounding serenity.
Maybe we were too keen lighting our pot-belly fireplace – when it was only April. Time to get out of the too warm cottage for a walk in the fresh cool air. Directly opposite Main Western Road is the start of the 20 minute hike down to Witches Falls on the Witches Chase hiking tack. The Witches Falls Circuit and Chase Track were blocked off, due no doubt to recent rains causing a few landslides. (Found the same for Curtis Falls the next day – the Full Circuit – was also closed.)
As the sun quickly disappeared my friend and I ascended hastily to grab a glimpse of the “spectacular” sunset over the Dividing Range (highly recommended by our host David.) Breaking into a sweat to get in position before the sun dipped, we realised it was the Rotary Lookout (further up the road) we were meant to be for the uninterrupted views! No matter, we still witnessed an impressive sunset.
Our breakfast hamper was promptly dropped off at 8am. The aroma of freshly baked bread was too good to resist. Smearing it with butter and vegemite we devoured it whilst it was warm. Under the watchful eye of an interested kookaburra, (read a tip in the cottage guest book to look out for these thieves – keen on sausages), we indulged in a sumptuous breakfast.
Sadly (and way too soon) it was time to check out. One night is not enough, but If you are prepared to part with some cash (I felt Witches Falls Cottages were at the higher $ end) the indulgence is certainly worthwhile.
It was so much quieter in town on the Monday, its obviously more of a week-end getaway.. If you enjoy craft and markets (check which Sundays of the month they are on) and don’t mind paying tourist prices, its the perfect place to escape to and re-charge. One night gives you a taste, two nights would be more indulgent.
The Glass Castle
Gallery Walk, Shop 3/159 Long Road,
Eagle Heights phone: (07) 5545 0557
Granny Mac’s Fudge Store & Cafe
139 Long Road Eagle Heights Phone: (07) 5545 1999
Witches Falls Cottages
Corner of Hartley and Main Western Roads, North Tamborine Phone (07) 5545 4411