Green behind the Gold
Curtis Falls

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An Introduction to Tamborine Mountain

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This page has an accompanying rainforest bird song. It may take a little bit longer than normal to down load, but you should be able to start reading this page before the sound file completes downloading. We invite you to enjoy the wonderful sounds of nature.

An index to the photographs referenced here is contained in the Scenery and Wildlife Gallery. That page also contains links to other interesting photographs of flora, fauna, and landscapes - Updated .


Geographical Information


Tamborine Mountain is part of Australia's famous Gold Coast, yet separate from it. The Gold Coast spreads out northwards along the coastal plain from the Queensland/NSW border for a distance of some 40 kilometres (photo). Behind the coastal plain a series of hills and plateaus rise steeply to provide a green scenic rim framing the surf and sand to the east.

Mount Tamborine is the most northerly plateau, positioned directly west from Surfers Paradise. The beaches, shopping and night life of the Gold Coast are a comfortable 40 minutes drive from the Mountain. Brisbane, the Capital city of Queensland, is about a 1 hour drive away. The nearest International airport is Brisbane, however National travellers tend to land at Coolangatta airport, about 45 minutes drive from the Mountain.

Four bitumen roads wind their way up the Mountain spurs to the top of the plateau (Map of Tamborine Mountain).

The Natural Environment

The plateau is an irregular shape, about 8 kilometres long and about 5 kilometres across at its widest part. The highest point on Tamborine Mountain is about 600 metres above sea level.

Geologically it is very old. Geologists tell us that it was formed by the ancient shield volcano directly to the south. The landward remains of this immense crater can be clearly seen from the air and from a number of vantage points in the Border Ranges. Mount Warning, so named by Captain Cook as he sailed up the east coast of Australia in 1770, is just a small volcanic plug near the centre of the crater.

Tamborine Mountain plateau looks down on the surrounding lowlands, across the Nerang and Coomera River valleys to the Gold Coast and Pacific Ocean to the east (photo) and over the beautiful Albert River valley and right out to the Great Dividing Range to the west (photo). The Gold Coast view is picturesque by day, but by night it becomes a shimmering fairyland of light. From certain vantage points you can also see north to Moreton Bay and Brisbane or south over Beechmont and out to the Border Ranges (photo & photo).

The soil on top of the plateau is deep, rich Red Murrum. It is an incredibly fertile soil full of natural humus - ideal for gardening enthusiasts. In late August the Garden Club runs a week long flower festival with outstanding displays in the Community Centre and an open garden programme.

The Mountain is home to the first National Park declared in Queensland and now has a number of separate parks on the plateau and the shelves surrounding it. Six of these sections have walking paths in them of varying lengths and degree of difficulty. Visit the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service website ( for descriptions. A map of the walking tracks is available in PDF format, and we have taken the liberty of extracting a smaller image copy that is available on our map pages.

Some idea of the overall geography can be gained by looking at aerial photographs of the Mountain (photo) and the Google map satellite view on our map pages.


Queensland is known as the Sunshine State of Australia. On Tamborine Mountain you can enjoy abundant sunshine without the heat and humidity that more northerly parts of Queensland sometimes have to endure.

There are the traditional four seasons, but no real extremes of temperature (See detailed graphs and statistics taken from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website). A few very light frosts mark the winter season. Winter days usually dawn to clear blue skies and visitors from colder climates can be seen enjoying our balmy days in shorts and summer dresses.

Summer has two distinct phases. The first part of summer is marked by warm clear days and spectacular evening thunderstorms in traditional tropical style. Sometime after Christmas the summer rains carried in from further north by the North-West Monsoon reach down to replenish the underground water supply that provides both garden and irrigation water for most of the area. Although the humidity can be relatively high during this latter part of summer, the temperatures are quite mild and you only realize how high the humidity must be when you see the Mountain mists - rolling in like huge breakers over the eastern escarpment as the sea breeze blows across in the late afternoon.


The original vegetation was predominantly sub-tropical rainforest (photo). Valuable cabinet timbers such as the Australian Red Cedar lured the first settlers to Tamborine Mountain over 100 years ago. Since then much of this dense forest has been cleared to make way for farming although many remnant stands of the original forest still exist. Nine National Parks almost encircle the Mountain escarpments (see Map). These contain examples of the various types of rainforest that once covered the area. The most amazing of these are the belts of Piccabean Palm forest that cling around creeks and waterfalls.

There are also some magnificent examples of introduced species such as Jacaranda (photo) Fetinia, and Bouginvillea (photo).


rainbow lorrikeetThis small plateau is rich in animal and bird life. Bird feeding is a local hobby enjoyed by many residents. The most friendly and colourful birds are the parrots, especially the aptly named Rainbow Lorikeets. The beautiful red and green King Parrots (photo), the pastel blue and yellow Pale Headed Rosellas and the red and purple Eastern Rosellas are all to be seen in most Mountain gardens. The music of the Mountain is provided by a less gaudy band of feathered creatures. Magpies, Butcher Birds and the shy Whip Bird harmonize from daybreak until sundown.

If you can find the time to walk through some of our National Parks you will hear many other bird songs and see an amazing range of Australia's bird life. The Brush Turkey (photo) inhabits the rainforest and home gardens. The hen Turkey is the perfect female liberationist. The male builds huge mounds of leaf mulch then she lays her eggs in the mound and walks away leaving him to manage the entire incubation process. You may even be privileged to spy the dance of the male Albert Lyrebird at dusk and hear his accompanying song.

But birds are not the only native residents. There are quite a few furred creatures as well. Possums (photo) appreciate the presence of human habitation and take full advantage of all opportunities. Electricity wires have become 'Possum Superhighways'. That 'bump' on your roof at night is not some burglar trying to invade, but simply a possum taking a short cut. You know you are a 'local' when you can distinguish between a ring-tail possum and a brush-tail possum (a much more solidly built variety) by the loudness of the bump!

Bandicoots, dainty Wallabies, even Koalas (photo) and various other small Australian natives all call this area home. Butterflies add passing colour throughout the Mountain and a wide variety of frogs, from large Green Tree Frogs (photo) to Dwarf Tree Frogs (photo) and frogs with iridescent green spots on their backs, welcome the summer rains with a cacophony of sound.

Mountain Life and Facilities

Tamborine Mountain is certainly not a typical suburban community. The local population currently numbers over 6,000 people. The peace and beauty of the area has attracted many talented artisans and crafts. Keen gardeners consider it a perfect retirement spot where they can indulge their green thumbs to their heart's content and develop gardens straight out of Eden (photo and photo). Young families choose to live here because they consider it an ideal place to rear children away from the temptations of suburban life.

Many professional and academic people also call Tamborine Mountain their home. They consider the daily trip to work is more than compensated for by the delights of coming home to the relaxed lifestyle and fresh clean air this Mountain plateau offers. More and more people are also telecommuting

Our relative newcomers mingle with the original farming community and enjoy buying direct from the local producers at the many roadside stalls. Farming is still a way of life. Where once this fertile area produced commercial citrus fruits, vegetables and milk, it now produces mainly avocados (photo), kiwifruit and rhubarb. It is also an excellent producer of cut flowers (photo), many exported directly to overseas markets.

Community Facilities - Shopping

Two suburban shopping centres provide the daily needs. We now have an excellent IGA Supermarket at North Tamborine as well as the well stocked Cut Price Supermarket at Eagle Heights. Mass produced bread is available at the supermarkets, but two country bakeries ensure that the big name bread is mainly bought to feed the birds. A big Mitre 10 hardware store provides a large range of hardware for the local builders as well as all out local DIY handy(wo)men. There’s a choice of butchers, two pharmacies, two specialist fruit shops, health food shop, and a choice of takeaways for when cooking becomes just too much trouble. Of course there's a great choice of places to dine out when you want to escape from home. Metropolitan style shopping is available about 20 minutes drive away at either Nerang or Helensvale.

Gift shopping and spending money is a real delight on Tamborine Mountain. Many outstanding artisans sell their wares through local galleries. While most of the galleries are concentrated on Gallery Walk‚ on Long Road at Eagle Heights we consider that the most exquisite Australian made crafts are to be found at Fingerprint Gallery‚ located near the famous St. Bernards Hotel on Alpine Terrace.


As well as the two big markets every month, a local producer's market is held every Sunday:

Tamborine Mountain Markets

2nd Sunday of each month at Tamborine Mountain Showgrounds, Main Western Road (map)

Tamborine Mountain State School Markets

Last Sunday of each month on the school oval on the corner of Long and Curtis Roads (map)

Local Producers' Market

Every Sunday 8 a.m. to noon at Tamborine Mountain Showgrounds, Main Western Road - Local fresh fruit and vegies, preserves, etc (map)

Leisure and Recreation

Bush walking and bird watching are probably our most popular leisure activities with gardening not far behind. However there are numerous sporting and recreational groups on the Mountain. We also have an excellent modern Council library for readers and researchers at North Tamborine.

The younger and more active are catered for with football, cricket and soccer clubs as well as a swimming club. Golf is a particularly popular sport and Tamborine Mountain Golf Course is an incredibly beautiful and scenic course. Tennis and lawn bowls attract a wide range of age groups also.

Less active recreation options include Bridge and Mah Jong. There are also a number of different music groups, best known of these being the Tamborine Mountain Youth Orchestra. The theatrical minded will be warmly welcomed into the Tamborine Mountain Little Theatre. Crafty people will meet many friends at the Wednesday Creative Arts group and the Tamborine Mountain Historical Society always welcomes those lucky enough to have the time for involvement in collecting and organizing their materials at their historic tourist site in Wongawallen Road.

Professional organizations play an important role in community affairs. Rotary, Lions, Zonta and Toastmasters all meet on the Mountain (see contacts and meeting times below).

Educational Choices

Almost 600 children attend our two local primary schools. Kindergarten and preschool facilities are also available and an excellent private child care centre is located close to the North Tamborine State School.

We are indeed fortunate to have a very modern local High School with outstanding equipment and facilities right here on the Mountain. It was originally a campus of Helensvale High School on the Coast but 2003 saw the first graduation of students who had entered the school in year 7. It is now a fully independent school with its own Headmistress - and she is a really impressive lady with a positive attitude to technology.

Tamborine Mountain College is a very successful private, non-denominational high school located about 1 kilometre from our office. Children attending TMC have won many Awards in wider competition in such diverse fields as Public Speaking, Creative Writing, Science, Maths and Sport. The College provides a valuable alternative for educating our local teenagers close to home.

Parents seeking a denominational education for their children will find a full selection at the Gold Coast. the choice of schools include Trinity Lutheran College (co-ed), St. Hilda's Girls School, The Southport School (boys only) and the Aquinas College. A bus service is available to those schools.

University students can attend the Gold Coast campus of Griffith University or the Mt. Gravatt campus of Griffith Uni. while still living at home. Students who choose to attend either The University of Queensland or Queensland University of Technology normally opt to live away from home in Brisbane. The private Bond University on the Gold Coast provides a further option which allows students to commute from home.

The Gold Coast Institute of TAFE provides a wide range of post secondary educational courses as well as adult education courses.

Community Service Organisations

  garden club
Tamborine Mountain Garden Club - meets at Vonda Youngman Community Centre, Main Street, North Tamborine on 2nd Tuesday of each month at 9.30 a.m. Contact Secretary on 5545 0565 or visit
Guides Girl Guides - Tuesday 4.30 - 6.30 p.m., Brownies - Tuesday 4.00 - 5.30 p.m.; contact Vicki Rossi on 5545 0945 or Caroline Wightman on 5545 3578
  KIAH Community Club; contact Betty Hetherington on 5545 1259
Lions Lions Club of Tamborine Mountain Inc - meets at St Bernard's Hotel on 1st & 3rd Mondays at 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.; contact David Kirkpatrick on 5545 2120
Probus Probus Club - meets at Vonda Youngman Community Centre, Main Street, North Tamborine on 3rd Wednesday each Month at 10 a.m. Contact J. Francis on 5545 4009
Rotary Rotary Club of Tamborine Mountain Inc - meets at the Bowling Club on Beacon Road each Monday at 6.30 for 7.00 p.m. Contact K. Kock on 5545 0528
Scouts Cub Scouts - Unfortunately there is no scout group currently operating on the mountain but the scout movement would always welcome the start of a formation. Please contact Brian See for the Gold Coast Pelican Scout District on 5596 1447 for more information.
Toastmasters Toastmasters - meet 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month at the Creative Arts Centre, Wongawallen Road from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. Contact Margaret Field on 5545 4004 or Fran Thorne on 5545 1294.
Zonta Zonta Club of Tamborine Mountain - meets at Bungunyah Manor, Long Road, on 2nd Tuesday of the month; contact Vanessa Bull on 5545 1761
Rainforest Magic CD

We hope you are enjoying the songs of the Australian rainforest birds recorded by Tony O'Connor. Click on the CD image to listen to a 60 sec sample from Tony's Rainforest Magic CD (512 kbyte .au file).

Visit Tony's Web Page for more samples of his music.

alt : Bird Song

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Last updated 29 December, 2009