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About Tamborine

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Getting there and getting around

Maps

Tamborine Mountain is about 80km south of Brisbane via Beenleigh and Tamborine Village or via the Pacific Highway and Oxenford–Tamborine Road.

Travelling north from the Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain is 36km from Southport via the Pacific Highway and Oxenford–Tamborine Road or 28km from Nerang via Nerang–Beaudesert Road. From Canungra, take Tamborine Mountain Road for 8km.

Please note the following important access information:

  • The steep, narrow roads from Nerang and Canungra are unsuitable for buses, trailers, caravans and trucks.
  • In the interest of safety, access to the Cedar Creek section is prohibited at night—see opening hours for further information. Gates are locked during closing time.
  • Access to the rock pools at Cedar Creek is via the designated track only. Observe the restricted access area notice (PDF, 87K).
  • Access to the Curtis Falls rock pool and surrounding area beyond the viewing platform in Joalah section is prohibited. Observed the restricted access area notice (PDF, 108K).

Wheelchair accessibility

The Cedar Creek walking track as far as the lookout is suitable for assisted wheelchair access. The toilets and picnic areas at Cedar Creek, The Knoll and Witches Falls are accessible for wheelchairs with assistance. Be aware that the picnic area at Cedar Creek can become boggy after rain.

Park features

Tamborine National Park protects areas of rainforest. Photo courtesy of the Queensland Museum.

Tamborine National Park protects areas of rainforest. Photo courtesy of the Queensland Museum.

Visitors may catch a glimpse of the elusive Albert's lyrebird. Photo: Queensland Government.

Visitors may catch a glimpse of the elusive Albert's lyrebird. Photo: Queensland Government.

The Witches Falls section of the park was declared in 1908, making it Queensland's first national park. Over the years additional reserves have been declared and today the park is made up of 14 sections of land on the Tamborine plateau and surrounding foothills.

The park protects remnants of Tamborine Mountain's plant communities and includes areas of rainforest with distinctive piccabeen palm groves, wet eucalypt forest dominated by tall flooded gums, open forest with bracken fern understorey and woodland. These plant communities provide essential wildlife habitat in a landscape almost entirely surrounded by urban and rural development.

Tamborine Mountain escarpment hosts 85 percent of all animal species and 65 percent of all plant species found in the Gold Coast City area. Some common animals seen in the national park include Australian brush-turkeys, scrubwrens, pademelons and one of the world’s largest skinks, the land mullet. Catch a glimpse of the near threatened Albert’s lyrebird or hear it mimicking calls of other birds, particularly during the winter months. The Richmond birdwing butterfly and one of the rainforest’s most colourful birds, the noisy pitta, migrate seasonally to the park from nearby higher altitude rainforests.

Basalt columns, cliffs, rocky outcrops and waterfalls are a lasting legacy of volcanic eruptions 23 million years ago. Tamborine is the most northerly remnant of the flows from a volcano centred on Mount Warning (Wollumbin).

Camping and accommodation

Camping

To protect the natural values of this park, camping is not permitted in the national park. There are private campgrounds on Tamborine Mountain. See the tourism information links for more information.

Other accommodation

There is a wide range of holiday accommodation on Tamborine Mountain, including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and cabins. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Take in spectacular views from numerous lookouts, such as this one at The Knoll section. Photo: Queensland Government.

Take in spectacular views from numerous lookouts, such as this one at The Knoll section. Photo: Queensland Government.

Have a picnic or barbecue at Cedar Creek or one of the many other day-use areas. Photo: Mark Patenaude, Queensland Government.

Have a picnic or barbecue at Cedar Creek or one of the many other day-use areas. Photo: Mark Patenaude, Queensland Government.

Enjoy a walk along one of the many walking tracks, such as the Curtis Falls track in the Joalah section. Photo courtesy of Jodie Bray.

Enjoy a walk along one of the many walking tracks, such as the Curtis Falls track in the Joalah section. Photo courtesy of Jodie Bray.

View from Cedar Creek Falls lookout. Photo: Bernard Hicks, Queensland Government.

View from Cedar Creek Falls lookout. Photo: Bernard Hicks, Queensland Government.

Enjoy views of Curtis Falls from the lookout. Photo courtesy of Jodie Bray.

Enjoy views of Curtis Falls from the lookout. Photo courtesy of Jodie Bray.

Tamborine National Park offers many opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural surrounds.

Start your visit at the Tamborine Mountain Visitor Information Centre at Doughty Park, on the corner of Geissmann Drive and Main Western Road, North Tamborine.

Walking tracks

Walking tracks are provided in six sections of Tamborine National Park. Most walking tracks are short and can be walked within a few hours. The walks are relatively easy although some tracks have short, steep sections. If you are walking with young children, or if you are birdwatching or taking photographs, allow extra time.

Each walking track is classified according to a system based on Australian Standards, so you can choose a track suitable for your needs.

Maps

Key to track standards

The classification system is based on Australian Standards. Please note that while each track is classified according to its most difficult section, other sections may be of an easier level.

Class 1 trackGrade 1 track
  • No bushwalking experience required.
  • Flat, even surface, no steps or steep sections
  • Assisted wheelchair access.
Class 3 trackGrade 3 track
  • Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.
  • Some bushwalking experience recommended.
  • Tracks may have short, steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps.
Class 4 trackGrade 4 track
  • Bushwalking experience recommended.
  • Tracks may be long, rough and very steep.
  • Directional signs may be limited.

Walking tracks at a glance

Matching experience and expectations—to make your planning easier, simply match your expectations and experience with the most suitable track or circuit.

Accessed from Track name Distance Duration Classification
Cedar Creek section Cedar Creek Falls track to lookout 500m return 15min

Class 1 trackGrade 1

Cedar Creek Falls track to rock pools 1.1km return 30min Class 3 trackGrade 3
Joalah section Eagle Heights Road access track 400m return 10min Class 3 trackGrade 3
Curtis Falls track 1.1km return 30min Class 3 trackGrade 3
Lower Creek circuit 2.5km return 1hr Class 4 trackGrade 4
MacDonald section MacDonald rainforest circuit 1.4km return 30min Class 3 trackGrade 3
Palm Grove section Palm Grove circuit 2.7km circuit 1hr Class 4 trackGrade 4
Jenyns circuit 4.8km circuit 1hr 30mins Class 4 trackGrade 4
The Knoll section Sandy Creek circuit 2.6km circuit 1hr Class 4 trackGrade 4
Witches Falls section Witches Falls circuit 3.6km return 1hr Class 4 trackGrade 4
Witches Chase track 2.6km return 1hr Class 4 trackGrade 4

Cedar Creek section walks

In the interests of safety, access to this section is prohibited at night—see opening hours for more information. Signs on-site inform visitors of the closure details. Please note: the park closure is enforceable under the provisions of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and penalties apply.

Access to this section is via Cedar Creek Falls Road. Near the start of the track are two large picnic areas surrounded by tall eucalypt forest. There is no access for large buses and motorhomes at Cedar Creek.

Class 1 trackCedar Creek Falls track to lookout (Grade 1)

Distance: 500m return

Time: Allow about 15mins walking time.

Details: Take a walk to Cedar Creek Falls lookout and admire views of the gorge, waterfalls and rock pools. The track to the lookout is suitable for stollers and assisted wheelchair access.

Caution: For your safety, please observe the restricted access area signs (PDF, 87K) onsite and remain within the fenced walking track as access is not permitted to the area immediately above the waterfall. Access is also not permitted in sections of the gorge, including some of the rock pools—penalties apply.

Class 3 trackCedar Creek Falls track to rock pools (Grade 3)

Distance: 1.1km return

Time: Allow about 30mins walking time

Details: From Cedar Creek Falls lookout, descend through eucalypt forest to the rock pools below. This section from the lookout to the rock pools is not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs.

Caution:

  • For your safety, please observe the restricted access area signs (PDF, 87K) onsite. Access is not permitted to the area immediately above the top waterfall and sections of the gorge, including some of the rock pools—penalties apply.
  • If you are swimming in the permitted rock pools, please be aware that there are many hazards in natural waterways—serious injury or death can result from diving or jumping into pools.
  • Please be aware taking glass containers into the gorge and rock pool area is prohibited—penalties apply.

Joalah section walks

Joalah is located at the headwaters of Cedar Creek and is accessible from both Eagle Heights Road and Dapsang Drive car park. A toilet block and large vehicle parking is provided at the car park. There are no picnic facilities at this site.

Class 3 trackEagle Heights Road access track (Grade 3)

Distance: 400m return

Time: Allow about 10mins walking time

Details: A short walk through the rainforest on the outer edge of Joalah leads to several cafes and shops.

Class 3 trackCurtis Falls track (Grade 3)

Distance: 1.1km return

Time: Allow about 30mins walking time

Details: This enchanting walk begins in wet eucalypt forest beneath towering flooded gums. Notice a drop in temperature as the wet eucalypt forest merges into lush rainforest. Beautiful crows nest and staghorn ferns can be seen in the canopy above. The rock pool and surrounding basalt rock face provide important glow-worm habitat.

Caution: Access to the Curtis Falls rock pool and surrounding area is not permitted—penalties apply. This is for the safety of visitors and the protection of glow-worm and platypus populations. Observe the restricted access area notice (PDF, 108K).

Class 4 trackLower creek circuit (Grade 4)

Distance: 2.5km return

Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

Details: Branching off the Curtis Falls track, the Lower creek circuit crosses Cedar Creek before passing a giant, fallen strangler fig. Beyond the strangler fig the track becomes a typical, more challenging Grade 4 walking track, with creek crossings that involve rock hopping. Notice basalt boulders and columns on this creek-side rainforest walk.

MacDonald section walks

This precious tract of subtropical rainforest was named after Miss Jessie MacDonald, who generously donated part of this area to become a national park in 1933. The car park is on Wongawallen Road, off Tamborine–Oxenford Road. There are no barbecues or toilets at this site.

Class 2 trackMacDonald rainforest circuit (Grade 3)

Distance: 1.4km return

Time: Allow about 30mins walking time

Details: Experience towering strangler figs and lush groves of piccabeen palms along this short rainforest walk.

Palm Grove section walks

Palm Grove is named after the piccabeen palm Archontophoenix cunninghamiana that grows abundantly in this section. The main access point to this section is from Palm Grove Avenue. Parking for buses and caravans is not available. A picnic table is available at this site.

Class 3 trackPalm Grove circuit (Grade 4)

Distance: 2.7km return

Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

Details: Explore the lush and diverse subtropical rainforest on this shady walk. Discover peaceful piccabeen palm groves, rainforest with emergent strangler figs, distinctively-buttressed yellow carabeens and fascinating fungi along the way.

Class 4 trackJenyns circuit (Grade 4)

Distance: 4.8km circuit

Time: Allow about 1hr 30mins walking time

Details: Incorporating the Palm Grove circuit, the Jenyns circuit leads out into drier eucalyptus forest.
Here hoop pines, brush box and grey gums abound and you will visit a grove of ancient cycads.

Caution: Please remain on the track as there are steep cliff edges. Supervise children at all times.

The Knoll section walks

Access to this section is via Knoll Road. The parking area is small and not suitable for large vehicles. There are spectacular views to Flinders Peak and Brisbane from the northern edge of the picnic area.

Class 4 trackSandy Creek circuit (Grade 4)

Distance: 2.6km circuit

Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

Details: This walk features lush rainforest with towering trees emerging through the canopy. A 100m track branches off through open eucalypt forest to Cameron Falls lookout. On a clear day enjoy views across the valley to the southern suburbs of Brisbane and D’Aguilar Range.

Caution: This track travels close to steep cliff edges. Please remain on the designated track, stay behind fences and supervise children at all times.

Witches Falls section walks

Witches Falls is Queensland’s first national park, declared in 1908. Access is via Main Western Road. Parking is suitable for larger vehicles at the southern end of the picnic area.

Class 3 trackWitches Falls circuit (Grade 3)

Distance: 3.6km return

Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

Details: Witches Falls circuit starts just beyond the commemorative shelter. The track zigzags down the mountain side, through an open forest of banksia trees and into rainforest with giant strangler figs. This circuit passes seasonal lagoons surrounded by piccabeen palm groves before reaching Witches Falls. After heavy rain the lagoons fill with water and spring to life with a variety of insect and frog species. A diversion around the lagoons can be used during wet conditions. Witches Falls only flows after recent rain and is best viewed from the lookout platform, accessed via a 200m detour from the main circuit.

Caution: The track passes a landslip area. Please follow the instructions on the signs—no stopping along the landside section of track as marked by the signs.

Class 3 trackWitches Chase track (Grade 3)

Distance: 2.6km return

Time: Allow 1hr walking time

Details: Branching off the Witches Falls circuit, this track leads to Witches Chase off Beacon Road, passing Witches Falls lookout and on through rainforest with large red cedar trees and eucalypt forest. Return along the same track to re-join the Witches Falls circuit.

Picnic and day use areas

There are several popular picnic and day-use areas in Tamborine National Park. No rubbish bins are provided at any of the areas—please take your rubbish home with you.

Cedar Creek section facilities

Access to this section is via Cedar Creek Falls Road. Near the start of the track are two large picnic areas surrounded by tall eucalypt forest. A picnic shelter with assisted wheelchair access to tables, toilets, barbecues and parking for mini buses is provided. There is no access for large buses, motorhomes and caravans at Cedar Creek.

Joalah section facilities

Joalah is located at the headwaters of Cedar Creek and is accessible from both Eagle Heights Road and Dapsang Drive car park. A toilet block and large vehicle parking is provided at the Dapsang Drive car park. There are no picnic facilities at this site.

MacDonald section facilities

The car park for this section is on Wongawallen Road, off Tamborine–Oxenford Road. There are no barbecues or toilets at this site. Picnic tables and a small covered area are provided at the park entrance.

Palm Grove section facilities

The main access point to this section is from Palm Grove Avenue. There is no parking for buses and caravans. Picnic tables are the only facilities at this site.

The Knoll section facilities

Access to this section is via Knoll Road. The parking area is small and not suitable for large vehicles. Picnic facilities include a large covered area, picnic tables and gas barbecues nestled among tall open forest. There are spectacular views to Flinders Peak and Brisbane from the northern edge of the picnic area.

Witches Falls section facilities

Access to Witches Falls section is via Main Western Road. The picnic area in this section has electric barbecues, wheelchair-accessible picnic tables and toilets. Parking for larger vehicles is available at the southern end of the picnic area.

Other sections to visit

Lepidozamia Grove section

Donated by Edwin Franklin and Frank Salisbury, this section is on the plateau edge and preserves a grove of cycads Lepidozamia peroffskyana, commonly known as shining burrawangs. The cycad grove can be viewed from a small grassy area at the park entrance. Fossil records indicate that this species existed almost 300 million years ago. No facilities are provided at this site.

Panorama Point

At Panorama Point a fire management track leads into an area of tall open forest where grey gum, casuarinas, brush box and bloodwoods are common. There are no facilities at this site.

Pirralilla section

Donated by Miss Kath Dobbie, this section is located opposite the fig tree roundabout on Long Road. Pirralilla is an important area of remnant rainforest, containing threatened plant species. A community-led revegetation project demonstrates what can be achieved with local native species.

Horseriding

Horses may be ridden on specified forest trails in some sections of Tamborine National Park only. Most trails are classed as intermediate, with some steep sections and natural hazards such as loose gravel.

Forest trails can be accessed from Beaudesert–Beenleigh Road or Tamborine Mountain Road. Horse float parking is available on road reserves at most access points.

For maps and more information visit the SEQ horseriding trail network page.

Horseriding trail classification

 

Intermediate Trail with obstacles, variable surface and a moderate slope. Suitable for riders seeking a short or medium distance trail requiring a moderate level of skill and horse and rider fitness.

To help reduce your impact on our natural areas please:

  • Only allow horses to cross natural watercourses at designated crossing points on the trail for the protection of watercourses in the area.
  • Minimise damage to vegetation. Do not allow horses to graze on any vegetation while in the area.
  • Tether horses at hitching posts or resting areas only for short periods to minimise soil erosion and compaction.
  • Avoid spreading weeds—ensure horses’ coats, hooves and equipment are free of seeds before park visits.

Things to know before you go

Zip-lock bags are ideal for taking your rubbish home. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Zip-lock bags are ideal for taking your rubbish home. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Essentials to bring

  • Sturdy shoes, a hat, protective clothing and sunscreen.
  • Rubbish bags to remove your rubbish and recyclables from the park—no bins are provided.
  • Your own drinking water—this is not provided in the park. Creek water is unsuitable for drinking as it may contain organisms that can cause illness.
  • Gas barbecues are provided at Cedar Creek and The Knoll sections. Electric barbecues are provided at Witches Falls section. If you are planning to have a barbecue in other park sections, bring a gas or fuel stove—fires are not permitted.
  • A raincoat and warm clothing at any time of the year as weather on the mountain can be unpredictable.

Opening hours

With the exception of Cedar Creek section, Tamborine National Park is open 24 hours a day. For your safety, walk in daylight hours only.

Cedar Creek section

For safety reasons, access to Cedar Creek section is prohibited at night. Signs inform visitors of the closure details. 

Access is permitted during these hours:

  • Between 1 October and 31 March—6am to 8pm.
  • Between 1 April and 30 September—6am to 6pm.

The entry gate is closed and locked each evening.

Please note: the park closure is enforceable under the provisions of the Nature Conservation Act 1992. Penalties apply.

Permits and fees

Permits may be required for commercial activities or organised events.

Pets

Domestic animals (except for horses on designated forest trails) are not permitted in Tamborine National Park.

Climate and weather

At more than 500m above sea level, Tamborine Mountain is consistently cooler than the adjacent lowland, with average daytime temperatures at 17°C in winter and 25°C in summer. Rainfall averages 1500mm per year, most of which falls between December and April. Take a raincoat and warm clothing at all times of the year. For more information see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available in North Tamborine, Canungra and nearby towns. For more information see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

Take care when using binoculars; steep track edges can be closer than you think. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Take care when using binoculars; steep track edges can be closer than you think. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

  • Wear sturdy footwear. Comfortable, ankle-supporting footwear is recommended—never thongs, high heels, new shoes or dress shoes. Your walk won’t be much fun if you get blisters or sprain an ankle.
  • Avoid bites, stings and scratches. Wear protective clothing and insect repellent to help prevent tick and other insect bites or stings, and scratches. Carry a first aid kit and know how to use it.
  • Do not disturb snakes—give them space and wait for them to move on. Some snakes are dangerous. If bitten, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat and long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days. Start longer walks at cooler times of the day and carry drinking water.
  • Carry fresh water. Drinking water is not provided. Creek water is unsuitable for drinking as it may contain organisms that can cause illness.
  • Walk safely. Stay on the tracks and follow signs carefully to avoid getting lost. Tell a friend about your walking plans and avoid walking alone. Tracks and steps can be slippery, especially after rain.
  • Do not attempt to cross flooded creeks. If you are caught out on the tracks when creek crossings flood, wait until the water no longer covers the track. Water rises and falls in a short period of time.
  • Never dive into creeks or rock pools. They contain hazards such as rocks and logs, water depth is variable and unpredictable and rock surfaces can be slippery.
  • Take care of your property and personal safety. Thefts can occur in car parks. Do not leave valuables in parked cars.
  • Supervise children at all times, especially around lookouts and steep track edges. Do not allow children to run ahead.
For your safety, please note the following important access information:

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

  • Take your rubbish home. No bins are provided.
  • Let animals find their natural food. Human food can make native animals susceptible to disease, and can cause overpopulation and aggressive behaviour.
  • Do not ride bikes in the park. Riding bikes in national parks causes erosion and disturbs other visitors.
  • Do not take or disturb plants or animals. Everything is protected.
  • Keep to the defined walking tracks. Short-cutting causes erosion, damages plants and can be dangerous on steep slopes.
  • Show consideration for other park users and keep noise to a minimum.
  • Please use gas and electric barbecues provided. Lighting a fire in the national park is prohibited. 

Trail bikes are not permitted in Tamborine National Park.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Visitation, like park management, has changed over the decades. A park visit circa 1923. Photo: Queensland Government.

Visitation, like park management, has changed over the decades. A park visit circa 1923. Photo: Queensland Government.

The Witches Falls section was declared on 28 March 1908, making it Queensland's first national park. Over the years additional reserves have been declared and today the park is made up of 14 sections of land on the Tamborine plateau and surrounding foothills.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages Tamborine National Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to preserve and present the remarkable natural and cultural values of the area.

Tourism information links

Tamborine Mountain Visitor Information Centre
www.visitscenicrim.com.au
Doughty Park, 2 Main Western Road
North Tamborine Qld 4272
Phone: (07) 5545 3200
Email:

Beaudesert Community Arts and Information Centre
www.visitscenicrim.com.au
Westerman Park, Cnr Mt Lindesay Highway and Enterprise Drive
Beaudesert Qld 4285
Phone: (07) 5541 4495
Email:

Canungra Information Centre
www.visitscenicrim.com.au
12–14 Kidston Street, Canungra Qld 4275
Phone: (07) 5543 5156
Email:

Surfers Paradise Visitor Information Centre
www.destinationgoldcoast.com
 2 Cavill Ave (Cavill Mall), Surfers Paradise Qld 4217
Phone: 1300 309 440
Email:

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

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Last updated
25 January 2018