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About Tamborine

Getting there and getting around

Maps

Tamborine Mountain is about 80 km 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 36 km from Southport via the Pacific Highway and Oxenford–Tamborine Road or 28 km from Nerang via Nerang–Beaudesert Road. From Canungra, take Tamborine Mountain Road for 8 km.

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, 95K)*.
  • 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 get quite 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.

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 Geissman Drive and Main Western Road, North Tamborine; open 10.00 am to 3.30 pm on weekdays and 9.30 am to 3.30 pm on weekends.

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 walking track Class 1 track (Australian Standards)
  • Assisted wheelchair access.
  • Handrails at lookout.
Class 2 walking track Class 2 track (Australian Standards)
  • Easy level track, suitable for all fitness levels.
  • All junctions are signposted and may include interpretive signs.
Class 3 walking track Class 3 track (Australian Standards)
  • Gently sloping, well-defined track with slight inclines or few steps.
  • Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.
Class 4 walking track Class 4 track (Australian Standards)
  • Distinct track usually with steep exposed inclines or many steps.
  • Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

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.

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

Class 1 walking track Class 1

Cedar Creek Falls track to rock pools 900 m return 30 min Class 3 walking trackClass 3
Tracks accessed from Palm Grove section:
Palm Grove circuit 2.6 km circuit 1 hr Class 3 walking track Class 3
Jenyns circuit 4.5 km circuit 1.5 hr Class 4 walking track Class 4
Tracks accessed from Joalah section
Access track 400 m return 10 min Class 3 walking track Class 3
Curtis Falls track 1.1 km return 30 min Class 3 walking track Class 3
Lower Creek circuit 2 km return 1 hr Class 4 walking track Class 4
Tracks accessed from The Knoll section
Sandy Creek circuit 2.6 km circuit 1 hr Class 3 walking track Class 3
Tracks accessed from Witches Falls section
Witches Falls circuit 3.1 km return 1 hr Class 3 walking track Class 3
Witches Chase track 1.5 km one way 1 to 2 hr Class 3 walking track Class 3
Tracks accessed from the MacDonald section
MacDonald rainforest circuit 1.4 km return 30 min Class 2 walking track Class 2

Cedar Creek section

Access to this section is prohibited at night in the interests of safety—see opening hours for more information. Signs have also been erected on-site to inform visitors of the closure details. It is important to note that the park closure is enforceable under the provisions of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and penalties may 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 walking track Cedar Creek Falls track to lookout (Class 1)

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

Distance: 500 m return

Time: Allow about 15 min 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.

For your safety, please observe the restricted access area signs (PDF, 95K)* onsite and remain within the fenced walking track as access is not permitted to the area immediately above the waterfall and sections of the gorge, including some of the rock pools—penalties apply.

Class 3 walking track Cedar Creek Falls track to rock pools (Class 3)

Cedar Creek has many picturesque
rock pools. Photo: courtesy of Bernard Hicks.

Distance: 900 m return

Time: Allow about 30 min walking time

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

For your safety, please observe the restricted access area signs (PDF, 95K)* onsite and remain within the fenced walking track. 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.

Palm Grove section

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 walking track Palm Grove circuit (Class 3)

 

A peaceful piccabeen palm grove,
Palm Grove circuit. Photo: courtesy
of Jodie Bray.

Distance: 2.6 km circuit

Time: Allow about 1 hr walking time

Details: Explore the lush and diverse subtropical rainforest on this relatively easy walk.

Discover peaceful piccabeen palm groves, rainforest with emergent strangler figs, distinctively-buttressed yellow carabeens and fascinating fungi along the way.

Class 4 walking track Jenyns circuit (Class 4)

Visit a grove of ancient, giant cycads.
Photo: Queensland Government.

Distance: 4.5 km circuit

Time: Allow about 1.5 hr 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.

Please remain on the track as there are steep cliff edges. Supervise children carefully.

Joalah section

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 walking track Access track (Class 3)

Track entry from cafes and shops.
Photo:Queensland Government.

Distance: 400 m return

Time: Allow about 10 min walking time

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

Class 3 walking track Curtis Falls track (Class 3)

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

Distance: 1.1 km return

Time: Allow about 30 min 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 rool and surrounding basalt rock face provide important glow-worm habitat.

Access to the Curtis Falls rock pool and surrounding area is not permitted. 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 walking track Lower creek circuit (Class 4)

Strangler fig. Photo: Queensland Government.

Distance: 2 km return

Time: Allow about 1 hr 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 is a class 4 walking track, with uneven surfaces, creek crossings that involve rock hopping and natural hazards likely to be present. Notice basalt boulders and columns on this creek-side rainforest walk.

The Knoll section

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 3 walking track Sandy Creek circuit (Class 3)

Branch off the Sandy Creek circuit to
enjoy views of Cameron Falls. Photo:
Mark Simmons, Queenland Government.

Distance: 2.6 km circuit

Time: Allow about 1 hr walking time

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

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

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 walking track Witches Falls circuit (Class 3)

Witches Falls only flows after recent
rain. Photo: Bernard Hicks, Queensland
Government.

Distance: 3.1 km return

Time: Allow about 1 hr walking time

Details: Witches Falls circuit starts just beyond the commemorative shelter. The track zigzags down the mountain side pass a signed landslip area that requires walkers not to stop on this section of track, 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. Do not walk circuit in wet weather.

Witches Falls lookout can still be accessed during wet conditions via the northern half of the circuit.

The waterfall only flows after recent rain and is best viewed from the lookout platform, accessed via a 200 m detour from the main circuit.

Class 3 walking track Witches Chase track (Class 3)

Enjoy the view from Witches Falls
lookout. Photo: Mark Patenaude,
Queensland Government.

Distance: 1.5 km one way

Time: Allow 1 to 2 hr 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.

MacDonald section

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 walking track MacDonald rainforest circuit (Class 2)

Walk through lush groves of piccabeen
palms. Photo: Queensland Government.

Distance: 1.4 km return

Time: Allow about 30 min walking time

Details: This short, easy-grade walk features towering strangler figs and lush groves of piccabeen palms.

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

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 and motorhomes at Cedar Creek.

Palm Grove section

The main access point to this section is from Palm Grove Avenue. Parking for buses and caravans is not available. Picnic tables are the only facilities at this site.

Joalah section

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 located at the car park. There are no picnic facilities at this site.

The Knoll section

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

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 is suitable for larger vehicles at the southern end of the picnic area.

MacDonald section

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. Other sections to visit

Other sections to visit

Lepiodzamia 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 burrawang. 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. On a clear day enjoy views of Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island. 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 near threatened and 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 easy-grade 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 ands more information visit the SEQ horseriding trail network page.

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.

Guided tours and talks

The Connect with Nature program offers a range of nature-based activities and events every season for adults, children and families in and around parks and forests throughout Brisbane, Western Scenic Rim and Gold Coast and hinterland.

The Connect with Nature schools program features environmental education activities run in Tamborine National Park. The program is designed to suit the school curriculum and gives students the opportunity to experience Queensland's natural environment and cultural heritage through ranger-guided activities.

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

  • Wear sturdy shoes, a hat, protective clothing and sunscreen.
  • No bins are provided. Bring rubbish bags to remove your rubbish and recyclables from the park.
  • Bring 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.
  • Weather on the mountain can be unpredictable so take a raincoat and warm clothing at all times of the year.

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

Access to Cedar Creek section is prohibited at night in the interests of safety. Signs have been erected onsite to inform visitors of the closure details. It is important to note that the park closure is enforceable under the provisions of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and penalties may apply.

Cedar Creek section has an entry gate which is closed and locked each evening.

Between 1 October and 31 March Cedar Creek section is open from 6 am to 8 pm. Between 1 April and 30 September it is open from 6 am to 6 pm. Access is prohibited outside these hours—penalties apply.

Permits and fees

Permits may be required for commercial or group activities.

Pets

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

Climate and weather

At more than 500 m 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 1500 mm 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.

  • Avoid bites, stings and scratches. Wear protective clothing and insect repellent to help prevent tick and other insect bites or stings, and scratches.
  • If you encounter a snake, keep a safe distance and calmly walk around it—do not disturb it.
  • 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 enough drinking water.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Never dive or jump into water as it may be shallow or hide submerged obstructions.

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 own 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.

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: tmvic@bigpond.com

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: bdstarts@bigpond.net.au

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

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

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

Further information

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Last updated
14 April 2014