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Overview

Tamborine Mountain is a sprawling community made up of three separate villages – Mount Tamborine, North Tamborine and Eagle Heights. Originally founded as a farming and forestry settlement, it’s become popular with tourists and creative people.

Tamborine Mountain has a subtropical climate with warm summers and very mild winters. Rainfall is heaviest in summer, with winters relatively dry.

Population – 7,506
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 1 percent
Closest major town – Gold Coast (39.1 km)
Distance from airport – Gold Coast Airport (58.4 km)
Cinemas – 0
Restaurants – 43
Pubs/bars – 7
Primary schools – 3
Secondary schools – 2
Tertiary education providers – 0
Max average temp – 29.6C
Min average temp – 15.8°C

  • Population – 6,813
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 0.7%
  • Closest major town – Gold Coast 37 km
  • Distance from airport – Gold Coast AIrport (71.2 km)
  • Cinemas – 0
  • Restaurants – 23
  • Pubs/bars – 3
  • Primary schools – 3
  • Secondary schools – 2
  • Tertiary education providers – 0
  • Max average temp – 28.7°C
  • Min average temp – 12.0°C

The location

Tamborine Mountain is located on top of an old shield volcano, at the start of the northeast section of the Scenic Rim. It’s almost directly inland from the Gold Coast, surrounded by forested foothills. Much of the plateau is covered with rainforest, making it a favourite destination for outdoor types.

The People

Tamborine Mountain residents have a median age of 50, well above the state average of 37. This is down to somewhat higher numbers of people aged 65 and over, as well as a distinct lack of young adults in their 20s and 30s.

Residents have a high marriage rate of 55.3 percent, compared to state and national figures of around 46.9 percent and 48.1 percent respectively. Currently, 1 percent of the population are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.

The traditional inhabitants of Tamborine Mountain are the Wangerriburra peoples who are a clan of the Yugambeh group; the name is a corrupted version of the Yugambeh word Jambreen, the name for the finger limes which grow on the mountain. The Yugambeh group are descendants from of the three brothers from the Dreamtime Legend, said legend was a source of kinship between the Yugambeh and Bundjalung language groups. There are few indigenous people living on Tamborine Mountain now, with most having been displaced by settlers in the late 19th century.

The Medicine

Although Tamborine Mountain does not have its own hospital (the closest is on the Gold Coast), it has the two Tamborine Mountain Medical Practices, the Eagle Heights Medical Centre, Mountain Medical Centre, Health Intellience and close by is the Canungra Valley Medical. There is no ambulance station in Tamborine Mountain.

Minor surgery is available through Tamborine Mountain Medical Practice, as well as services for palliative care, allergy testing, aviation medicals, children’s behaviour, immunisations and smoking cessation. Local GPs provide care in emergency medicine, paediatrics, mental health, adult internal medicine, diabetes, asthma, men’s and women’s health as well as diet and nutrition care.

Tamborine Mountain’s health profile is somewhat disadvantaged. Median incomes are below average and there’s an above average number of people aged 65 and over. Lifestyle factors are also a concern; prevalence of smoking, alcohol use and unhealthy weight are all high.

Tamborine Mountain is in the Gold Coast PHN and is rated RA2.

Education

Tamborine Mountain has a reasonably good choice of schools. In addition to the two day-care facilities, the state sector provides two primaries and a high school; an independent non-denominational college, Tamborine Mountain College, handles private education from Prep to Year 12. The nearest university campus, the Griffith University Gold Coast Campus, is a short 35 km drive away.

Career options for partners

The full-time employment rate in Tamborine Mountain is below average at 49.8 percent. The restaurant trade and accommodation industry is the largest employer, followed by Education and Hospitals. Almost 26 percent of full time workers are in professional positions and relatively few in manual trades.

Many residents work part time – 39 percent, almost 10 percent above the state average. The majority of these are in retail and the catering trade; many artists work part-time to support themselves.

Voluntary work is very popular, with 25.7 percent of residents having volunteered for a group or organisation in the past year. Options include assisting in schools or maintenance in the national park. There are several opportunities with charitable organisations such as the local St Vincent de Paul, the RSL and the many local churches.

Arts and Culture

Tamborine Mountain has a lively cultural scene and plenty activities to get involved in. One of the community’s biggest attractions is the Gallery Walk in Eagle Heights; this has over 60 arts and crafts shops and small galleries along with plenty of cafes.

Music lessons are plentiful; the Tamborine Mountain Arts Collective provides classes and the studios to support them, and the Tamborine Mountain Little Theatre provides local concerts, including the popular local amateur orchestra Tamborine Mountain Orchestra as well as local theatre. The Scarecrow Festival in September is a major annual event which features live music, market stalls and community wide celebrations.

Great Outdoors

It’s hard to think of a better place than Tamborine Mountain if you love the outdoors. Outside the villages, the whole plateau of Mount Tamborine is made up of a series of spectacular landscapes, including native rainforest, and the surrounding foothills are similarly forested.

There’s no shortage of walking and hiking routes and some spectacular lookout points can be found. Walk to the end of almost any street and you’ll find a fascinating hilly, forested landscape to explore. Tamborine Mountain offers some of the greatest scenery – and easiest access to it – in Queensland. The area is a favourite with bird-watchers, and has been designated as an Important Bird Area thanks to its diversity. These include:

  • Tamborine National Park
  • The Knoll National Park
  • Tamborine Heights Park
  • The Botanic Gardens
  • Millet Park
  • Esme Street Park

If organised sports is more to your liking, Tamborine Mountain has a lot going on. There are soccer and Aussie Rules clubs and a well-supported junior rugby league team. Clubs include:

  • Tamborine Mountain Rugby Club
  • Tamborine Mountain Eagles Soccer Club
  • Tamborine Hawks AFL
  • Tamborine Mountain Tennis Club
  • Tamborine Mountain Golf Club

There’s also the annual Hinterland Sports Festival in Novemebr, a mass participation event that features a lot of running and cycling competitions over various distances (and some more leisurely walks as well). The area supports several sports teams including Tamborine Mountain Eagles (Soccer), Tamborine Hawks (AFL) and the Tamborine Mountain Rugby Club (League, junior).

Social Scene

With a lively creative scene and an active sports scene, there is no shortage of interesting things to do in Tamborine Mountain. Nightlife revolves around the Eagle Heights hotel (well known for its beer garden), St Bernard’s Hotel (which has an actual St Bernard) and an Irish pub.

The very well attended Tamborine Mountain Little Theatre has an active film club, a local theatre that is always in the midst of preparing or putting on plays and a Movies on the Mountain program, since the town does not have its own movie theatre.

Food and Drink

Tamborine Mountain has a very good selection of restaurants with over 40 to choose from and a wide array of tastes. Options run from takeaway pizza to some very nice seafood and Asian places; there’s a choice of organic and vegan venues too. Cafes are also easy to find, with over two dozen options for everything from a quick bite to a slowly savoured afternoon tea.

Housing

The population of Tamborine Mountain is growing steadily, so there’s a fairly high percentage of new homes. Virtually all homes are separate houses. Demand, and therefore prices, are relatively high, but homes do tend to be spacious and many have outstanding views.

The median price for a three-bedroom house in Tamborine Mountain is $499,500 with a similar home renting for $445 per week.

Transport

Tamborine Mountain has no railway connections. There are no scheduled coach services. However, a shuttle bus network runs between the villages on Tamborine Mountain and other points of interest. Road access is reasonably good. There are several access roads to the plateau, and a short drive east towards the Gold Coast will bring you onto the state highway network.

Other attractions

Broadband is available via ADSL2+ and NBN fibre cable.

Witches Falls National Park, established in 1903, was the first in Queensland. It’s now part of Tamborine National Park.