7 reasons you need to go to Thunderbird Park
Imagine. You are sitting in a little yellow cabin on the edge of Cedar Creek. You hear the creek as the water trickles past. It’s cold outside, but the fire crackling in the fireplace warms you. Worn out but happy because you had a long and challenging day exploring the side of Tamborine Mountain by swinging from treetop to treetop, it’s bliss at its best.
There are many reasons Thunderbird Park is one of the best destinations on Tamborine Mountain for both fun and relaxation. Its hosts a wide array of things to do for all ages. Let’s just name a few…
1. The fairytale esque cabins
Nestled along the Cedar Creek are cabins so charming they could be out of a storybook. As you walk in past the big blue wooden door, a rustic little cabin with wood floors, high ceilings and two cozy bedrooms greets you. The highlight of the cabin is a wood-burning fireplace. Whether it be snuggled up on the sofa watching the fire or on the outdoor patio watching the birds hop over rocks in the creek bed, its the perfect place to relax, unwind and take a breather. Best of all, mobile phone reception is extremely limited allowing for a much needed break from society.
For the more seasoned outdoorsman, Thunderbird Park has a great loop of campsites suited for tents and caravans. During your stay, take a bush walk then come back to your own fire pit for a hearty dinner cooked alfresco style. The stars shine brightly over Thunderbird Park so it’s possible you may just see a shooting star as you roast a marshmallow over the open fire. It’s still community based camping, so you will have neighbours and toilets, a big plus for the new campers who are still adjusting to sleeping outside.
3. Thunderegg & Crystal Mining
A little history: Around 23 million years ago Mount Warning was an active volcano and the lava veins ran all throughout the Gold Coast and South-East Queensland Region. Thunderbird Park sits on a vein which means the soil is full of rich mineral deposits. There is a fully functioning mine at Thunderbird Park where you can search for your own Thunderegg. What is a Thunderegg you wonder? A Thunderegg is a spherulite (rounded shape generally occurring in glass rocks). They are a geological phenomenon and are greatly prized by collectors. In layman’s terms, it’s a really cool rock filled with pretty colours and possibly a crystal or two.
To find your own Thunderegg at Thunderbird Park, head over to the rock shop. Say hi to the friendly staff and grab a bucket and pick. From there you’ll be directed to the mine and can start digging, the ground is littered with them. Once you fill your bucket full of Thundereggs, head back down to the rock shop, where you can choose to have the rocks cut open to see what’s inside (I thought this was the best part)!
4. Mini Golf/ Laser Skirmish
Looking for a healthy dose of competition? Start with the mini golf, it’s a classic. The perfect little green hills will captivate you as you concentrate on getting the ball in the hole.You really can’t go wrong with a good ole game of mini golf!
Although I didn't play, the laser skirmish looked awesome! The military themed headquarters set back in the bush looked so official. I imagined myself hopping over logs and ducking behind trees as I shot down the laser enemy. It’s definitely on my to-do list and I suggest you put it on yours!
5. Treetop Challenge/ Canyon Flyer
I’ve completed the Canyon Flyer previously and had an absolute blast (If you haven't read the blog, check it out here). I wrongfully assumed the Treetop Challenge would be similar. Sure they are both gliding through the trees, but the Treetop Challenge was absolutely that, a challenge!
It was so outstanding that it easily could have it’s own blog, but here are the highlights…
It was a cool autumn afternoon when we made our way over the suspended bridge and into the bush. Ladders lead us up the tree where we clamped on to a thick metal wire to start the course.
Unlike the Canyon Flyer where you zip-line from treetop to treetop, the Treetop Challenge had us tight rope walking, jumping from wooden swing to wooden swing, pulling ourselves across the lines and my favourite/the most difficult swinging from a rope like Tarzan and landing in a big net. It was physically and mentally challenging, but as big as the challenge was, it twice as fun. Perhaps one of my favourite activities in my career as a travel/adventure blogger, its totally worth trying! P.S. It’s a total body workout too!
6. Horse Back Riding
We began at the equestrian house where Jo our riding instructor introduced us to three beautiful horses, Ben, Bomber and Becky.
The horses were so well trained that we didn't have to do anything besides hold the reins. Jo took us down a beautiful path that snaked around the park, crossed over creeks, and even went through what she called the pixie forest, where ivy draped the trees creating an enchanting view. It was so relaxing that I had plenty of time to think about things like “I feel like I'm in Game of Thrones” (call me Khaleesi), and how truly fortunate we are to have such amazing landscapes and experiences at our fingertips. It was a beautiful way to connect with nature and relax.
Children as young as seven can go on the tour and for the smaller kiddies there are pony rides. Tours go in increments of 30 min, 1 hour and 1.5 hours.
Thunderbird Park has two great options for grabbing a bite, the Terrace Kiosk and the Rainforest Restaurant.
The Terrace Kiosk is the perfect place to grab a quick bite and relax a bit between exciting activities. I tried their burger and chips as I sat on the patio. It hit the spot and gave me all the energy I needed to conquer the Treetop Challenge.
For breakfast at the Rainforest Restaurant, I cozied up next to the fireplace in the open air dining room, where I sipped a cappuccino and watched the kookaburra’s play. When breakfast was served, I delighted in eggs, tomato, beans, spinach, mushrooms, bacon, sausage, has browns and toast (I’m hungry just thinking about it).
For dinner, the Rainforest Restaurant serves things like lamb shoulder with truffled honey infused puree, Snapper Fillet with chat potato, asparagus and baby mussels in a cream sauce, and an assortment of steaks. I didn't try dinner, but it’s just one more reason to come back!
Thunderbird Park: Corner Cedar Creek Falls Road Tamborine Mountain QLD, 4272
By Marleigh Kelly