One of my favorite ride destinations is Mt Tamborine south of Brisbane. There are so many routes I can take that I never get bored with going there.
There’s the run from Oxenford up to Eagle Heights, which is an easy ride with lots of nice scenery (See map). Or via Henri Robert Drive (see map); this road can be steep at times and has some sharp corners too, but is worth the ride if you like a challenge.
Often though, I find myself riding Tamborine Mountain Road. It is by far my favorite stretch of black top, and runs from Tamborine at the base of the mountain, through some beautiful rain forest areas up to North Tamborine.
The condition of the road is generally good, but you need to stay focused, particularly on weekends when the tourists have been let out for good behavior. It’s not uncommon to see them meandering along at 30 km/h (19 mp/h), stopping unpredictably on blind corners to check out the view, or generally just being tourists.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a tourist at times as well; but some really need an education in the finer points of safely driving on country and mountain roads.
The other thing you need to watch out for when you’re out and about is wildlife.
There’s always something, furry, feathered or slithering near the road edge, and you never know when they are going to dart out in front of you.
One afternoon I ran over an Eastern Brown Snake on my way home from work; on Mt Tamborine Road as a matter of fact.
The little bugger scared the tripe out of me, and for good reason too: The Brown is one of the deadliest snakes in the world, second only to the Inland Taipan.
I had visions of it getting all caught up in the wheels or something, getting angry and swinging up to bite me on the… errrr… leg. That day brought new meaning to flexibility for me; I don’t think I could have lifted my feet any higher off the pegs.
Try doing that while cranked over in a hair-pin corner at 60 km/h (30 mp/h) sheer vertical cliff on the outside and a 6m (21 foot) drop full of trees on the inside.
Calling Tamborine Mountain “a mountain”, is a little misleading though. Australia doesn’t really have any mountains in the true sense of the term; not like Mt Everest or Mt Kilimanjaro.
What we do have is the Great Dividing Range, which stretches from the North Eastern Tip of Queensland south for 3500 km (2175 miles), through New South Wales and down to The Grampians in Western Victoria.
The Great Dividing Range is made up of a series of ranges, plateaus and escarpments with heights in places up to about 1600m (5250 feet). What it lacks in height, it makes up for in scenery and places of interest
Tamborine Mountain falls into that category. There are heaps of places you can stop to take in the view, check out the local flora and fauna, or grab a bite to eat at one of the wineries or cafe’s.
The fun part is getting there, with all the different routes you can take, and there are more than what I have mentioned above, you just never get bored.
You don’t have to do it at break neck speed either. A speed limit cruise allows you to appreciate the road and also your surroundings.
Maybe the clip below will explain what I mean a bit better.