Every day after hot air ballooning, locals and visitors that have chosen to self drive to the Vineyard have the chance to wander the nearby lush rainforest areas of Canungra, Jimboomba, Rathdowney and Beaudesert, known as the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Having seen the amazing views from the air, in your hot air balloon, visitors can easily spend the rest of their day’s journey meandering through a patchwork of rural plantations, vineyards, farmland and livestock estates on the way to more than 100,000 hectares of National Parks and reserves that are networked with miles of enchanting bushwalking trails, just 30 minutes’ drive from the Gold Coast’s famous beaches.
Or choose to drive up the range, just 20 minutes from your hot air ballooning breakfast and discover antique shops, wineries and restaurants on Gallery Walk in Tamborine. Sweets lovers will find a wide assortment of gourmet fudge at places like Granny Macs, Fudge Heaven, and Mt Tamborine Fudge, plus delicious award-winning fine chocolates at Mayfield Chocolates. Look out for other local products including Gourmet Spice Blends, local honey and home-made jams. Mt Tamborine Brewery and Witches Chase Cheese Co are two local operations where you can sample on-site and purchase both locally brewed beer and award winning cheese varieties. If
you have time why not enhance the experience and choose to dine under the same roof at the Liquid Amber Bistro and Grill.
When it comes to learning the secrets of how best to prepare local produce, why not look up an established chef, and learn about their culinary skills like the one at Tamborine Cooking School, offering gastronomic insights and lunch to boot. Watch for roadside stalls selling everything from honey and rhubarb to lemons and organic avocados. Olives are also in plentiful supply with Rathlogan Grove and Mt Frazer varieties always in high demand. Lanacoora Chillies at Tamborine is a small boutique
farm growing 70 varieties; they supply to local restaurants and offer tasting and sales opportunities at markets and chilli festivals. And if you’re looking for a timely pick-me-up, Mount Tamborine Coffee Plantation is a small, family owned and operated boutique plantation and roastery, specialising in high quality gourmet coffee. Visit the Café Gallery on-site and discover for yourself why their beans are some of the most sought after in Australia. To finish off your afternoon, fancy liquor aficionados should head to the Tamborine Mountain Distillery where over 60 liqueurs, schnapps and spirits varieties will ensure your taste buds are in a spin. Or if like many locals you come hot air ballooning on a weekend, remember to visit the country markets at Mt Tamborine, held the second Sunday of every month, or one of the many concerts and events held
at individual wineries on Mt Tamborine, as well as “Springtime on the Mountain”, held in October.