By Shawn Sheather.
Unwind Hunter Valley - Paradise Hill.
With the beginning warmth of Summer and the focus on the outdoors, pool parties and picnics, we’re making the most of the brisk air by heading up into the mountains in search of some of the last open fires.
Across the nation we are blessed with many picturesque mountain ranges, from the Adelaide Hills right up through the Southern Highlands in NSW to Mount Tamborine in Gold Coast hinterland and we’re certainly going to make the most of those cooler nights, whether in search of relaxation or romance by an open fireplace.
On this trip we ventured up the Gold Coast hinterland to Mount Tamborine, where a small and quaint village is set up high on the ridge reaching for the clouds. To the East we can see the Gold Coast, where its high-rises and beaches of deep blue call out to us as we pan to the West with an endless view over national parks and ranges, which stretch all the way into the distant golden sunset.
As we strolled the streets of the village one shop leads to another, where all those decadent indulgences you only consider on holidays simply tempt your senses, from hot toasted Macadamias, fudge and chocolate truffles through to wine tastings and tours.
On the day we visited, the clouds were low, the temperature was almost 10 degrees cooler than the Gold Coast below and the air was thick and calm, you could feel it in your lungs as you inhaled the scents of coffee and wood fired pizzas from the surrounding cafes and restaurants. Deciding where and what the eat for lunch was not going to be an easy task, but we eventually selected Mount Tambourine Vineyard and Winery, with an offering of a deli cabinet filled with sandwiches, slices and some of the largest and most scrumptious looking muffins we’ve ever seen. It was hard to choose from the numerous options on the menu but we indulged in a roasted pumpkin, feta and sun-dried tomato salad as well as a barramundi with fries and it was just what the doctor ordered.
We walked, shopped and took in the village and as the day drew to a close, the South-East hinterland of Queensland turned on a real show – with a perfect, glowing red sunset which stretched the length of the ranges to the West, we can only describe it as postcard worthy.
Simply, Linger a While.
As the sun set over the ranges we headed to our accommodation, and as you guessed it, it had a fireplace. Our chalet was named “Linger a While,” which is perfectly apt for our whole adventure. Designed with couples in mind, Linger a While is a hidden gem just off of the main road, where a kitchen, four post bed, open spa and lit candles welcome you in to stay a while and relax by the open fire on a sheep skin rug; and with all the appliances needed for a luxurious stay, there was really no need to leave the room.
After a great day and night of luxury, we awoke to beams of sunlight filtering through the trees lighting up the morning fog where the sounds of nature and water droplets falling from the tree canopy above were the ultimate soundtrack to our breakfast on the verandah, where even a local bush turkey joined in on the fun.
With so many local restaurants, attractions and bush walks, Mount Tamborine can be enjoyed over multiple days, but it also makes a nice weekend getaway if all you want to do is relax. We recommend you look to the hills around you to find that cooler, hilltop village and be sure to find that open fire before Summer truly emerges.
Here are a selection of our recommendations to get you started:
New South Wales:
Unwind Hunter Valley | Pokolbin
Bel-Air | Berry
Lookout Mountain Retreat | Dorrigo
Hillcrest Mountain View Retreat | Upper Crystal Creek
The Denman Thredbo | Thredbo
Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa | Crackenback
Deux Belette | Dalwood
Bicheno Hideaway | Bicheno
Villa Howden | Howden
Longview Vineyard Accommodation | Macclesfield
Clover House Bed & Breakfast | Kojonup
Kendenup Lodge and Cottages | Kendenup
For more accommodation options near your, search via your locationhere.