Imagine getting away from your everyday for a weekend with everything that the senses can appreciate – leaving the house, your work, the kids, the usual surrounds and the everyday pace – well behind…
Yup, I felt exactly the same, which is why I booked one of the private cottages at Witches Falls Cottages on Mount Tamborine, told my sweetheart to pack just enough for a couple of days and be at the ready, so I could pick her up straight after work – and whisk her off for our surprise getaway.
It was the best decision, in more than one way…
Located about an hour from the bustling Mecca of Surfers Paradise and Queensland’s Gold Coast, Mount Tamborine is a 28 square kilometer forested plateau that reaches 525 meters above sea level, blessed with breath-taking waterfalls, lush rainforest, amazing views as far as the eye can see, ample seductive eateries, a handful of award-winning wineries, and accommodation so tempting it is hard to choose from.
In short, the ideal place to steel yourselves away to for a weekend for just the two of you.
From the moment we arrived at our luxury cottage destination, after a winding up-hill journey to reach its quaint location right across from the Witches Falls National Park (the origin of its name and the oldest National Park in Queensland), everything was inviting us in for an amazing weekend that was to come…
From the quirky garden arch made of twisted branches and the mossy paths that snaked between hidden stone cottages, it felt like we had stepped into a world of its own – one with its name suggesting some kind of magic. And, Witches Falls Cottages definitely delivered on all fronts.
We were greeted by the friendliest hosts, Daniela and David whose love and passion for providing exceptional hospitality was instantly obvious. Meeting our host made us feel more welcome beyond what is common for even the most luxurious resort or 5 Star accommodation and we have been to many of those.
Soon we were being led past creaking bamboo and brushwood fences to our own private little magic witches’ cottage and as soon as we stepped inside our cosy abode, the ambience reassured me that I had made the right choice when selecting our home away from home from the plethora of accommodation available online.
Everything oozed with comfort and extra detail, from its seductive style ranging from the super comfy red leather lounge by the fire place, right through to the double spa bath set under a glass roof so we could watch the stars while in the tub indulging on the fine chocolates and tawny port provided complimentary.
It did not stop there… with the raised floor featuring a huge luxurious bed with colourful linen contrasting the range of tones of the cottage’s interior which reflected the colours of the private gardens outside, it offered a harmonious ambience and a comfortable relaxing sleep we are sure to remember.
Add to that the thick and soft bath robes and towels, a well stocked breakfast hamper delivered in the morning with warm and steamy freshly home-baked bread, juice, fruit, bacon, German sausage, haloumi, eggs, mushrooms and fresh capsicum – more than we could fit onto the BBQ, let alone our stomachs, plus enough fire wood to keep the fire place stoked and us toasty for the weekend – simply everything was thought of and prepared.
On recommendation, we ventured out for a walk to the nearby look-out to gaze far over lakes and rivers below and out to the mountains as the setting sun painted them in hues of purple. A definite not to miss. On this note, its best to arrive early on the mountain as many shops and cafes close early.
The 8 Witches’ cottages are tucked away in total privacy among thoughtfully planted gardens with a charm and eerie feel that added a touch of magic. Witches Cottages is a Couples Only accommodation – no kids allowed – and while we love children, we could really appreciate this restriction.
Accommodation on Mt Tamborine usually underfalls a minimum stay (understandably so), here you can get a mid-week one-nighter – if you really must tease yourself with that. However, with their unbeatable packages including massages, chocolates, wine tasting, and pampering of all the senses – why would you?
Looking through the pages of the Witches Cottages guest book (accompanied with colour pencils and already stamped post cards, as said they thought of everything) it became clear we were not the only ones who had a magical weekend away here…
Come to the culinary delights, many eateries on the mountain require bookings as they can fill up quickly and you may miss out on a table. All the wineries only open during the day, so if tasting yourself through some of the local drops of wine is on your list, then day-time is the time to do it. We recommend the Witches Falls Winery Syrah, a full bodied red with a warmth to it and well worth its weight in gold. We had it accompany our orange and aniseed duck on creamy mash at Clancy’s Irish Pub – just perfect.
A respite in between walks through towering trees and down to Curtis Falls, a charming little gorge reached in just a few minutes; or the giant drop of Knoll Falls (a 2.6km circuit with endless views), was offered by Spice of Life’ Café, a charming eatery and tea house in the heart of the village with some of the best deserts and coffee, a scrumptious menu (including gluten free) and free Wi-Fi as a side.
While we could have easily forgot to return home when we were meant to (we extended our stay), getting lost in the magic of Mt Tamborine with its super friendly locals, other-worldly charm, impressive natural beauty and temptations for all the senses; we did finally manage to leave after three days…. Sure to return for another romantic getaway soon.
Mt Tamborine is easily reached from the Gold Coast airport within less than an hour and is a great place to visit whether in winter or the summer’s heat. It attracts a lot of day visitors too, but take our word for it, you would be doing yourself a dis-favour skipping such unique accommodation and romantic getaway as we had staying at Witches Falls Cottages, so stay on the mountain!
5 Pillows (that beats the star system by more than a few feathers)
P.S. Daniela from Witches Falls Cottages is an amazing artistic photographer. Her work is displayed throughout the cottages and the reception area, just the photographs are worth a visit.
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Travel Writer/photographer & Lebenskuenstler