Think of a Gold Coast holiday and it most likely involves a beach, a hot summer’s day and a whole bunch of sand in your swimsuit. But there is another – just as beautiful – side to our fair city, and it deserves to be on everyone’s bucket list. I’m referring of course to our stunning hinterland, and the wintry retreats that nestle among the green.
Witches Falls Cottages perch on the north side of Tamborine Mountain, and have the benefit of being a modest walk away from town while also having the national park, galleries and glow worm caves at their doorstep (not to mention Witches Falls Winery, which is a short stagger down the road).
Owners David and Daniela were unable to be there during our visit, however we certainly felt the unique sense of warmth that comes with many family run businesses when we were greeted by friendly and accommodating managers Kelly and Mark upon our Friday afternoon arrival.
Our individual stone cottage was one of eight in the property, with study construction and double glazed windows guaranteeing privacy. After “oohing” and “aahing” over the massive glass-walled bathroom and double spa (it opens onto a lush, high-fenced private garden area), we were keen to sample some of the mountain’s other delights. We headed to friendly local BBQ restaurant Hickory for a messy yet intimate dinner of BBQ ribs, chicken wings and house made slaw, washed down with a lychee martini and a delightfully refreshing gin cocktail, after which we retired back to our roaring fireplace, utterly satiated.
Our breakfast hamper (included in the accommodation price) arrived promptly at 8.00am, and we knew even before opening it that it contained a loaf of freshly baked bread, warm from the oven. Famished, we dived in and had a merry cook up on our small gas BBQ plate. Local eggs and produce alongside bacon, sausages, a variety of spreads, juice, fruit and of course, that crusty bread that we could not stop eating. Local, freshly ground coffee is also included in every room.
Saturday was all about naps, the spa and a good book. The night saw us order in, albeit accidentally. An abundant and delectable cheese platter accompanied with a dry-ish and highly drinkable Witches Falls Cabernet Merlot ended up being sufficient enough for dinner for two (alongside a couple of other nibbles we had brought with us). Rugged up and surrounded by greenery, we sat on our private deck and contemplated the stars as we enjoyed our delightful supper.
Sunday was time to tackle the National Park walk across the road, a must-do after all that cheese and wine! The foliage was stunning, the silence was meditative and we didn’t want to leave, but we had to, because two extremely professional therapists from mobile pamper service Ripples massage were about to come to the cottage, set up and indulge us in a 1.5 hour package which included a massage, foot soak and chocolate face mask that I had to refrain from eating with a spoon. It was the perfect end to the perfect experience, and we were heartbroken to leave.
Nothing was too much trouble for our affable hosts, whether it was letting us know about the local delights, helping us with the fire and BBQ, giving us an extensive room tour or sourcing us some soy milk to go with our delicious local coffee.
It’s frequently the home touches that make an experience memorable, and in the case of Witches Falls Cottages, they’ve nailed the brief. The crimson roses that climb the stone walls harken to an earlier time, a quaint English village perhaps, before the internet (it’s patchy on the mountain, so use it as an excuse to get your face out of screens!), when eggs came from your neighbours and the locals knew what was what. Explore. Indulge. Experience. Relax. It’s not the motto of Witches Falls Cottages, but it should be.
Please note Witches Falls Cottages is accommodation suited to couples and is adults only. Three accommodation options are available, and the breakfast hamper is included in the price. We stayed in the premium cottage, and were guests of the venue. Visit witchesfallscottages.com.au for more information, pricing and bookings.