A weekend at Thunderbird Park

Thunderbird Park is somewhere we’ve wanted to go for ages but just haven’t gotten around to it – so we were all super excited when we were invited to come and stay for the weekend.

Not only did we get to try out a stack of great activities that the park offers, but we also got to stay in one of their super flash family glamping tents.

In this article, we’ll tell you all about our weekend at Thunderbird Park as well as provide you with as many details as possible so you can decide whether or not this is the perfect place for your next family escape.

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Where is Thunderbird Park?

Thunderbird Park is in Mount Tamborine, a renowned destination in the Gold Coast Hinterland and also part of the Scenic Rim region.  This gorgeous property is approximately an hour’s drive from Brisbane, Ipswich or the Gold Coast. 

The popular Mount Tamborine Gallery Walk is a 10 minute drive away, or an hour’s walk if you’re keen – but it is a steep walk up there.  Not too far from Gallery Walk, you’ll find a range of shops, rainforest walks and an IGA supermarket for any last minute supplies.

You will need a car if you wish to use Thunderbird Park as a base while exploring the region, as public transport is not readily available.  

Things to do at Thunderbird Park

With so many activities on offer at Thunderbird Park, I guarantee the kids will never get bored staying here.  In fact, there are so many activities that you will struggle to fit them all in over a weekend.

Here’s a brief overview of all the things you can do at Thunderbird Park.

TreeTop Challenge

The TreeTop Challenge at Thunderbird Park includes the Treetop Adventure Park, the TreeTop Canyon Flyer and TreeTop Juniors, all thrilling adventures that take you through the rainforest of Mount Tamborine.   There is a range of challenging courses suitable for all ages and all skill levels.

TreeTop Adventure Park

The most popular activity at TreeTop Challenge is the TreeTop Adventure Park and this is where we headed during our stay at Thunderbird Park.

The TreeTop Challenge Adventure Park is the Gold Coast’s largest adventure attraction, with over 100 tree top challenges, including 10 huge flying foxes and various other obstacles.

After everyone gets into their harnesses, it’s time for a safety briefing, Now, if all the instructions you’re given during the safety briefing seem a bit overwhelming, don’t fret, as you’re given plenty of opportunity to practice before you set off.  We got a few things wrong to start with, but the friendly guides helped us and we were “experts” in no time!

The course starts with what they call a practice course, followed by the beginner’s course, intermediate course, advanced course and then lastly the expert’s course.  

How long each course takes to complete really depends on how fast you can get through it as well as how long it takes others to complete the course who are in front of you.

We seemed to whiz through the practice course and the beginner’s course – but it took us much longer to do the intermediate course – mainly because there were quite a few people on that course at the time.

There’s no requirement to complete all courses – we got up to the intermediate course, which all up took us 2.5 hours and we had had enough by that stage.  Although the kids still kept going.

This experience is suited for kids 7+ with a minimum height requirement of 160cm while your child has their palms stretched vertically above the head and feet flat on the floor.  There is also a maximum weight requirement of 120kg.

Hours: Weekdays 10 am to 5 pm | Weekends 8.30 am to 5 pm.

Price: Adults $65 | Kids $55 | Family pass $220 (2A+2C)

TreeTop Juniors

If your kids are too small for the TreeTop Adventure Park, they can join the TreeTop Juniors.  Little daredevils will love conquering some (or all) of the 50 rope challenges designed especially for kids aged 3 to 7.

The TreeTop Juniors begin with a course that is low to the ground, so the kids can build up their confidence before moving on to harder courses.  If they’re ready to move on, they can try more challenging courses where they can glide through the treetops while suspended securely in the canopy. 

Each session lasts for 2 hours, where the kids can do as many courses as they like. 

Hours: Sessions are held at weekends and during school holidays at 9 am,  11.30 am and 2 pm

Price: Kids $35

TreeTop Canyon Flyer

The Canyon Flyer is Australia’s largest, highest and fastest guided Zipline Canopy Tour.  This 3 hour guided experience includes 7 zip lines that cross Cedar Creek Canyon at speeds up to 70km per hour, more than 60 metres above the canyon.

We didn’t do this experience – but it sounds amazing!  Definitely keen to do it next time.

To participate, you must be between 40kgs and 120kgs.

Hours: Daily at 10 am to 1 pm

Price: Adults $125 | Kids $105

Thunderegg Crystal Mine

Thunderbird Park is on land that came about some 22 million years ago after the Mount Warning volcanic eruption.  Within all this prehistoric volcanic lava, the kids can go fossicking for thundereggs.  

Each session starts at the Rockshop, with a briefing on how to use the equipment provided and what to look out for. You’re then free to head up to the mine site, which has two levels and start digging.

During our briefing, we were told that some good thundereggs had been found recently in level two – so we headed up there.  The kids started digging straight away, keen to find some thundereggs.

You’re free to take whatever you fill your bucket with.  However, between the four of us, we only filled one bucket.  Some of our group lost interest quickly, while others could have stayed longer.

We then headed back down to the Rockshop, where one of the experienced staff sorted through our bucket and told us all about our discoveries.  He confirmed we had discovered a few thundereggs and recommended four for cutting open.  

It costs just $4 for small thundereggs to be cut open, so we decided to get all four recommended to be cut open.  It was quite exciting to see all the pretty colours of the mineral deposits inside the eggs.

Our tips would be to ensure everyone has their own water bottles.  The day we went wasn’t particularly hot, but it sure is hot on the mine site.

All up, we spent around 1.5 hours on this activity.

Hours: Sessions are held daily from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm

Price: Adults $29 ($15 if just watching) | Kids $19 (free under 5)| Family pass $96 (2A+3C)

If you don’t have time or the inclination to go thunderegg fossicking, you can take part in a short session of crystal and gem panning.

The kids can place their special panning trays in the running water and then fossick for their very own crystal treasures.

Hours: Sessions are held daily from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm

Price: $15 per person

Dig IT

Hands down, everyone’s favourite activity during our stay at Thunderbird Park was Dig IT.

I can’t imagine anyone, child or adult, that wouldn’t want to experience Dig IT!  This is Australia’s very first mini excavator park where you can operate real excavator machinery across four zones.

These are 1.14 true scale, fully hydraulic machines weighing approximately 30+ kilos.  

When we turned up for our two hour session, we were quite surprised that we were the only group with teenage kids.  Generally, all the kids were little ones; I’d guess around 5 – some even much younger!

The sessions start with the kids getting into high vis vests and hard hats, followed by a short safety briefing.  The instructor also walks everyone through everything you need to know to operate the machinery safely. 

Our session was pretty busy, so we were split into four groups and then headed straight up to the Dig IT Zone.  Each group starts on one of the four zones.

Our group started on the Claw and Croc Zone, where the kids had to stack and move tyres with a huge claw attachment and then try to hook floating Crocs.  

Next, we moved onto the RC Zone, where you can use remote control machines like dozers, dump trucks, excavators and rear loaders.  Here, the kids can either work together to load dump trucks or work alone driving the trucks around.

The third zone was everyone’s favourite, the Dig IT zone – where you simply get to dig up huge buckets of dirt!  A close second favourite was the Demolition Zone, where the kids swung around a wrecking ball to knock over towers.

Within each zone, staff are on hand to give the kids instructions on operating the machinery.  

For young ones, parents can go and stand on a deck next to the excavator to help the kids.  For kids under 5 though, they must sit on a parent’s lap inside the excavator (no additional charge for the adult in these cases).

Depending on how many people are in your group will depend on how long you get a turn on each machine.  While the little kids are waiting their turn, they can play in a few sand pit areas, so don’t worry about kids losing interest between zones.

Our session was at 8.30 am on a Saturday and it was packed!  We walked past at the same time Sunday morning and barely anyone was there – so keep this in mind when deciding what session time to book.

When the kids complete each zone, they get their induction cards market off, which they can then pose with proudly at the end, showing they’ve been fully inducted into the Dig IT worksite.

Hours: Sessions are 2 hours and held daily from 8.30 am, 10.30 am, 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm

Price: $55 per person

Laser Skirmish

You may have played laser skirmish before, but you have played in the Gold Coast Hinterland, where you get a scenic yet authentic jungle warfare experience.  Here you can stalk through the jungle (well, rainforest really), using the trees and bushes to take cover from enemy fire while hunting and eliminating enemy players.  

There are no age restrictions on who can play laser skirmish, but it’s recommended that an adult accompany anyone under 6.

We didn’t get time to play laser skirmish while staying at Thunderbird Park – but the location certainly does look pretty cool!

Hours: Session times vary – so check directly with the park

Price: Varies but starts at $41 per person in a public session for up to 9 people

Adventure Mini Golf

What family doesn’t love a round of mini golf??  I thought the teenagers might consider themselves too old to play mini golf, but this was one activity they were keen to try.

The Adventure Mini Golf at Thunderbird Park is a 9 hole course and it’s pretty fun with water hazards, rock traps, bridges, bunkers and other obstacles you’ll need to overcome before claiming victory.

One unique thing this mini golf course has that I haven’t seen before is each green has three holes – one for beginners, intermediate players and the experts.  This is a great idea to even up the competition between adults and little ones.

Hours: Sunday to Wednesday from 8 am to 5 pm | Thursday to Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm

Price: Adults $12 | Kids $9 | Family pass $39 (2A+2C)


If you’ve ever wanted to try pickleball – here’s your chance, as the park has competition standard pickleball courts.

There is also a small basketball court, which while our basketball obsessed teenager we had with us didn’t rate – he certainly spent a lot of time down there shooting hoops over the weekend.

Hours: Daily from 8 am to 5 pm

Price: Court hire is $10 per hour and includes all necessary equipment.

Bird Feeding

Given the location of Thunderbird Park, it’s not surprising that the property attracts many birds.  Here you can see rainbow lorikeets, the rare Albert’s Lyrebird, bowerbirds, butcher birds, and wedge tailed eagles.

Every day at 2 pm, you can see the birds up closer as they are fed by the park’s staff.  We didn’t get there unfortunately during our stay – too busy doing all the other activities – but have done something similar in other locations and its a great experience for everyone.

Rock Pools

Thanks to a proportion of Cedar Creek flowing through Thunderbird Park, there are several natural rock pools where you can take the kids for a bit of a splash.  Keep in mind though, that being natural rock pools, the water level will depend on recent rainfall.

It’s recommended to wear reef shoes while using the rock pools to avoid any cuts to your feet.

Cedar Creek Falls

If you follow Cedar Creek a little further, you’ll be rewarded with seeing the beautiful Cedar Creek Falls.  While not actually on the property of Thunderbird Park, the falls are just a short walk away.

Cedar Creek Falls is one of Mount Tamborine’s most popular tourist attractions.  The falls are lovely, with the water cascading over the rock formations, creating several natural rock pools below.  

The rock pools are a popular swimming spot on a hot summer’s day – but be warned, the water is usually very cold!

We walked to the falls from Thunderbird Park and it took us about 20 minutes to reach the falls.  A path from the park leads you to the road, which you follow until you get to the official walkway to the waterfalls.

Find out more about visiting Cedar Creek here.

Accommodation at Thunderbird Park

To enjoy all the different activities at Thunderbird Park, it’s a good idea to stay for at least a night or two.  Cedar Creek Lodges offers accommodation on the property and a range of options are provided.

Below is a brief overview of the various accommodation options available.


If you like the idea of connecting with nature that camping brings but don’t have your own camping gear or prefer to camp with modern conveniences, then the Woodlands glamping tents are well worth considering.

Not only do you get a luxurious tent with everything you need for a wonderful night’s sleep, but outside, you have your very own deck complete with a BBQ, seating, a fire pit and a private shower and toilet.

Inside the tents are a king size bed and the family tens have an additional two single beds.  There is also a TV, kettle, toaster, microwave, chairs, heater, fans, sofa bed crockery, cutlery, glassware, tea and coffee, toiletries and linen.

And if that is not enough for you, you can upgrade to a luxe tent with your very own plunge pool!  This is where we stayed during our weekend break, and saying we loved it is a complete understatement!  This is such a fun style of accommodation for families.

There are 9 standard Woodland tents (including 5 family tents) starting at $265 per night and 3 Woodland luxe tents (including 1 family tent) starting at $299 per night.

An additional person can be added for $20 per night using the single sofa bed – so the standard tents can accommodate up to 3 people, while the family tents can accommodate up to 5 people.

Check in for the Woodlands tents is 4 pm and check out is 12 pm.  We really loved the later check out time as it gave us time to squeeze in another activity before leaving Sunday morning.

Find our more about the glamping tents here.

Rooms and Lodges

There is a range of different style rooms and lodges, from luxury hotel rooms to spacious self-contained apartments and spa suites.

Creek Lodges

Located along the edge of Cedar Creek are the stunning and secluded Creek Lodges.  There are 10 gorgeous little cabin style lodges that each accommodate up to five people.  

The Creek Lodges each have 2 bedrooms, each with king beds. They also feature a living room with a wood fire heater, a kitchenette with a dining area, a spa bath and a deck overlooking the creek and rainforest.  These lodges can accommodate up to five people, with the fifth person using a roll away bed.

The Creek Lodges are also dog friendly – see more about this below.

The Creek Lodges start at $280 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Forest Lodges

Located at the far end of the property among the campsites are the Forest Lodges.  There are three of these two bedroom lodges which can accommodate up to four people.  

The lodges have a fully equipped kitchen, living area, dining area, air conditioning, and outdoor deck complete with a BBQ and a fire pit.

The Forest Lodges start at $350 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Garden and Brumby Lodge

Located in the centre of the property – a short walk to all the facilities – is the Log House.  The Log House has two apartments – the Garden Lodge and the Brumby Lodge.

The Garden Lodge has 2 bedrooms, each with king beds and their own TV and en-suites. It also features a living room, a small kitchen, a dining area and an outdoor area with a dining setting, BBQ and an open campfire pit.  This lodge can accommodate up to five people, with the fifth person using a roll away bed.

The Garden Lodge starts at $325 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

The Brumby Lodge has 3 bedrooms, 2 with king beds and one with a single bed. It also features a living room, a kitchen, a dining area and an outdoor area with a dining setting, BBQ and an open campfire pit.  This lodge can accommodate up to six people, with the sixth person using a roll away bed.

The Brumby Lodge starts at $350 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Mill Lodge

Located in the centre of the property, alongside Cedar Creek and just a short walk to all the facilities, is the Mill House.  With the ability to sleep up to 8 people, this is the biggest accommodation option on the property.

The Mill Lodge has 4 bedrooms, 3 with king beds and 1 with 2 single beds.  It also features a huge living room with an open fireplace, a kitchen, a dining area, 2 bathrooms (1 with a bath) and a large deck with a dining setting, BBQ and lounge.  In the private garden area is a fire pit.  

The Mill Lodge starts at $565 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Hillside Lodges and Hotel Rooms

Located on the hill, looking across the entire property, are the Hillside Lodges and hotel rooms.  This accommodation is split among three separate buildings, which have lovely gardens and outdoor seating scattered around them.

Premium Rooms

There are 8 Premium Rooms, which are hotel style rooms and feature 2 queen size beds, a TV, a bar fridge, a kettle, a toaster and a microwave.  

Rooms start at $160 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Executive Rooms

There are 10 Executive Rooms, which are hotel style rooms and feature a queen size bed and a king size bed, a TV, a bar fridge, a kettle, a toaster and a microwave.  

Rooms start at $160 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Rosella Room

There is just 1 Rosella Room, an accessible hotel style room, which features 2 queen size beds, a TV, a bar fridge, a kettle, a toaster and a microwave.  

Rooms start at $160 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Colonial Spa Rooms

There are 2 Colonial Spa Rooms, which are studio style rooms featuring a king bed, a TV, a bar fridge, a kettle, a toaster, a microwave and a 2 person oval spa bath.  A third person can stay in this room in the existing sofa bed at an additional cost.

Rooms start at $180 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Chandelier Spa Rooms

There are 3 Chandelier Spa Rooms, which are studio style rooms featuring 2 queen beds, a TV, a bar fridge, a kettle, a toaster, a microwave and a 2 person oval spa bath.  

Rooms start at $180 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Heritage Spa Rooms

There are 3 Heritage Spa Rooms, which are studio style rooms featuring a king size bed, a TV, a bar fridge, a kettle, a toaster, a microwave and a 2 person oval spa bath.  A third person can stay in this room in the existing sofa bed at an additional cost.

Rooms start at $180 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Courtyard Spa Room

There is just 1 Courtyard Spa Room, a studio style room featuring a four poster king bed, a TV, a kitchenette, a dining table and a private courtyard complete with a BBQ, firepit and spa.  

A third person can stay in this room in a rollaway bed at an additional cost.

Rooms start at $295 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Courtyard Spa Room Luxe

There is just 1 Courtyard Spa Room, a studio style room featuring a king bed, a TV, a kitchenette, a bathtub, and a private courtyard complete with a BBQ, firepit and spa.  

Rooms start at $295 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.

Lorikeet Lodge

The Lorkieet Lodge has 3 bedrooms, each with a king bed.  It also features a living room, a kitchen with a dining area, another separate dining area and a bathroom with a bath.

There is the option of adding an additional two guests to the Lorkieet Lodge with a rollaway bed.

The Lorikeet Lodge starts at $265 per night.  Check in is 2 pm and check out is 10 am.


Campers will be pleased to know they can pitch a tent or set up their caravan while visiting Thunderbird Park.  It’s such a great place to camp, being surrounded by the subtropical rainforest.

Powered and non powered sites are available, as well as a range of great amenities, including a camp kitchen.

Non powered campsites start at $52 for two people and powered sites start at $70 for two people.  Additional guests are $10 per person per night.

Click here for a full guide on camping at Thunderbird Park.

Dining options at Thunderbird Park

Thunderbird Park has two dining options – the more casual Terrace Kisoak or the Rainforest Restaurant for fine dining.

Terrace Kiosk

For a casual meal, head to the Terrace Kiosk.  This outdoor kiosk serves breakfast, lunch, and other snacks, drinks, and coffee daily.

The menu here is simple but is sure to cater to even the fussiest of eaters.  You’ll find an assortment of bagels ($11 to $15), burgers ($13 to $15), salads ($16 to $18), hot chips ($6 to $10) and pizzas ($17 to $19.50) as well as a basic kids menu ($9 to $14).  

The Terrace Kiosk is open daily from 7.30 am to 5 pm.  There are extended hours during Queensland school holidays.

Keep in mind the last orders are at 4.30 pm and they are very strict about this – we arrived at 4.33 pm to be told we couldn’t order any hot chips.

Rainforest Restaurant and Lounge Bar

If you want to eat dinner while staying at Thunderbird Park, there is the Rainforest Restaurant, which is also open for breakfast and lunch.

The dishes at the Rainforest Restaurant are designed to be shared – so you can order a range of small plates (for example, lemon pepper squid $18, crab $19 or bao buns $18), large plates (for example, pan seared snapper $41, sirloin $44 or chorizo and prawn pasta $38), as well as and sides (for example beetroot salad $16, fries $13 or flatbread $11).

There is also a relatively small kids’ menu serving things such as spaghetti bolognaise, fish and chips or chicken nuggets ($13 each).

The restaurant offers a daily buffet breakfast for $32 per adult and $16 per child.

The Rainforest Restaurant is open daily for breakfast from 7.30 am to 10 am, lunch on the weekends from 11.30 am to 3 pm and for dinner from Thursday to Saturday from 5 pm to 8 pm. There are extended hours during Queensland school holidays.

It’s pet friendly!

Not only is Thunderbird Park kid friendly, but it is also pet friendly too!  Dogs are welcome to come along on your family trip and stay with you in one of the self contained creek lodges.

If you’re bringing your dog to Thunderbird Park, they just cost $50 extra to your booking.  You can bring up to two dogs with you.

Thunderbird Park – our verdict

We had a wonderful weekend stay at Thunderbird Park – it’s somewhere I’ve wanted to go for like forever and I’m so pleased we finally made it there.

There is just so much to do here – with activities for kids of all ages – so it really doesn’t matter how old your kids are – you will find something they will all love.

There is also such a great range of accommodation available – at all budgets so whether you’re on a tight budget or willing to splurge a little, you’ll find the perfect place to stay.  I really like how all accommodation options include a microwave, toaster and kettle, so even at the entry level price range, you can still prepare some basic food for the kids, which helps save money.

So, if you want to arrange a super fun weekend away with the kids – don’t hesitate to book yourself a stay down at Thunderbird Park – you absolutely won’t regret it!


Please note that we were guests at Thunderbird Park, but this in no way has shaped the above article in any way shape or form.

Hopefully, you found the article on Thunderbird Park helpful. Other articles you may be interested in include things to do in Mount Tamborine, where to stay in Mount Tamborine with kids as well as great weekend away ideas from Brisbane. 


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