Exploring Queensland: Tamborine Mountain
The slopes of Tamborine Mountain are covered with dense stands of Kauri and Hoop pine, cedars, flooded gums and strangler figs. When the area first became accessible to European settlers in the 1870s, these magnificent rainforest trees attracted the attention of timber cutters.
Among the earliest arrivals on the mountain was the Curtis family who, in 1888, built a water wheel and steam driven timber mill on Cedar Creek. They dammed the water each night and released it in the morning, creating enough force to turn the wheel which in turn generated steam to power the machinery in the mill.
Luckily for the rainforest, the mill only operated for a few years before low timber prices caused it to close in the 1890s. In 1908 parts of the mountain were declared Queensland’s first national park, guaranteeing the safety of the trees in the forest.
While the water wheel and timber mill are long gone, the Curtis family name carries on. Downstream from where the mill was located the water of Cedar Creek tumbles over a narrow rocky ledge festooned with ferns and moss. It fills a deep pool at the base of the falls before making its way further down the mountain. Curtis Falls, named in memory of the family, is surrounded by the beautiful trees which first brought them here at the end of the 19th century.