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Published May 29th 2019
All the magic of the mountain, all the comforts of home
What's better than going out to dinner with old friends? A stay at Bank House on Tamborine Mountain with old friends, that's what. My husband and I, and six of our oldest friends recently spent three nights at the beautifully-appointed, conveniently-situated Bank House. And my advice is that you should gather your friends and head on up the mountain, too, for a grown-ups' group getaway in the luxurious yet homey surrounds of Bank House.
I'm always surprised at just how close Tamborine Mountain really is. From our place on Brisbane's south side, it seems that we've no sooner packed the car and headed off down the highway than we're ascending the mountain's serpentine road, while the temperature drops a few degrees and spectacular views can be seen through the trees. Forty minutes and we were at our destination.
Bank House is a delightful mountain cottage, once the village's bank (hence its name), situated in the heart of North Tamborine on Main Street. It is one of two additional accommodation options offered by the lovely people at Witches Falls Cottages (see Roy's review here). And I do mean lovely. As an example, my husband's work delayed our departure so I notified David, who promptly offered to make a dinner reservation for us at one of the restaurants close by. It was a warm and appreciated touch and a promise of things to come.
While Witches Falls Cottages are for romantic couples getaways, Bank House, and its sister, Sky House, cater for groups of families and friends who want to sample all the magic of the mountain en masse.
We picked up our keys from David at Witches Falls Cottages on a quiet Monday early evening and headed back to Main Street to see what Bank House had to offer. And we were pleased to discover its many delights. From the crisply painted, welcoming weatherboard exterior to the spacious modern kitchen and large bedrooms and bathrooms, it's obvious that the former bank's renovation has been thoughtfully considered and well-executed. It's a place that manages to be both big and boutique, hotel quality yet homey and quaint.
We entered through the rear door and walked straight into a large combined kitchen, dining area and cosy lounge area. The walls are all lined with bright white painted tongue and groove, giving a cosy cottage ambience. The kitchen is large, with all the mod cons, implements and appliances you'll need for your stay. Being a group of coffee lovers we appreciated the packet of local brew that was part of the supplied provisions, as well as tea and sugar. We also loved the wide white coffee cups and the large fridge that had plenty of room for our smallgoods, cheesy comestibles and wine. Well, what's time away with friends without cheese and wine? The kitchen island and small back deck (complete with barbecue) are also great places to gather.
The lounge area is relaxed and comfortable with two lounges, a pair of chairs, a large coffee table, bookcase with DVDs and books for your enjoyment and the pièce de résistance, a wood-burning stove, perfect for gathering with wine and cheese (there it is again). Logs, kindling and fire starters are supplied and instructions for lighting and operating are helpfully supplied. We particularly enjoyed one evening when we played a game of Yahtzee (no, not on the computer - real Yahtzee with real people!) around the coffee table in front of the toasty fire. There is also a large screen TV.
There are four bedrooms (one king bed, three queen beds), two with ensuites, and an additional bathroom. The beds and pillows are luxurious and we all agreed that they were hotel quality - it wasn't just the bracing mountain air that ensured a perfect night's sleep. They are adorned with fresh white sheets and colourful bed linen and flanked by bedside tables and reading lamps. Wardrobes and drawers ensure that there's plenty of room for all your gear, even for a long stay.
The bathrooms are also hotel quality, with gleaming white tiles and modern chrome fixtures including oversize rain shower heads that deliver piping hot showers to refresh you after your brisk rainforest walk (or too much wine and cheese). Two of the bathrooms even featured carved cherubs on the wall, which I wasn't too sure about in the beginning, but more on the cherubs later.
Another of the big tick features of Bank House is its proximity to everything. Smack bang in the middle of Main Street you are just a short walk away from a bounty of dining options. We can personally recommend the rustic Italian fare at Belvedere Restaurant and delicious coffee and cake from Spice of Life Cafe and Deli (you can't have wine and cheese all the time).
Convenient location. Drone imagery by Cyclops Drone Services.
A visit to Bank House on Tamborine Mountain is a tonic for all your ills. It's a great destination, no matter the time of year. In summer you'll appreciate the cooler temperatures (and possibly Bank House's air conditioners), the autumn colours make a dazzling display and spring will tempt you with its flowers and foliage. But my favourite time is winter. Tamborine Mountain is the closest thing south east Queensland has to a winter resort. Ancient rainforests combine with glorious vistas, bracing mountain air and log fire ambience. And you'll get all that and more at Bank House.