Sunset Avocado review, North Tamborine, Queensland: Weekend away

Our rating

4.5 out of 5

Simon Holt discovers that modern B&Bs have a few advantages which can't even be found in top-end hotels. Personalised service is just the beginning.


Expansive countryside views are spectacular. 


Finding a book isn't the problem. Finding time to read it might be. 


Avocado Sunset, North Tamborine, Gold Coast hinterland.


Perched on the side of a mountain, one side of the guest house has – for as far as the eye can see – a whole lot of nothing, uninterrupted views of lakes and planes of the Scenic Rim with a foreground of manicured lawns, kookaburra-filled gums and surrounding sub-tropical rainforest. On the other is a road which stretches less than two kilometres to North Tamborine village, a small supermarket, bottle shop, a few essentials such as a hairdresser and post office, and a few dining options. On the way, a distillery is a temptation. Owners Cheryl and Richard Wistow are champions for the North Tamborine area and will proudly share their favourite tourist attractions.



"I'll travel anywhere, but don't ever book me into a B&B," a friend once murmured. She hadn't been to a new-age bed and breakfast, it seemed, and clung to a long-held stigma of the whole concept – a gathering of older folk sipping tea in a common room, passing the owner's kitchen on the way to the bedroom, wrapped in towels while waiting for shared bathrooms. The modern-day B&B is far removed, and Avacado Sunset is setting new standards. Four rooms stand alone, each with spectacular views and privacy. Of couples filling the home on weekends, many are young, paying considerably less than they would in the premium end of the hotel market.


When describing the luxuries of Avocado Sunset, it's best to make comparisons with the top end of the hotel market. Views – tick, and uninterrupted by other buildings. Spa bath – tick, deep enough and wide enough for two people. Open bathroom – tick, with heated towel rack, spacious floor, and rain shower with its own unique design. In-room facilities – tick, with large flat-screen television, four-poster bed with mosquito net, sliding doors, phone dock, two lounge chairs and a small table. Mini bar – tick, with soft drink, Kit Kats and water included in the price. Balcony – tick, with a comfortable two-person outdoor setting. Most hotels have a lobby, and here it is the common room, which at night lights up with dozens of candles and a central fireplace. Add that to a broad selection of games, movies and books, and a dining table where hot breakfast is served – again, it's all part of the deal.


The Wistows warned that meals at Three Little Pigs in North Tamborine village were large. But when a meringue comes out the size of a softball, it's a fair sign that nobody's going home hungry from their table which sits near a central fireplace and bookshelves filled with pig-like ornaments and memorabilia. Two entree-size meals will be ample for most, leaving room for the grand finale of meringue with berries and salty caramel cream. Back at Avocado Sunset, a hot meal starts the day – eggs any way, bacon, mushrooms, beans and an obligatory slice of avocado from the trees in the backyard.  


Tamborine Mountain has been set up for weekend tourism. Gallery walk has plenty of restaurants from which to choose, but it's always nice on a Sunday afternoon to pop in for a dose of nostalgia. Witches Chase Cheese Factory isn't by name a place you might expect a beer garden. But about 1pm, a bloke called Adrian kicks into his set with a rendition of Gangajang's Sounds of Then. Soon after, he loops a backing beat from his guitar, plays an accompanying tune and masters the sounds of a didgeridoo – simultaneously. A distinctly Australian set, a beer brewed on-site and lunch made from locally-sourced produce. It's what all good old-fashioned Sunday sessions are made of.


For the sake of pure value, it's difficult not to rate this B&B extremely highly. Rooms are as well, if not better appointed than some of the best hotel rooms on the Gold Coast, and the service is immaculate and personal. One of the biggest issues with B&Bs is that noise carries, particularly when bedrooms are separated by no more than a house wall. But here, each room is buffered by a storeroom, spare bathroom, kitchen or the common room. It's a true couple's getaway. 


Avocado Sunset, 186 Beacon Road, North Tamborine. The Daintree and Safari-themed rooms have the best views and go for $295 on weekends. The other two rooms are $245. But check the website for specials – as low as $160 a night for three nights mid-week. Rates include breakfast. Phone (07) 5545 2365, see

The writer was a guest of Avocado Sunset.