Definately try and hire a car and visit the Gold Coast, it's a great place for relaxing and/or shopping and if you like theme parks, we have 5!
Dreamworld (my fave!)
White Water World (next to Dreamworld)
Mid-June2009: Restaurant is being refurbished. Check before making a visit!
Mid 2010 - now a Mercure Property - Clear Mountain Lodge
564 Clear Mountain Road 4500 CLEAR MOUNTAIN - AUSTRALIA
Hotel code : 7580 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the best views of Brisbane, the “Brisbane Range”, Moreton Bay and beyond can be had from the Clear Mountain Lodge. Their restaurant , "Mandy's on the Mountain", is aptly named.
Clear Mountain is located to the north west of the Brisbane city limits about 45 minutes drive from the city centre. As a tourist visiting Brisbane, one would probably not drive that far just for a meal but the view is worth a visit especially if it's part of a tour of Brisbane's environs.
We have eaten here several times and have dropped in for a coffee and a look at the scenery a couple of times as well.
Bookings are essential, contact (07) 3298 5100.
There is plenty of parking. Wheel chair access.
Ambience: spectacular views with a choice of dining inside or out on the verandah.
Favorite Dish: I have recently deleted specific review of the restaurant after new owners have taken over.
Hope to visit and re-post up-to-date review soon
Getting There: Go to Albany Creek. Take South Pine Road north. After South Pine River, turn left at the 2nd set of lights into Eatons Crossing Road.(27º20'10.08"S, 152º57'39.08"E)
It's 5 kms west to Clear Mtn Road to the right. 6 kms to the top of Clear Mt.(27º18'18.75"S, 152º53'05.94"E)
Note- Sep '09: Visited Topiaries twice this month. Ownership has changed hands recently and we wished to check out if it was as good as it was. The chef has not changed and meals were as good as ever. Peter, the new owner, is the upfront manager and , if anything, the dining experience is better than it was because of his attention.
Note - Sep 2010: We have dined at Topiaries a couple of times during the last six months and enjoyed the experiences immensely. It's our "local" fine dining locale especially for celebrations.
We have enjoyed the food at Topiaries at Beaumont for several years, visiting three or four times a year for dinner. The restaurant is part of a facility, Beaumont, offering catered events such as wedding receptions including accommodation. We have been to dinner recently and madam attended a Christmas Cocktail Party recently as well. We have never been disappointed with the venue which has been upgraded recently to be better than it was. The restaurant is located high on a ridge overlooking the Samford Valley and the dining and outdoor areas feature those rural views.
There is a comfortable air-conditioned bar area with a real clubby atmosphere for pre-dinner drinks.
Chef , Troy Conners provides a menu with fewer choices than many restaurants but with something for everyone. There are several bready dip or brushetta starters and a choice of five entrees including soup ($9), Mushroom Caps ($12), Calamarie ($12), Fried Camembert with berry compote & fruit loaf wafers ($12)
Mains include: Oven Baked Australian Barramundi ($40), Stuffed Chicken breast ($42), Rack of Lamb ($42), Fillet Mignon ($45), Beaumont Tower ($49). The latter being a beef and reef combination of fillet steak, prawns, scallops, Moreton Bay Bugs served on roasted capsicum& eggplant, green beans and mash.
Four Desserts ($12-15) and three cheese platters ($15-20).
Wine is available by glass and bottle. I was impressed by the affordability of a lot of the wines. There is a choice of ten whites and ten reds ranging in price per bottle $20 to $48. Glass prices are $6 to $13 (the latter for a French white). Australian Sparkling $32 & $38.
Champagne Billecarte- Salmon $158. There are up market wines available from the cellar if you have loose change to spare.
Wheel chair access. Parking in the grounds.
Staff are friendly and knowledgeable
opening hours: • Monday - Tuesday: Closed
• Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: Dinner from 6pm
• Saturday: Breakfast from 8am (Bookings only) Dinner from 6pm
• Sunday: Breakfast from 8am. Lunch from 11am.
Favorite Dish: Madam chose the Australian Barramundi main course served on parmesan mash, spinach and Hollandaise sauce after a Brushetta starter. (if given a choice go for the Oz fish: not the SE Asian stuff!!) He had Calamari to begin and some of the Brushetta, such was the generosity of the serving. Main was Fillet Mignon on creamy potato puree with broccolini & red wine jus served medium rare as ordered meeting my high expectations.
We both agreed that everything was expertly cooked and presented.
With 3 glasses of wine for him and 2 for her the bill came to $130. Not the least expensive place to dine but the venue and the quality of food are top notch.
This dining experience can be coupled with some wine tasting and includes a drive in the countryside and mountain ranges near Brisbane. Ocean View is at 450 metres above sea level and there are vantage points offering views of Moreton Bay and beyond. Although the Estate does not offer these extensive views, it does have pleasant rural outlooks over the vineyard and the cellar door restaurant has been built with windows and outdoor seating to take best advantage of same.
Check the website for information on getting there and on the history and the range of wines made.
Accommodation is available on-site for those wishing to make a rural retreat with wine and fine dining.
Wheel chair access is very good.
Caution: As you approach the gate into the property, give plenty of warning to following traffic you are about to turn right . It is a narrow road & turn-off is on a bend in the road!
Favorite Dish: My choice of main was Duck Confit ($32)served on roti with greens on the side. It was as good as I have had elsewhere and I would recommend it to anyone.
My companions tried the fish of the day which was swordfish on asparagus, beans and broccoli ($28). They thoroughly enjoyed this dish as well.
Sides at $7. Entrees about $22. Desserts $16. Wines $15-30 per bottle. By the glass at table $6 & $6.50. Wine Tastings are free.
Note: dec '08. Tried the Calamari during my most recent visit. Excellent!!!!
Fri & Sat - 10am til late (lunch & dinner);Sun - 8.30am til 9pm (breakfast, lunch & dinner);
Mon - 10am til 9pm (lunch & dinner); Wine tasting available all day
There isn't just 1 good shop in Brisbane for souvenirs, there's a handful! If you are in Brisbane it is inevitable that you will visit the Queen Street Mall as it is the main part of Brisbane city. There are lots of shops in here and I noticed recently how reasonable the price of souvenirs were.
Of course living in Brisbane I wasn't interested in buying anything but when I visit my relatives in London I will buy souvenirs to take them and I thought it would also be good to share what I have found with anybody visiting our city.
What to buy: [All prices are in AUD]
$1-2 - Keyrings, Magnets, Shot glasses, Coasters, Small soft toys, Pens
$3-5 - Medium soft toys, hats, stubby coolers, mugs, calendars, thongs/pluggers (shoes)
$8-10 - T-shirts, hats, large soft toys, leather wallets, chocolates and food items, books
There are of course many different things, some things expensive and some very cheap... but you can definately pick up some great souvenirs here!
What to pay: As little or as much as you like!
Just enjoy the atmosphere. Literally.
The Brisbane River begins its life right here in its North Arm and its South Arm.
Fondest memory: The peacefulness.