TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN STORIES give you an insight into many of the local businesses and characters you will find when you Escape to Tamborine Mountain.



The beautiful views are just one reason people flock to Tamborine Mountain, but it’s one Jilly and Mel Brown have taken full advantage of as the owners of Avocado Sunset Bed & Breakfast. For them, arrival on the mountain is a new beginning, a fresh start as they rise from the ashes of tragedy to embrace a future as bright as the sunset view from which the business takes its very appropriate name. We’re lucky enough to hear their story today.

by Kyle Hitchmough

How did you come to own Avocado Sunset?

J: We bought this in 2021. We had a big B&B in Victoria and it burned to the ground on New Years’ Eve. It was a beautiful old building on 200 acres.

M: We came to the mountain because we saw the business. We were looking for a B&B, anywhere from the southern highlands of Sydney to Noosa in the north. At that particular time, there were three for sale on the mountain. We came to look at them, and we decided on this one.

What kind of facilities do you have here?

M: The house was built in 1965 by the Geissmann family, who are well known up here, and then converted into a guest house probably around the ‘90s. Around the turn of the century it became a B&B. We’re the fourth owners.

J: We live downstairs and there’s four themed suites up here, they’re lovely. They’re very different to your normal aspect B&Bs which usually are fairly bland with a coffeemaker and that’s it! There’s an overflow suite downstairs called the Grotto that we put together with an outside entrance, which is good to have because we have a lot of weddings up here. People will book the whole place for their families.

What are the different themed suites?

J: There’s the Safari suite, which has the safari feel with animal decorations. There’s the Daintree, which is very foresty. There’s also the Mediterranean, with pictures of Greece and Italy, and the Oriental is a double suite with that oriental feel. There’s a communal lounge and dining area with a commercial kitchen, and everyone dines together. People have the opportunity to make new friends, which they do!

You also have an avocado orchard, where the name comes from, correct?

J: We have three acres and about 16 avocado trees in an orchard. The primary pull for this place is the view. The sun sets right outside the window in the summer. It lights the whole sky up, it looks fabulous. Hence the name!

M: In the season, we always put avocado on the breakfasts, and we invariably say that guests can go and pick some of their own. We’ll give them a bag to go on their way!

What kinds of food options do you offer?

M: From the food point of view it’s mainly the breakfast, which is continental or full English. There’s quite an extensive menu. The reviews always mention what a fantastic breakfast it is!

Are any of the suites particularly popular?

J: The two front suites, the Safari and the Daintree, because of the views. They’ve got private balconies of their own, and each of them have a huge double spa, big enough for two people. People like the Oriental suite in the winter because it has a full log-burning fireplace, which we use over winter, as does the Safari.

What goes into the average day here for you?

J: First up it’s breakfast, so the coffee goes on. If people don’t want breakfast, there’s a sign they can hang on the door. We start with a fresh fruit salad, coffee, tea or cereal. Then Mel will come in and he will cook the hot breakfasts from orders. Check-out time is normally about 10. Then we have a massive clean before check-in, so we have to get moving!

M: We’ve finished our check-ins usually by midday, and the rest of the day is free to spend outside, looking after the grounds.

J: When we check people in, we give them an option to go to the distillery to have a free cocktail tasting. We’ve got a really good relationship with them. Any overflow we can’t handle, there’s about 3 or 4 places I will ring to suggest that they go there. Same with dinner, we’ll book a restaurant for them and look after transport to get there. And of course, the main member of this family is a gorgeous ragdoll cat called Leo who runs the place! Everyone adores him, he gets mentioned in all the reviews.Are there any notable trends in your clientele?

J: They’re from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, and lots of people from overseas, every country in the world! We’ve been pretty much everywhere, so we can discuss their country with them! It’s very multicultural. We enjoy people, so it works well for us. The other real big plus with us is we get lots of repeat business.

As locals, what are your opinions on the Tamborine Mountain area and community?

J: We haven’t got a lot of time to get heavily involved in the community, but we put back as much as we can into it. I buy honey in bulk from Funny Honey on Gallery Walk, to support him, and then I’ll sell it here. I give as much business as I can to the other B&Bs on the mountain, since we can’t accommodate everyone. The big plus is the walks, which we feature in our brochure.

M: The daytime activities are really excellent, like the Botanical Gardens.

J: And The Skywalk is fantastic, and Thunderbird Park… Anyone that loves nature, who enjoys taking photos, is spoiled.

What are your favourite things to do in the area?

J: We are pennant bowlers, we love bowling! There’s a bowling club at the bottom of the hill that we joined quite recently. It’s fabulous. We play once a week, and the people down there are delightful. When we’ve got time we walk around the area, too. We go for coffee quite often in the middle of the day. Our favourite coffee place would have to be the Coffee Plantation. We love it there. There’s loads of things to do!

What do you think Avocado Sunset really provides to the area?

M: A very friendly B&B with a wonderful view!

J: And somewhere that gives you the opportunity to stay and get to know the mountain, to look at the businesses around here, go for walks, have dinner out, all that sort of thing. We always go the extra mile! We fill up a complimentary non-alcoholic minibar. Once you’ve booked and paid, there’s no other expenses, just things thrown in for you.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your time here?

J: They were making a TV series up here with Brian Brown and Greta Scacchi called Darby and Joan. Greta Scacchi actually stayed here with her partner in the Mediterranean suite! She wrote a really nice little note for us which I’ve still got. We also had wine with Caroline Gillmer, who was in the show too. She was lovely!

Avocado Sunset Bed & Breakfast

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