Mister Tamborine Man

Just 45 minutes from the raucous theme parks and gaudy casinos of Queensland's Gold Coast is one of Australia's best-kept secrets — and possibly its finest distiller. The Tamborine Mountain Distillery, tel: (61-7) 5545 3452, uses organically grown fruits and botanicals — such as raspberry, pink grapefruit, wild peppermint, melon, jaboticaba and lemon myrtle — to make an award-winning range of liqueurs, schnapps and eaux de vies sold in hand-painted bottles.

Garrulous owner Michael Ward welcomes visitors like an old friend and explains the distillery's traditional methods (first developed by Benedictine monks). Despite the arrival of truckloads of appreciative tourists...

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