Death of the Sentinel


Since 1925 a large rock formation has stood watch over motorists driving up to the mountain from Tamborine.

The Sentinel, as it became known, was a piece of ancient basalt standing beside the upper S bend, part of a larger boulder too heavy to move when the road was constructed.

The grand structure became a landmark, a welcome home to mountain residents as they made their way up the windy road.

On May 23 the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) removed the landmark, leaving residents in shock and grieving.

In 2021 TMR engaged a specialist heritage stonemason to put a brace on to it. 

However, they said further cracks had since appeared and they made the decision to remove the unstable parts.

A spokesperson for the Department said during removal works, the top section of the Sentinel shattered. Once the top section was removed, the extent of the cracking became evident with it extending all the way down to the base, resulting in more unstable sections requiring removal.

The unstable sections of the Sentinel were removed due to the potential safety risk to road users.

A portion of the base section of the Sentinel will remain in-situ.

Mountain residents young and old have expressed grief and disappointment at the sudden removal.

Vanessa Moore said her grandfather told her 50 years ago to always say a greeting to the Sentinel and you will get home safely.

Others have described the removal as criminal and outrageous.

Six-year-old Grace Epps was in disbelief and started crying. 

Her father, Brenden, said the loss of the familiar structure left her greatly upset and realising others would be equally affected he contacted Vanessa Bull to organise an event with the Tamborine Mountain Show Society.

A free sausage sizzle was put on attended by about 30 people.

Vanessa said she was absolutely distressed by the removal and was keen to give the community a chance to come together to express their grief and heal.

She has requested the rock be given to the Show Society for it to organise sessions with artists and sculptures to put forward ideas on what could be done which would then be put to the community.

However, she said there are four other groups or individuals who have also requested the to have the rock. 

The spokesperson said the TMR is currently storing the rocks from the Sentinel at a safe location and is in the process of finding a suitable location.