Wednesday, 26 February 2014

And now we are five!

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My brother Jim was visiting from far north Queensland, so it was wonderful that he bravely joined us  for this week's adventure.


Our destination was the final of the walks in Brisbane Forest Park. After our 7.30am start and battles with peak hour traffic, our tongues were hanging out for coffee when I pulled up in the carpark for what I believed to be our starting point. Alas, the name on my walking notes did not match those of the park we were in, so we bundled back into the car and drove another 20 mins on the steep windy road, arriving at the Maialia picnic grounds. It was at this point that I realised that the initial park was where I had wanted to be, but had confused the names, hence the wrong notes.

We had obviously been meant to walk here again and another great day of walking down under commenced, once we had shown Jenny our appreciation of her time and effort in providing a delicious date and nut loaf. She assured us that there were only a few calories in the ingredients.

 The Rainforest circuit and Greenes Falls was tackled first, with the Westside track after lunch.

It was a very hot steamy day, so we were very grateful that the canopy gave us protection from the sun's full strength. This week it was rivulets of sweat which left us saturated.




We never cease to be amazed at the construction of the tracks. There is much zig zagging as the gentlest gradient is found.



On our previous visit, this log beckoned me to walk its length, but as it was damp, it was with great restraint that I had declined. With brother Jim here on this occasion, there was no restraint at all.



I was delighted, that with some coaxing and assistance from Jim, the others joined me and some nonsense shots followed.



A short time later Jim was also the instigator of these fun shots. He can definitely come again.



As always, we were fascinated by nature's creativity - the purple fruit of the quandong tree, orange corals and lacey flower like fungi. 





The westside track was much steeper and sheer, but on occasions, gave us views to the distant ranges.



Storm damage was again evident.

Birdlife was abundant and colourful. Laurel spotted this blue skink and captured him on film, but the bandicoots [small wallabies] scuttled away quickly.




On our previous visit, we were extremely fortunate to be beside this strangler fig, as the sun's afternoon
rays shone into its interior. A one in a million chance I'm sure and not to be repeated today.
    


                    Our 'burning tree'.

                                     

We were delighted that the showers and leeches had held off this week. Alas, not quite true. Jenny discovered a leech as we returned to the car. She had to keep pressure on the spot for the duration of the journey home and then some. On our return, Jim found 2 when we found a pool of blood under his chair, where he was drinking his cup of tea. Unfortunately for Jim, he required antibiotics several days later, as they had become infected. We still all agreed that it was another fabulous day in the great outdoors.

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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Walking Box Circuit Trail - Lamington National Park.

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Wednesday morning we passed through Canungra to take the winding, steep road to O'Reilly's, in the Lamington National Park. Coffee was enjoyed at the Kamarun Lookout with its 180 degree panorama of the valley below. We were delighted to have our number increase by 1, with the lovely Laurel now having time to join us. A little nonsense ensued, while we took our 'Walking Down Under' photo.
Who forgot to bring their umbrella?


Early in the walk, Laurel required expert tuition on how to lengthen her poles.

I have visited O'Reillys on many occasions with overseas visitors, to share the beauty of Lamington's rainforest and its abundant, colourful, bird life. There's never been time to do a walk longer than that of Moran's trail. In addition, I don't recall anyone mentioning the Box circuit, let alone stating it was easily accessible and a must do. I stumbled upon it via a new 'what to in Brisbane' site and was hesitant, as walking notes were hard to come by.
Such a waste, and I now look forward to exploring a number of other trails in this area.

Again the forecast was for possible showers and given our previous good fortune, we assumed our luck would hold. Some of us were more prepared than others, however 'rain' was just one of the many ELEMENTS that made this walk 'down under' just amazing.

 

A variety of footpaths took us on a graded zig zag trail down to Canungra Creek and its waterfalls.






 Thanks laurel



Impressive towering trees.


Awe inspiring, soaring Brush Box trees up to 1500 years old. I can't believe I did not know about them.



Astounding root masses of the Brush Box.





Endless varieties of sensational algaes.












Lianas, palms and dense undergrowth.






A rocky, gurgling creek and tumbling waterfalls, making a perfect spot for lunch.















Eerie moments when the moss and roots took on strange forms.



Fun and laughter of tricky crossings.









4 hours later we returned to O'Reilly's rather damp and on the constant lookout for leeches, who were very determined to come home with us.


Driving back down the mountain, we were delighted to spot numerous wallabies, who quite happily posed for the camera. A special finale to another  spectacular day "walking down under with friends".

 Thanks Laurel


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