May 4, 2009

Another Day in The Hinterland

After a wonderful day of hiking and making new friends during my day in the Lamington National Park this past Sunday, I was invited to join the Bushwalkers Club for another hike they would be doing on Wednesday at Tamborine National Park in the Palm Grove section. Well you know I jumped on this offer not only because it was going to be less than 12k but because if the hike in Lamington was any indication as to what I would be experiencing in Tamborine, I'm There!

So at 7:30am I was picked up by Wilma and we met up with two Bushwalkers, Helen and Josie in Nerang. We all piled in Helen's car and headed on up to Tamborine where we met up with about 15 more Bushwalkers.

After everyone was introduced and I got a group photo,

we then began our hike into Palm Grove.

Within just a few moments a fellow hiker has picked up a sort of pod to show me and how some animal apparently worked very hard at trying to open it to eat whatever had been inside of here.

Soon we come upon one of the biggest Carabeen Trees I've seen since I've been here. These trees are very common in many of the rainforests here in Australia. They have prominent buttresses at the base of the trunk that provide extra support in shallow soils. Or, a great hiding place if you just want to play a little hide-n-seek.

As I walk thru this rainforest I am trying to compare it to someplace in the United States. I finally decide that it would be the Redwood Forest National Park in California. The trees of course are different but the setting is much the same with Carabeen Trees as tall as 164 feet (50m) and the groves of tall Palms with the sun flickering through this dense tropical forest.

After our hike through Palm Grove we all load up in our cars and head over to the Joalah section of the Tamborine National Park for another hike. But first we stop at a little place called "The Nature Walk Cafe" and have some coffee. But for me I must have an Aussie meat pie!

Everyone is ready to go again and we walk across the street and head into those trees you see behind me in the picture above. Destination "Curtis Falls". As we walk on the path through more Palms, Carabeen and Strangler Figs I soon hear the sound of a waterfall in the distance. Now if you have been reading my blog you have a good idea that I love lighthouses. My other FAVORITE is waterfalls! We come into a little clearing and walk onto a platform and there is Curtis Falls. I am a happy girl!

We continue on our path following along the little creek from Curtis Falls. And then there is a big dilemma. Or as I like to say "Options" . We must now cross the water to be able to continue on our walk. Now some just decide to get their feet wet and walk through the water and others tested their balance while carefully and skillfully stepping on the rocks making their way across. But then there were the few who decided that was all just to riskey. So we made our way upstream a bit and chose what we felt would be the best method for getting to the other side.

Some of us could make it on our own while others needed a little push.

We are just about to the end of our walk when I hear something that is very different than any of the sounds I have heard during my two days of hiking in the hinterland. I've heard Kookaburra's, Whipbirds and Cockatoos, but this was different. As I look up to the tops of the trees I can't quite seem to make out exactly what all those are up there trying to find the perfect tree limb. Then it is brought to my attention that those are "Fruit Bats". Oh My Gosh! These things were huge and I'm glad that they were more interested in finding a place to hang upside down for their afternoon nap then swooping down on me.

Our hike has come to an end and it is decided that we will eat our lunch in the picnic area of the Botanic Gardens. Afterwards we take a walk through the gardens where there are several trees, shrubs and flowers on display that are native to Australia.

It's been another beautiful day and I say good-bye to all the wonderful people that I've had the pleasure of meeting and the privledge of spending time with as they shared with me some of their favorite places here on the Gold Coast in the hinterlands.

As Helen, Wilma, Josie and I are heading on down the mountain we are treated to the unexpected paraglider who is just about ready to take off. So we parked and took our spot on the grass and watched as he waited patiently for just the right wind conditions. And then away he went...........floating gracefully to the valley below.

Alrighty's decided that we need to have a glass of wine before heading on down the mountain. So Helen suggests the St Bernards Hotel. As we walk up to the entrance there is "Leo" the St Bernard, napping on the front porch and not the least bit interested in us or of me taking his picture.

Now this was a treat but he didn't compare to the view I was about to see from the outdoor dining patio where we would sit and enjoy a glass of wine.

As the four of us are enjoying our wine reflecting on our day Josie has a fantastic idea! She invites us to her home for a gin and tonic to top off our day.

Does it get any better than this?

There are more pictures of my day at "Where's Debbie". Just click on the album "Another Day in the Hinterland".

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