Lamington National Park

After picking up Keddie in Brisbane with it getting a clean bill of health from Kedron ready for the next trip, we continued south for about an hour and set up camp for 3 nights in a little town called Canungra.  From here we did a couple of day trips up into Lamington National Park, which protects an area of upland rainforests.  Although some forestry had commenced in the area in the 1860’s, it has been protected since the 1890’s before all of its old giant trees had succumbed to the logger’s axe.  It is truly beautiful to walk among these giants and the rich birdlife that lives in them.

cows and feet
While we enjoyed our nights in the Noosa apartment, it was good to be back in Keddie and wake up to views across a little stream with dairy cows roaming about.   Here in Canungra they had actually run out of water a few weeks ago due to the drought and they were having to bring water in by truck.  Fortunately about 2 weeks before our visit they had had some good rains so the river was flowing again and the place was already nice and green.
oreillys king parrot
Camping is currently not available in the park (and the road up was a bit steep and narrow to take a caravan anyway) however there is accommodation at o’Reilly’s, a guesthouse established in 1926 on the edge of the park.
lamingtons at lamington
While visiting Lamington National Park, it would be wrong not to sample the cake with the same name.  Apparently both the cake and the national park are named after Lord Lamington, the governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1902.    Although it looks misty, the views are actually obscured by smoke from the bush fires burning on the east coast of Australia.  Even though the nearest fire to us was over 50km away, we could hardly see more than about 300m.
eastern whipbird 2
The birds near o’Reilly’s are quite tame.  Even the eastern whip bird, which is normally very shy, was quite happy to stand in the open and pose for a photo before continuing to scratch through the undergrowth.
lamington walkway
A canopy walkway was built in the 1988 – the first in Australia.  Unfortunately, being there at noon was probably not the best time for birds, however it was great to be up in the trees.

At one point a ladder takes you further up one of the giant trees to a point over 30m from the ground.  From the top we could see out across to the villas at o’Reilly’s, but little further.

male regent bower bird
We also managed to spot this regent bower bird from up in the canopy.  Not a great view, but for a twitcher – good enough to be a confirmed sighting.
up strangler fig
Here we are looking up the inside of a strangler fig where its host tree has died leaving a hollow network of roots behind.

LHS:  Looking up another hollow tree – this time just a hollowed out trunk with a hole in the crown.  RHS: I was struck by this beautiful sight while looking back out of the entrance to the hollow tree – I simply had to take a photo.  S

More magnificent old trees in Lamington National Park.

Golden whistler and satin bowerbird

lamington lbj
As cute as they are, I find these little brown hopping jobs so hard to identify – maybe it’s a red-legged pademelon.  Suggestions/corrections are welcome. S
view from lunch spot
After a couple of hours walk in the steamy/smoky rainforest, it was great to have a refreshing dip and lunch. 
elabana falls
Elebana falls drops into this beautiful infinity pool.  At about 20 degrees the water was cooler than that to which we had recently become accustomed.  But being so beautiful I just had to go for a swim… twice… then go back the next day for another swim.  S
border track panorama
A panorama taken on a bend of the Border Trail – named because it goes up to the border of Queensland and New South Wales.  The walking trails in Lamington were built during the Great Depression. Their solid construction with banked up dry-stone work designed to follow the contours on the steep slopes with no more than a 1 in 10 gradient is quite remarkable.    At times the slopes exceed 45 degrees and they feel quite precarious, but they were obviously built to last.

Two new birds for the area: white headed pigeon and crested shrike-tit

Some other birds (seen before elsewhere): large-billed scrubwren; green cat-bird; eastern spinebill; logrunner.

antarctic beech
A magnificent antarctic beech tree – a remnant of the gondwana rainforests that now grows only in the high forests above 1000m at these latitudes.  The conditions in this area today are no longer suitable to allow these trees to reproduce through pollination, but they continue to survive through coppicing, where new trees grow from the stumps of dead trees as can be seen in this specimen.   The rootstock of some of these trees is said to be up to 5000 years old.
smoky view
Looking south into New South Wales.  On day two the smoke had cleared a bit, but visibility was still limited to about 10km.  Normally one would be able to see out to Mt Warning, and on a clear day even out to the ocean.

Some more beautiful waterfalls.  Chalahn falls on the left and those on the right did not even feature on the walking trail map.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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