Green Mountains, Lamington NP
Wednesday 11th January 2017
Steve was up and out bright and early this morning, before I had even raised a single eyelid. No bird walk for me then! Never mind, he could tell me all about it later. Which he did, over breakfast in our room. Not room service you understand, just a DIY bowl of muesli. Breakfast here was going to set us back $30 each, and much as we were sure it would be very nice, forty quid for breakfast was beyond what we were prepared to pay.
Steve said the guide who had conducted the bird walk gave an informed and informative talk about the birds they saw along the way to the hide where David Attenborough had filmed Satin Bower birds building their nests. These particular bower birds seem to like blue and the ground was strewn with blue objects in an effort to attract a mate.
The ground in front of the bower strewn with blue objects. The lady Satin Bower bird for whom the nest was built.
Male and female White-browed scrub wren Male White-browed scrub wren
Male Eastern Whip bird and again.
Eastern yellow robin with mate.
Male Red-browed Finch
After breakfast we packed the car and then retraced Steve’s steps along the boardwalk where he pointed out several of the birds he had seen earlier. He was enticing a rather shy wren with a nut when a pair of Giant Parrots decided to get in on the action. They were definitely not shy, as I found out when Steve handed me the bag of nuts to hold. Now, I am a looker, not a toucher, always have been and always will be, but I didn’t have a lot of choice in this instance. First the female landed on my arm, and she was shortly joined by her mate, both of whom knew where the food was being hoarded!
Very friendly King Parrots, but I was way out of my comfort zone. Too close for comfort!
Once I got Steve to take the bag of goodies away, they eventually got the message and flew off, much to my relief. We walked on and into the treetop walk, where I was surprised to find that it was made up of suspension bridges rather than fixed boardwalks. Having just got comfortable, I was back out of my comfort zone once again as we bounced our way through the treetops. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t really notice much in the trees on this occasion.
By now I needed a coffee, and if we hurried we would make it to morning tea back at the Lodge, which was pretty much a repeat of yesterday’s afternoon tea only minus the talk and with nicer cakes! Lovely.
Once refreshed, we decided to walk to Mick’s Tower before leaving O’Reilly’s, the Mick in question being one of the original O’Reilly brothers. This was a pleasant walk through the rainforest, and although we had no idea what Mick’s Tower would be like, I was surprised to find that it was a bare, square metal construction, with access to the top by ladders. Now it was Steve who was out of his comfort zone, as I climbed up into the tree canopy.
Looking back down from half-way up. Steve venturing up the ladders, a level at a time.
Up at the top there was a clear view of a range of epiphytes growing in the trees.
Back on the ground we found an interesting example of a vine that winds itself around a sapling to reach greater heights, eventually killing it. The Wonga Vine needs to reach the sunlight of the canopy in order to flower and make seeds, and this one continued its climb from the sapling to a Black Booyong tree, looping over to a Blood Scrubwood tree and eventually to a Red Carabeen in its efforts to reproduce.
The Wonga Vine at the beginning of its search for sunlight.
We wandered on past many fine examples of buttress roots and came eventually to a tree that we thought might be the ‘Wishing Tree’ that gave the trail its name. In the absence of any signage, we had our doubts, but made a wish under it anyway, and then started back to the hotel. If it doesn’t come true, we’ll know it wasn’t the right tree!
A fine example of a buttress root. Was this the ‘Wishing Tree’?
Masses of vines. A vine swing..
Once back at the car it was a short drive to the start of the walk to Python Rock lookout.
Views from Python Rock lookout.
Moran’s Falls from the lookout. The view through grass trees.
Taking a rest at Python Rock lookout before the return walk.
After a very enjoyable morning’s walking, it was time to set off for home. We decided to have a look at Tambourine Mountain as it was on the way back, and found it quite different from Lamington, in the sense that it is more inhabited. There are several suburbs with a number of National Parks at the edges. It is basically a tourist attraction with restaurants, theatres, breweries, shopping malls, art galleries, antiques and craft shops, markets and a range of tourist attractions. To get away from all that, there are walking trails through the National Parks. We stopped for an ice cream as we drove through, but decided after the wonderful time we had just had with wide open space and minimal human contact, Tambourine Mountain would be for another day.