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I Spy

Exploring Queensland: Tamborine Mountain

With 210 types of trees, 75 species of vine and 26 different orchids growing in the rainforest, you could play I Spy all day at the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk.

A 300 metre steel bridge beginning at the Eco Gallery winds through the forest canopy; the tops of the tall piccabeen palms are almost within reach.

Staghorns and elkhorns competing for sunlight cling to the trunks of the tallest trees. King orchids also use the trees as hosts. They are the largest orchids in the forest with each long spike covered in masses of tiny flowers.

Dense vine thickets monopolise the understorey, creating a tangled mess of stems and a green overcoat on  the trees above.

On the forest floor the buttress roots of giant strangler figs dwarf the small walking stick palms. With their host trees long ago rotted away, the figs are the strongest and tallest plants in the forest.

An abundance of tiny creatures live in and around Cedar Creek but they’re shy and not always easy to spot. Freshwater turtles, shrimps and eels hide under the rocks while water striders, water beetles and fishing spiders hunt their prey in the water.

It’s much easier to spot the forest animals on this beautiful hand carved bench.

The green hues of the forest are complemented by splashes of bright colour. Bottlebrush trees are loaded with crimson blossoms.

And if you’re lucky a pale yellow robin will join in your game of I Spy.

Joining Jo for Monday Walks

Sunrise, Sunset

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #31 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

Early morning on the beach at Surfers Paradise

Late afternoon, as the sun sets behind the hinterland

This month I’ve joined in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare

Paddle At Your Peril

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #29 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Springbrook National Park

It would be tempting on a hot day to discard your shoes and go paddling in one of the many creeks at Springbrook National Park. Rainforest trees shade the little streams of crystal clear water and, in some parts, shallow pools form between smooth shelves of water worn rock.

But a refreshing dip would be foolish when, just a few metres downstream, the creek reaches the edge of the McPherson Range and falls 60 metres to the valley below.

Where Mundora Creek tips over the escarpment the falls are aptly named Goomoolahara, the Aboriginal word for big waterfall.

The scarlet flowers of giant spear lilies bloom on the cliffs in spring. They grow exclusively in these mountain ranges on the Queensland/New South Wales border.

Purling Brook looks deceptively pretty. It’s only up close that the sheer drop over the cliff is evident.

There are 265 steps down from the lookout to the walking track at the base of the falls.

Halfway down, delicate King orchids cling to the rock walls.

From Canyon Lookout, it’s easy to see where the waters of Rush Creek and Ee-jung Creek plummet over the edge of Springbrook Plateau to form Twin Falls and Rainbow Falls.

The pretty little creeks leading to all these falls might be tempting, but take heed of the signs. Paddle at your peril!

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare

Breakfast Time

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #28 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Springbrook National Park 

A Lewin’s honeyeater searches for a tasty treat at breakfast time.

The flowers on the spike of a grass tree are just what he’s looking for.

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare

Anybody Home?

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #27 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Springbrook National Park

Who wants to meet the occupant of this unusual home?

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare.

Disappearing Act

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #26 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park

On the walking track through the Numinbah Valley section of Springbrook National Park, Cave Creek looks like any other pretty rainforest creek. Icy cold mountain water tumbles over mossy rocks on its way to the Nerang River.

Suddenly it disappears, rushing over a weathered sheet of black basalt before emerging again down below.

Over thousands of years the relentless force of the water has created a rock arch, formed when a pothole collapsed into a large cave underneath. The water falls through the pothole into a deep pool in the cave.

The craggy formation, aptly named the Natural Bridge, is festooned with mosses and epiphytes which flourish in the damp conditions.

Inside the cave the water displays its power as it falls down from above. Once the water flows out of the cave, it transforms back into that pretty bubbling creek and continues its journey through the forest.

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare.

Crimson Beauty

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #25 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Tamborine Mountain

Callistemon, commonly known as bottlebrush – an Australian native as popular with birds, bees and butterflies as it is with gardeners

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare.

Park Life

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #24 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Burleigh Head National Park       

While those pesky brush turkeys and seagulls are busy raiding picnics on the sand at Tallebudgera Creek, many other creatures live a much quieter life on Burleigh Headland. 

An Eastern water dragon basks on rocks in the sun, a sea eagle soars overhead at Tumgun Lookout, a blue tiger butterfly rests between flights and a king parrot feasts on berries high in the trees. 

On the railings beside the Ocean View Circuit, dozens of small hairy caterpillars gather. Some play follow the leader while others go their own way. Where they’re going and what kind they are, nobody knows. 

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare

Small But Beautiful Part 2

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #23 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind Destination: Burleigh Head National Park Rainforest Circuit The Rainforest Circuit starts where the Ocean View Circuit ends, immediately beginning its ascent up the headland. It’s not long before the track is surrounded by littoral rainforest, a particular type which only grows by the ocean. Along the way there are glimpses of those majestic Norfolk Pines at John Laws Park and the white sandy beach at Burleigh Heads. At Jebbribillum Lookout the view expands, revealing the northern areas of the Gold Coast all the way to Surfers Paradise. After the lookout the track heads inland through the rainforest, where more of those hexagonal basalt columns lie half hidden by vegetation. There’s a second opportunity to see the ocean at Tumgun Lookout. This time the view is southwards, past Palm Beach to Currumbin, Kirra and Coolangatta on the Queensland/New South Wales border. The Rainforest Circuit does not go to the summit of the headland, 88 metres above sea level. The risk of rock falls means the highest part of the park is not open to the public. Instead the path heads gently downwards, rejoining the Ocean View Circuit at Tallebudgera Creek, the perfect spot to complete your walk with a quiet lunchtime picnic. This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare Also joining Jo’s Monday Walks

A Passion for Waves

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #22 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Burleigh Heads

The Ocean View Circuit around Burleigh Headland ends at John Laws Park in the Gold Coast suburb of Burleigh Heads. Popular with both locals and visitors, the park is filled with 450 Norfolk Pines, some planted more than 80 years ago. They provide welcome shade for those who want to sit, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful outlook or watching surfers in the water below. 

Surfing has long been part of the beach culture at Burleigh Heads. The waters off the headland have attracted surfers for decades and the world’s first professional surfing competition, the Stubby Surf Classic, was held here in 1977. 

Even the picnic tables in the park celebrate Australia’s passion for surfing.

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare