Tag Archive | Tamborine Mountain

Not Forgotten

Exploring Queensland: Tamborine Mountain

The slopes of Tamborine Mountain are covered with dense stands of Kauri and Hoop pine, cedars, flooded gums and strangler figs. When the area first became accessible to European settlers in the 1870s, these magnificent rainforest trees attracted the attention of timber cutters.

Among the earliest arrivals on the mountain was the Curtis family who, in 1888, built a water wheel and steam driven timber mill on Cedar Creek. They dammed the water each night and released it in the morning, creating enough force to turn the wheel which in turn generated steam to power the machinery in the mill.

Luckily for the rainforest, the mill only operated for a few years before low timber prices caused it to close in the 1890s. In 1908 parts of the mountain were declared Queensland’s first national park, guaranteeing the safety of the trees in the forest.

While the water wheel and timber mill are long gone, the Curtis family name carries on. Downstream from where the mill was located the water of Cedar Creek tumbles over a narrow rocky ledge festooned with ferns and moss. It fills a deep pool at the base of the falls before making its way further down the mountain. Curtis Falls, named in memory of the family, is surrounded by the beautiful trees which first brought them here at the end of the 19th century.

 

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 onĀ  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