Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Queensland, Australia

The last month in Australia has been phenomenal! The ecology, flora and fauna are all entirely new to me, and I'm endlessly learning new things on my travels.

I arrived on 7th Jan with my Mum, met an  old friend of hers, and the 3 of us headed from Brisbane to Gympie to camp for 4 days. Jet lag had me up at dawn the first day and the chorus was mind blowing...apart from laughing Kookaburra, I didn't recognise a single call, song or bird flying by. Quite overwhelming. 

Since then I've been to Fraser Island, Kingaroy and the Bunya mountains with Mum and Wayne (her friend). The Bunya's were my first taste of a rainforest and quite incredible.

After 2 weeks based around Kingaroy, Mum and I headed back to Bribane for a few days. Then Mum headed to the red centre and I was on my own. I've hired a car for a month and am now heading up the East Coast with the eventual aim of reaching The Daintree Rainforest. 

Travelling alone, with a car, has given me a kind of freedom I've never experienced before, and has helped me see some incredible places, and meet some brilliant people. I stopped off in Bundaberg to go birding with a local NGB member - Brandon Hewitt. He showed me some pretty cool birds, and we had a good morning. It's great to be able to meet up with locals and see the area with their knowledge. 

Since then I've been working my way north, travelling to places recommended by locals and fellow travellers. Between this kind of advice, and randomly following tourist road signs, I've come across flying fox roosts, secluded waterholes to swim in, incredible botanic gardens, zoos, beautiful limestone caves, stunning national parks and phenomenal reefs. 

I try and stop in backpackers every night to meet new people, and in tourist information centres to get local maps and advice. This has led to me meeting some lovely people, from all over the globe, and 1 even travelled with me for a few days. These were the best days so far, as it's amazing to be able to share experiences with someone else. Our 2 days spent in the Eungella National Park were magical, with rainforest walks, waterhole swims, waterfall climbing, strangler fig climbing, platypus watching, moth trapping, dragonfly holding and bird watching, all capped off with a surprise, discounted, stay in a cabin overlooking the entirety of the Pioneer Valley. This was courtesy of a 10 minute chat with the local restauranteur & accommodation owner, who refused to let us sleep in the car. 

The last few days have been spent on a yacht, sailing the Whitsundays with a lovely group of girls, and diving the Yongala wreck off Alva Beach. 

I've now made it as far as Townsville, and will be in Cairns by Sunday, with plans for more National parks, wetlands and white water rafting between the 2 cities. 

Overall I'm having a brilliant time and every day is good because there is sun and endless species I have no names for. Queensland is like nowhere I've been before, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is ecologically minded!

Brush Turkey - Bunya Mountains

Kingaroy Sunset

Absurdly Colourful Rainbow Lorikeets

South Bank Public Pool - Brisbane

Friendly Ibis at lunch - Brisbane


Cool beetle - insect life is
astonishingly diverse here

Climbing Waterfalls - Eungella NP

Huge moth - Eungella NP - the public toilets
were acting as a giant, walk-in, moth trap

Sky Window Lookout + Steve,
my Canadian travel partner for a few days
- Eungella NP

Whitehaven Beach - Whitsundays

Sailing the Whitsundays with new friends

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