Where are the Crocodiles? Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park

Had I known there might be crocodiles on my walk I would have taken precautions. In a scene from a famous UK “reality” TV show, celebrity contestants swam through a crocodile invested swamp with marksmen ready to shoot any creatures that attacked. However, the location used for that episode was in Springbrook, inland from the Gold Coast, about 100km south of Brisbane, and a guaranteed crocodile free habitat. It also happens to be the topic of this post.

Springbrook National Park is a destination I’ve been before, having walked the Warrie CircuitTwin Falls circuit and visited The Best of All Lookouts.  My last visit in spring left me with a paralysis tick embedded in my scalp and orange sized welts from an allergic reaction to the most persistent and ferocious marsh flies I’ve ever encountered. The rainforest was teeming with other more enjoyable wildlife though, so this time, hoping to avoid the bloodsuckers, I returned in winter to walk the Purling Brook Falls circuit and visit Natural Bridge. The area is part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia and has one of the highest average annual rainfalls in Australia. Receiving more than 3000mm (118inches) per year,  Springbrook always promises an abundance  of green therapy.

On this occasion, the effects of a polar vortex were being felt all the way up into sunny Queensland, with even a snowfall by the border at Stanthorpe. This thrilled me as it meant I wouldn’t have to carry as much water or drown in my own sweat. I’ve been blessed (or cursed) with the sweaty gene. At a hint of warmth my body turns on the waterworks. This may be okay in dry conditions but in humid weather it transforms me into a walking waterfall.

On the first morning there I woke to the sound of a currawong tapping on frozen water and the sight of an impressive frost.

heavy frost Springbrook

So how did I find walking in early morning chilly conditions? Surely I didn’t sweat? Don’t underestimate the power of the super coolant gene. After five minutes I had my thin jacket off.   When I stopped to take photographs or passed through heavily shaded areas, my sweat started to freeze. Thus began the game of “jacket on, jacket off” which continued until I decided that being chilled was preferable to my brain melting so it remained in my backpack. My new cunning plan is to walk in a much colder place with biting winds so I never have to take my jacket off. I need to issue the sweaty gene with a stronger challenge. Perhaps I’ll just end up frozen inside my jacket?

So, what was the rest of the walk like? I should stop waffling and gush about the magic of the rainforest.

Purling Brook Falls circuit is a class 3, 4km walk with the option of an extra 2km to visit Warringa Pool which is what I did. The walk takes you from the top of the falls down through a mixture of open eucalypt forest and subtropical rainforest to the base of the falls, crosses a new suspension bridge above the water and then takes you back up again on the other side. There are lookouts on either side of the top of the falls and many people visit these without doing the walk. The walk begins at the Gwongorella picnic grounds and there is a camping ground (no showers though) available nearby.

Despite the cold and it not being school holidays, small tourist buses filled the carpark. Hoping to spot birds, I would let a group go past but when this happened again and again, I gave up and focused on plant-life which doesn’t fly, slither or scurry away at the sound of 20 people talking. In the carpark I did manage to capture a blurry image of an eastern yellow robin and saw the remains of the bower of a satin bower bird.

Eastern Yellow Robin

Satin bower bird bower Purlingbrook Falls

A beautiful hairpin banksia across the road from the entrance also grabbed my attention.

Soon after beginning the walk I arrived at the  first lookout. The water flow can vary from a trickle to a torrent depending on rainfall. At the top left hand side of the photo are people at the second lookout.

Purlingbrook Falls 1

The scenery along the paths changes depending on how exposed the paths are to the sun. It started with open eucalypt forest.

Purlingbrook Falls path

But as I travelled further down, the track entered subtropical rainforest.

rainforest palms Purlingbrook Falls

Fluted trunk of Giant Stinging Tree

Purlingbrook Falls Tree fern

Many varieties of epiphytes and fungi were in evidence.

Epiphytes on deciduous red cedar Purlingbrook Falls

 

While googling the Queensland Mycological Society site, I found a poem compiled by Nigel Fechner which fungi fans may enjoy, particularly the Australians as it is a parody of the famous poem, “Core of my Heart” (aka “My Country”) by Dorothea Mackellar which many of we oldies had to learn as school children.  I will only share a small excerpt due to copyright reasons. For the full version please visit the site.

“I love a fungal bounty,
A land of floating brains,
Of mycorrhizal partners,
Of spores and hyphal strains.”

Nigel Fechner ©2014

Lichens also left interesting  lignographs on tree trunks.

Lichen lignography 2

lichen on tree trunk 2

Eventually, I came to the base of Purling Brook Falls, a spot best appreciated in the heat of summer.

Purlingbrook Falls

Purlingbrook Falls

Purlingbrook Falls 2 (2)

The track behind the falls was closed but this didn’t stop these young men from testing it out.

Purlingbrook falls track

I took the 2km return detour to Warringa Pool, another beautiful retreat.

Warringal pool

Back at Purling Brook Falls I crossed the new suspension bridge across the water. I am not a fan of suspension bridges. I don’t hate them. I’m just glad to get to the other side. In fact, I am not the most comfortable on any bridge. My brother is not afraid of much but he also has a similar, if not worse feeling. I love to admire the architecture of a bridge from the distance but when I am crossing them I have to fight the feeling that it will collapse beneath me. It is most likely due to a terrifying experience we had as young children. My brother remembers it as a dream as he was only about 3 at the time, while I was about 8. It’s not something that probably belongs in a hiking post though. You’ll have to wait for the book…

Purlingbrook Falls Suspension Bridge

For those interested here is what helps hold the bridge in place. It looks solid enough… perhaps.

Suspension bridge Purlingbrook Falls

The rest of the walk took me through more open, drier forest as it was more exposed to the sun and heat from the west. It also involved ascending to the top of the falls again so it’s a little more physically demanding. I saw few people on this part of the walk so I assume many returned the way they came rather than did the complete circuit.

Purlingbrook Falls path 10

Purlingbrook Falls path 4

Overall, it’s a beautiful walk, especially if you’ve never experienced rainforest before. It only took me about 2 ½ hours of actual walking time.  It’s very popular though so don’t expect to find solitude. I got up at daybreak again the next day to have another go in the hopes of capturing more wildlife but many others had the same idea.

I also made another trip to Twin Falls and Warrie Circuit and the Best of All Lookouts. They are fantastic walks so check out the posts if you are new to my blog and/or interested in visiting the area. Here’s a reminder of the diversity of tree species you will find in Springbrook National Park. These are 2000 year old Antarctic beech trees from The Best of All Lookout.

Antarctic beech

On my way home from Springbrook, I took the Nerang/Murwillimbah road to visit Natural Bridge where water flows down through a hole in the roof of a small cave that is home to thousands of glow worms (larvae of the insect Arachnocampa flava). At night they can be seen as small green lights. Torches and camera flashes are not to be used inside the cave, so this is all I can show you. I also noticed a colony of tiny bats hanging from the roof of the cave. The walk has now been reduced to a short 1km circuit as too much damage has been done to surrounding areas by visitors. Swimming in the waterholes is no longer allowed because of the harmful effects on the wildlife.

Natural Bridge cave

The hoop pines,  Araucaria cunninghamii, on the Natural Bridge circuit made me feel tiny.

Hoop pine Natural Bridge

There is a sense of pleasant familiarity or comfort for me in some surroundings, as though I belong. While I do take delight in rainforests, they also feel a little foreign to me, a little alien. I can’t imagine living in one. They are interesting places for me to visit but there is always a sense of relief when I exit the gloom and feel the sunshine. Most of my life I’ve lived in places that were not thickly forested. In fact, some of them were arid and exposed. I got used to seeing a sky, a distant horizon. Perhaps this is why I also enjoy the sea and the view from a mountain top. It may be that I find the power of a rainforest – the untamed vegetation – a little intimidating. It’s possible I just don’t feel comfortable with the sense of confinement it gives me. These thoughts have me wondering how my reader friends feel about different landscapes. Where do you feel most relaxed?

I hope to head back again and attempt the 54km Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk  which you can start from the Settlement Camping Area at Purling Brook Falls. I won’t be doing that one on my own though and it will definitely be a winter walk so I don’t have to carry my own weight in water. For more information about Springbrook National Park check out the Queensland National Parks site.

pink leaf in rainforest

86 thoughts on “Where are the Crocodiles? Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park

  1. What a post, so much to admire. Sorry your body gives you such an unpleasant time though. I loved the yellow robin which you cleverly photographed despite the tiresome people. The view of the falls from the first lookout was stunning and my favorite of all was your shot of the Warringa pool, absolutely beautiful.

    • Thank you very much, Susan. It’s a beautiful part of Australia with some unique flora and fauna. It’s also a lovely retreat in summer as it’s usually a little cooler up on the plateau. Unfortunately, I do struggle with the humidity of rainforests so winter is my best option really. Other people seem to cope better. I’m glad you enjoyed the tour, Susan. I enjoyed sharing it with you. 🙂

    • Thanks Manu! I wondered if you knew the area actually. Have you done any ecology work there whilst you lived in Brisbane? The hoop pines looked even better in real life. It’s very hard to convey their size in a photograph really. It’s a very special part of Australia and one I’ll return to. 🙂

      • I did some work around Canungra & Maroon Dam, but I’ve never been to Springbrook. It took me leaving my home state to realise how much I hadn’t seen! Which is why I love reading your blog so much, it keeps me connected! 🙂

        • Springbrook is a pretty special place. There is so much diversity of forest types there. You really must check it out if you are back up this way. The Antarctic beech trees at the Best of All Lookout amaze me. Strange to think they are about 2000 years old. Think of all the human generations that have lived and died in that time. Thanks, Manu. 🙂

  2. Awesome post! The variety of fungi was incredible, and the falls were spectacular! As always, you packed so much into this post that I went back and read it twice more, just to take it all in.

    You may be lucky having the sweat gene, I let myself get dehydrated because I’m not aware of how much water I’m losing when it’s hot.

    Give me cold frosty mornings and cool days any time of the year, and I’m happy. We’re having the first real heat wave of the summer, so I shouldn’t complain.

    • Thank you, Jerry. I’m pleased you found so much to enjoy in this post. There was much more I could have included but I had to stop at some point. I may include more pictures in another post one day. There is just so much to see at Springbrook. At nearby Canungra creek, platypus have been sighted so that is on my “to do” list.
      I’ve always found the heat difficult to cope with, although dry heat is better than humid heat. I am really a cold weather person. When I sell up here I will probably move to a cooler region so I can walk more often. It’s just difficult for my back to carry as much water as I need for a very long hike up here.
      Happy walking! 🙂

  3. Wow Jane! a stunningly beautiful post. I remember my visit to these places and I never took such wonderful photos as you did. I stayed at the English Gardens for a couple of nights. You trult have presented wonderful work, and your fungi are exceptional! Well done kindred sis:-)

    • Thank you. You are very kind in your praise. I’m sure if you’d been here you would have captured many lovely bird photos on the quiet Warrie Circuit. I saw my first powerful owl on this trip but I’ve no pictures to share. I was amazed by its size. I also saw plenty of logrunners, treecreepers and bower birds and heard many other species but they eluded my camera. At least the fungi stay still and are closer to the ground! Heheh. Have a lovely week. 🙂

  4. Amazing scenes that are almost other worldly to us in the northern hemisphere. Bower Birds (at least the males) have to be one of the most preposterously magnificent creatures.

    • Thank you! Yes, I can imagine it must look vastly different to Sweden! One day I will have to sample the delights of the Northern Hemisphere. Some of the Scandinavian landscapes look “other worldly” to me. 🙂
      The male satin bower bird is certainly very showy. I found it fascinating to examine all the different kinds of blue objects that he collected for his bower to attract a mate. Great to hear from you. 🙂

  5. Im a total sweatball too. Always the first to take the jacket off! Lol. Loved your photos, what a gorgeous place to walk! Love it!!

    • Hi Anna,
      Nice to know I’m not the only woman out there who is a sweatball! 😀
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad you got something out of it. It really is a great area and you should check it out if you venture east again.
      Have a great week, sister-in-sweat. 😉

  6. Another wonderful post Jane! Needed a walk through the woods. Was a bit confused about the bower picture (why is all that litter on the ground?) until reading the Wikipedia article. I am always learning things through your posts I didn’t know. Great shot of the waterfall. Thanks for taking me along on your adventures. Have a good week.

    • Thanks, John, for the lovely comments again! I should have put a link to a satin bower bird reference for you. It is very interesting how many different blue objects the male will collect to decorate his bower. When I visited Springbrook last spring I saw a bower that had many more blue pieces collected. There were blue laundry pegs, blue lids from aerosol cans, blue tape etc. In the past, plastic milk bottle lids often had bright blue rings around the top. Unfortunately, the satin bower birds would find these as litter on the ground and when they picked them up they would get them caught around their beaks/faces. The companies have since changed the colour of the lids. I’m glad you enjoy these walks with me, John. I enjoy sharing them! Have a lovely week. 🙂

    • Thank you very much, Tom! It is a beautiful and interesting area which makes it easy to share pictures. I was a little disappointed not to be able to capture more bird shots as there are many interesting species in the rainforest…the catbird, bower bird, powerful owl, logrunners etc. Perhaps next time it won’t be so busy with groups of tourists. 🙂

    • Thanks Brittany. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. I can imagine you would have a lot of fun exploring the area and sampling the local produce. There’s a very popular fudge shop near there with some amazing varieties. It’s probably more “dangerous” than anything I’ve come across on the walks there… 😉

  7. Beautiful post Jane, and about such a different part of the world to the one I’m used to. I feel fortunate in only having mosquitoes and stinging nettles to contend with and not the rather nasty things you find (or find you!) on your walks. My husband gets hot and sweaty very quickly while I am cold all the time! I don’t like humidity very much but can cope with it better than he can. Living in the same house as each other can be challenging at times!
    I grew up living in a town and then worked for a few years in London. Holidays with my parents were camping ones all over mainland Britain so I saw all sorts of countryside. My home now is in East Anglia with its wide skies and fairly flat land. I feel I can breathe properly when I can see the sky. We had to live for 18 months a few years ago in Somerset in the West Country in a pretty village in a river valley. I became desperate for the wide open spaces and had to drive up to the top of the hills regularly to get my sky-fix!

    • Thank you very much, Clare. I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. It’s a unique part of the world and we are fortunate it hasn’t been destroyed.
      I had to laugh at your comments about how challenging it can be to share a house with someone who has a different body thermostat to you. I can assure you there are plenty of “discussions” here about whether the fans or heaters should be on in the house or the car. 😉
      It seems we share a need for wide open spaces too, Clare. Sometimes I also get in the car and find a hill just to see a clear expanse of sky. That’s why the Boonah area west of me is a place I visit regularly – it’s farmland and hills. I miss the amazing sunsets and sunrises we had out west where we could easily see a horizon.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, Clare. Have a lovely week! 🙂

  8. Loving the post Jane. I’ll have to get back and check out the new bridge sometime. I’ve never done the full circuit. You got some great photos of the fungi as usual.

    • Thanks, Cameron! The full circuit, including the Warringa Pool, would be very easy for you. There are more birds to see without the tourist groups so start early in the morning if you can. I can imagine you taking great shots of the falls and the pools. I didn’t know how to change the settings to get the lovely misty waterfall effects. The 54km Great Walk is something that appeals to me but only in the cold weather. Perhaps it’s something you and Maree might want to do one day. 🙂

      • I’ve tried taking a few shots of Purling Brook falls. They are a challenge to get good compositions because of the size and the limited viewing distance (very close). Does your camera have a shutter priority or a manual mode? The main challenge is increasing your shutter speed to blur the water. This then means you usually need a tripod and in the case of a sunlit scene you often need a neutral density filter too.

        I actually did the great walk back in 2010 with my brother. It was a good challenge for sure, but the middle day was slog. Definitely a cool weather walk. Like you I sweat a lot, and I got heat stroke that day and virtually collapsed about a KM from the campsite. I must have got through about 5 or 6L of water that day, but hadn’t kept up my salts and minerals. Good times. 🙂

        • Gee, if you struggled on the Great Walk I think it might be too much for me! Carrying enough water and replenishing electrolytes quickly is always an issue for me in the heat. Quite frustrating really. Perhaps I will stick to the shorter, shaded walks. 🙂 The Warrie Circuit was probably enough for me.
          Yes, I do have a manual mode, but no tripod or filters or extra lenses. It’s quite an old camera and I think my kids take better pictures with their fancy new phones! Purlingbrook Falls is tricky as you say because it’s so tall and hard to get the whole thing in one shot…but the biggest problem is my lack of technical ability! Thanks, Cameron. 🙂

  9. I haven’t been to Springbook NP for some years and you’ve inspired me to make time for another visit, Jane. It was the beautiful detour to the Warringa pool that did that. The rainforest pools are beautiful retreats and swimming in them is quite special. I agree the dense rainforest can be quite intense. The presence of a broad sky-scape is somehow comforting, freeing.
    It was a lovely to see the rainbow caught in your waterfall photo 🙂

    • Hi Gail,
      I’m glad my post has inspired you to revisit the area. It’s certainly a special spot and as you say, the rock pools are a lovely cool retreat. The “Meeting of the Waters” at the Twin Falls/Warrie Circuit area is really lovely. Just watch out for the horse flies there. That’s where they went for me and we had to scoot!
      Yes, dense rainforest can make me feel a little stifled even though I appreciate its green therapy. The sky represents freedom to me I think. I don’t like to feel too enclosed.
      Thank you for reading and for your supportive comments again, Gail. Most appreciated. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Curt. There wasn’t much water running over the falls that day but I think the height helps it look more impressive. The whole Springbrook area has many falls. In fact, the Indigenous name for the area was Warrie meaning “flowing water.” 🙂

  10. Hi Jane, great post. I’ve got that gene in me as well, it’s a bit of a pain in the bum when walking up hill in the rain, I can either get wet with sweat or wet with precipitation (I normally choose the precipitation!). I’ve never been to Springbrook but its now on my (ever expanding) bucket list, although I think a summer visit might suit me better seeing I’ve also got an amphibious gene somewhere in my make up and it looks like there is a couple of sweet swimming spots. I’ve been looking at the Gold Coast Great Walk as well, although I was thinking of starting at O’Reilly’s, the transport logistics do my head in though. Cheers
    Kevin

    • Thanks, Kevin! Another extra sweaty hiker who understands. 😀 It’s what makes walking long hikes in summer an extra challenge for me as I need to carry far too much water. I guess if I walked somewhere that had a reliable, clean water supply it wouldn’t matter so much. I haven’t actually hiked in the rain often but I know what you mean. Rain-jackets or plastic hooded ponchos are like a sauna inside!
      Yep, add Springbrook National Park to your list. I can’t remember if you’ve done Lamington National Park, Binna Burra or Mt Barney National Park but they are great! I’m not much of a swimmer but I like inland water holes. I find it hard to get my childhood memories of sharks surrounding my father’s small fishing boat out of my mind so I tend to look at the sea rather than enter it. 😉
      Cameron from High and Wide blog has done the GC Great Walk and it sounds like a hot slog in some parts. If you need help with being dropped off to start a walk or moving vehicles let me know. O’Reilly’s is a gorgeous spot to start.
      Always great to hear from you. I hope you and Sam can keep up the adventures for many years to come. 🙂

      • Hi Jane. I’ve walked around Binna Burra and O’Reilly’s before but haven’t written anything up yet, both places provide world class walking in my opinion. I did an overnighter on Mt Barney last year and really enjoyed it (although its not for the faint hearted!), there is a post on my blog somewhere, maybe click on ‘scrambling’ in the word search 🙂
        I wouldn’t look at the Great Walk until next winter, I think the section from Binna Burra to Springbrook would be a bit of a death march in hot weather. I might take you up on your offer to help with the logistics, its always done my head in working out how to get to and from both ends of the track. My best option at the moment is to do the walk while Sam is visiting her parents in Bundaberg and have her hire a car and drive down and pick me up at the end of the walk, then drive me back to O’Reilly’s to pick up my ute, then we drive both cars out to return the hire car, it’s doable but……So yeah, maybe we could work out something that would help us both. I’ll email you next year to see what we can work out.
        Cheers Kevin

        • I’ll have to search for the Mt Barney post as I’m heading back down that way. I’ve been to Mt Maroon and had a quick look at other areas of Mt Barney but not done any “scrambling”. Sounds like fun and challenging! I’d be delighted to help out with the car stuff if I am still here when you visit. We might be able to do bits of walks together, swap cars etc. Let me know when you have made some plans. 🙂

  11. I get the same feeling with forests too. I don’t mind being on them, but I’m a lot happier out of them! The water fall is particularly impressive on this walk, an impressiveness that multiplied by a factor of 100 when I spotted the people in your photos to lend some sense of scale!

    • Hi Rob,
      I wondered if other people felt the same way as me about thick forests and open spaces. Most of your walks are on fairly open country over there. Not that many trees on those hills! I enjoy being able to see into the distance. On the other hand, sometimes there is excitement at the thought of what I might encounter around the next bend…
      Yes, the falls do look more impressive when you see those tiny people next to them. I’d like to go back after heavy rain and see how torrential that flow can get.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, Rob. It’s great to hear from you again. I was wondering if you’d been on any trips lately. Best wishes. 🙂

      • This year has been rather poor for walks, due to a combination of a lack of holidays and poor weather, though I do have a 6 day one coming up in the Cairngorms of Scotland.

        There are lots of woods and forests over here, but I do find them a little foreboding – so tend to avoid them 🙂

        • I’ve had a bit of a poor year for long walking opportunities. The blog may be a bit quiet for a while. I hope you get some good weather for the Cairngorms. Looking forward to the pics. 🙂

  12. A most enjoyable post – great writing and images as always, a pleasure to read. Loved the fungi gallery.

    I seem to have now floated through the walk via your writing without any of the actual effort, a brief vicarious immersion in the word beyond the walls that surround me. I now feel a strong need to get out on a weekend bushwalk somewhere similar!

    Cheers and all the best, Rob.

    • Thanks very much for those lovely words, Rob. It’s very encouraging. I’m pleased you could share my walk, albeit vicariously. I hope you’re able to enjoy a weekend bushwalk very soon. I look forward to seeing more of your excellent photo-essays and stories on your website. Thanks! Best wishes. 🙂

  13. I love your phrase abundance of green therapy, Jane, but the part of me that offers up math(s) therapy feels compelled to add that 3000mm is approximately 118 inches. No part of me is happy to hear about your having to deal with paralysis ticks and the most persistent and ferocious marsh flies you’ve ever encountered.

    Speaking of encounters, I don’t believe I’ve encountered the word lignograph till now. I did a search and came up with this exchange from The Geologist: A Popular Monthly Magazine of Geology, dated 1860, which strikes me as written in a style akin to your own:

    • Hi Steve,
      Thank you so much for pointing out the mistake with the rainfall. What I actually did was trust an online site which said “over 3000mm (120inches)” but I made a typing error and left out the “1” from 120. Checking the conversions it is of course more precisely, 118 inches though. It seems you caught the “bug” off me as you actually wrote 2000, meaning to write 3000. 😉
      Thanks for the link to the 1860 discussion. It made me laugh to read that lignograph was regarded as a barbarism…a mongrel word. It was also a new word for me. I saw a lichen specialist describe the marks left by lichen on trees as lignographs. It was then I found a definition of it referring to a wood engraving. I think it’s rather interesting to think of lignographs made by the action of lichen on trees.
      Thanks for your comments, Steve. They are always very interesting! I will fix up my rainfall mistake now. 🙂

      • While you’re fixing things up, please change my think-o of 2000 to the intended 3000.

        Even in fields other than language, scholars used to be fastidious about not mixing Greek and Latin roots in technical words that they made up. For example, scholars originally objected to the word homosexual not because of what it meant but because homos ‘same’ was Greek but sexus was Latin.

        • I thought about leaving the 2000 there for a while just to tease you, Steve, but it’s possible you might have nightmares so I will fix it up now. 🙂
          I had no idea that there used to be such opposition to the mixing of Greek and Latin roots. How interesting. It just goes to show how much language evolves no matter how much we might try to keep certain rules in place I guess. There will always be those mongrel words that keep appearing which become part of common usage. I think I may have contributed a few in my time! 🙂

    • “Wonderful” is more than enough, my friend. Thank you! Hoping all is going ok down south for you, Brian. I expect life is pretty busy. Best wishes. 🙂

      • Yes, things are rather hectic. I have stuff ready for my blog but don’t have the time to spend writing and sorting. The nights seem to whizz by and so much to do. I am so glad your blog is going great. All the photos of all things I enjoy just cascade from your blog into my mind taking me on your walks. x

        • You’re always so kind, Brian. I thought you must be really busy as you haven’t posted recently. I don’t have any walks in reserve to write about and have a busy few weeks ahead so am not sure whether I’ll have much to post in the near future. The blog may go on holiday for a while. I’ll see. Thanks for all your lovely support. 🙂

  14. Well, until you are able to be back out there walking, I will just enjoy some of your walks I’ve not gone on yet! Thanks for the encouraging words you left on my fungus photo! You are right! ….this is all about having fun as we share the amazing world we see all around us with others!

  15. Hi Jane, The photograph of the forest tree with the huge buttress is most impressive. Nothing like that in the bush around here.
    The golden wattle is now in full bloom and the bush is glowing yellow.
    Whilst there is nothing pristine or wilderness like in the local bush, it is full of subtle interest. I feel quite at home walking along the tracks which criss cross the bush. I am frequently reminded that ultimately nature triumphs over human endeavour as I witness the tumble of bricks and the crumbling walls of abandoned buildings.

    • Hi Margaret,
      Thank you for reading and your interesting comments as usual. The wattle near my home is looking marvelous at the moment too. If I wasn’t allergic to our beautiful floral emblem I’d be out there more often. They really look spectacular!
      I also enjoy my local bush walks a great deal. Like you, I always find something of subtle interest there, whether it’s a new bush flowering, strange patterns on a tree trunk, bird calls or tiny insects. White Rock walking tracks near me are a favourite haunt. It looks like boring scrub to many but there is always something new to see if you are a snail like me. 😉 I went there recently and saw new fungi so I may write about it again. My walks at the uni lakes are often enjoyable too. Just getting outside feels like a luxury actually.
      Thanks very much for reading and sharing your thoughts. It is lovely to hear from you again. 🙂

  16. Hello Jane! Well, it’s happened again. Apparently we are both sweaty people! I think should we ever meet we will have a good laugh at our similarities! Your photographs and narration are a delight. And, you know I am one who truly appreciates the fungus photos. You always find the most interesting little things along a pathway. 🙂

    • Hi Lori! It’s great that you are also a sweaty walker as if I ever get the chance to visit you, I won’t be embarrassed by my ever present “sheen” in hot weather… 😉 (Your pool looks great!) I could have talked about it as “perspiration” which would have been more delicate but you know me, I’m not exactly the model for ladylike behaviour! 🙂
      I saw some great fungi on one of the walks close to my home recently so even though I’ve talked about the place before I may write about it again just to be able to share the fungal “love.” 🙂
      You always write such encouraging words, Lori. Thank you! 🙂

  17. Looks like a fantastic place to visit Jane. The waterfalls are amazing. My favourite picture is that one of the epiphytes with the light coming through the leaves. Fabulous. I’m looking forward to catching up with your other related posts very soon.

    • Thanks! I’m a bit crook at the moment with the flu and am behind myself with blog reading. I just noticed you’ve done another brilliant one…creepy atmosphere. 🙂
      Actually, my favourite pic was the epiphytes on the tree too. I had thought it was a dead tree until I looked up a book about the area and they had the same pic. It’s a deciduous tree so if I visit it again in summer the epiphytes won’t be as noticeable. Have a great week and I look forward to more water adventures. This latest one really does sound like a great setting for a murder… 🙂

      • You poor thing! The current flu is supposedly a bad one. I do hope you recover soon. You are a very dedicated reader – I am trying to emulate you! As one of my colleagues said the other day, everyone wants to talk these days and no one wants to listen!

        • Thanks! Actually, sometimes I think I read too much instead of actually getting enough writing of my own done. Reading tends to be a bit of an escape for me from hard work… 😉

    • Hi John! Great to hear from you. It is a beautiful place to hike. I’ll definitely go back again one day. Heheh…yes, one should be very respectful of gravity I think! Have a beautiful weekend. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. 🙂

  18. Glad you got some green therapy in over the winter break Jane. Beautiful photos in this post. Reminds me I need to get up to springbrook again soon, it’s been a few years. I remember when the track used to go behind the falls and we would get drenched – but that was a big highlight of the walk for us kids! It also was quite refreshing on a hot day. It’s sad how the walk at Natural bridge has been reduced to a 1km stroll, I still cannot understand how some people show such disrespect to the natural environment and ruin it for everyone else. At least the waterhole is returning to its former health, I know the sunscreen people were wearing in the water there was having a damaging impact on the water quality.

    • Hi Amanda,
      I was wondering how you’ve been over the winter break. I hope the family haven’t caught the latest EKKA flu that has hit us! Thanks for the nice comments about my photos. I still don’t cope well with the lighting in rainforests but I guess I will learn how to adjust my camera one day.
      Yes, I can imagine the walk behind the falls would have been a highlight. I think it has been closed because of some “accidents”. Some people have died. Perhaps there has been erosion of the rock areas and the paths aren’t as stable? I was too law-abiding to give it a go and I didn’t have anything to protect the camera either. The young men were very tentative. It took them a while to get across so I suspect the path was dodgy.
      I’d read about how lovely the Natural Bridge walk is and how people could swim in the pools. It’s disappointing that people have been thoughtless about caring for the areas. I can imagine sunscreen and insect repellent being washed off into the water would be pretty nasty to the creatures. I was fascinated to read about the amazing juvenile eel journey to the creeks there. I had no idea of the vast distances travelled and that they actually spend time in salt water. Amazing!
      I hope you get to go back to Springbrook again soon. As I wrote, I had trouble with ticks in spring but I did do things I shouldn’t when I took photos so I was probably more likely to get them. Lying on the ground for 10 minutes to take a photo is an invitation for ticks! Thanks for reading and your comments, Amanda. It was lovely to read of your memories of the place. Have a lovely weekend. 😀

      • Hi Jane,
        I finally took Harry up to Springbrook last weekend and did the Purlingbrook Falls walk with him. There wasn’t much water in the falls but it was still lovely to do the walk again after all this time 🙂 I am hoping to do the Warrie Circuit with a friend before Christmas. Keep up the inspiration Jane 🙂

        • Hi Amanda,
          I’m glad you got to revisit Purlingbrook Falls. I wonder if there is more water now after the last few days of rain!
          I made a very quick trip to Binna Burra with Lycra Man. Only did a short 2km walk just to check out the area before the sun went down. We picked up some ticks at Canungra Creek along the way. I hope you didn’t have any tick issues at Purlingbrook with Harry?
          Warrie Circuit was great but Katherine and I went when it was dry so it was easy to get across the creeks. Boulder hopping is a bit trickier when the creeks are running. Don’t be like us. Start early in the morning! It took us about 5 hours and we had to rush before it got too dark. I’d still love to do a walk with you. Family stuff, work and illnesses have been getting in the way of making long term hiking plans. I haven’t been out much lately. Usually it’s a spur of the moment thing when something else has been cancelled for the day. It’s been a little bonkers the last few months. Heheh. I’m sure you know what that is like. 🙂 Thanks Amanda! Have a great weekend. x

  19. This hike has it all Jane – lush forest, waterfalls, wildlife and last but not least a suspension bridge! Your photos are lovely as always. The hairpin banksia – is that the very red flower? It is stunning!

    • Thank you very much, Inger. It was a fabulous walk. One day I will learn how to take better photos in the dappled light of the rainforest. Yes I think the red one is the hairpin banksia although I am never completely confident with my plant IDs! Great to read your comments. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  20. wow, Jane, you have such amazing walking adventures! Reading your post has got me thinking, because I am by far more alive when I am near the ocean, with a lake being a nearly acceptable substitute. And this summer I’ve discovered that my body has changed, and I, too, become a walking waterfall when it is humid. UGH! You really do feel like you are drowning because you can’t escape all that water. I admire you for persevering…I found I really don’t like to go for walks much anymore and maybe that is because circumstances have me languishing in the middle of the land, far far from the beautiful ocean-side trails my soul responds to. Hmmm. I’d like to do something about that.

    • Hi Melissa,
      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. It does seem that for some people, living or walking in a certain place feels more relaxing/inspiring. Sometimes it’s affected by what we’re used to growing up with. Sometimes I think it’s just an individual quirk. I also love the ocean but strangely also like the remote, sparsely populated flat outback – both give a sense of space and freedom to me. Being near large bodies of water can be soothing and invigorating at the same time, hey. For Indigenous Australians, their particular homelands – “country” – can be very important to their physical, spiritual and mental health. That’s one reason why when governments forcibly removed them from their particular region and put many different groups together into missions and reserves, it had a very detrimental effect.
      I hope you can find a way to enjoy walking again. I know that when I return to the ocean, I feel like I am a different person…almost reborn! You must miss it.
      It is difficult when you overheat and sweat a lot like me. It’s just not comfortable really. I hope you can find some answers. Have a beautiful weekend, Melissa. 🙂

    • Hahah…thank you! I wish I had thought of using “perspiration inspiration” in my blog post. I love a good pun. As I can see you do from having a quick look at your blog! I’ll enjoy delving further soon. 🙂

  21. Jane, the solution to your problem is really quite simple. Move south!!
    I’m not saying Qld isn’t fantastic, but it does have a pretty serious downside; humidity. I love not sweating constantly now that I’ve moved. But I know you have more ties and other considerations than I did….
    Ticks are nasty buggers. Winter is definitely the better time to walk where they might be. I remember getting one on my scalp once – talk about weird dreams!
    As for the birds; if visitors are pretty constant plenty of birds (though not all) will probably have come accustomed to the presence of people. It’s when I’m trying to listen and all I can hear is the raucous boxes of human that makes me grit my teeth!
    And finally, I can’t live somewhere without mountains (or at least some good hills) and trees. There are many places I feel at home – not just Tasmania! On reflection they’re probably mostly eucalypt forests rather than proper rainforests, with plenty of green ground cover and interesting rock formations. I could name a dozen places that tick all the boxes, but (un?)fortunately I’m not in a position to have to choose between them. 😉

    • The southern option is definitely on the horizon, Dayna! 😉 Just slowly forming plans. My kids are finishing off Uni and finances are also a concern at present but I hope to head down that way permanently in the future. Not sure how far south at this point though.
      Yes, I’ve noticed in places like Tambourine and Lamington and our local parks that the birds do get used to people. I think it was more the large size of groups that spoilt it this time. Of course, it’s quite possible the birds were in the branches and I just couldn’t hear them due to the noise of the walkers. They are quite difficult to see in the rainforest canopy anyway. I hear many more birds than I actually see on rainforest walks. It’s quite a tease actually!
      Ah, yes, mountains and hills are lovely. It’s nice to be able to have a bit of a view from up high and it’s also a good feeling to get the blood pumping and reach the top. I’m looking forward to the Blue Mountains. While I do like rainforests, I love our eucalypt bushland and I have “rock rapture” of course so places like Girraween are very special. The Grampians should be fantastic. Ah, I could ponder places I have enjoyed or want to visit all night. So many interesting and beautiful places to see!
      I can handle leeches, but I doubt I will ever be comfortable about paralysis ticks!
      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Dayna. It was great to read about where you feel comfortable and most at home. I hope we can share a walk one day… 😀

  22. I loved your observation that certain landscapes feel like home. Like you, I respond to wide open skies and feel almost claustrophobic in heavily wooded areas. It’s interesting, because I grew up in place densely covered with trees, so it’s not a preference based on my childhood. I’ve always laughingly referred to it as the “wide-open spaces gene” because that feeling of “home” brought on by big skies and open vistas has been with me all my life. It’s no accident that we retired to a hillside house with a sweeping view and huge skies.
    A great post–felt like I was sweating and freezing right along side you.

    • Thank you very much for your kind comments and also for your thoughts! It is interesting how we both prefer wide open spaces even though you grew up in forested areas. It does seem that some of us have certain preferences when it comes to what feels like home to us. It sounds like you’ve found your perfect retirement house. How beautiful!
      Sorry I took so long to reply. I’ve been away from WordPress a lot the last week. Best wishes! 🙂

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