Lamington National Park Part 1: Lycra Man’s Attachment Issues

“O Binna Binna, Binna Burra, wherefore art thou, Binna Burra?”

Ever since my last trip to Binna Burra, the eastern side of Lamington National Park, I’ve been in love with this unique and incredibly beautiful region. It’s part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, which includes the largest section of subtropical rainforest in the world. Despite how impressive this sounds, in the tempestuous early days, I wondered whether my relationship with Binna Burra had a future. What were my early fears and how were they turned into infatuation?

Before I detail the transformation, it’s important to recognise the Yugambeh people who have inhabited and nurtured the area for thousands of years, referring to it as Woonoongoora. When the region was declared a national park in 1915 to protect it from logging and farming, many supporters favoured the original name but it was named  after Lord Lamington, the Governor of Queensland instead.

Views of Lamington National Park.

Years ago I made my first trip to the O’Reilly section of Lamington National Park with family. At the time, I’d been used to driving on long, straight, flat outback roads. The narrow winding road of Lamington National Park range and my hips’ decision to go on strike meant the trip felt more like assault and battery than a soothing nature experience. A negative first experience can sometimes taint a place or relationship forever.

After renegotiating working conditions with my hips by massively reducing the load they carry and after reading rave reviews of the place, I was eager to give Lamington National Park another chance. However, it was to take three more visits before my thoughts turned to Shakespeare when describing this amazing part of the world. I debated whether to relate the whole saga to you but I’m a  believer in sharing the good and the bad. It’s not all magical. Rarely do my walks go to plan, especially when Lycra Man is dragged along.

The thought of driving up the range in my old car didn’t appeal to me so armed with a hefty bribe I invited Lycra Man, my occasional hiking partner, to share the joys of the wild for a day. Winding roads would give him the opportunity to live out his F1 fantasies. I thought he’d be enthusiastic.

Winding road Binna Burra

Apparently enough time hadn’t passed since I last tortured him on a walk and he needed more convincing. That’s when I unleashed my hidden weapon: the promise of “real” hot food and coffee rather than a thermos, instant coffee and hiking snacks. For some reason he’s not overly fond of my roasted chick peas and broad beans or the tasty delights of a seed bar and fruit. Don’t these look like mouth-watering hiking snacks to you? Okay, perhaps they’re not to everyone’s tastes.

Jane's Hiking Snacks.

I should probably tell you Lycra Man is religious about his “pour over” method of coffee making. He has a set of scales accurate to .1 grams to measure out quantities of coffee beans and water and a hand coffee grinder because it gives a nice even grind. He uses a variable temperature electric water jug and the coffee beans are never your supermarket variety. Here, I’ll show you…

Lycra Man's Coffee Set Up.

Hot water from a steel thermos and a spoon of instant coffee or a tea bag during a walk with me borders on caffeine sacrilege. Also, in his opinion cyclists should eat steak, not “bird seed.”

Anyway, my secret weapon worked so we headed off. Binna Burra is approximately 110 km or a 2 hour drive from Brisbane. I live in the south-west of Brisbane so it involves an inland route rather than coastal roads. Lycra Man had fond memories of a steak lunch he had and decided to take a slight detour from the planned route.

He was to be disappointed though as the pub was being renovated. I reassured him that the tea house at Binna Burra would be lovely. A Tea House? Really? I might as well have told him we’d be dining on cockroaches. I should have expected his response wouldn’t be enthusiastic. He wanted a steak lunch. Full stop.

After a wrong turn brought us to a dirt road adding an extra ½ hour to our trip, Lycra Man accepted a seed bar and chewed in silence. The wrong turn did enable us to meet a few horses though.

Horses

A rest stop at Back Creek past Canungra gave me the opportunity to check for platypus. I was careful to avoid brushing against branches or leaning on the ground. With heavy rain and warm weather it was paralysis tick paradise.

Back Creek

I walked back to the car to find Lycra Man sprawled on the grass, dreaming about steak. I wondered how many ticks had crawled onto his head and suggested I check his scalp. Nope, he never gets ticks, so he refused the offer. We drove on to Binna Burra and I noticed him scratching his head but didn’t comment.

Beechmont, close to Binna Burra was a dazzling green after heavy rains.

Beechmont

Beechmont

By the time we ate a chicken lunch and a huge slab of gluten free chocolate cake at the Binna Burra Tea House and Lycra Man had his real coffee, it was mid-afternoon. My plans for a long trail walk were abandoned. I chose the more comfortable 5km return Yangahla Lookout track instead.

The walk began with disinfecting our shoes to prevent pathogen spread, a procedure common in many Queensland parks these days. After thoroughly disinfecting his shoes, Lycra Man realised he should have probably changed into his more supportive hiking shoes first.

Disinfecting shoes

I headed off along the track without waiting for him. He would quickly catch up to my snail pace with his Speedy Gonzales legs. However he didn’t catch up. Where was he? Eventually I decided to walk back and met him close to the start. He looked perturbed. Did I have tweezers?

It seemed the head scratching was not his dry scalp condition but a paralysis tick firmly embedded. Being almost as stubborn as me he had attempted to pull it out with his fingers, only succeeding in squeezing the contents more into his scalp and having the tick bury its three pronged mouth-part even deeper.

Paralysis Tick in Scalp

Confidently, I grabbed my first aid kit. After my last experience with a paralysis tick on my head I’d made sure I always had a set in my bag. It had mysteriously vanished though. Perhaps it was in the car. After a long fruitless search, I used my mildly extreme MacGyver skills and fashioned a device out of a pen lid and a couple of sharpened match sticks. Meanwhile, Lycra Man was fumigating his head with insect repellent.

Paralysis Tick Larva

After the successful tick removal, Lycra Man had lost his usual olive Mediterranean complexion. Did he still want to walk? Yes, but we’d just do the 2km return Bellbird Lookout instead.

Binna Burra track signs

So dear readers, after the 2 hour drive, a detour to find an elusive steak lunch, a wrong turn, a tea house meal pacifier and the tick incident, we only walked 2km.

What was the actual walk like? A bird watcher’s paradise. Lamington National Park has over 230 bird species and is home to Australia’s largest collection of sub-tropical birds. During the first 200 metres, the chorus of species shocked me. Whipbirds, catbirds, brown cuckoo-doves, satin bower birds, wompoo pigeons, noisy pittas and king parrots were just some of the birds we heard.

Here’s a sound recording we made to give you a small sample. The eerie calls are green catbirds.

I’m including a few pictures taken with my new camera from a much later walk to show you a brown cuckoo-dove and a satin bowerbird on the same track.  These birds were quite a distance from me. Usually I’d have no hope of capturing more than a blob with the old camera. While they aren’t fantastic, I was pleased at how the camera performed in the dull conditions and on the auto setting.  We heard far more species than our eyes could spot though as many small birds were camouflaged in the canopy or were too flighty.

Brown cuckoo-dove

Brown cuckoo-dove

Brown Cuckoo-dove

Brown Cuckoo-dove Binna Burra

Satin bowerbird Binna Burra

Fungi, moss and lichen  teased my amateurish photography skills in the dark conditions.

Moss

White fungi Binna Burra

Fungi Binna Burra

Fungi Binna Burra

White fungi at Binna Burra

Fungi Binna Burra

brown fungi Binna Burra

lichen moss fungi Binna Burra

Mossy Log Binna Burra

Pademelons (red-necked wallabies) were feeding by the paths. They were skittish enough for these to be the only shots I could take of them.

Pademelon Binna Burra

Pademelon Binna Burra

We also met Big Foot. It turns out that Big Foot is neither hairy nor capable of leaving footprints. Big Foot is a giant fibrous-barked Tallowwood (E. microcorys) believed to be over 500 years old. It is known as Big Foot due to the large root base.

Big Foot Binna Burra

I was more intrigued by the fascinating natural “sculpture” on the trunk which reminded me of a mother tenderly leaning over or protecting her children. Lycra Man was not feeling very artsy after the tick encounter though and said it looked like haemorrhoids.

Big Foot Tallow wood Binna Burra

The first 500 metres of the walk is mostly through subtropical rainforest  and includes giant stinging trees, strangler figs, epiphytes and palms which grow on deep red basaltic soils. Closer to the Bellbird Lookout the scenery changes to open eucalypt forest with plants more suited to the exposed cliff and less fertile greyer rhyolite soils.

Rainforest trees

The rainforest doesn’t follow tidy rules of gardening. It’s wild. Vines and roots compete and strangle. Lost in a rainforest on a stormy day could feel like a prison when you’re surrounded by this kind of scenery.

ainforest trees Binna Burra

Vines Binna Burra

Binna Burra path

The view from Bellbird Lookout was hazy due to smoke and time of day.

Bellbird Lookout

Much of the winding road home down the range was covered in shadows by the time we left.

Binna Burra Range road

It was strange to drive back along open farmland again and see cows where lush rainforest used to grow.

Cows grazing Beechmont

On the way back I reminded Lycra Man to get out a hand mirror and check for ticks in intimate places during his shower that night. He wasn’t impressed. After several weeks, he still has an itchy hard lump on his scalp and walks with me are off the agenda until I can devise a new bribe. By the way, the next day I found the tweezers in the ash tray compartment of the car where I’d put them to guarantee they would never be lost. It seems I only have half a brain these days.

Stay tuned for part two and three when I do battle with the weather and my dodgy eyesight and introduce you to some interesting wild critters from the Caves Circuit and Lower Ballunjui Falls walk which have made Binna Burra one of my favourite all time destinations. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with words from the Yugambeh people:

‘Nyah-nyah ngalingah kurul kurulbu’ (take care of our wilderness).

For more detailed information, including history, maps and camping information,  please visit the National Parks site.

UPDATE: Thanks to Robert Ashdowne who works for Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service for reminding me of a great resource that provides up to date information on tick prevention, removal and other important information. I used this in my first blog post but it’s worth repeating as not many people check archives.  Please read this great PDF. Rob also has a wonderful nature photography blog which I invite you to check out.

104 thoughts on “Lamington National Park Part 1: Lycra Man’s Attachment Issues

    • Thanks very much! It was certainly an eventful day even though we didn’t do much actual walking. There was plenty to see and hear on the walk. I couldn’t see how pretty the eyes and the rusty coloured feathering of the brown cuckoo-dove were until I got home and looked at it on the computer. The benefit of a zoom. Have a lovely week. 🙂

    • Thanks very much. I also like to see the groups of mushrooms bursting forth. The varying sizes and the angles they can take are interesting. They sometimes remind me of people arranged on a hill – families with little ones. The cat birds can add to the creepy factor when you are alone in the rainforest! Have a great day. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, John! It’s hard to get good pictures in the dappled light of the rainforest and I wasn’t really happy with many of them. I’m glad you enjoyed them though. Have a beautiful day. 🙂

  1. Wow, what a day out it was but you had some interesting pictures to,show for your effort. I must say nature in Queensland seems a bit vicious, you are very brave getting about there.

    • Thanks very much, Susan. It certainly was an eventful day out and the 2km walk was filled with plenty of interesting things to see. Paralysis ticks are not my cup of tea, that’s for sure. Snakes and spiders don’t bother me much. In the old days living on farms we had plenty of cattle and kangaroo ticks which were annoying but not harmful like paralysis ticks. Have a lovely Sunday. 🙂

  2. Very funny:) I guess things does not always go as planned. That tick looks nasty, hopefully he didn’t find any more that evening after doing the checks you recommended him, that would be nasty!

    I have to add I am very impressed by Lycra Man’s coffee making – I bet he makes awesome coffee.

    • Thanks very much, Inger. He didn’t find any more ticks on him. They are sneaky critters though and can hide/bury away in all sorts of places! Sometimes it can be a while before you find them, especially the tiny larvae.
      Lycra man has different tastes in coffee to me. He tends to like the strong, more bitter tasting coffee. I am sure it is awesome coffee if you enjoy that kind of flavour. 🙂 I have the palate of a child really. I like my coffee mild with no bitterness. I’m more of an old fashioned tea drinker or a hot chocolate fan.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, Inger. Have a great Sunday. 🙂

      • I am not used to ticks as we didn’t have them where I grew up. I believe they are present here in Alberta, but I have never seen one. I try to stick to the trails and avoid walking too much in tall grass etc. Not sure what to do if you have get one, just remove it and you should be fine?

        Lycra Man definitively makes my kid of coffee:) I also like it dark with a touch of bitterness.

        • The key to removing ticks is making sure you don’t squeeze the abdomen and that all the mouthparts are removed. They do carry some diseases depending on where you live. We don’t officially have Lyme disease here in Australia but apparently people are being afflicted with a similar type illness which is still being investigated. Tick bites can cause allergic reactions in some people too. Paralysis ticks can paralyse and kill certain species of mammals. One almost killed my dog. They can make humans very ill and I recently read of a two year old girl who had one on her neck which started to cause paralysis. Fortunately she was treated in time.
          Yes, I’m sure you enjoy a cuppa made by Lycra Man! Heheh. 🙂

  3. Hi Jane thanks for another great post, and I’m thrilled that you’ve fallen in love with Binna Burra. Great shots of the birds. I find with my camera (which I think is the same as yours) that sometimes it’s hard to focus on a bird far away on the ‘auto’ setting, but switching it to the ‘P’ setting seems to allow you to focus on what you want (rather than what the camera thinks you want). But you’ve probably figured that out already! How would you feel about me using your cuckoo-dove pic as a basis for a colouring-in picture? The details of that close-up are really superb – I’ve never seem a brown cuckoo-dove in that way and I’m sure many others haven’t either. Cheers, Paula

    • It’s taken a few visits but I am definitely smitten by Binna Burra now! 🙂 The day I took the bird shots, I’d left my glasses at home and so was forced to keep the setting on auto as I really couldn’t read what was on the dials or the monitor. Mine does have a tracking spot lock in device though which makes it easier, thankfully. I took a few of the brown cuckoo dove and can email them to you so you can see the detail better. I had to reduce these down a lot for the blog so the quality isn’t as good. The new camera is like a pair of binoculars for me now although usually I can’t see the details until I get back and put the pics on my computer. I was amazed by how pretty the cuckoo dove’s eyes are. Of course you may use the pics in that way. I’m delighted that they will be useful. Part 2 and 3 feature quite a few more critters. Thanks for your encouragement, Paula. It’s much appreciated. Perhaps we can take a trip to Binna Burra together one day. Unfortunately my trips are usually spontaneous though. It’s hard to plan ahead with my current commitments. I’d love to visit a rainforest at night. I can imagine the floor may be teeming with critters. Have a great week, Paula. 🙂

  4. Although I appreciate his coffee making skills, I am not so impressed by Lycra Man’s inability to listen to sound advice. I enjoyed the story of your travels (travails?). Still you saw more in your short walk than I would see in a year. I wait for further instalments with eager anticipation.

    • Thanks very much, Tom. Yes, those 2km were jam packed with experience. So many sights, sounds, smells and textures! Apparently Lamington National Park has unique songbirds that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. It also has one of the world’s deadliest spiders – the large tree funnel-web spider. Part 2 and 3 with feature a huge reptile that took me by surprise as well as an impressive spider and more fungi. I do hope you enjoy them. Have a lovely Sunday. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Daniel. After all the years we’ve had ticks on us I’d never thought to try olive oil. I’ll give it a try next time. Let’s hope it works! It would be a much simpler solution. 🙂

  5. Another wonderful post Jane! Great pics, lots of really interesting facts, human drama, sound and vision! Your new camera certainly takes good photographs – the birds are beautiful and the wallaby rather cute! I like all the fungi, moss and lichens you managed to find. Is this the best time of year for fungi? I see from your post that you have had lots of rain recently. Is that usual for November? Poor Lycra Man – why he didn’t take your sensible advice I don’t know!

    • Thanks very much, Clare! I’m pleased you found it of interest. I still need to work on learning how to use the camera and I should take a separate light source to use with fungi as the flash is a bit bright and takes away the colour.
      I think that Lamington National Park provides ideal fungi conditions for most of the year because it gets a lot of rainfall and the temperatures are mild. Where I live though autumn and winter seem to be a better time. I think the excess heat of summer is too much some fungi. Autumn is still wet but warm rather than blazing hot. We still get day temps around 25C+ in winter so if we receive good rain the fungi love it then. I struggle with mould in my house all year round.
      Ah yes, Lycra Man… 😉 Have a beautiful week, Clare. 🙂

      • Thank-you Jane. I must get myself a separate light source for my camera too. Mr Tootlepedal suggested to me that a bike lamp is very effective and the light can be diffused by placing a handkerchief over it. I find it difficult to imagine winter temperatures of 25C+ in winter – we often have summers like 2014 when we didn’t get above 22C! Only 8C today and lots of heavy rain. Hope your weekend has been good and that you have a beautiful week too 🙂

        • Sounds like miserable weather, Clare! I think places in southern Australia suffer much more in winter. It can get quite cold in Tasmania and parts of Victoria, where it snows each year in the alpine regions.
          Yes, I read Mr T’s suggestion too. I plan on giving it a go. I remember my daughter’s mobile phone light was excellent but of course it flattens her battery too quickly. A small led light would be great. 🙂

  6. Jane, roasted chickpeas are one of my favorites! So glad you like them as well, Completely enjoyed reading of your adventure . . . found myself laughing . . . really appreciated the audio and the photos . . . a landscape so different from any I have ever seen. Look forward to hearing more.

    • Hi Jan, I’m glad that someone out there appreciates roasted chickpeas too. I am gluten, lactose, egg and peanut intolerant so my options have been reduced. I was surprised by how yummy chickpeas are roasted. I also love hummus dip. Such a great source of calcium.
      Haha…I’m glad the post made you laugh. I was a little nervous that readers would think I was being cruel/disrespectful towards Lycra Man! He doesn’t care what I write though and enjoys teasing other people.
      I will try to include more audio and perhaps even a video from another walk if I can hold it still enough. My Australian accent may also make people laugh…or cringe!
      Thanks very much for reading and commenting, Jan. It’s very encouraging to me. I appreciate it. 🙂

      • There’s a lot of wonderful food in the world . . . I’ve been eating a vegan diet for many years and an increasingly gluten free one. . . once I realized it wasn’t so much about giving up foods (my beloved cheeses -ha, ha) but learning to eat a greater variety the journey became so much more enjoyable. On another note, wonderful that you have a friend who enjoys being part of humor . . . sometimes laughter is just what is needed. Tell Lycra Man that I’m grateful!

        • Thanks, Jan. Yes it’s surprising how many delicious foods one finds when your other choices are gone! There are many foods I would not have tried if I hadn’t needed to find alternative sources of nutrition. 🙂

  7. I enjoyed seeing your photos as usual! It is so pleasant, as we enter the winter season, to see your summer scenes and especially so because you have things there that I would see no other way. I also love the place names!

    • Thanks very much, Terry. There will be more on the way in the next couple of blog posts. The Caves Circuit has some interesting geological features and the other longer walk down to some falls has a greater variety of trees. There will also be quite a few more lovely Indigenous names. Have a great week. I look forward to more of your beautiful snowy mountain/forest pictures as we hit our hot summer temps. 🙂

  8. We love Lamington Mt NP, you have such beautiful pics, especially of the fungi. I so want to go back to O’Reillys, and get back into the rainforest. I saw a flock of Brown Cuckoo doves recently, they are now very common here. You have such beautiful forest near you Jane, and you capture great wildlife pics. We will have to get up that way next year.

    • Thanks very much. Lamington is a unique place and definitely a joy to visit if you love birdwatching. I’ve been to other rainforest national parks and not seen many birds. I suspect cats may be one reason as those areas adjoin suburbia. Lamington seems to be more pristine and isolated from large townships more. That was my very first brown cuckoo doves sighting so I’m amazed they are so common down your way. I hope you’re able to visit again next year. I’m glad you enjoyed the reminder of your visit. I found Binna Burra to be a little less touristy than O’Reillys so you may be able to do some walks there that are less crowded. I think the road is a little less narrow as well. Best wishes. 🙂

  9. Hi Jane, awesome post, your photos are wonderful, makes me want to pack up and head to Binna Burra now! I was reading about tick removal somewhere the other day (although I can’t remember where…I’ve only got half a functioning brain too), the article talked of looping a thread of cotton around the head of the tick against your skin and then slowly tightening the loop until they drop off, I might try it next time, I usually go for the finger nail method:) Last time I was bitten (twice on the one walk) I got some anti-biotics from the doc when I got home, just to be safe.
    Cheers Kevin

    • Thanks Kevin! I’m glad you commented as it gives me the chance to tell you that I went up to Binna Burra and did the Caves’ Circuit and part of the Ship’s Stern Circuit – about 18km in total. I felt really good afterwards even though it was a horribly humid day. Some of that track is part of the Great Walk. Really beautiful, so I am sure you will love it when you come up next winter.
      I’ll give the thread a go next time. I don’t really have decent fingernails (unlike most women). They are quite short so getting a grip didn’t work that day. It would have been easier if Lycra Man hadn’t squeezed it. The head was buried a bit too deeply. Nasty little suckers. We had heaps of ticks out on the farm but they were cattle and kangaroo ticks and easy to just pull off with fingers. Paralysis ones seem to really dig in given the chance. You should be right on your winter trip up here though. The leeches were about too, but I don’t mind them as much.
      I’m very glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the kind words. I have 2-3 of yours to catch up on. You do churn them out, Kevin! Have a great week and happy walking. 🙂

  10. I HATE TICKS. Our unusually mild fall has given our ticks extra life and they are everywhere after a rain. I’ve been wearing tick resistant clothing when I’m in tick habitat and it seems to work well. Have you tried it?
    Thanks so much for including the bird call recording. The photos are wonderful but the sounds really brought the place to life.

    • Ah, you have experience with ticks too! No, I haven’t tried tick resistant clothing yet. I’ll have to research that. Usually where I walk it’s not too bad as long as I don’t brush against foliage. Having cleared paths helps a lot. If I was walking through long grass I’d have more problems such as what happened when I lived on farms.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the audio. I will try to record more sounds on my next walk. Actually, the sound of possums at night here may be of interest to some as well.
      Thanks very much for reading and commenting. It’s much appreciated. I hope you have a wonderful week. 🙂

      • Zoe picks up ticks on walks and we are doing a lot of work clearing brush, so we have had a very tick-y time lately. Lyme disease is rampant here and some other nasty tick-borne diseases are moving in too. Aside from that, there’s something about parasites in general that gives me the creeps.
        The sound of possums at night is a teaser. Please record it!

        • Yes, it’s difficult with dogs and ticks. Most people in Queensland use a product once every few weeks that is put on the back of a dog’s neck to protect them from paralysis ticks. My old collie nearly died from having just one tick on her. She went paralysed in the back legs first. The product is absorbed into the animal’s skin and it repels ticks and fleas but apparently paralysis ticks are getting resistant to it. It is a poison so I don’t know how healthy it is in the long term for dogs but the risk from paralysis ticks is significant here.
          Lyme disease is certainly nasty! We officially don’t have it here although there are increasing numbers of people reporting lyme disease-like symptoms and research is under way. Apparently there may be a similar disease not yet identified. It doesn’t seem to be anywhere as prolific as Lyme disease in your part of the world though. I don’t mind spiders and snakes but I’m not at all fond of ticks!
          I will try and get a recording of the possums partying for you. They tend to carry on when I am tucked up in bed though, trying to sleep! 🙂

          • We have Zoe on Frontline, which seems to very effectively stop the ticks from actually biting her (she’s also had the Lyme vaccine), or they die soon after taking a bite. What seems to happen, though, is that they crawl up to the top of her head looking for a less toxic host. That would be us! Fortunately, she is white so the ticks are easy to see and execute.

  11. Oh my, Jane. Once again I was laughing and chuckling to the point that my husband had to come in the computer room to see what all the ruckus was! You are so good at storytelling! I could feel every bit of your emotion on this short hike. Who IS this Lycra man you speak of? Ha ha! What a character and don’t we all know someone just like him? Well, I loved the images, and despite it being a short hike and a long day, your really came back with a great story for all of us. The video was a nice addition too… and the green catbird calls were interesting. Glad you found the tweezers… finally! We have ticks here too. Tick checks are a daily ritual for us!

    • Thanks very much, Lori! Since you are such a great story teller, it is very encouraging to read your comments about my writing. I don’t regard myself as able to write humorously so I’m pleased you had a good laugh. I suppose I have Lycra Man to thank for giving me much of the material. Hehe. Lycra Man wishes to remain anonymous so his professional reputation isn’t tarnished by my “cruel” portrayal of him. 😉 He prefers to remain a mystery unless of course a movie company offers to cast him as a superhero or as James Bond. Until then he wants to guard his esteemed public image. 😉
      Yes, Binna Burra is certainly good value. A short walk there has more wildlife and points of interest than 20km walked in other areas I go! One of these days I will share a video of me huffing and puffing along the trails chatting in a very uncouth Aussie accent.
      Have a great week, Lori, and thanks for your continued support. 🙂

  12. Gorgeous photos Jane… although I did have to skim quickly over the tick shots. I’ve seen too many in the wild to linger on them up close 🙂 . Binna Burra is one of my favourite places for hiking and just ‘being in’ as well. Driving up to its 800m altitude takes me into another climate and I enjoy that change regardless of the season. I’m familiar with the Bellbird Circuit and it’s so nice to see it through your eyes… and ears. The recording of birdsong is lovely and took me right there. I’m looking forward to the next instalments! Thanks for a wonderful post Jane.

    • Thank you very much, Gail. Most shots were with the old camera but the bird shots and some others were with the new camera on a later walk. I’m pleased with how it zooms. When I get my head around the instructions I’ll be able to make better use of the features. It takes a long time for that kind of thing to sink into my fuzzy head. 🙂
      I know what you mean about the drive up there. I went up there three times in 2 weeks and each time I didn’t plan to stop along the way, but there was so much beautiful countryside I just had to! It’s so lush and green and the air so fresh. It truly does take you into another world mentally. I love it.
      I also did the Caves’ Circuit and about half of the Ship’s Stern Circuit which feature even more variation in flora. If I write as much as I want and share all the pics the posts will be enormous. It will be difficult to trim them.
      The only thing I don’t like is that I have to use a car to get there. I feel a bit bad using fuel to go somewhere for a walk. I hope to take a tent and camp by the Coomera River next time so I can spend a few days there instead. I’ll feel better about using the fuel then.
      Thanks very much for reading and commenting. Your thoughts are always appreciated, Gail. 🙂

      • I guess it’s possible to ride up there but I haven’t. Now I think about it, I haven’t been to Binna Burra since starting my bicycle experiment. It will remain one of those excursions that I still need a car for. But that’s okay, I know it’s always a nourishing place to be in and that’s worth using the car for 🙂

  13. The new camera seems to be working well for you, lots of beautiful and interesting things in this post. I hope that Lycra Man learned his lesson.

    The Pademelon is about the cutest thing that I have ever seen, I loved all the fungi photos, and the Brown cuckoo-dove is a very beautiful bird. You sure packed a lot into a 2 km hike!

    • Thanks, Jerry. Many of these pictures were taken with the old camera apart from the close-up bird shots and a few fungi/moss shots. I’m very happy to now be able to get close-ups of birds. It really aids with identification. I had no idea the brown cuckoo-dove had such pretty eyes. It was my first sighting and to see the eyes up close on my computer screen was special. I have yet to try out much in the way of manual settings. Today I finally put on an adapter ring and a clear UV lens filter on to protect the lens. I took a few shots and it seemed to help reduce the glare and make the colours richer unless I am imagining it. It also helped that I cleaned the lens! It was covered in smudges. We often have such harsh light here that the photographs appear too white. I’m going to try out a polariser or other kind of filter when I have a little more money. I’m sure it will help with the landscape shots.
      Ah, Lycra Man… He is one of a kind. 😉
      Pademelons are gorgeous little critters and I hope to get clearer shots when I have more time to spend up there when people aren’t about. They come right up to the paths to eat dropped fruit from the trees but are skittish as soon as people come close.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Binna Burra has an incredibly array of flora and fauna. It takes me a long time to walk along the tracks because I am stopping every few metres! 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Leah. It is certainly a gorgeous place. You feel like you’re in another world. The birdlife there is incredible. My last trip really felt magical. The photos should improve once I wrestle with the camera instructions and I’ve cleaned all the smudges off the lens. I hope so anyway. Have a great week, Leah. 🙂

  14. Another gorgeous post, Jane! I love the sound recording. I hope to find an opportunity to include some of these myself in future as it really puts you there, if you close your eyes. Also love the Bowerbird photo. I saw a few of Bowerbirds myself and found plenty of well decorated nests but I could never get a clear photo of the bird. When my son was 18 months old I brought him back from a walk in the woods and put him in the bath and found a tick in his neck! Horror!! I grabbed the tweezers and eased it out with thankfully no effects but at almost 3 years old he still has a small mark where it came out.

    • Thanks very much, David. I should have done more sound recordings on the other two walks but completely forgot about it. Every time I listen to it it helps take me back too. I hope the quality will be a little better next time though.
      This was the first time I could get a clear shot of a satin bowerbird. I usually only catch glimpses of them. Like you, I’ve seen plenty of nests. They are a bit shy.
      I can imagine how you felt finding a tick on your son’s neck, David. When my kids were toddlers they would sometimes get ticks on them and it really grossed me out. Something about finding ticks on soft vulnerable baby flesh is very unpleasant! He still has a scar? Wow! The cattle and kangaroo ticks were much easier to pull out than the paralysis ticks we’ve been getting around Brisbane. They really seem to embed their heads. Creepy suckers!
      Thanks very much for your kind support of my blog. I always enjoy your beautiful and informative nature posts. Best wishes! 🙂

  15. What a beautiful place to visit and a funny story too! Too bad you couldn’t do a longer hike. Happens quite often to me when I plan one thing and then have to readjust, especially if other people are involved 🙂 That being said, it sounds like it was a great adventure. All those birds and sounds, an amazing view, that little wallaby and, of course, all the the fungi and lichens. Look forward to reading parts two and three!

    • Thanks very much for your encouraging feedback. 🙂 Binna Burra is such a unique and beautiful destination. You are always promised a great variety of bird and plant life there. The sounds, smells, textures and sights are so stimulating and at the same time soothing. When Lycra Man is involved my plans always seem to need adjusting. We are quite different people. Heheh. In the end it worked out quite well and I’ve since been back twice on my own and done much longer walks. The trip helped familiarise me with the roads. There are about 16 tracks there from 1km up to 20km, so it will take me a while to finish them all! I hope you enjoy the next posts about the area. Always great to hear from you. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Shanda! I’m glad it gave you a laugh. It seems “poor Lycra Man” is providing entertainment for many people. Hahah. Have a beautiful week, my friend. 🙂

  16. You can call me anti-Lycra Man because all your snacks looked yummy to me. I hope the anti- also keeps me free from ticks.

    Happy new camera. A good one can make quite a difference, as you’re finding out. Let’s hope someday I can turn mine loose on Binna Burra.

    • Thanks, Steve. I’m glad you find the snacks appealing. They taste a lot better than they look. I think it’s easy for people to see all those seeds and also the words chick peas and broad beans and think “bland” but these brands are quite tasty really.
      I do hope you’re able to experience Binna Burra one day although if you do, I’m not sure you’ll ever be able ever leave it. There will be far too many subjects for you to photograph! Someone may find your skeleton attached to a camera in the deep, dark depths of the rainforest. 😉 It’s certainly a contrast to Texas.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, Steve. I’m glad you found the place appealing. 🙂

  17. Hi Jane. I hope Lycra man has thick skin, to cope with both ticks and your (good-natured) ribbing! I think he probably has a good sense of humour.

    A fun read, great results with the new camera, especially in that low light. You always find an eye-catching combination of subjects, no matter what the context – I think you have discovered that ‘zen’ thing of seeing what’s around you and being aware of the ever-enchanting combinations of colour, form and texture our bush provides to those who keep an eye open. Or something like that!

    Do you mind me asking how you embedded that sound file into your post? Very effective.

    Can I push my luck and ask that if you’re ever passing my blog site, could you try to subscribe once more? I think I have fixed it, and if I have you’ll be the first subscriber. If not, I give up. 🙂

    Cheers and all the best, Rob.

    • Hi Rob,
      I received two long comments from you that were similar so I think you must have thought it didn’t work the first time! Anyway, I will answer the last one and hope I cover everything. 🙂
      I actually left quite a bit out about Lycra Man. He’s fine with me writing about him in the blog. Don’t worry I get a lot of teasing comments back at me. Remember the Mt Maroon walk and his belief that my 10kg bottom gave me better balance than him on the slopes? He gives out a lot more teasing than I ever give back, so don’t worry about that aspect. He is a very confident person. 🙂
      Thanks for the kind words about my photography. I am learning slowly. Luckily it gives pretty good results on the “auto” setting so I don’t have to do much. It’s an easy camera for a technophobe really. Binna Burra is such a lovely place that it is easy to take pictures of things people like.
      To add the sound recording, I clicked on add media in my blog draft. I uploaded the sound file to my media gallery and then it got embedded in the text…I think! I may have got that mixed up as I only did it once and can’t really remember. I’m not the best person to tell anyone how to do that kind of thing. One of my readers may be able to help out there.
      I will certainly go to your blog and try resubscribing. I check back to look for new posts but sometimes forget. I hope it works this time.
      Thanks for all the lovely comments and the blog support. Much appreciated, Rob. Have a great week. 🙂

      • Yeah, I figured Lycra Man was able to hand it back, I’d forgotten about his rudeness (lol) on the Mt Maroon walk. Lucky he doesn’t have his own blog (or one I know about yet).

        You do very well for a ‘technophobe’, thanks for the info on the audio files, i have a couple I’d like to use on a post.

        Cheers, Rob

  18. How’s this for a bribe for Lycra Man: “My readers love you!” – just don’t mention that it’s for the comic relief that he’s mostly appreciated and maybe he’ll never know…
    I do feel sorry that he’s going to (or has had) weird, weird dreams as a result of that tick (been there, done that), but hey – he should’ve listened.
    Great shots with the new camera! What awesome zoom you’ve got (and a good eye to spot the birds, too)! I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve been to Binna Burra. I always found my way to O’Reilly’s. Know and love that winding road (no sarcasm there – unless I got stuck behind someone). Great drive, great scenery, great walking and wilderness. The walk between O’Reilly’s and Binna Burra is on our To Do list… One day. 🙂

    • Hi Dayna,
      Funny that you should suggest that bribe as I was thinking the same thing. I was going to tell him he has attracted a fan club. 😉 It did give me something to write about. My solo wanders are usually less eventful. The next two trips to Binna Burra were on my own. After the initial drive I felt confident to do it myself. I ended up doing part of the Ship’s Stern Circuit and the Caves’ Circuit on my last day which was about 17km I think. I loved it! I took a look at the camping grounds at Sharp Bridge at the Coomera River which is quite close by. It’s a beautiful spot and quite cheap really ($8/night). I’m considering staying there for a couple of nights so I don’t waste so much time driving. The scenery on the drive from my place is awesome.
      The Canon Powershot SX60 is a great compact. Probably worth it just for the zoom to get bird pics. I got mine for $469. It’s got a hell of a lot of great features and apparently is popular with youtube people. I will get around to including some videos eventually I hope.
      I am considering doing the Great Walk which involves part of Binna Burra and O’Reilly’s next winter if I am fit enough. We’ll see. Less ticks then so that’s a bonus! I hope you get to come back and do some walks. It’s a top spot that’s for sure.
      Thanks for reading and your comments, Dayna. It’s appreciated. 🙂

    • Thanks, Amanda. Yes, not much went to plan that day apart from actually arriving and getting back home again. Heheh. The 2km walk had so much to see and hear though so I shouldn’t complain. I went back again twice on my own and did longer walks. Thanks for reading and commenting, Amanda. I hope you get to do the Warrie Circuit as planned. After all this rain the falls and the creeks should be magnificent (as well as the leeches and ticks!) 🙂

  19. Oh Jane! This visit was hilarious. But what a rewarding short walk the Bellbird Lookout trail is. I do hope Lycra Man walks with you again, and that he listens when next you suggest he gets checked for ticks. Horrid little things!

    Love this region of Lamington (less fussed by the O’Reilly side…)

    • Thanks, Oanh. I’m glad you got a laugh out of it. I was pretty amazed by the birdlife on that short track and it was the first time I saw pademelons up close. Lycra Man is more of a cyclist really. He rides to work all week and doesn’t find walking much fun on the weekends. Speed is his thing really, as well as watching weekend sport, drinking good coffee and meticulously cleaning his bike. 🙂
      From what I saw of the O’Reilly part, I also prefer Binna Burra at this stage.
      Thanks for reading and commenting Oanh. I hope you and the “bump” are well! 🙂

      • I no longer have a bump. I have a baby! If you go to my blog and click the link to Instagram, you can see just a few pics (so far…) You don’t need to be a instagrammer to see pics 🙂

        Be warned though, she is the cutest baby in the universe, possibly ever, although your children as babies probably took 2nd prize. 😜

        • Wow! Such great news. I don’t have Instagram but checked out the pics. Since mine are no longer babies I can say that your sweety is the cutest baby in the universe at this moment. 🙂 You sound happy and I assume all went well. I’m so pleased for you all. How beautiful to bring a child into the world. I wish you all the best, Oanh! 🙂

  20. Thank you, Jane, for another marvelous story of your rambling. BTW, the regenerating bush near UQ I mentioned a while ago is called “Tarcoola Track”. It commences opposite the junction of Tarcoola Road and The Esplanade. My wife and I are again in the area for a few weeks and walked it this afternoon. Still lovely. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Tony. I’m glad you got some entertainment out of it. I’m thinking the next two may be a bit boring as they don’t include Lycra Man who seems to be rather popular! 🙂 Thanks very much for the information about the Tarcoola Track. It looks like a lovely hidden away walk. I had no idea it was there despite having lived in St Lucia for a few years in the past and despite driving past that area regularly on my trips to the uni. I’ll see if my son who works at the uni now would like to come for a wander with me. He is an avid photographer and loves nature so he will probably be keen for a lunch break or after work walk there. Best wishes and thanks for your interest! 🙂

      • Thanks Jane. I look forward to reading about the rambles of you and your son, and even Lycra man, perhaps :), along Tarcoola Track. Never know, we may even bump into you.

  21. Hi Jane. The photo of the tick is very impressive. I wouldn’t want one of those imbedded in my scalp or anywhere else. This part of the world is tick free so I don’t need to examine my pets on a daily basis unlike Gippsland where ticks reside.
    I am looking forward to reading your later posts about Lamington National Park.
    I had hoped Lamington National Park was named after the cake with chocolate icing and coconut. Perhaps the former Queensland governor also gave his name to this Aussie icon.

    • Thanks Margaret,
      Still under the weather with this flu so my comment may be incoherent. Paralysis ticks are annoying and dangerous here, especially for pets. Out west we didn’t have the dangerous kind but they’d be in plague proportions if we had the right conditions. Sometimes I’d see so many big cattle ticks on the tips of dogs’ ears that they would be weighted down into a cocker spaniel type ear rather than the alert upright ear they were meant to have. Not a pretty sight.
      I hope to have another post written this coming week. When researching the name Lamington I did come across one story that linked the iconic cake to the Governor. The story goes that the Governor’s chef ran out of time or ingredients to prepare for visitors and so cut up a sponge cake and dipped it in chocolate sauce and coconut. Guests asked for the recipe and the cake was then referred to as Lamingtons. There are alternative versions and no-one seems completely sure. So there you go.
      Thanks for reading and adding your thoughts, Margaret. I was actually planning on discussing the name “Lamington” in reference to the cake. 🙂

  22. Lovely looking region! Tried to sample the bird sounds, but it doesn’t play on my browser (Microsoft Edge).

    Ticks are always a big pain and removing them takes great care as you need to remove the whole tick. Although I have only been bitten twice by them, one tends to worry, as over here in the UK some of them carry Lymes Disease.

    It’s funny how ‘safe’ storage places nearly always end up being forgotten when needed!

    • Thanks, Rob. Sorry you couldn’t sample the bird calls. I don’t understand about those kind of things. I wonder how many other people were unable to get it working. I use Firefox. I think others in my family use Chrome.
      With paralysis ticks it’s the poison in them which can kill a dog, make a human very sick (and possibly kill them) that’s the main concern. People can also have allergic reactions to tick bites as well. As I’ve written in other comments, there is a question mark over Lyme disease being present in Australia. There is research being done at the moment to study this.
      Yes, so many times I have a safe storage place for something that I promptly forget about! It happens more frequently now in my “mature” years. 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting, Rob. I’ve got a bit of blog catching up to do so I hope I haven’t missed a new one from you. Best wishes! 🙂

  23. I laughed out loud so many times while reading this post. 😂 Even though the hike was short, the adventure is in the journey itself, isn’t it? I hope Lycra Man was wise to listen to your recommendation for checking for more ticks when he got home. I can’t stand insects! By the way, great pictures! I especially liked the collection of mushrooms. Very cool. Thanks for sharing, Jane!

    • I’m so glad the story gave you a laugh. I left quite a lot of interaction with Lycra Man out. Perhaps I should have included it all! 🙂 I didn’t ask him if he checked for more ticks later on. I thought it best to leave the topic alone for a bit. Heheh
      I apologise if I’ve not caught up on your blog. I’ve been offline most of the last few days with illness. Thanks very much for the nice comments. I appreciate your support. It’s lovely to hear from you. Have a great week. 🙂

      • I am sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Hope you feel better soon.. I have not been feeling well either so I am staying low this weekend and catching up on resting. Next time I think you should include all your interaction with Lycra Man! Loved it! 🙂 Feel better soon, Jane!

  24. Jane, I know I say it every time, but I love your walking tours. Today’s was especially lovely! Your new camera is awesome and I fear I am guilty of having pixel envy. I’m sorry about Lycra Man’s tick incident. Just reading about them makes me jittery. They always find me and latch on. Urgh!

    You and Tootlepedal (Tom) in Wales always take me on the most lovely adventures! Thank you!
    (Should like to go visit him Tootlepedal can be found here: https://tootlepedal.wordpress.com/ )

    • Thanks very much, Linda. I’m so glad you enjoyed the tour. I’m actually about to head over to Tom’s blog to catch up. I’ve been following him for about a year now and enjoy his daily posts. I’ve missed the last few days due to illness. The scenery and weather conditions are vastly different to what I experience here. His garden is much more colourful than my green jungle! Mr and Mrs T. put so much work into it.
      I like many insects but I’m afraid I find it difficult to feel any fondness for ticks! 🙂
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. It is always lovely to hear from you. Have a beautiful day. 🙂

  25. It looks like a lovely place, with cute animals! well, I don’t mean ticks… I’m not good with them and really don’t like them, especially there are many of them in my area and they have here these awful diseases…

    • Binna Burra is a lovely place to walk. I’ll be writing about another walk there again soon that involved a large reptile and another sucking creature. It was a much more enjoyable walk and covered about 16km. I’m not fond of ticks either and try to avoid them as much as possible. Thanks for reading and commenting. Great to hear from you. 🙂

  26. Hi Jane

    Not sure if you’re aware of this resource, but it might be useful for you or your blog readers – it’s the best guide out there to handling ticks, and is published by the Australian Bush Regenerators’ group.

    They have a really superb downloadable brochure at the link below. This document gives all the latest information on tick-borne diseases as well as the latest medical advice on removing them (as there are a million approaches out there of which only a couple are any good!). We use this brochure in QPWS at the moment, as rangers in the field are constantly battling ticks (I had eight on me despite my best efforts after a particular trip). Increased allergic reaction to their venom is a common problem these days if people are frequently encountering them.

    Anyway, the PDF can be downloaded here: http://www.aabr.org.au/learn/publications-presentations/ticks-and-tick-borne-diseases-protecting-yourself-2/

    Cheers, Rob.

    • Hi Rob,
      Thanks for the highly useful link. It’s actually the same one that I included in the very first blog post I did, “A Tale of Ticks and Other Terrors – Hiking Mt Mitchell in Spring”
      https://mildlyextreme.com/2014/10/03/a-tale-of-ticks-and-other-terrors-hiking-mt-mitchell-in-spring/
      There is a lot of great information in that resource. I’m sure many people are unaware of the potential problems from tick bites, including allergic reactions, the possibility of a Lyme disease type illness or even the development of allergies to certain foods. Thanks for reminding me of the link. I will include it again in this post as I doubt people will go back into archives and read my old post. I really dislike getting ticks on me and often abandon walking in certain places in the warmer months because of them. Thanks! 😀

    • Thank you very much, Freya. 🙂 Those were my favourite fungi. I liked how the light caught them. Sorry for the late reply. Still fighting some illness here. Have a beautiful day. 🙂

    • Thanks very much for reading and commenting, Brittany. Yes, it was an adventure of sorts! Hahah. Like you I find it difficult to feel anything but repulsion for ticks. 🙂

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