Caves Circuit & Lower Ballanjui Falls – Binna Burra, Lamington National Park.

I’m a walking pharmacy at present due to a mystery illness which has my face resembling a  deformed purple potato and feeling as though I’ve lost a few rounds with more than one karate king. The medications are  helping  but the side effect of feeling slightly bonkers has kept me offline. I hope to catch up with everyone’s blogs when I am on the mend and apologise for my lack of interaction.

Instead of my planned post which would have detailed in depth my daft attempts to rebel against the weather on my second trip to Binna Burra, this will focus mainly on my more positive third trip. Let’s get the embarrassing details of my second trip out of the way first though.

I would like to think my second trip to Binna Burra was about being adventurous and spontaneous. In reality, it involved stubbornness, impatience and foolishness.  Ignoring weather predictions for possible storms, misreading distances on signs and forgetting my glasses was not the best combination.

To cut a long, silly story short, I drove all the way to Binna Burra despite the possibility of thunderstorms and began a walk I thought was 5km long but was really twice the distance. When I realised something was wrong I did not have my reading glasses to check my map. Of course, if I had half a brain I could have used my camera to focus on the print.

After walking about half-way downhill, I received a text from my daughter warning of a sudden severe thunderstorm involving dangerous wind gusts and large hail stones heading for the Lamington area.

Binna Burra Storms

Approaching storms…

A sprint back up the path was needed to save my  car and body being pummelled by tree branches and hailstones.  Despite the brevity of the walk I did take  a few pictures, but it makes sense to share most of them in part 3 when I returned on a more sensible day to finish the walk.

After completely destroying my hiking reputation which didn’t exist anyway, let’s move on to my third trip which involves a surprisingly successful walk.

“It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.”

Written over sixty years ago, Bradbury’s opening lines to Fahrenheit 451 have remained with me since I read the novel as a young teen. The idea that a fireman’s job was to burn books rather than preserve them in his futuristic world horrified me. Books were viewed as dangerous, being reminders of the past and encouraging people to think and question the status quo.

As time passed and technology rapidly advanced, other elements of the novel gained more significance. His description of people permanently immersed in artificial forms of entertainment through earpieces and electronic screen covered parlour walls  had seemed far-fetched at first. Minds fed by artificial experiences are now a reality though.

I pondered this as I ventured along the paths of Binna Burra rainforest for the third time. In contrast to being hooked up to a computer screen, Binna Burra is where the body is enveloped in natural sensory stimulation.

Binna Burra forest

The unpredictable sounds of creatures and falling vegetation, the changes in air temperature, the smell of rotting wood, leaves, soil and flowering orchids, the wild disorganisation of the flora from tiny mosses and fungi to giant red cedars and strangler figs, the changing ground surface – soft, slippery wet leaves through to rough rocky and tangled root covered paths – it’s an explosion of  information.

Trees Binna Burra

Web Binna Burra

Root covered path

It’s an explosion that results in a mind massage rather than exhaustion though, unlike the effects of a busy shopping centre or the Internet. At the end of my 17km walk I was physically exhausted but mentally soothed – a sharp contrast to a day in front of the computer surrounded by four walls.

This mind massage on my third visit left me in love with the place. In my first post about Binna Burra, I mentioned Shakespeare. How fitting I should then read of a man named Romeo, who over a hundred years ago had a vision to save Lamington National Park for future generations. Romeo Lahey wrote in his diary:

‘I do not remember my reasoning but the idea of those glorious falls being destroyed by selection higher up filled me with an intense determination to have them kept for people who would love them, but who did not even dream of their existence.’ (1)

At the time, vast areas of rainforest were being cleared for building, grazing and farming. It was fortunate he joined the cause to save the Lamington National Park area as Robert Collins, a champion of the region was to die before seeing it declared a national park in 1915.

Imagine the difficulty they faced trying to change the mindset of people over one hundred years ago, considering how much we still struggle today to save a piece of land from mining or timber production.

When the British arrived in Australia, the Indigenous inhabitants were erroneously seen as less advanced because they did not demolish the landscape, build towns and undertake large scale crop production. The Indigenous belief – look after the land and it will look after you – was not respected. Many settlers viewed rainforest as a wild and intimidating landscape to be tamed and utilised for timber and farming.

So it is with gratitude for the struggles of these environmental visionaries that I share my 5 km Caves’ Circuit and 10.6 km return Lower Ballanjui Falls walk with you.

On the way to  Binna Burra I discovered this idyllic campsite, complete with showers, toilets and barbecue areas on the banks of the Coomera River. If I survive this mystery malady I plan to camp there  and spend a few days exploring longer walks without having to spend a total of four hours driving back and forth from my home.

Coomera River

Coomera River ducks

IMG_3235 River Bend Camping Ground Coomera River Sign

I told myself I wouldn’t stop to photograph scenery on the journey there but of course I broke my promise.

Ghost tree

Finally, I arrived at the information centre and opted for the 5km Caves’ Circuit which features valley views,  a variety of forest types and fascinating geological examples of volcanic activity.

I must warn you though – the circuit includes about 1.5km of winding bitumen road to return to your original carpark. You can start the walk at the top carpark near the Binna Burra lodge or lower down at the National Parks Information Centre. I recommend starting at the bottom so the final walk along the road is downhill.

The Caves’ Circuit zigzags through pockets of cool, damp mossy rainforest, piccabeen palms and open timbered forests. At points it follows cliff edges providing excellent views of distant mountains.

Piccabeen Palms

Caves Circuit valley view

Knotted vines Binna Burra

Moss Binna Burra (2)

A seat commemorating the work of Robert Collins is a handy place to appreciate the view and ponder the history of the area.

Caves Circuit Binna Burra Robert Collins Seat

Robert Collins Seat Binna Burra

Although I’ve never had a head to retain geological facts, the subject is fascinating to me nonetheless. This walk passes through a chunk of ancient volcanic rock and caves which clearly show evidence of the turbulent history of the area.

Tunnel Caves Circuit Binna Burra

Steps carved out of stone Binna Burra

Glassy volcanic rock

volcanic rock Binna Burra

Kweebani Cave

Kweebani Cave 2

Paula Peeters, from, Paperbark Writer discovered a tree funnel web spider on one of her visits to Binna Burra recently so I was keen to spot this highly venomous specimen on my walk. I didn’t find her friend, Morticia, but this beauty did catch my eye. She was about 4 cm long and quite aggressive. I have yet to identify her.

Spider Binna Burra

Funnel Web spider Binna Burra

Spider web Binna Burra

I loved this short track because of the varying landscape and interesting geological features and highly recommend it as an introduction to Binna Burra.

Next I attempted to eat my lunch under a tree near the Binna Burra Lodge carpark before beginning the 10.6 km return Lower Ballanjui Falls track.  I was accosted by these fearless, ravenous magpies though.   Notice the ticks on the face of one.  Later that day I was to discover the tough skin of reptiles is not immune to these blood suckers either.

Magpie Binna Burra

Magpie Binna Burra 2

The first part of the Lower Ballanjui Falls walk shares part of the Bellbird Circuit and Ships Stern Circuit and passes through a variety of vegetation types.

Binna Burra Trail Sign

Epiphytes feature strongly and I stopped to examine the spores on this birds’ nest fern.

Birds nest fern spores

Birds Nest Fern

Epiphyte Binna Burra

Lichen Binna Burra

At times the path was narrow along cliff edges and recent rain left it slippery. You need to tread carefully on damp leaves and watch out for leeches. I managed to notice this one before it began its vampire activities.

Leech Binna Burra

Ballanjui Falls Cliff paths

Rock features added interest along the way.

Rock wall

Tree roots on rock face

The Koolanbilba Lookout has a handy lunch seat and an information board labels distant geographical landmarks and shares Indigenous history.

Lookout - Binna Burra

Lookout view

lookout sign feautures

Binna Burra sign 1

Binna Burra Sign 2

Sign 3

As I approached Yangahla Lookout a loud hideous coughing-hissing explosion stopped me in my tracks. No, it wasn’t the Mexican dinner I ate the day before.

Cliff path to lookout

Lookout sign

Was it a survivor from prehistoric times  ready to dine on a chubby little hiker? I didn’t hear it again and ventured down the stone steps to the natural rocky viewing platform. That’s where I discovered the source of the ghastly sounds. Two lace monitors were sunning themselves, looking like royalty, lording it over the land.

Lace monitors on rock

Aware that their only escape was in my direction, I didn’t venture close. I was thankful for the good zoom feature on my new camera to take pictures of these magnificently patterned, muscled reptiles.

Their tough skin did not protect them from  ticks though.  Both carried blood sucking hitchhikers. Look closely and you’ll find a couple around the eyes of one and under the jaw of the other.

Lace monitor face

lace monitor Binna Burra

lace monitor at Binna Burra

I stood there amazed by these beasts until a bunch of giant marsh flies discovered me and I ran off flailing. Leeches, marsh flies, ticks and mosquitoes – why would I want to live anywhere else but Queensland?

Continuing along the path, it started to get a little squeezy in spots. I wondered how some of my less midget-sized hiking friends would fare in a couple of overgrown places.

vine covered path

LB Falls path between trees

There are also a few short sections of steep stone steps and while easy to walk down in good conditions,  wet weather and dodgy knees may make the return ascent a little more challenging for some .

Ballanjui Falls palms

Mossy rocks

Lower Ballanjui Falls trees

Binna Burra palms

Ballanjui Falls Track Binna Burra

I finally arrived at the Falls quite late after spending far too much time enjoying the two lookouts and taking photographs.  After checking my headlamp and finding the bulb  broken, I realised I was going to have to power back up the track before it got dark. I would have preferred to stay at the falls longer to cool down but the thought of walking along the cliffs in low light and the chance of more leeches had me taking a couple of dodgy snaps  and leaving quickly.

Lower Ballanjui Falls

This really was an excellent walk, but do take insect repellent and be aware that the paths are slippery and narrow in spots. It can be done as part of the much longer Ships Stern Circuit which I plan to attempt at a later date.

In January, I may be doing another long walk at Binna Burra with Amanda from Walks and Wines . Then in winter I may also be sharing part of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk involving Lamington National Park with Kevin from Goin’ Feral One Day At A Time. Do check out their great blogs if you want to see more of our wonderful country.

For all the important details about Binna Burra, please check the National Park site and also be aware that in the warmer months, the weather can be unpredictable.

Thanks for enduring this mammoth post which could have been summarised in half the word length. I hope to bring you more posts before Christmas but can’t guarantee my current illness will allow  for much exploration. Please forgive my lack of comments on your blogs recently. I will do my best to catch up when I can. Happy travels all!

(1) Source: Alec Chisholm in an article “The Green Mountains: Queensland’s National Park” in The Sydney Mail, 5 March, 1919.

114 thoughts on “Caves Circuit & Lower Ballanjui Falls – Binna Burra, Lamington National Park.

  1. I am going to have to get out Fahrenheit 451 and refresh my memory, it was required reading in high school so I probably took in as little as possible. Shame.
    Thank you for another wonderful post that takes us right into the heart of the bush with you!

    • I was a bit of a shy nerd at school. Books were my best friends really and left a huge impression on me. When a book has to be studied at school I think it can lose its appeal to students, especially if it is presented in a tedious way. I was lucky to have a couple of great English teachers who really inspired us. I think you’d probably enjoy the book more now as you can see how prophetic it was in some ways and you don’t have to write an assignment about it. It’s also a nice short read which is a bonus! 🙂
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was written with a foggy mind and devoid of any humour. I did not have Lycra Man’s activities to add a few smiles. Thank you for the encouraging words. 🙂

  2. Sorry to hear about your illness. You have an extraordinary talent for making the reader experience every little facet of your hikes. I even “felt” the marsh flies. Do you always hike alone? I know a young man who is looking forward to the days of virtual reality, when he’ll be able to go anywhere in the world without leaving his apartment. When I said that I prefer a physical experience – going outside into the world- he actually looked like he felt sorry for me.

    • Thanks for those encouraging words. It means a great deal to me. 🙂
      Most times I do walk alone, but there are times when it is probably safer for me to take someone with and I try to bribe friends and family. My grown up daughter has been my main hiking partner on these occasions but since she’s so busy with her university studies, we haven’t ventured out much together this year.
      That young man’s response is probably not unusual these days. It saddens me somewhat. I guess I grew up in a different time. I suppose they have the benefit of not encountering dangers like parasites but then if the virtual experience is realistic, that should be incorporated somehow I think! 😉
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Lovely to hear from you. 🙂

      • If I were there, I’d hike with you. I’ve yet to explore Czech trails for lack of a hiking partner. A reliable one is really difficult to find.

  3. I wonder if Ray Bradbury, who was born in 1920, got the idea of firemen burning books from the instances of Nazis burning books in Germany in the 1930s. In today’s world, dictatorships like the ones in Cuba and North Korea and China achieve the same result by censoring or completely blocking the internet. No fire needed.

    • That seems quite likely, Steve. Yes, it’s interesting that in these days of mass communication, people can still become as isolated from information as they were when books were censored. There is better technology to transmit information across vast distances but at the same time equally advanced technology to censor it. You make a very good point. There are many places in the world where people do not have the same access we do to news and other information. Thanks for reading and adding your thoughts, Steve. 🙂

    • Heheh…yes, quite funny really. Perhaps they’ve found people respond better to gentle suggestions than death threats! I must say that I’ve seen similar signs to your link on farms near here. Farmers tend not to mince words about such matters. 🙂

  4. I really enjoy your writing style and your beautiful images. Your homeland looks exquisite and so different from mine. Perhaps one day…
    Thank you for your insights and humor. Get well soon.

    • Thank you for those encouraging words. It is appreciated. I feel thankful to live in a diverse country with beautiful places to explore. I do hope you’re able to visit one day. I’ve never been out of Australia and hope to visit other parts of the world eventually.
      Best wishes! 🙂

  5. So very sorry to read that you have been so poorly and hope all those medicines are having some effect. What a wonderful post taking us into the heart of your beautiful bush, illustrated with excellent photographs, I enjoyed it a lot.

    • Thank you very much, Susan. The strange fevers have gone and now I’m just waiting for the rashes and swelling to subside. It could even be the result of a tick bite apparently.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Binna Burra is a beautiful area and I enjoyed sharing with you. I’ll definitely head back when I am well again and explore more features. Have a lovely week. 🙂

    • Binna Burra rainforest does have an amazing number of plant and animal species. It’s definitely a very special place to visit. Thanks very much for reading and commenting. I appreciate the feedback! 🙂

  6. Just read your post, I’ve done everything in reverse today.

    Another enjoyable read – looks like your new camera is going well too. Loved the juxtaposition of reds and blues in the gallery at start and the spiders and goannas (I’m a big fan of both reptiles and spiders).

    You’ve inspired me to get up to Lamington for an actual walk soon, I was there recently on a work trip (with a colleague, who was responsible for the Yugambeh signs and organising the recent celebrations there – you’d like her – she’s an artist and photographer too), looking at visitor centres. I’m refitting the Carnarvon Gorge and Bunya Mtns ones at the moment with new interp material, huge and stressful jobs due to timelines, staff and lack of $ as usual, but it’s still a good job. In fact, I’m heading off to Carnarvon tomorrow morning and have to pack tonight, it’s been a long day. It’s a work trip but I may get some early morning and late afternoon photography time.

    I spent lots of time at Lamington in my younger days, I once walked from there down into a wonderful gorge through which we swam with packs in plastic bags, then walked up to the Lost World, listening to lyrebirds. It was a memorable (but tough) walk. Camping up on that place in the middle of giant Antarctic Beech trees was wonderful. I last took my son up there when he was about 4, really need to get back there soon, such interesting country.

    Many of my walk efforts have been logistical dramas too, know how you feel.

    Thanks for the dedication in getting a blog post out while stricken. Take care, I hope your mystery illness departs soon.

    All the best, Rob.

    • PS, I reckon those two goannas were wrestling prior to your arrival, hence the noise. You don’t often see them sitting together like that, which makes me think you interrupted a territorial wrestle.

      • I agree about them wrestling, Rob. One was still moving a bit when I arrived. I’ve never seen goannas happily sharing a spot like this before so I do think I must have interrupted a fight. 🙂

    • Wow! Thanks for the detailed comment about your work and experiences, Rob. Wonderful to read. I’ve probably missed replying before your Carnarvon trip, but I hope that all goes well. I’ve only been there once when I lived near Roma. Fantastic place. You Parks and Wildlife people do a phenomenal job on a low budget. Thanks! It’s great to know someone with inside knowledge of the effort involved.
      I’d love to do some much longer walks involving camping but they do take some organising. The weather at Lamington is quite unpredictable as well.
      I do hope you get a chance to get back up there for some fun exploration rather than work activities.
      Thanks for your continued support and interest in my blog and for sharing your thoughts. Best wishes. 🙂

    • Thank you very much. I’m pleased to be able to share my walks with you, albeit in a virtual sense. 🙂 I also enjoy the pictures you share. Best wishes and have a wonderful day. 🙂

  7. Wonderful post! What beautiful and also scary things in that area. However, you’ve got to take the ticks, leeches and flies to enjoy the foliage, animals and views!
    I will be sad, but maybe relieved when you can see everything from your living room computer. .. Less people for me to come across on the trails and more land will be protected from people treading in areas with sensitive inhabitants.

    • Thanks very much. It’s certainly a very special place and you are right, the discomfort of biting creatures is worth it to experience all the other wonders… That’s what I tell myself anyway. 🙂
      I love to see people out in the wild enjoying nature, but like you I prefer a quiet, less crowded walking trail. Large groups can scare the creatures and some people do damage the sensitive areas. Here our National Parks people encourage people to stay on tracks but even so, damage is done.
      Thanks very much for reading and commenting. I appreciate reading your thoughts. Best wishes. 🙂

    • The rainforests here are indeed quite special. Australia offers a great deal of diverse landscape to explore. I hope you get the opportunity to see some of the more remote wilderness here one day. There are so many great spots that aren’t promoted. Thanks very much for reading and commenting, Richard. Best wishes. 🙂

  8. Maybe you have no woodpeckers, but you live among the most exotic animals in a landscape that is breathtaking big and beautiful, Jane ❤
    I hope your extensive pharmacy helps you, otherwise I am sure that the hike did. As long as you allow yourself to recover afterwards !! Nature and hiking helps on everything 🙂 …almost!
    Congratulations with you new camera I'm looking forward to see more pictures.
    About remember everything before a hike makes everything more enjoyable and relaxing. But sometimes it is a good practice to improvise out of the lack of preparation 🙂
    Get well soon and have a nice week ❤

    • Thanks, Hanna. Ah, yes, I am lucky to live in such a diverse and beautiful place. One day I’ll explore other states of my country. There is so much to see. I hope I may also visit Denmark too. Your blog has certainly encouraged me. 😀

    • P.S. I only got to see part of your comment on my WordPress dashboard for some reason so I didn’t address everything. Thanks for the best wishes regarding my health. I am on the mend now I think. Yes, I have to agree that while preparation and organisation is a good thing, there are great experiences to be had in having to improvise. It can certainly be more interesting! Have a lovely week, too, Hanna! x

  9. Wow Jane, what an adventure, you are so intrepid! that’s why you get to see so much beauty out there. I loved your photos, it just makes me want to go there, but certainly only after taking into account the weather and other factors. I do hope and pray for your full recovery from this illness, and for full relief from its symptoms. Do you get many ticks when you go out, as it is a tick area?

    • Thanks for the nice words although I’m not sure I would classify as intrepid! 🙂 I stick to well marked, relatively easy trails. National Parks do a great job of maintaining them.
      Ticks are quite common in the warm, wet months here and it’s hard not to pick up some if you are brushing up against vegetation. I recently added a link to my previous post about Binna Burra which has a pdf guide about tick treatment, prevention and diseases. It’s a guide that Parks and Wildlife people use so I recommend you read it if you do explore up here then. It is possible my current illness is due to a tick bite on my head.
      Thanks for your supportive comments and the best wishes. Have a lovely week. 🙂

  10. Beautiful scenery! Loved the spider webs and the reptiles. It’s interesting that you quote Bradbury. Both my husband and I like to read dystopias and just a way days we were discussing how our world right now reminds many different dystopian novels and films, including Fahrenheit 451. All those screens surrounding us, all the time we spend in the virtual world. Nature is a great antidote to that virtual reality. I like the way it grounds me, makes me aware of my body and the world around. Unfortunately, our society places very little value on nature apart from using up its resources. And you are right, it’s hard to protect natural places from constant advances of civilization and so called progress.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post and hope you feel better soon.

    • Thank you for your kind words and sharing your own reflections. Yes, I find dystopias interesting for those very reasons. I’m always surprised at how differently I feel after a good dose of nature. It’s like a complete mind shift. It’s hard to dwell on certain problems when you are immersed in multiple sensations on a walk. I agree totally about it helping keep us grounded. That’s why I am so keen to keep green spaces available in city areas for people to enjoy. Going on a wild adventure is not an option for many people. Just having a park to retreat to at lunchtime or after work can make a big difference to mental health. I’m very thankful to live in a city that still places value on outdoor experiences.
      Thanks you for your supportive words about my blog post and also the best wishes about my health. Looking forward to reading another of your beautifully written and illustrated posts. 🙂

    • I’m so glad you pointed out some of the wonderful effects of being in nature. Even simply standing barefoot on the terraced stone “stairs” leading to my small home and listening to the wind in the trees for a few moments is immensely refreshing after a day of office work . . . to say nothing of sitting out under the stars.

      • You are so right, Jan. I get a kick out of sitting on my verandah at night listening to the frogs, cicadas and night birds. The benefits of nature can be experienced close to home. Staring up at the clouds is very uplifting for me. Thanks for your lovely words. 🙂

  11. Get better soon Jane! I have found that allergies tend to turn me purple. When I was a student I got a little run-down and my ears swelled up, turned purple and then oozed. Very attractive! I discovered I was allergic to paraffin/petroleum jelly etc in moisturisers when I was pregnant and my backside swelled up and turned purple – baboonesque I think.
    Fantastic post as always. I love the detailed descriptions of the walk and the terrain and the beautiful photos…wow!

    • Thanks very much, Clare. Yes, I strongly suspect this is an allergic reaction, possibly from a tick bite on my head.I will have to be extra careful on my walks if that is the case. Sounds like you have allergy problems like me. I can’t wear perfumes and most make-up and moisturisers. I am quite limited in what I can use on my skin or hair these days. Room deodorizers, cleaners and many other products give me issues so I have to keep things very simple and natural. You did make me laugh with the baboon description! It must have been distressing at the time though.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Binna Burra is easy to write about. There is so much to experience there. I’ll head back again when I am well.
      Have a lovely week. 🙂

      • I hope your week gets better and better. I have become allergic to more and more things as I’ve got older. I don’t bother with make-up or moisturisers very much and I have the same problems as you with many cleaning products. I always thought that life would get simpler as I got older!

        • Thanks, Clare. Yes, my face just has to go natural these days. If I have a special function to attend and wear make-up, it usually means I have some sort of reaction later on. My list of food allergies has increased as well. It can make socialising a little tricky at times. I can understand your frustrations! Best wishes. 🙂

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Terry. It is a very unique area. I hope it stays protected for many years to come! Thanks for reading and commenting. Always good to hear from you. 🙂

  12. Hoping your recovery is continuing well, Jane. Echoing many of the other comments made: thank you for sharing the beauty of your home-country landscape and for giving yourself the gift of exploring and experiencing the beautiful and unexpected.

  13. My mother always said I had a weird and demented sense of humor… so I’ll just admit this; when I see you have a post written I get excited mostly because there is going to be some great humor coming my way. Honestly, you cracked me up at the very start with that rather wretched trip to Binna Burra. And of course all through your narration you did not disappoint me as there was more laughter to be had. The magpies “accosting” you made me laugh so much that again my husband came back here to see what all of the ruckus was! Honestly, Jane… I love your writing style. And I’ve said it so many times but your photographs are fantastic! I do hope you are feeling better soon. Take care, my friend! 🙂

    • Haha…thanks, Lori! Your comments made me laugh. I think we share a weird and demented sense of humour, my friend.:D I was going to write a whole post about my “wretched” trip but couldn’t bring myself to relive all the silly things I did in too much detail. A brief summary was enough! Plus I didn’t have many pics to share. 🙂
      It really did feel like I was being accosted by the magpies. They are obviously used to getting fed. It was when they got right up close to my crotch area that I started to feel like my personal space was being a little too invaded. It is not recommended you feed our wild birds here but my seed bar was very crumbly and they were picking it off my clothes. I was eyeing off that fat tick on the face of one of them and feeling like I should get off the ground as well. It was a funny sort of trip that’s for sure. 🙂
      Thanks very much for your very encouraging words, Lori. It’s nice to know I can give someone a laugh. I am actually starting to feel a lot better today, thankfully. The redness and swelling has gone down considerably. I still have no idea what caused it all.
      Have a great week, my friend. 😀

  14. This is a great story Jane! I was with you A L L the way.
    I’m really intrigued by the ticks on the magpie and monitor lizards. I would never have thought they’d have them. Particularly not the lizard. And I love your photographs – they’re stunning. The variety of landscape on a relatively short walk is incredible and you’re so right about the foresight those early naturalists had in ensuring these areas are preserved. I feel so fortunate to be able to access these beautiful parks. I’m long overdue for a hike up there. Until I get there again, your posts are the next best thing 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Gail. It was a pleasure to share my wander with you. Maybe one day we can do a real walk together. 🙂
      When you see ticks attached to tough reptile skin you can see why it can be so difficult to remove them. They really latch on with their sharp multi-pronged mouthparts. Tough little blighters! 🙂
      Yes, that’s my favourite part about Binna Burra – the diversity of landscape. One minute you’re in dark, moist rainforest with strangler figs, then a piccabeen palm forest, then open woodland with stunning views of the valley. It ticks so many boxes.
      When I see the current battles going on over land use, it makes me realise just how amazing it was that we got our national parks system in place all those years ago. People must have fought hard for them.
      I hope you manage to make it up to Lamington again. I think autumn and winter is better if you want to avoid parasites, but of course it won’t be quite as green then.
      Thanks for reading and your kind feedback, Gail. I’m looking forward to seeing what adventures you get up to next year. Happy surfing, pedalling and writing. 🙂

  15. Hi Jane, another awesome post, you are obviously getting the hang of the new camera, the photo of the leech is great, what’s it crawling on? Judging by the photos I saw of the storms you had up your way recently I think you did the right thing getting out quick. Thanks for mentioning my blog on your post, that was very nice of you:) I hope your feeling better for Christmas. Cheers Kevin

    • Hi Kevin,
      Thanks for your encouraging comments as always. The leech was crawling on my shoe and sock, trying to get through to my skin. I couldn’t stay for long in the damp areas as they were everywhere. I had sprayed my shoes with repellent but it didn’t do much good. I only had 3/4 length lycra running pants on though so there was a nice patch of bare skin to attract them above my socks. I don’t mind leeches really but paralysis ticks really bug me at this time of year. My current illness may be a reaction to a tick bite on my head actually.
      It’s a pleasure to mention your great blog, Kevin. You’ve always been supportive of mine and I appreciate it.
      Have a great Chrissie! 🙂

  16. First of all, I’m sorry that you’re not feeling well and hope that whatever is ailing you is gone quickly.

    Secondly, I’m also sorry that I haven’t commented sooner, but each of your posts is an explosion of information, to use your words. 😉 It takes me a few readings of your posts to truly absorb everything, from the history of the places you go, to the information about the flora and fauna there, to your humorous descriptions of your visits. This post is no different, it’s filled to the brim with everything that I just mentioned, along with some wonderful photos of what you saw.

    I see that the new camera is working out well for you also.

    Anyway, if any one were to ask me about what nature in Australia was like, I’d point them to your blog, as it is an excellent resource on such matters.

    • Thanks very much for your encouraging words as always, Jerry!
      I must admit that I’m planning to write shorter posts in the future as they are getting a little too full for me! As it is I leave a great deal out, but I’m starting to feel a little intimidated by writing them now. Some short ones may be the answer. I did a few little park walks when I first got my new camera and I may do a post about the birds I saw. That gives me and my readers less information to digest. I do enjoy sharing my walks and people are very kind in their feedback, but sometimes I put some pressure on myself to keep them going in a certain way. Silly really how I do that to myself! 🙂
      Binna Burra deserved a monster post though, I guess, and perhaps I will share some more pictures in a later post. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
      I only used auto setting on those walks and it went ok, but obviously I need to experiment with manual settings for things like waterfalls and bad light. I’ll try to be brave on my next trip there and turn some dials. Hahah
      Don’t be concerned about when you comment on my blog. I appreciate that you have limited time. I also read your blog posts a few times before replying as they contain so much. I can never choose a favourite photo these days – there are too many. 🙂

  17. Well, we covered spiders (love them) and ticks (hate them) in previous comments, but now LEECHES. They’re somewhere down near ticks for me–something about the latching on and sucking that really creeps me out. And monitors … you must have interesting hiking nightmares.

    I hope your illness is nothing serious. You may want to try a Bugsaway (Ex Officio) neck gaiter, if you haven’t already. It has worked for me at warding off the ticks that climb up to your hairline and scalp. The only problem is that it will make you vaguely resemble a stuffy British colonial-type wearing an ascot or some such silly neck adornment. Still, it’s worth it. Feel better!

    • Thank you for the information about the Bugsaway (Ex Officio) neck gaiter. I’ve not looked into them before but given my tick problems it sounds like a good idea. Only problem is we sometimes tend to get them dropping on heads from foliage a little higher up but it would definitely help eliminate the ones crawling up the body. I don’t care how funny I look on my walks. I have some ridiculous combinations sometimes! I should take some “fashion” shots for the amusement of readers. I certainly wouldn’t attract any style awards. Hahah.
      I don’t mind leeches as much as ticks but I hate touching them. They are so sticky and squirmy!
      The monitors are quite impressive creatures. I would have stayed longer to watch them except for the fly attack. My photos don’t show their impressive size but there was no way I was going to attempt a selfie shot next to one! 🙂
      Thanks very much for reading and commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the handy information about avoiding ticks. Have a lovely day. 🙂

  18. How wonderfully exotic, but I could do without the leeches and ticks and other creepy crawlers. You are so brave to venture into places like this!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Gunta. 🙂 The pictures probably make the walk look much more dangerous than it really is. Most of the paths are nicely cleared and it’s not very remote really. Help is close by. I feel safer there than I do driving the car really. Driving scares me! Also, I have highly venomous eastern brown snakes living in my messy house yard, so walking around my garden can be just as risky sometimes. Thanks for reading and commenting as always, Gunta. Have a great day. 🙂

      • Yikes! I think I would never enter my yard if it had venomous snakes. I even have to quit weeding if I run into a common little garden snake! Wishing you a great day, too!

  19. I am very glad you didn’t summarise your “mammoth” post as I enjoyed every word of it! Another entertaining adventure Jane. Thanks so much for the mention of my blog, your support means a lot to me 🙂 Oh and I did the Warrie Circuit yesterday! What a fabulous and terribly underated walk! It would have to be one of the best walks I have done in the hinterland area, so many different vegetation communities and waterfalls. As for the meeting of the waters place, we felt like we had gone back in time and that a dinosaur would come roaming out any second! Thanks so much for writing about that walk and putting me on to it 🙂

    • Hi Amanda,
      I’m so glad you did the Warrie Circuit and enjoyed it so much! My daughter and I loved it and we didn’t even get to see the water flowing in many spots. I can imagine the Meeting of the Waters would be spectacular at the moment. Yeah, I agree, it’s defininitely under-rated! I’d never really heard about it before. I really want to get back and see it with more water about. Isn’t it great how much the vegetation changes? I’m finding parts of Binna Burra to be a bit similar. We saw no-one else on most of the walk which made it ever better. It felt like such a great escape into the wild.
      Thanks for your kind comments about my latest post. I hope you and I can get up to Binna Burra in January as planned and try a new walk together. Alternatively we can try a less known walk at Springbrook. Anyway, looking forward to seeing your pics of Warrie when it’s wetter! 🙂

  20. Hope you get better soon!

    Being outdoors with a thunder storm is not a pleasant experience. It only happened to me once, but I got off the hill as fast as possible. We did have some fatalities in Wales this year due to hikers getting caught out due to an electrical storm.

    Your third walk looked like a corker with varied scenery and much to see in the wildlife department.

    I find walking a great soother too. It’s just nice to be able to take in the vista, relax and have the time to ponder both it and your own thoughts. Something that’s difficult to do when there are many others around.

    • Hi Rob,
      Thanks very much. I’m on the mend now. 🙂
      After living on large farms and outback properties and seeing cattle struck by lightning, I’m not keen to be out in a thunderstorm either. We’ve had a few wild ones in this region recently. Sometimes we don’t receive a lot of warning.
      One of the things I like about Binna Burra is that the vegetation does change. I like a bit of variation and some distant views. The bird sounds are wonderful and there is usually some interesting fungi to check out.
      I hope you missed out on some of the really wild weather I’ve seen hit the UK recently. Some pretty bad flooding about. I hope you get a chance for some walking in the next few months, Rob, although I guess winter is pretty bleak where you are. I love walking alone and in quiet areas but as you say, it’s not so easy to find places that are like that, especially in holiday time.
      Thanks very much for reading and commenting. Have a great week, Rob. 🙂

  21. Another cracking post, Jane! I sincerely hope that your face is no longer a purple potato! I’m sure you’ve inspired a few people to set off on a hike, although your spiders and leeches may have made some think twice. I once spent a week in the Sumatran rainforest on a hike. The leeches were like sand; they get everywhere. I love those Lace monitors. They have a real malignant look in their eye as if they don’t recognize that they are not huge killer dinosaurs. You have got to love an Aussie magpie! 🙂

    • Thanks very much, David. After telling people I’m on the mend, the purple potato started to return this afternoon but quick treatment has stopped it getting worse. Not completely sure what is causing it, but it seems to be an immune response to some allergen. I’ll get to the bottom of it soon though and I am feeling much better than I was.
      Wow, I like rainforests, but the Sumatran leech description may put me off the place a little. Hahah
      Yes, lace monitors are pretty special. That stare and their claws had me keeping my distance and I was glad to have the zoom. As Rob, one of my commenters said, the strange sounds were probably due to them fighting before I got there. It certainly had me stopping in my tracks. I was delighted to come across them on the lookout though. You never know what you’ll come across on a walk here.
      Yes, our magpies are such an Aussie icon. Thanks for reading and commenting, David. I value your thoughts. Best wishes. 🙂

  22. So very sorry to read that you have not been feeling that well… I hope you will feel better soon. Thank you for the virtual tour! I love all the pictures!!

    • Hi Lucy,
      Thanks for the well wishes and the lovely feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Binna Burra is a wonderful place to visit. Great to hear from you. Best wishes. 🙂

  23. Thank you for taking me under the sun, in this beautiful part of the world. I love all the close up, the lichens, the moss, the tree barks… (not the spiders :p). Looks like a pleasant walk. I hope you will feel better soon. Long time no see, but I haven’t forgotten you, I love reading about your walks 🙂

    • Thanks very much and it is wonderful to hear from you again. Sorry for the late reply. I’ve had work commitments and family matters the last few days and not been checking WordPress much. Amazing how much I miss after just 2-3 days! I need to check your blog this evening to see what you’ve been up to. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Sorry about the spider pics though! Have a great weekend. 🙂

  24. When I was a boy I wanted to be a plant explorer in the Amazon jungle so this post brought back some great memories for me. It’s beautiful there and is a place I’d love to visit one day.
    I hope your mystery illness has left you by now!

    • I had a similar dream when I was a young girl. I loved reading adventure stories and National Geographic mags about the Amazon and other exotic places. What I didn’t realise at the time was that we have some great “jungle” areas in Australia and now I am starting to explore them. 🙂 I’m so glad this brought back childhood memories for you. I must admit that when I venture off on one of these tracks, the childlike excitement returns. It’s a real buzz!
      Thanks for your well wishes about my health. Turns out it seems to be an allergic reaction to something. I just have to isolate what it is exactly so I can avoid it next time. May possibly be from a tick bite on my head. Thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated. 🙂

  25. Great post Jane – inspiring me to visit Binna Burra myself one of these days! Love the pics of the lizards – gorgeous! I hope you’re on the mend.

  26. Ooh and I forgot – have you heard of the very interesting tick borne meat allergy? Sounds like a fabrication but it’s true – quite a few Berowra people have got it as we have loads of ticks here. If you’re unlucky you can end up unable to eat mammalian meat… If anyone in my family gets it I hope it’s me since I don’t eat meat anyway! It wouldn’t affect the birds and the lizards though … Mammals only I think!

    • Thanks very much, Nic! Yes, I’ve heard about the mammalian meat allergy. Some kind of tick related illness hasn’t been ruled out for my symptoms and I had a relapse of the face swelling, redness and bone pain. Have have a CT scan and other tests. New antibiotics to try again. I hope they work this time. My right ear is double its normal size. Kind of hilarious really to look at. Gotta catch up on so many things though. Thanks! 🙂

  27. Hey Jane I enjoyed your post – as always. Thanks for the mention, and I loved your description of being ‘massaged’ by the rainforest, and the eerie similarities of today’s artificial entertainment to Bradbury’s vision. I hope you are feeling better now too. Cheers, Paula

    • Thanks Paula. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Binna Burra has certainly hooked me. I’m hoping to head back again in January if I am over this illness. Just got the results of CT back today and it’s an infection of the parotid glands – possibly from having had a mumps infection but they aren’t sure. I look funny but should get better soon. Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  28. Jane, Jane, Jane – that looks like quite the adventure but when do we see the photos of your face? The photos are beautiful – love that rock/cave section, how cool is that! Fabulous post.

    • Thanks! I loved those walks. Binna Burra is a fabulous place to explore. I can’t wait to get over to New Zealand sometime though. I just watched a Hobbit DVD with my daughter and it reminded me again of the stunning scenery, as do your blog posts.
      I do have some recent pics of my face. I was going to share a shot but I think it may make some people feel ill! 🙂
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Lovely to hear from you. 🙂

      • I signed up to follow your blogs but for some reason it doesn’t send them to me so I have to remember to go in and look – darn internet great when things go to plan…… Hope you make a speedy recovery and you did get that chance to come to NZ sometime soon. Would be awesome to meet you if you make it to our region. 🙂 Stay well.

        • I hope the email subscription is working okay. There may be an email that asks you to confirm the subscription and if it’s not confirmed it won’t work. It could end up in spam or social/promotion too. Some of the people I follow get sent to spam or the social/promotions folder. The Internet is a bit of a mystery. Yes, I’d love to meet up with you if I make it over to NZ! Thank you. 🙂

  29. Hi Jane, I am a bit late to be commenting but I wanted to thank you for your gorgeous posts and photographs. I don’t know anyone else who would take the time to take a close up photograph of a leech.
    I hope you recover your health soon.
    I look forward to reading about more of your adventures soon. I hope Tough Cookie, The Professor, The Guitarist and Lycra Man will feature in some of your future posts.

    • Thank you very much, Margaret. There is no need to apologise for late commenting. I am just happy if people read and enjoy the blog. There is no need for anyone to comment. Everyone is very busy with their lives. I am sorry for my very late reply. My health has been up and down and with Christmas I found I couldn’t sustain my online activity. I have had to put reading blogs on hold until I am all better and caught up with work.
      Thank you so much for the lovely comments about my blog. It’s much appreciated. People have been so kind to me. I am humbled at the support this past year. It may be a little while before I post again as I need to obtain extra work this coming year but I hope to be able to share some walks and other news with people. I do hope you had a lovely Christmas. Best wishes. 🙂

  30. Happy New year to you Jane and your family! I have missed you being around the blogs, and your amazing adventures. I do hope your recent illness has not continued to cause you grief. I pray that you will recover soon, if that is the case. I also hope you enjoyed your holiday break and wish you all the best for the New Year… Ash

    • Hi Ash,
      Thank you very much for the best wishes and kind concerns. I’ve just needed to take some time away from the blogging world due to illness, work and family responsibilities. There have been some challenges. I will be back again soon when I have caught up. I appreciate your lovely thoughts. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with family too and 2016 brings you good health and many special memories. Thanks for all your encouragement this last year. 🙂

    • Thank you very much. Lamington National Park is fantastic isn’t it? I hope to head back again soon. I’m so glad it has been protected for us to enjoy today and to preserve so many plant and animal species. Thanks for reading and commenting. Best wishes. 🙂

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