Mud, Leeches and Laughter: Mt Tamborine – Joalah Section

“Are you made of sugar?”  I smiled as I remembered these joking words from my childhood while my little green car struggled valiantly up the winding, slippery mountain road, her windscreen wipers squeaking in protest.  No, I wasn’t made of sugar. My body composition is about one third fat. Rather than melt in the rain, I’m more likely to float away. 

I don’t know if this teasing expression is used in other countries. Australians do like their quips. “Were you born in a tent?” was another used by relatives when we left doors open in cold weather. One of the most memorable outback sayings I’ve heard when people wanted us to hurry was “Rattle your dags!” Dags are the dried lumps of dung hanging from a sheep’s woolly rear end that swing when they run. Who says we aren’t a cultured mob?

I was headed to Mt Tamborine National Park for an authentic rainforest experience. What better way to appreciate a rainforest than in a downpour? Leech heaven! This was not the original plan, but the weather does what it wants. I’ve never won an argument against it. The bonus would be I’d probably have the trails to myself.  Surely there wouldn’t be any other fools wanting to walk in this weather?

Mt Tamborine is 80 km south of Brisbane and is really a plateau, one of many in the region that have been formed by water erosion of a huge dome created by an ancient shield volcanic eruption. The area has 10 different types of forest including  subtropical rainforest and contains more than 900 different species of plants.

Rainforest - Mt Tamborine

The name “Tamborine” has nothing to do with the musical instrument but originates from the local Yugambeh language and means wild limes. Finger wild lime trees grow in the area and the fruit was used as a thirst quencher.  Another name for the area in the Yugambeh language is Wonglepong which means “hearing wrong way”. I can attest to the confusion that the mountain creates. The reverberation of sound while walking through the rainforest means it is difficult to tell where it originates. This can sometimes have deadly consequences which I’ll mention later.

I made it safely to the carpark of the Joalah section of the National Park but for a brief moment wondered if I’d taken a wrong turn and arrived on the set of a Victoria’s Secret lingerie shoot. A large group of young, heavily tanned female foreign tourists were stripped down to their brightly coloured skimpy underwear after having been soaked.  I started to wonder how empty the trails would be…  Now if it was me stripping down people would be more likely to think it was a Bonds mature full support briefs advertisement or possibly a lost seal.

Not keen to blind anyone with my fluorescent white flesh, I pulled out my emergency plastic hooded poncho to keep dry. An older couple were setting off on the path, kitted out in full wet weather hiking gear. Who needs expensive equipment like that I told myself – a little too smugly as it turned out. Now, when I paid $2 for my emergency hooded cape several years ago I wasn’t expecting something high quality. However, neither was I expecting it to be the consistency of plastic food wrap and require a delicate operation to unfold.  I reminded myself once again that I’m not made of sugar, ignored the multiple tears I’d made in the process and began with the class 3, 1.5km return Curtis Falls track.

Magnificent flooded gums and other eucalypts towered over the track.

Curtis Falls Track - Mt Tamborine

The activity of lichens left brightly patterned decorations on trunks.

Mt Tamborine - lichen

Skinks were hunting for insects and worms disturbed by the rain. I was also on the lookout for worms as giant ones up to a metre long live at Tamborine and will come up to the surface during wet weather. Gurgling sounds can be heard as they tunnel through water soaked soil.

skink - Mt Tamborine

skink - Mt Tamborine gully

I’m terrible at identifying skinks but naturalist and photographer, Robert Ashdown suspects these are Gully (or Pale-lipped) Skinks, Saproscincus spectabilisone of 12 Australian species of rainforest skinks in the genus. Rob also does a tremendous job working for Queensland National Parks and Wildlife. If you love beautiful shots of Australian nature and interesting facts, I encourage you to check out his wonderful blog.

skink at Mt Tamborine

The trail quickly drops into lush subtropical rainforest consisting of piccabeen palms, strangler figs, tree ferns and epiphytes. Crystal clear Cedar Creek was visible through the trees.

Piccabeen Palms

Strangler fig - Mt Tamborine

Piccabeen palms, Archontophoenix cunninghamiana have aerial roots allowing them to absorb oxygen despite the waterlogged soils.

Piccabeen Palm aerial roots - Mt Tamborine

Rainforests are a mycologist’s delight and I found several species, which I took pictures of while holding my camera underneath my cheap plastic hooded cape. I now have a greater appreciation for the difficulties faced by blogger friends who encounter rainy, misty weather on a regular basis. Continually cleaning a fogged up lens and preventing rain spots is a skill I’m yet to master, hence the lack of photos.

White fungi - Mt Tamborine

Orange fungi - Mt Tamborine

dark brown fungi - Mt Tamborine

fungi - Mt Tamborine

On one slimy specimen a crane fly and other creepy crawlies feasted.

Slime - crane fly - Mt Tamborine

During my camera juggling fungi follies, an elderly male hiker went by. I saw him reach Curtis Falls before me but instead of appreciating them, he quickly returned without stopping. I soon discovered why. A young couple, perhaps honeymooners, were canoodling in the water. Their lack of clothing and exuberant affection didn’t perturb me. It was the fact that they had entered a clearly signed restricted area designed to protect the glow worm and platypus population that caused me some angst. Glow worm colonies are sensitive to products we use on our skin, especially insect repellents. Flash cameras and torches are also not meant to be used around them.

I wrestled with my camera under my make-shift plastic tent to show you the gentle falls which can become a raging torrent after heavy rain. Not wanting evidence of their exploits, the couple exited the water. I try not to spoil other people’s fun but I draw the line when they ignore warning signs about damaging fragile species.

Curtis Falls from plastic cape

Curtis Falls in the rain

Next I headed along the 4.2km lower creek circuit. It was here that the abundance of small leeches had me checking my lower legs every few minutes to flick off the suckers.

leech - Mt Tamborine

Another lizard caught my attention.

lizard - Mt Tamborine

As did the continual rain dripping through the increasing number of holes in my cape. Trying to manoeuvre without tearing it was like attempting to tissue wrap a trampoline bouncing toddler. Perhaps I exaggerate a little here, but you get the picture.  The plastic hood almost stopped my hair being drenched…

Plastic cape

Fortunately this is subtropical Queensland not Scotland.  I was still sweating despite being thoroughly soaked.

The rain continued.

rain on Cedar Creek

It gave a mystical atmosphere to the forest and also brightened fallen palm leaves, lichen-patterned tree trunks and moss covered rocks.

Palm fringed Cedar Creek - Mt Tamborine

Occasionally the sound of snapping and falling palm leaves and  branches had me on guard. As I wrote earlier, it can be near impossible to establish where certain sounds originate while walking through a rainforest.  The sight of enormous fallen trees is a reminder of the possibility of serious injury. Sadly, such a tragedy occurred very recently on the Caves Circuit at Binna Burra which I walked and wrote about last year. A married couple in their 30s were walking along the track when without warning an enormous 3 metre wide tree snapped off 20 metres up its trunk. There was no time for them to know where to run. The tree crashed into others and the woman was killed before paramedics could arrive. This occurred only 1 km from the entrance.  However, there is usually much more risk associated with a sedentary lifestyle and car accidents so I will continue to enjoy the trails.

Cedar Creek rocks

Earlier I predicted the trail would be quiet. I had underestimated the popularity of Mt Tamborine though and also the mettle of fellow hikers. The several tour groups looked a little glum until I passed by. By the number of sudden grins and phone cameras pointed in my direction, it’s possible my drowned rat appearance gave the umbrella holding Japanese tourists some amusement. Those crazy Australians!  I’m not sure if I had acquired the tear in the back of my hiking pants by that stage. I only found out about this when my daughter told me what colour my underwear was on my return home. At least I had chosen an attractive colour. Some dedicated local hikers stopped to chat with me about how wet, nutty and happy we all were.

Cedar Creek tumbling over rocks

The rain stopped but droplets continued to fall from the foliage so the camera did not make much of an appearance. I checked the Falls again and managed a few shots before returning to my car, wrapping myself in towels and drinking hot soup from my thermos.  Curtis Falls

The experience had evoked memories of my children dancing in the rain after a long dry spell in the dusty arid west.  It sounds corny but I really did feel emotionally and physically cleansed by the experience. Even the tenacity of the leeches made me smile. Nature is a drug that I am happily addicted to.

For more information about Mt Tamborine National Park (including maps) please check the Queensland National Parks site. As well as walking trails, Mt Tamborine has many other attractions and these can be found on the Discover Mt Tamborine site.

Thanks for reading!

107 thoughts on “Mud, Leeches and Laughter: Mt Tamborine – Joalah Section

  1. What a wonderful experience and how brave you are to tackle the weather, the leeches and cavorting couples. I loved your photographs, especially the one of trees and will certainly look at this post more than once.

    • Thanks Susan. It was a fun muddy adventure and I hope to head back soon to walk a few more trails. It was actually much easier on my body than walking on a hot dry day. Next time I may invest in a slightly better rain jacket though! Have a lovely weekend. 🙂

  2. This is such a beautiful post, Jane. I had trouble controlling my laughter at some of the lines. Ok, I better rattle my dags out of incoherence 🙂
    Anyway, this was so informative and I loved it. But about the skinks.. I was wondering if you had noticed any strange behaviour in them in recent years. You know how they seem to hug the ground usually? Well, it seems to me that in the last few years, they have been trying to stand up. Call me delusional or paranoid, but I have been noticing even the common geckos to be uncommonly aggressive in the last few years.They still hug the ground or flat surface, but more and more often they stand on their legs with quite an amount of space between their belly and the ground. I find that astounding. And it is not just when they are aggressively defending territory or chasing away the others. I find it somewhat repulsive when they do that, but they seem to be doing this all the while now. I noticed a couple of juvenile siblings a few weeks ago on the breadfruit tree in my garden. Firstly, their texture seemed to be different – smooth as opposed to reticulated or grainy. Colours were off – sort of darker and smoother. Tails in the air all the while, standing on their four legs with no contact to the bark. It spooked me for some reason. Most of all, they were not afraid at all. Even to the touch.
    Sorry for the long comment, but I was just wondering if you had noticed similar behaviour amongst reptiles and skinks over there too. It worries me in a way, thinking that this is something that climate change could have brought about etc. Good to hear from you again, Jane, and lovely post. Sorry for my long comment.Just “womplegong-ing” my way through 😀

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your enthusiastic comment. I’m glad you found some of our sayings amusing. 🙂
      With regards to the skinks, I’d have to say that I haven’t had as much contact with them in recent years to observe them closely. The local cats have decimated my house garden populations. I have noticed though that blue-tongued skinks that I’ve come across in cities seem to be more aggressive and frightened than the ones on outback properties. In this case it may be because they are regularly chased by people or house pets. It could possibly be the effects of garden pesticides or some other contaminant though. Skinks I photograph may tend to look more upright and aggressive because I approach them so closely when I take shots. When I observe them from a greater distance they tend to be less upright. I tend not to touch them so I don’t know if their skin texture has changed. I’m afraid I haven’t enough observational experience to make any other comments about them really. It may well be something that others have noticed though.
      Thanks very much for sharing your own observations and knowledge about skinks. Perhaps there may be some scientific papers or general discussion online about changing skink behaviour in your area. Yes, it can be concerning to see behavioural and physical changes in creatures we are used to seeing. Certainly weather changes can influence some aspects.
      Thanks again for your enthusiasm. I hope you can continue your enjoyment of the natural world for many years to come. Best wishes. 🙂

    • It certainly is! It’s been a lot drier where I am this summer and my garden is struggling a bit. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the year is like. Thanks for reading and commenting. Happy sweating… 🙂

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and emotionally feeling your adventure Jane, this is one of your best! I love your photos, and wow, those lichens on the tree they are amazing colours! Of course the fungi is always amazing in your blogs. It was nice to see a blog with no birds that delighted me so much. I want so much to go back to that area or even just O’ Reillys, and I will try to do it again this year. Thanks so much for taking us into places many of us would never otherwise see, you are such a brave intrepid adventurer, and yes the healing and cleansing it brings, only the one on the journey can possibly experience and know its full value. Have a restful weekend my friend:-)

    • It’s certainly a beautiful region to visit and I’ve barely walked the Mt Tamborine trails so I still have a lot of exploring to do. I do hope you can return to the area again soon. I wasn’t able to spot an Albert’s lyrebird but I heard and saw quite a few other birds when the rain eased. I find them really hard to photograph though, especially the small ones. It’s so easy to lose sight of them in the foliage. I must say that I think I enjoyed this rainforest experience more than any other even though it was relatively short. I loved getting drenched. No phones, no computer and no city noise. Thanks for your kind comments. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I look forward to catching up on your blog posts. I know I am behind again. Best wishes to you and your family. 🙂

  4. I love your gumption!
    Love the sayings. .. here in the U.S., you were ‘born in a barn’ when you left doors open, ‘weren’t born last night’ if referred to as being dumb and lastly told to ‘shake your tailfeather’ when late.
    Love the eucalyptus bark, so colorful. I will also hike in rain at least if it’s warm out. Although I get along with most of Mother Earth’s creatures. .. leeches are very creepy to me. Let’s just say anything that is willing to take their time and eat me slowly, creeps me out! Lions? No issue, they eat fast 😉
    Love how you got rid of the glow worm, fornicating invaders. I, too get a bit pissed-off when you’re allowed to go almost anywhere, except a small area and folks still feel the need to go into that area. Humans are so rude in this manner. No wonder we’re loosing species daily to habitat loss.
    Thank you for sharing your hike with us! And that I was able to stay dry and leechless! 😃😀😆

    • It seems we have similar sayings! I do think that “shake a tail feather” is a little classier than “rattle your dags”! 🙂
      I realised that I’d forgotten that I wasn’t made of sugar and how much fun it is to get a good soaking on a warm day. I’m upgrading my plastic cape to something a little durable though! 🙂
      After my experience with paralysis ticks, I really don’t mind leeches so much now. Perhaps having the suckers remove the bad blood helped improve my mind a little! I know what you mean about sneaky people eaters though. I’m not a fan of parasites in general. I saw too many on farms and when I worked for a vet as a teenager. Sometimes it’s better not to know what’s out there!
      Yes, I was bothered by the couple at the falls. There are kms and kms of trails and many other places to have a dip. I don’t think it’s too much to ask of people to refrain from disturbing one small area in order to preserve a species. It’s also quite close to the start of the walk so I was surprised they were there. Perhaps the “risk” factor added to the experience?!
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I appreciate your interest in my mutterings. Best wishes. 🙂

  5. HI Jane, Thanks for sharing your addiction. What a spectacular hike! The waterfalls is beautiful and so glad you rescued the glow worms and platypus from the canoodlers. Fantastic post. Thank you.

    • It’s a pleasure to share my walks with you, Julie. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. It truly is a beautiful and unique area to explore. I hope to return again one day and check out other tracks. Thanks for your supportive comments. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  6. The title and the first paragraph quickly made me glad to see that you’re back in your usual jocular fine form, Jane. The following paragraphs reinforced the impression (e.g. the description of yourself as a lost seal).

    At http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/made-of-sugar.693547/ I located a brief discussion of “Are you made of sugar?” and found that the equivalent phrase is used in Slovenia. You should be in good shape if you ever decide to visit there.

    I’m envious of your lichen picture. As you’ve seen, the lichens over here are much more subdued in their colors. Not subdued were the canoodling couple and the Victoria’s Secret ladies; what a coincidence of bared bodies you encountered. I can’t imagine you’ll ever have such a fleshy coincidence again, except if Australia is a more libidinous place than the rest of the world has been led to believe.

    From your descriptions, I’d be happy to visit Mt Tamborine National Park and its rainforest, although for the sake of pictures the visit would best be done between rainfalls.

    • Yes, I am finally on the mend from the recurrent purple potato face illness, Steve. Sometimes the medication can have as many symptoms as the illness itself. I think that was so in my case, however the alternative – possible sepsis – would have been much worse. I’m so thankful for modern medicine.
      It’s interesting that Slovenia should use that phrase as some of my relatives may have come from that region. Given that I have such mongrel genetics, I can probably say that about most countries though I guess. Thank you for researching that for me. I suspected you might!
      Some of the colour in the lichens may have been due to dodgy settings on my camera as in my haste to protect it from the rain I didn’t check them. I got home and found I’d left the ISO on the highest level in semi-manual mode. In general though, lichens are quite bright in the rainforests I’ve visited. They certainly add highlights to a predominantly green view. No matter how many times I’ve photographed them, I still have to stop and take new shots.
      I don’t want to give our country a bad rap but I have to be honest and report that I’ve interrupted quite a few couples in local parks and on beaches. There must be something in our air here that affects the libido perhaps… Or maybe it’s just our hot weather leading to lack of clothing? 😉
      I do hope you get a chance to visit Australia again. The stark beauty of the red arid interior and the lush rainforests would have you clicking away non-stop.
      Thanks for reading and your continued interest and support, Steve. I value your contributions. 🙂

      • It’s always a pleasure to stop by here, especially when you’re your usual light-hearted self.

        Yes, I’d love a second chance to see Australia, this time as a photographer of nature rather than of a wedding. If you ever get the chance to come to Austin, we’ll take you to Hippie Hollow, which is a clothing-optional beach on Lake Travis, and you’ll feel like you’re back home. (Actually libidinous acts aren’t allowed there, just nudity).

  7. Thanks for another great post, Jane! Quite amusing, too! Having spent some time living in Singapore, I am quite accustomed to the feeling of being in the humid forests during monsoon downpours. I love the thickness of the air and warmth of the rain and the heavy scents that splash up from the undergrowth. I the northern hemisphere lizards make a run for it when the rain starts but in the tropics it is time for a drink and a cool down. Lovely photos, although it sounds like you missed a great opportunity to add a little spice to your blog with some X-rated shots! 🙂

    • Wow, you’ve made me realise I’ve missed out on bumping up my blog views with saucy pics! Sorry to disappoint…;-)
      Yes, the rain just brings out all the lizards here. That’s what I noticed at Cania Gorge too. After the rain the water skinks were all over the rocks. Normally I don’t see that many.
      I share your pleasure in the way the air feels and the scents of the rainforest. That’s why it’s such an uplifting experience I suppose – it stimulates so many senses compared to sitting at a desk in front of a computer.
      The photos really weren’t consistent. The light kept changing and I forgot to change settings. I was guessing most of the time really. I was pleased I could share a few which showed some elements of the place though.
      Thanks very much for reading and sharing your own observations and experiences, David. I always appreciate your thoughts. Best wishes. 🙂

    • I think I’m a bit soft in many ways. 🙂 It was only a short walk really and while saturated, I was still quite warm. The leeches were only small and easy to flick off before they ventured far. Yes, the patterns of the tree lichens are a treat to see. Thanks! 🙂

  8. Another beautiful entry, Jane! I didn’t know there could be worms long up to a meter that can be *heard* whilst they tunnel through the ground… Reminds me a bit too much of Tremors, a film that scared the shit out of me when I was a kid.
    On the topic of being born in a tent, we Italians say “You weren’t born in the Colosseum?” as, apparently, all those open arches must be generating quite a draft, or so I’ve been told! But the “rattle your dangs!” is a pure gem, I can’t wait for Monday to tell it to my Aussie colleagues…
    Fabrizio

    • Haha…when I was a child I wrote a story about giant worms that grabbed me and took me down to their tunnel as punishment for putting their friends on fishhooks. I think it was based on a nightmare I’d had. I haven’t seen the movie, Tremors, but I will take your word for it! 🙂 Unfortunately, I didn’t see any giant worms on that trip. I think the trail was too busy.
      I love your version, “You weren’t born in a Colosseum?” I must use it and see people’s response.
      With regards to “rattles your dags” your Australian colleagues may not have heard of it. It depends on where they have lived. I only ever heard it when I lived on a sheep station near Bourke in New South Wales. I’ve never heard someone in the city say it. So it depends on your life experience, age and region, as I guess it does in other countries. I find it interesting that comments referring to leaving a door open seem widespread. Yours is most impressive I think!
      Thanks for reading and sharing your own experiences, Fabrizio. It’s great to hear from you again.
      Best wishes! 🙂

      • Hey there Jane! One of my colleagues is a super-urban fellow from Sydney, whilst the other guy is half-Boer and half-Australian, grew up in a farm somewhere. I think I’ll test ‘rattle your dangs’ on him first!

  9. The bark of the tree with the brightly patterned lichens was a work of art! I don’t suppose that photographing a rain forest in the rain was easy, but you did a masterful job of conveying how one looks! For a short hike, you certainly packed a lot into this one. Loved the skinks and fungi as well, I’ll bet that the area is a mycologist’s delight.

    The young couple canoodling in the water give new meaning to the term nature lovers. 😉 I hope that they checked each other thoroughly for leeches afterwards, now telling where one could attach itself to a naked person.

    • Haha…I hadn’t thought about the couple getting leeches or where they could end up! I felt a bit bad interrupting them but really there were so many other places they could go for some private affection. Most of the leeches I got were from stopping on the path to take pictures and they were only tiny. I didn’t have my feet in the creek to test what they were like in there. Now you’ve got me wondering, Jerry. 🙂
      Yes, the lichen action on the bark is glorious isn’t it? Nature certainly is special.
      I had a fabulous time in the rain. It was such a treat. I came away feeling so much better. Like my Cania Gorge trip it was great mental therapy.
      Thanks for your kind words about my photography. When I got home and viewed the shots I was amused by how much variation in colour and light the camera produced in the same scene. Some pics looked super-saturated while others looked completely washed out. This camera business is an interesting game, especially in the wet. It is fun learning anyway!
      Thanks very much for your supportive words, Jerry. As always, you are most encouraging. Enjoy your pretty new car! 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Isabel. I’m pleased you enjoyed it as I enjoyed sharing it with my online friends. It’s a fantastic area to visit and I hope to venture back very soon. It’s great to hear from you.Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

  10. I love this post Jane! The photos of the rain-forest are fantastic – the fungi, the lichen, the skinks, the aerial roots and those tall thin tree-trunks. I loved the pictures of the waterfall and I am glad you managed to stop the canoodling couple from continuing to canoodle! Arrogance or ignorance – the world seems to be full of people who have no consideration for anything other than themselves and their pleasures. As long as the weather isn’t cold I never mind getting soaked while out walking and I love the smell of wet earth!

    • Thanks very much, Clare. I really enjoyed the more authentic version of rainforest walking that day. The rain added to the beauty of the place and like you I love the scents of the wet ground. In a subtropical rainforest it has such a rich earthy smell. There is something rejuvenating about getting soaked on a warm day. It reminded me of the simple delight kids get from playing in the mud. I think as adults we can forget how much fun it can be. Mind you, I don’t imagine it is much fun in a really cold and windy place. I was sheltered by the forest. The cold, wet weather that the Tootlepedals get in Scotland would be quite challenging for me!
      Thanks for reading and commenting, Clare. I really appreciate your words. I hope your weekend is wonderful. Best wishes. 🙂

  11. Considering that you were hardly able to take the camera out becuase of the rain, you managed to take a remarkable number of excellent pictures. However, I think that in today’s post, though it was a close run thing, the text was even better than the photos. It may not have been entirely fun for you but reading about it was great fun for us. Thank you.

    • Thanks very much, Tom. You are very kind. It’s very pleasing to me that you enjoyed the text as writing has always been an interest for me. Unfortunately, my mind is struggling with it more in recent years.My limited technology skills mean that while I enjoy photography I am probably too impatient to ever improve much in that area. The reason I was able to take so many shots was due to my drunken snail pace. I spent a few hours traversing a distance most would cover in an hour. Overall it was a lot of fun, although I was a bit worried about damaging my new camera… I still wonder whether there may be problems later on with it. I hope not! I hope your weekend brings weather pleasant enough to cycle or walk in. While doing this walk, I thought of my blogging friends in Scotland and how this rain business is “normal” for you but with the added hardship of bitterly cold winds. Best wishes! 🙂

      • We don’t get anything like the beautiful pictures that you got when it rains here! I am too impatient to be a good photographer as it would mean carrying two or three different lenses and a tripod so I just snap away as I go. It would be a very harsh critic who didn’t think that your photographs are not really first class already.

        • I don’t think I’ll be carrying any more equipment besides my bridging camera either. In fact, when I upgrade from my ancient phone to something that can take pics I’ll probably be taking that instead on some walks. I have wrist problems and find that even holding my fairly light camera up makes them sore. Some of the pics I see coming from phone cameras these days are quite amazing, especially when we consider the chunky size of basic instamatic cameras in the old days. Your “snapping away as you go” produces excellent pictures, Tom. I hope you and Mrs T have a lovely Sunday. 🙂

  12. I think you did very well to get some great photos in those conditions – and snapping ones of the lizards is even more impressive!
    The other alternative to a flimsy raincoat is to go prepared with a towel and change of clothes (& shoes). My sister and I have done that before and it worked pretty well. Then you embrace getting wet, only have to worry about protecting your camera and whatnot, and it’s a lot easier. Keeping an eye on the leeches doesn’t change! (Speaking of, I hope that swimming couple picked up a few. Honestly!)
    Lovely post, Jane. 😊

    • Thanks very much, Dayna. Yes, I was thinking how much fun it would be to just walk in the rain without having to worry about the camera. I had a couple of towels in the car but had forgotten to add spare clothes. Usually I’m the kind to pack way too much, but not this time. I’ve used plastic capes before that were better quality. I think I got a real dud on this occasion. There is something to be said for decent equipment. As it was I got soaked right through anyway from the holes. It was useful to hold above the camera though. One day I will just abandon the camera and enjoy the full rain experience… maybe when I eventually visit Melbourne? 😉
      Haha…yes, another person commented on the swimming couple and leeches. I hadn’t thought about that at the time, probably because I hadn’t noticed any on me yet. It is disappointing that they chose to enter the clearly signed area. I read somewhere that there is an on the spot fine of up to $6000 for ignoring some signs so I’d thought that would discourage them even if they didn’t care about nature. Love is blind…and silly sometimes, I suppose!
      Thanks for sharing your ideas and your encouragement, Dayna. Happy Brompton-ing! 🙂

    • Hi Michael,
      Yes, I thought the same thing. A relative said it reminded him of those old fashioned coloured world maps. Thanks for reading and commenting. Great to hear from you. I hope all is going well with your Mt Gravatt projects! You’ve reminded me I should go back and check out some more walks again. Best wishes. 🙂

    • I’ve been really enjoying your Kilimanjaro trekking galleries, Marina, so I’m pleased there was something for you to enjoy in my blog post too. Thank you! 🙂

  13. Hi Jane,
    Hey, hey looks like I’ve stumbled into the pay per view section of your blog, back packers in their wet undies, el freso action under a waterfall, and split pants to top it off, and then an offer to nude up at a beach in America! You guys on WordPress are pretty wild, not like us conservatives over on Blogger, he says as he adjusts his cardigan:) Sounds like I’d better get my tan happening before I come up for a walk if this is what goes on when you walk in Queensland. Seriously though, another great post, the rain certainly brings out the colours, you did a great job capturing the essence of a rainforest in the rain…..
    Now if I could just get the image of the platypuses in dark glasses and trench coats out of my head I could get back to writing up a post.
    Cheers Kevin

    • Hi Kevin,
      Perhaps I need to change my “family friendly” rating now! When you listed the activities that way you made me blush (and laugh). The offer by Steve and his wife to take me to a nudist’s beach was tongue in cheek…I think! 🙂 I’d scare people to death if I stripped down and I’m not keen to burn the sensitive areas of my body which refuse to tan. Plus there is all that gritty sand!
      Tamborine is a great spot and made more beautiful by the rain. I loved how it brightened the colours of the rocks and foliage.
      I think it’s going to be a little chilly at Binna Burra when you and Sam come up here in winter so you probably don’t need to bring a tan with you. 🙂
      Thanks for reading and making me laugh with your comments. Now I’m the one with shady looking platypuses in my mind! Have a great week, Kevin. 🙂

  14. Having seen a massive tree limb come down only a 100m in front of where we were walking (it was off track in a subalpine area) it is a scary experience.

    The small fold umbrellas seem to work well for keeping light rain off cameras. I have yet to try one.

    • Hi Ken,
      I must admit I am a little more nervous these days walking under massive eucalypt trees. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of huge limbs fall down and never park my car under them. Driving along tree lined roads during a storm is nerve-wracking.
      I thought about taking an unbrella with me but wondered how I’d juggle taking a pic with holding the camera as my camera is too big for me to easily take a shot one handed. I had to do that when I held the plastic cape up though so it is worth a try. I could probably rest the handle in my armpit maybe. I’ll give it a go. Thanks for reading and adding your thoughts, Ken. 🙂

  15. A rather damp walk you had there. I like the ‘Were you born in a tent?’ saying, we have a similar one for exactly the same situation: ‘Were you born in a barn?’ 🙂

    Running into the couple, plus the photoshoot too, must have been a little unexpected especially given the weather. But I think you did the right thing. If people don’t follow the protection rules, the environment could be irrepulaly damaged.

    • Hi Rob,
      You were one of the people I was thinking about as I tried playing about with the camera in the rain. Your hikes are far colder and more challenging over there!
      I really wasn’t expecting to see so many people on that walk, but it is a very popular tourist spot. In fine weather and during holiday season the mountain is quite crowded. I suppose many overseas tourists are used to bad weather and have limited time so they wouldn’t let rain stop their plans for the day. I imagine you would have thought the conditions very mild! Thanks for reading and commenting, Rob. I hope you get a chance for some more walking soon. 🙂

  16. Another delightful post that had me in stitches once again! We say, “Were you born in a barn?” if someone leaves the door open! And yes, for those who are wary of venturing out in the rain, “Are you a sugar cube?” is often teased. I guess some of these comments are quite universal.

    The colors of the lichen are spectacular. I often think we should have lovely fabrics or paints in these colors for those of us who love nature so much. Your photos are stunning. Your narration along with the images really gives the reader a sense of being present on the hike. I could very much feel the thin plastic of that rain jacket clinging to skin and the soft sound of rain falling… but nothing could prepare me for the rip in the rear of your pants!! Honestly Jane, you have such a knack for entertaining in your writing. Thanks for sharing another great hiking adventure with us!

    • Hi Lori,
      I hoped when I mentioned some of our sayings that others would share theirs. So far I’ve got “Were you born in a barn?” and “Were you born in a Colosseum?” for leaving doors open. I’m pleased you use, “Are you a sugar cube?” You might be surprised to learn I have never seen or used a sugar cube in my life. I’ve only ever seen and used bags of loose sugar. I think it may be possible to buy them somewhere here though.
      I agree about us using beautiful colours and patterns of nature on fabrics and other designs. Our Australian bark, leaves, sandstone, lichen etc do offer beautiful artwork. I’ve seen a few designers in Australia incorporate our wonderful patterns and colours into their work and our Indigenous artists create stunning artwork.
      Thanks for your encouraging words about my writing, Lori. I’m so pleased you got a laugh out of it. I don’t think I am a very funny person, so it’s nice when something I write gives people a smile or two. I hope all is well on the farm with you and your creature friends. I guess spring is a very busy time for you? Have a beautiful week, my friend. 🙂

  17. Sometimes it’s lovely to just hike in rain and get soaked. It is a problem keeping the camera dry, though. I’m impressed that you managed to pull it off. This was a great post, Jane, I felt as if I was hiking along behind you! I’m not fond of leeches, but will take them over ticks any time.
    I love local expressions. We were “born in a barn” if we left the door open. I am adopting “rattle your dags.”

    • Thanks very much for reading and adding your thoughts. I’d love to see the faces of people when you start saying “rattle your dags” (and explain what it means.) It pleases me that an expression from my years in the outback may get some usage in another country!
      Yes, I will take leeches over ticks any day. I’m hoping I don’t have any small ones hiding somewhere…
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the post as I also enjoy reading about your part of the world. In some ways things are the same but in others, so very different. We live in an amazing world. Best wishes! 🙂

    • It doesn’t matter how many comments have been made I always appreciate hearing from you, Margaret. I’m pleased to know that you’ve read and enjoyed it. It was a fun experience but I’m thankful none of the leeches managed to latch on properly as I have a low clotting factor so stopping the bleeding after removing them would have extra difficult.Thanks for adding your thoughts. Your words are always valued. Best wishes. 🙂

  18. I say “ditto” to so many of the other comments! Glad you had another Nature adventure . . . must say the mentioning of the meter long worms reminded me of the movie The Princess Bride — the fire swamp and the rodents of unusual size. . . . perhaps you have those in Australia as well!

    • Thanks very much, Jan. I remember The Princess Bride! We do have many species of native rodents in Australia as well as introduced ones. I’ve seen some quite large river rats before, but perhaps not as large as those ones! I hope not anyway. Thanks for reading and adding your own thoughts. It’s lovely to hear from you. Best wishes. 🙂

  19. You are so brave, Jane! What an adventure!! Leeches and worms? No thank you! As always wonderful write up of your adventure with great photos. I love your sense of humor. Oh the waterfall picture through the plastic make shift tent is classic! And let’s not even start about the rip in your pants..!!

    • Haha…I’m not really brave. 🙂 This was a short, gentle and fairly safe walk. My story and pics may have made it seem more difficult though. It’s really a beautiful area and the tracks are well maintained. It’s very popular with tourists but I certainly didn’t expect to see so many people in the rain that day. They were my favourite hiking pants and the bottoms were very thin already so I was expecting a tear sooner or later. I just wonder how many people got to see my undies that day. Thanks for your lovely comments as usual. Happy hiking! 🙂

  20. Nice one Jane! And good on you for braving the weather. I also find it quite soothing to walk in the rain in the subtropics – no risk of hypothermia, and leeches don’t like me much, so dehydration through leechbite is not a risk either. Well done on scaring the water-foulers away too! Cheers, Paula

    • Thanks, Paula! Yeah, I don’t really know why I haven’t done much walking in the rain in the past. It was lovely. I suppose I’ve always been a bit nervous about driving on wet roads. Someone ahead of me on this trip rolled their car. I came across the scene before paramedics and police had arrived. I forgot to mention that part of my day! There were other people already helping though so I didn’t have to test my first aid skills. Fortunately the young fellow was ok. Speed and wet winding roads don’t mix. Leeches, ticks and mozzies love me! What’s your secret to keeping them away, Paula?! I guess I do encourage them by stopping so often to take pictures and brushing up against things. I felt a little bad about interrupting the couple but more bothered by what their actions might do to the sensitive species. Have a great day and thanks for reading! 🙂

      • Ooh that accident sounded nasty, I’m sure it happens a lot. I don’t have a secret about bitey things – they just don’t like my natural smell I guess! Leeches always seem a bit confused when they land on me, and end up looping around rather aimlessly. Also, I often walk with the lovely Ray who is absolutely delectable to any biting invertebrate. But even when he’s not available as a decoy, I’m rarely bitten. Except for the day a leech got in my eye, and ended up around the back of it for about 20 minutes. But that’s another story!

        • Eek! A leech in your eye? That’s the stuff of nightmares, Paula! Sounds like I may need to find someone to walk with who the critters find more tasty than me. 🙂

  21. Gotta be quick to get in an early comment on this blog, Jane!

    Finally had a few minutes to read your post without rushing. Wonderful, as usual. You’ve really captured the essence of rainforest in the … rain! Terrific images, again from wide to close-up. Love the colours, magic how that even light brings out all the detail and colour. Great writing too, you always take us along for the ride, and we end up feeling that we’ve shared the walk.

    Thanks for the kind shout-out re the photos.

    Cheers, Rob.

    “Bad weather makes for good photography.” Ansel Adams

    • Yeah, it’s funny how I’ve never really hiked in a rainforest during heavy rain before! I need to do it more often. It was wonderful. When I got home I found out I’d accidentally put the ISO on the max setting when I’d meant to leave it on auto but adjust the other settings. It meant that most of my shots were very grainy and blurry, because I wasn’t holding it still. I also had it on a vivid setting at one point too for a while. Out of the 200 or so shots I took, not many turned out! Funny how two shots of the same thing can look so different in colouring and clarity. This photography business is still very puzzling to me (but still fun!) I will keep experimenting.
      It was a pleasure to share your wonderful blog, Rob. It’s such a great resource and a visual treat. Thanks so much for identifying critters for me. I really appreciate your help.
      Great quote! I love stormy QLD skies and water droplets on plants and animals. A bright sunshiny day can take all the colour out of the surroundings sometimes. Thanks for all your support and encouragement. Best wishes! 🙂

  22. I think there definitely is a cleansing that happens when we’re immersed in habitat like this Jane. The purity of the plants, trees, soils and creatures is such a contrast to the tensions that we carry in from urban lives. It’s so refreshing to be there and soak in that gentle strength – even better if its raining: fewer people and the rain adds another layer of ‘refreshing’. Except of course it comes with leeches – not my favourite wet weather friends, but they do keep me moving 🙂 Beautiful photos Jane and a really enjoyable walk through the wet with you. Thanks! 🌿

    • Thanks for sharing your own experiences and thoughts. You’ve described the feelings so well, Gail. I agree about the leeches…I’d happily give them a miss! They’re not as creepy as ticks though! I hope to have another cleansing experience soon. Thanks very much for reading, Gail, and your wise and encouraging words. Best wishes! 🙂

  23. What superb photos, Jane.
    I wonder why I haven’t explored your blog some more before. Those tree roots are fascinating.

    Your talk of a rain poncho reminded me that I have one the same, but can’t remember where I put it (says she who is obsessively neat and tidy with a place for everything and everything in it’s place). Must be in my ‘photography’ drawer where I keep all the odd bits and pieces associated with walking and photography. I’ve never actually used it, but I shall search for it now.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog again tonight. Your support is most welcome.

    • Thanks very much, Vikki. I know you were having some issues with your download data in the past and my blog posts do contain a lot of photos so that could use up too much data. I need to cut back on photos so people can more easily view them. I have used rain ponchos before and they were superior to this flimsy one. I find them good to keep in my bag for emergencies on walks – they are also great little tents to take pictures of fungi and whatever in the rain (although it takes some wrestling!) Thanks for reading and commenting. I always enjoy your posts even though I don’t comment regularly. Have a lovely weekend. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Freya. Yes, skinks are just a kind of lizard, belonging to family, Scincidae. They tend to have shorter necks and legs and long tails and some of them have the ability to drop their tails when predators are around and grow a new one. I’m a big fan of skinks. I will waste a lot of time watching them. I see colourful lichen on rainforest trees often, but it still delights me! Have a beautiful weekend. 🙂

  24. I’m glad you braved the rain and undertook this hike so that we could virtually enjoy it. Everything is so lush. The falls are beautiful with all the water flowing over them.

    • Hi Sheryl,
      I’m glad I went in the rain too as I think it really added to the experience. It brightened the colours and gave it a more wild atmosphere. Lush is definitely the right word to describe subtropical rainforest. They’re a perfect place to go for some “green” therapy. Thank you for reading and commenting. It’s lovely to hear from you. 🙂

  25. What a wonderful, wet walk in the woods! I, too, am partial to your study of the lichens on the bark, but there’s much great stuff here. Love your idea to shoot from under your plastic hood–that really sets the mood!

    • Thanks! It’s a beautiful spot with so much to discover. I do like my lichen. It was tricky but lots of fun taking shots from my “tent” so I am glad you enjoyed it. Best wishes. 🙂

    • It is a pretty special place and the heavy shade from the canopy is great for people like me who burn easily from the sun! The rain gave it a wonderful atmosphere too. I think you would have loved it. Thanks, Brittany. I hope you are well and having a lovely Easter so far. Best wishes1 🙂

  26. I hate to admit it but I’m going to have to get a car – just so I can get to nature! this post has me drooling. Despite what Modern Family says, there is no “bus to the bush”.

    • Yes, that’s the problem with many of these spots! Unless you have a car, it’s pretty hard to get to them. When everything settles down with regards to my sick relative, I have 4 spare seats in my car, so I could take you and some of the kids places if you want? It may be a month or two before I will be able to do that though. You might as well come with me! I would love to take you. You can have special blog nicknames then if you want to be part of a write up! Sometimes you can find other people in Meet Ups groups in the Brisbane area that are willing to take you when they organise group events. When you are feeling well, you could check out those groups online. I know you are very busy most of the time though with family responsibility. Lovely to hear from you. Best wishes. x

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