Monday, 9 June 2014

Queen's birthday walk at Springbrook

The weather this weekend has been glorious, beautifully sunny but not so hot you can't enjoy it!  I love winter in Queensland.  Today we decided to head for Springbrook National Park for a bushwalk, which is about an hour and a half south of Brisbane just behind the Gold Coast.  I recently bought a copy of John and Lyn Daly's updated 'Take a Walk in South-East Queensland' (revised 2013), and had been looking forward to trying some of the 2000km of tracks and trails in there - it will keep us going for a while.  Its a very nice book, each section has some history and things to look out for.  We chose to do the Purling Brook Falls and Warringa Pool circuit, though when we got there we found one of the loops was closed (and I think has been for a while!), but we could still do most of the walk including both of the stunning water features.  The walk starts at the Gwongorella picnic area and is around 6km with lots of steps.

The Purling Brook Falls I think are the most photogenic waterfall we have seen in Australia so far (today the light was beautiful), I hadn't expected that so I was very happy!

Although not nearly as spectacular as Purlingbrook Falls, and a significantly much longer walk from the car park involving many steps, Warringa Pool was very pleasant, and I think a few brave souls were planning on taking a dip (rather them than me, brr - not to mention the possibility of eels lurking in the depths, and leeches!)

We had been hoping to see a rare Albert's Lyrebird, but I think this very shy bird was no-where near with the hoards of public holiday tourists tramping through the bush.  However, despite not getting any bird pictures today, I found lots of interesting flora and fauna on examining the bush closely: its amazing what is hiding there if you just look harder!  Below is a photo I took of some interesting seed pods and a little skink hiding in the leaves.

I also took a photo of a Cycad Fruit, I believe it is Lepidozamia peroffskyana, based on this article about exactly this walk here, by a palm enthusiast.  This was once eaten as food by aboriginal people, although requires a lot of processing or it is toxic!  The process to eat them is very complicated, including crushing, soaking (for weeks), grinding and even setting fire to the plants to trigger the seeds.  Amazing how they figured that out.

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