Thursday, 3 December 2015

A Day Tour To Lamington National Park And Tamborine Mountain: Pt 1

We've had enough of the hustle and bustle of the city and decided to spend our last few days seeing the other facade of Gold Coast. It is always refreshing to get close to nature and we believe Gold Coast hinterland has much of this to offer. Unfortunately the hinterlands are remotely located and are out of the TransLink public transport zone. The most viable option to get to these places is to join a day tour organised by the various tour operators in the city.

For this we've chosen 'Scenic Day Tour' as we wanted to take advantage of its "Buy Two Free One" promotion which would be more economical when averaged out.

By 8am, the tour operator has picked up all tour participants from the various hotels in Surfers Paradise. We had an international mix that day and we would be visiting the World Heritage Lamington National Park and the Tamborine Mountains on the hinterlands some 70+km away.

Lamington National Park
Our first destination was Mountview Alpaca Farm. There is a shop and a cafeteria here and this stop was a timely break for those who were yet to take breakfast. 
This ia a quiet farm with great views. Taking a breath of the crisp mountain air and savouring the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from the cafeteria was an invigorating and welcome change for us.
An enchanting view of the valley and McPherson Ranges from the farm.
A cattle farm nearby
Alpaca Farm Cafeteria
An array of alpaca products for sale at the farm shop.
This farm breeds alpacas, a specie of camelid native to the Andes Mountains of South America.
The alpacas are cute and very adorable creatures which I felt like cuddling if not for the repulsive smell they exude.
The thick fleece of these alpacas are churned into a myriad of products which are sold in the farm shop.
We left the farm and enjoyed scenic views of McPherson Range all the way up to a lookout point before heading for O'Reilly.
A lookout at the peak
Our next destination was the Green Mountains Section of Lamington National Park which is located in an area called O'Reilly. This place is renowned for its many hiking trails. We did a very short walk (Booyong Walk) into the rainforest and had good glimpses of the rich floras and faunas there. Booyong Walk is a handicap-friendly boardwalk which is feasible even for those on wheelchairs.
There are many century old trees with roots that twined and twisted artistically.
This is a booyong tree from which the walk got its name.
We spotted a black snake crawling beside the boardwalk but we were at a safe distance from it.
From the Booyong Walk we diverted to do the Treetop Walk.
The Treetop Walk is a walk on a series of 9 suspension bridges, 16 metres above the ground over a distance of 160 metres. It is a bouncy walk that may give you a 'feel' of how monkeys or squirrels move from treetop to treetop.
After the forest walks, we hanged around O'Reilly's Guesthouse and its surrounds. Nearby is a place where wild birds flocked by the hundreds. King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas and Regent Bower Birds were among the species spotted. Though wild, these birds are totally at home with strangers and really took us by surprise, landing on our heads and shoulders.
These birds were actually hoping to be fed. Generous visitors can purchase bird food from the nearby guesthouse at AUD4/tray.
Beside the guesthouse stood this replica of Stinson airliner VH-UHH that was crashed in 1937 killing 4 out of 7. Bernard O'Reilly became a hero after he successfully searched out the crash site and brought rescue to the remaining survivors. This area is named O'Reilly after him.
Our guide showed us a nest of a male Satin Bower Bird. Scattered around it are all things blue - blue straw, blue bottle caps, blue feathers and blue petals. Guess why?? The females are very choosy and would only go for the most innovative. Cool, that's pretty akin to humankind.
We left Lamington National Park and drove down the mountains, passed the country town of Canungra before ascending another mountain.(The Tamborine Mountains)

Click to view:  A Day Tour To Lamington National Park And Tamborine Mountain: Pt 2

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