Lamington National Park

LNP_6

Wet Fern Kiss

I take my brokenness

for a bush walk.

Wet ferns kiss me

with ancient love,

fog-lavished forest

rehydrates

my data-parched soul.

In this bird-swept air

I am whispered into the memory

of my earth-formed body.

and this returning

is a healing.

And I,

though not yet better

am

bettered.

~Cameron Semmens

LNP_4LNP_5Nature Nurtures

You may have noticed it’s been a little quite on Sustainability in Style over the past few days. That’s because I took some time to get back to nature, both by choice on a short road trip and through the force of nature that wiped out our modem (and a few other appliances around the house and some of our plumbing…yikes!!!). The first set of adventures occurred at Lamington National Park, 20, 600 hectares of greenery that sits on the Queensland and New South Wales border. As this was my first time visiting the area I had no idea what to expect. Half an hour before we drove up the twenty something kilometres of winding mostly-single-car-wide road with huge drop offs on the side, as a large and fierce storm rolled in. The result was a journey from base to summit shrouded in fog and mystery and full of dangerous adventures. There were rocks and tree branches all over the road and we had to stop on several occasions to clear the path in order to drive onwards and upwards. The fog covering the mountain combined with the dense rainforest canopy reaching over the road and touching (like friends holding hands) gave the impression of driving into a magical fairy land. It’s safe to say that Lamington NP had me at hello!

LNP_16

LNP_21

LNP_2

LNP_14

LNP_20

LNP_15

Living the High Life

As we arrived at the peak of Green Mountain another ominous storm rolled in dumping much needed rain down in sheets. This beautiful and impressive but kind-of-inconvenient storm thwarted our plans of camping the night (try as I might Ged wasn’t keen on setting up the tent in a storm) so we booked a room at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat for the night. Owned and operated by the O’Reilly family for over 100 years this eco aware resort provides a mix of rainforest views, eco activities, environmental education, and luxury all on the doorstep of this world heritage listed forest. Their rainforest retreat accommodation (which is where we stayed) is comfortable, has loads of character, views of the rainforest, and no TV’s or phones (and no wi-fi or phone signal during the storm) to distract you from relaxing. They also have some awe inspiring luxury eco villas with balconies overlooking the national park that would be a dream to stay in. A break in the rain saw Ged and I tackle the famous O’Reilly’s tree top walk at dusk and breathing in the fog filled forest air. The walk isn’t a long one but the lofty heights are impressive. The most epic part is the ‘tree climb’ lookout which at it’s highest point is 30 meters above the ground. You can see in the images above the ladder to the top is a steep climb. Poor Ged doesn’t love heights but still insisted on completing the climb anyway. The treetop walk was something we returned to the follow day when the rain let up which is why we are in two different outfits in the photos. No Beyonce style wardrobe changes mid walk for us. We were hoping to attend the glow worm night walk tour (one of the many eco-adventures on offer through the discovery centre) of the national park but sadly the rain returned so instead we settled on drinking beer a bar with a view and watch the night storm clouds blow by (you can see the view from the bar in the very last image). After dinner and some drinks we adventured around the covered paths of the resort watching natures ‘reality TV’ dramas. One beautiful female green tree frog was wooed by some very vocal male suitors for quite some time. We were curious to see which one would win her heart and amazed at the ‘purring’ noise that these tree frogs made (I have a video but sadly I can’t work out how to load it… computer says no).

LNP_25

 

LNP_8

LNP_10

Bird, Reptiles, and Mammals… Oh My!

Lamington national park is a magical rugged terrain with diverse habitat: sprawling vine filled rainforest, wildflower heaths, and open forest dotted with waterfalls and clean and clear creeks. There is no surprise that with such incredible habitat that the area supports a diverse collection of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. The rainforest retreat accommodation has wallabies hopping around the lawn, a variety of parrots that arrive for feeds with the resort guests, lyrebirds (female pictured above) who unintentionally entertain passers by with their varied song, and many more. Ged and I spotted antechinus near our room and saw for the very first time the most amazing skink I have ever witnessed the Land Mullet. Pictures don’t do this prehistoric beauty any justice, it’s black sheen is impossible to describe and the size of the par we saw was hard to comprehend. They were each around one meter long!  David Attenborough is a fan of the area having filmed here with a specific focus on the bowerbirds, that are the major drawcard for many visitors to the area. 

LNP_9LNP_12

LNP_19

LNP_7

Grounded In The Land Of Giants

Ged and I decided to head out on an early morning hike with intentions of being back for hotel check out time. Sadly our idea was incredibly misguided in regards to timing and our many stops to take photos and pick leeches off our ankles resulted in our walk being cut a little short of our goal to see the Antarctic Beech trees to get back in time to check out. We still had an incredible hike and couldn’t even comprehend the size of some of the trees we encountered. The brush box above that dwarfs me is one of the many monsters that have been protected from logging since the 1890’s. The antarctic beech trees (which we were hiking towards but didn’t get to see due to time limitations) have root systems over 5000 years old! I don’t know how old the brush box is above is but judging by it’s size it’s gotta be a pretty ancient tree. Many parts of the national park play host to rare and endangered plants. Including one type of everlasting daisy that is a relic from the last ice age.

 

LNP_13

LNP_23

LNP_24

Rush to Relax

It turned out that most of our rush against the clock on our return hike was due to the fact that Ged had secretly booked a day spa treatment for us at the Lost World Spa (such a beautiful valentines present from a man who will be away for work for the day). I have never been to a day spa before so the experience was a new one to me and I am so grateful to him for the opportunity to relax in style. The funniest part is that we turned up for our treatment with ankles and feet that would not stop bleeding due to the anti coagulant that leeches inject into their victims. Fortunately the ladies who conducted our treatments were kind enough to say that we would be ‘going to heaven’ for giving the leeches a much needed feed rather than screaming and running at the sight of our very bloody feet. We were sacrificing ourselves to the forest for the greater good. Our massages were conducted in a room with views of the forest and at the end of our hour and a half long treatment we were floating on the clouds. The most interesting part was chatting to the massage therapist who lived more than an hour away from the spa and had to drive up and down the hairy scary hill twice a day. I couldn’t believe how brave she was! Especially navigating that mountain in storms and at night. Had I of known about the incredible infinity pool outside the day spa I would have definitely been in it with my bikinis on. Sadly after a morning of hiking and relaxing and bikinis a long hike up the hill the infinity pool experience will have to wait until next time. However we did adventure around the pool which is where we saw the land mullet and shouted with glee making sure that everyone around us saw the big beautiful skinks. Ha ha ha. It’s hard to shut a couple of enthusiastic environmental scientists up in a situation like that.

Have you ever had the opportunity to visit Lamington? Do you have a favourite place to get back to nature? Do you love land mullet? Shout all about it below!

LNP_22

Author: Katie

Katie Roberts is a self confessed 'write-a-holic' Environmental Scientist with a passion for Sustainable Fashion.

Share This Post On
468 ad

2 Comments

    • Oh I don’t blame you for planning a visit Rikki! I’m already planning my return one. It was like we just scratched the surface in our short and sweet one night stay.

      Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *