Sunday, 2 February 2014

Day tripping

One of the many wonderful things about having a friend from London staying with me for six weeks was the opportunity to share some of my favourite places with her. It was Jayne's first visit, so there was much to see. But where to start?

I decide to mix it around, and we combined lots of day trips with some major expeditions.

This post is all about the day trips. All these places are within two hours drive from my home in Brisbane, yet still show the diversity of our wonderful country.

One of the things Jayne was keen to do was to spend a few days where she could explore the rainforest, so we headed south to Lamington National Park behind the Gold Coast hinterland to look at a couple of accommodation options: Binna Burra and O'Reillys.

Lamington is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.  It includes the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, most of the world's warm temperate rainforest, and nearly all of the Antarctic Beech cool temperate rainforest. These ancient trees are a relic of the great beech forests that covered the super-continent Gondwana, which separated to form the southern land masses: Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand.

The wildlife, particularly the birds, are spectacular. We were lucky enough to spot some pademelons, a type of small wallaby, on a walk at Binna Burra, though I wasn't quick enough to capture a photo.

Tree Waratah at Binna Burra

Binna Burra

King Parrot and Crimson Rosella at O'Reillys

Crimson Rosella

Currawong - 'Are you looking at me?'


Not so shy!

Wonga pigeon and Australian Brush Turkey

King parrots and rosellas

Beautiful woven nest

A red flowered mistletoe. I often wondered if mistletoe had been introduced into Australia, but there are over 90 native varieties compared to just one in Europe

Buttress roots

Crows nest fern

Jayne opted to spend a few days based at Binna Burra while I headed home to get a bit ahead with some work. When she was ready to be picked up, we took a slightly different route home via the Numinbah Valley and stopping along the way to visit the Natural Arch.

Upper Beechmont looking towards Mount Warning

Numinbah Valley

The Natural Arch, Numinbah Valley, where a flowing creek has eroded the roof of a cave

Numinbah Valley

Our next trip was still further south along the Coast to Ballina to spend a few days with my brother and explore some of Northern New South Wales beaches and countryside.  We were lucky enough en route to come across a small flock of black cockatoos feasting on the coastal casuarinas and banksia.

Yellow-tailed black cockatoo

Kite surfers at Byron Bay

The Pass, Byron Bay

A beach wedding at The Pass

Surf school

The iconic Byron Beach Cafe

Bangalow Markets

A stall specialising in Vireyas, tropical rhododendrons

Australian native, Black Bean tree

I have posted road trips to the beautiful Scenic Rim several times previously (here and here), but there is always so much to see. It's great to just get lost on some of the country roads around Boonah and Rathdowney and enjoy the scenery.


Another of our drives took us north of  Brisbane to the popular villages of Montville and Maleny. Lots of shopping and not so many photos that day!

Glasshouse Mountains

And finally, on Jayne's final full day we headed to my old stomping ground, the Gold Coast, and lunch at the beach.

Next post, I'll show you some of our longer trips, starting with a visit to a couple of Queensland famous islands.


  1. That's a real showcase of our natural beauty Marisa. We are fortunate, aren't we to have it all "at our doorstep". Sounds like you had a busy happy time.

    1. We are lucky indeed, Ros, and it was very busy fitting all these trips into a short period but so much fun.

  2. I love to host visitors and play tourist in my own backyard. You saw some wonderful birds on your travels.

    1. It's great to have the 'excuse' of visitors to get out and explore, isn't it. Love my birds! I am enjoying much more success photographing them with the new digital SLR camera I bought last year compared to my trusty little point-and-shoot.

  3. Jayne was very lucky to have you as her tour guide.....I enjoyed sightseeing with you both.....loved the gorgeous landscapes and the colourful birds......your country is beautiful and it's always good to be able to show it off to first time visitors.
    I would have enjoyed myself in the rainforest as well.

    1. The rainforest is lovely. I have only ever day-tripped up there previously,Virginia, but I think I will follow Jayne's example and try to get up there for a few days.



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