New Farm Park, Brisbane

Thursday, June 27, 2013

RAINFOREST AND WATERFALLS

On our day tour from Cairns we left Lake Barrine and drove in our little bus deep into the rainforest. Our driver guide took us for a boardwalk through the jungle where we saw huge stinging plants and plants that grabbed you with their millions of thorns as you brushed past them. Then we came upon the most amazing tree near Yungaburra.
It is a Curtain Fig Tree a member of the Strangler Fig species (Ficus virens) The Curtain Fig starts growing in the top of a host tree and then sends down hundreds of aerial roots like a curtain to take hold in the ground and then the host tree dies. In this case the tree fell onto another at a 45° and the roots form a very wide curtain, which I couldn't get all into the photos. The skies were grey and light rain falling.

This Curtain Fig Tree is about 500 years old. They are only found in the rainforests of northern Australia.

Photo from the web.
 Then we went to a creek where we were lucky to see the elusive platypus, an extremely shy monotreme. They spend most of their time feeding on worms and other riverbed creepy crawlies so it is very hard to capture them as they are only on the surface long enough to take a breath and you never know where they are coming up.








Then we were off to see the waterfalls. The first and most spectacular was the Millaa Millaa Falls. You can swim here but we didn't.

Photo by Ann J






We climbed aboard again and drove on to an organic dairy farm for a cheese and yoghurt tasting.

I was accosted by a colourful cow on the verandah.
 Then we drove onto Mungalli Falls, where we had lunch in a gazebo overlooking the falls. The falls start here like a cascade and.....
  then the water plummets over a precipice and crashes onto the rocks a long way below.

Our driver /guide has made friends with a local. (I'm not sure what kind of wallaby it is) He hopped after the driver to the gazebo to say hello to us and to scrounge some food scraps.

Then we pushed on to the next attraction, Crawford's Lookout overlooking the Johnstone Gorge. The rain was like a mist, typical of rainforest weather.
Next we were off to Paronella Park, where we will see the ruins of a Spanish castle in the jungle.

28 comments:

  1. How lucky to see a platypus in the wild. I was fascinated by them when I was at Sydney zoo. The other pictures are breathtaking. What a terrific trip.

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  2. Wow! This all sounds wonderful, Diane. Very cool seeing the platypus! And I love the Curtain Fig tree and the beautiful waterfalls. The little wallaby is very cute too. Great series of photos from your trip!

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  3. What an amazing trip, the nature is so wonderful, that curtain of the fig is so special and so old. All the waterfalls are great.

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  4. So many amazing sights in one day! A Spanish castle??? Really???

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  5. We saw those fig trees in Darwin. Very impressive. It looks like a good flow at the waterfall and the falls. Pretty special to see a platypus in the wild. I never have. I am surprised that they exist in both cold and warm water.

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  6. I think that's a red-legged pademelon. They're normally fairly shy, so it's nice to see them close up.

    Well done on spotting the platypus!

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  7. This latest trip of yours Diane has been most wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. So many beautiful photos taken. Such a memory to have forever.

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  8. Wonderful tropical scenery .... reminds me of trips up to Port Douglas and beautiful surrounding areas.

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  9. i love your amazing photo trips... things i have never and will never see. love the little wallaby of course.. and the palm tree in pic above. that tree is really something. we have strangler figs here, but nothing like this...your title to your post is so true... your life is one big adventure...

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  10. Oh I love the curtain fig tree it is awesome and the platypus it is the best animal or mammal we do not have here I wish we did . Your photos are incredible. Oh yes I forgot a pink cow to go with Pink Cadillac Boots perfect:) B

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  11. wow, the wallaby and platypus! :) laughed at the colorful cow. and beautiful falls!

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  12. Beautiful. Looks peaceful at the waterfall.

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  13. Wow ! what a tree ! Didn't even know that such a thing exists ! Really impressive ! Your trip is full of surprises !

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  14. I never saw anything like that tree before, not even on TV. The whole area looks so lush.

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  15. That fig tree is amazing. I've never seen even a picture of that before! You live in such a diverse country and I love hearing about it.

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  16. Your curtain fig photo was topped only by the tiny kangaroo! so cute! Great idea on the wide shot of the tree with people in it for perspective, that thing is massive!

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  17. What an amazing world it is, so many wonders and it seems there are a lot of them in Australia. Great photos Diane, a great virtual tour. Thanks my friend.
    Denise
    An English Girl Rambles

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  18. Thanks for these photos and the memories. I loved Cairns and I have so many platypus models around the house here. Other than the leopard they became my favourite animal :-) Keep well Diane

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  19. Amazing the strangler fig and I was always amused about the " lawyer vine" it holds on to you, stings and never lets you go! I love the top end, it is very special. Enjoyed your photos and journey!

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  20. When I see your pictures, I want to book a flight to Australia.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  21. Oh, a platypus! I had a story book about a baby platypus when I was small (a VERY long time ago!) and from that time on I have always had a great fondness for them. Weird critters, but lovable. I'm so glad you saw one.

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  22. Oh My----those are terrific waterfalls... Amazing.... Wow!!!! Thanks for sharing. I'm enjoying all of your trip photos and info --even though I'm away from blogging this week.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  23. I have never seen a platypus in the wild or anywhere except on telly and in books so I think it is bloody awesome that you manage to do so.

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  24. The 500 year old curtain fig tree is amazing! I've never seen anything like it!

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  25. The fig tree is wonderful and the setting that first waterfall is in is gorgeous!

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  26. You know I am always interested in waterfalls, but that Curtain Fig tree is absolutely amazing.

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  27. Wow! We have strangler figs in Florida, but this one is, well, just a lot stranglier! What an amazing place.

    (And btw you were fed very well on this tour -- every meal you describe makes my mouth water. Not the main reason to go I know, but important. Obviously a well-planned tour.)

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  28. Australia sure has some amazing animals and trees!

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