Day 28 - Mon 30th April
Set of up the coast and clocked up about 200 km getting to Byron Bay.
Very popular spot for surfers of all generations. Beautiful beach with views towards Tweed Heads.
Were greeted by a 5 ft monitor lizard wanderingthrough the campsite. He was quite happy having his photo taken.
Day 29 - Tues 1st May
Off to Lamington National Park today. Stunning scenery as you alternate between rainforest and pastureland.
Took a leisurely 5km walk down the "cave track" which led us partway down into the forested valley. Saw Pademelons, parrots and lots of small birds. Surrounded by massive trees which are shrouded in ferns, some about 4 feet across. One cave we walked under had what look like hundreds of heads of fungi growing out of the wall, about 30 feet above us. Trusty camera zoom showed that it was actually bee hives.
Day 30 - Weds 2nd May
Set off early for a 17.5 km walk along "the Coomera Circuit".
First section pretty nondescript, although the early mist added a magical quality to the forest. A few Pademelons snuffling around.
About a third of the way round, we came to the main falls, Coomera and Yarrabilgong which are 62 metres high and tumble into a deep gorge. Truly spectacular.
Path from here got "interesting", with nearly twenty creek crossings, and some very muddy patches. We saw more waterfalls than I can remember, and had soaking wet trainers by the end (which took 2 days to dry out). A really enjoyable walk, with tons to see - Regents bower bird, Albert's lyrebird, noisy pittas, bells minahs as well as frogs, caterpillars and fungi.
Got back knackered and filthy, but satisfied.After giving our shoes a thorough scrub and removing an uninvited passenger from my foot (a leech), we crashed.
Later I joined on a guided night walk. Were shown funnel-web spider webs, and a koala snoozing up a tree. Andy and I then went out so he could see the koala too, and we saw tawny frogmouths (nocturnal owlish birds) and glow worms.
Day 31 - Thurs 3rd May
Drove to Australia Zoo, made famous by Steve "crocodile hunter" Irwin. Cost a whopping £40 each, but had fun wandering around. There is a very strong emphasis on conservation and fun. The animals are treated as pets, rather than exhibits. Had fun watching dingos and wombats being taken for walks around the grounds. Had even more fun stroking koalas and kangaroos and feeding elephants. I thought I was going to have to drag Andy away from the kangaroos.
There was also a great live animal show featuring birds and crocodiles in the "Crocoseum" - a massive seated stadium in the middle. We both find ths surprisingly moving.
Day 32 - Fri 4th May.
Made today a "drive day" and covered about 650 km. We would have got a lit further but there are currently a lot of storm repairs happening on the Bruce highway. scenery mostly eucalypt forest, but some stunning savannah with mountains in the distance add we neared it stopping off point (Marlborough).
Our motel had an interesting resident. A giant green tree frog who lived under the rim in the toilet! Apparently if they move him, he just comes back. A bit disconcerting, but entertaining when a green, long fingered hand appears when you flush (I don't have pics)!
Lovely clear night, so spent quite a while stargazing.
Day 33 - Sat 5th May
Drive past miles and miles and miles and miles of sugarcane plantations. Kept going til we got to Eungella campsite, high in the mountains, where we negotiated a powered site with incredible views down the valley. Watched a couple of hang gliders take off from the site.
Walked to Broken River, about 5 km away to try and see platypuses in the creek there. We were very lucky and saw eight or so in total.
Walked back in the dark so I got to play with my new super-bright head torch, which I discovered has a bizarre effect on spiders eyes! They glitter like diamonds, and you suddenly realise they are absolutely everywhere.
Day 34 - Sunday 6th May
Another driving day today. Ended up at Taylor's Beach, a quiet fishing village nestled between an estuary and the sea. Brett, the owner was very friendly and ended up feeding me coral trout whilst I did the washing up - he had caught it that afternoon. Delicious.