Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rainforest Cottages, Lake Eacham.

Rainforest cottages, Sunday 11 November. A slowish start to the day, after a sudden attack of day light early on.
Ten o'clock going on eleven before we ate our carnivore's breakfast. To give it its due, it sets you up for the day.
The public area with the small stream and pool is a magnet for the birds - finches with red caps and tails, some more delicate birds which zipped back and forth skimming the water before settling on the plants nearby, and one larger bird with a crest and white splash. A lounging lizard on a rounded rock completed the picture.
Coffee and biscuits on the cheap today! By around 2:30 we were inclined to look further afield and set off on an expedition to Herberton, an old mining settlement, whose main claim to fame today seems to be its extensive and expensive heritage mining village. $25 each struck us as somewhat steep for the hour or so we had before closing time, so instead we chatted to the attendant, who offered to let us back in tomorrow if we wished. The place looked good from the outside, with some interesting pieces of machinery on display, but we decided against this and made our way to the 'real' Herberton to pick up an ice-cream and a drink to see us on our way.
We picked up the Gillies highway towards Atherton, turning off after a couple of miles or so to visit the Hypipamee Crater and the Dinner Falls. Huge cliffs covered in trees and a vertical drop into a silty lake. The viewing area is fenced off. A teenaged girl offed to take our photo. The path continues down to the lower end of the falls, which at first don't look inordinately high. As we walked along we realised there were another two large waterfalls.
In the car park there was a large notice warning of the dangers of the cassowary, and the need for its conservation - there are some uncuddly creatures out here.
We headed for 'home', but we're sidetracked by the sign for the 'Curtain Fig Tree'. A tree of curious habits. Its seed lodges in the angle of another tree's branch and it germinates. It sends down a root into the soil and strangles the host tree, eventually becoming self sufficient. The site is sacred to the original inhabitants of the region. It forms part of the Mabi Forest - only 2% of this forest has survived logging and clearance for farming.
Dinner was a 'clean out the fridge ' pizza, then we took the car up to the lake to do some stargazing. On the way back the road appeared to be blocked by a log. No log, this was a large python, about eight feet of python, which didn't look like moving any time soon.
Eventually, Harry persuaded it to go, in spite of my admonitions of 'be careful' from the safety of the car, and we could drive back down to the cottage.

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