Kondalilla Falls National Park
Only 100 km north of Brisbane is a subtropical rainforest filled with eucalyptus trees and waterfalls. Kondalilla Falls rainforest is our first Australian rainforest hike. I’m eager to see how southern, subtropical rainforests compare to the northern, temperate rainforests of my home province of British Columbia (BC).
As soon as we enter the forest, I feel comfortably at home amongst the towering trees–the air is humid, deliciously fragrant and the trees are tall–just like BC. However, the humid air in Queensland is not warm but hot, and although tall, the trees are all completely different than Canadian trees; cedar, fir and pine are replaced with eucalyptus and palms. Also, there is very little moss on the trees and none on the forest floor. Most notably, it is the sound of tropical birds that fill the forest rather than raven calls.
The tropical bird calls are new and yet their voices instantly relax me. It is always the forest birds that seduce me and immediately make me feel welcome. It is their voices that I remember most of all about each forest I visit and what I miss most when I leave.
Above: the trail leads us to a small water fall and pool where we stop to take a few pictures.
We continue on the trail and then take a detour down, through the forest, to an unexpected waterfall and swimming hole. The natural pool is hidden amongst the trees and so stunning, that I never thought such a place actually existed except in a Hollywood movie.
We didn’t think to bring our swimmers (Aussie slang for swim suits) so we cool our feet.
To our surprise, the swimming hole sits on top of a much larger waterfall. The water pools, filling the picturesque swimming hole, before falling 80 meters to the Scene Creek Valley.
Below: The Scene Creek Valley.
We discover a shy, dark brown snake, about four feet long and about 4 inches in circumfrance, sliding its way through the dead branches and leaves on the forest floor. After a little research, I’ve determined it to be a python.
View overlooking the Scene Creek Valley.
We climb below the swimming hole and around the valley sides until we are able to view the big falls.
Kondalilla Falls was our first Queensland rainforest hike and so far, each Queensland rainforest hike has been unique and even more wondrous than the one before. Stay tuned, more Oceania hikes to come!