We were a little apprehensive about taking the caravan up Tamborine Mountain in SE Queensland, but a phone call to the caravan park was reassuring. There are actually two caravan/camping parks in juxtaposition, one is more of an adventure park with some camping and the other, a little further along the same track (as we later discovered) is for more serious campers and caravaners. We were warned that reaching the camp, halfway up the mountain, involved turning off the main road at a certain point – don’t miss it! – but we were not informed that the main camp was beyond the adventure camp so naturally turned off and then continued …….. down an extremely narrow road to some Falls! Fortunately there was a turning circle at the bottom, otherwise we would really have been in trouble.
Tamborine Mountain is actually the northern slope of a huge and long-extinct volcano.
Finally all set up on a nice level surface in a beautiful bushland setting, with facilities close by, we unhitched and drove further up the mountain to visit our friends and find out the details of next day’s birthday party. Eagle Heights, like North Tamborine and other mountain villages, is a magnet for weekend tourists particularly motorcyclists. Every second shop along the main street was a cafe or restaurant or tourist shop of some sort. Did you want a special icecream, holistic body lotion, clothing wild or elegant, jewellery ditto, aboriginal art, a cuckoo clock?? All there and lots more besides.
ALL the clocks were working! Fancy a grandfather clock, brand new German-made? (Dave says – Eat your heart out, Ray!)
The road up the mountain was built in 1924, the original road having been too steep for motor vehicles which were beginning to replace the horse and cart. the new road was Queensland’s first sealed road outside of Brisbane, and local residents had to pay road taxes. In 1930 the road as made a toll-road, and while all users were required to pay the toll, legend has it that the mountain locals used to avoid the toll by cutting through a neighbouring diary farm.
Ian’s 70th birthday party was held in a huge hotel at Eagle Heights, with a great view down to the Gold Coast. As it transpired we were in a private room on the other side of the hotel to ‘the view’ but it didn’t matter. Try to imagine 20-25 mainly deaf people all using sign language, talking not only to people nearest them but to people on the other side of the room and even through the glass windows which separated us from another parts of the hotel! Dave was one of the few “hearies” and also about the only person who has not mastered sign language, so at times I had to interpret for him – talk about the boot being on the other foot! It was great fun seeing so many friends from my Brisbane life of 16 years ago. The party continued till late afternoon with a change of venue to a private home, made just in time before a terrific deluge started.
Parts of Brisbane were flooded. The camp got a bit wet but we were on firm ground with good drainage, so were not worried.
Still at the Mountain camp next day, we were entertained by people being entertained by all the lorikeets. One woman was feeding them bread and putting it on her head … and when she saw Dave taking an interest, put some bread on his head too (!).
Other species of birds kept their distance, but one kookaburra did decide our caravan looked OK so sat down on the power box for a closer look. (I took this photo earlier).
We went on the Treetop Walk, about 4 km altogether, partly among the treetops (which were swaying madly in a strong wind)……
…… and partly along a forest track down below.
We didn’t see any birds, very disappointing, but after all it was the wrong time of year and wrong time of day. It was still a lovely walk and the coffee at the cafe afterwards was good. I also learned something about strangler figs and eucalpypt forests.
We also visited the Falls which we had inadvertently “visited” the previous day with Westie in tow. Not large but a good flow probably due to the very heavy rain the evening before.
But Queensland beckoned! First, Toowoomba. One night at the Showground camp, a good evening photographic session with a huge flock of white cockatoos which nest in a treeing a nearby lake, some essential shopping, we were off again for Toogoolawah.