Back in Gold Coast a day on Tamborine Mountain was highlighted with buying avocados on the roadside and stopping for home-grown Coffee at Green Lane, who have an organic plantation right behind their bijoux cafe on the way up the mountain. However, the magical moment came when we stopped to see the glow worms, a conservation project aiming to reduce the negative impacts of deforestation on wild glow worm colonies. Entering the climate controlled, man-made cave, the door shuts and you are instantly greeted with thousands of tiny glowing specs. Such an incredible experience! And such inspirational poetry too;
I wish I was a glow-worm,
a glow-worm’s never glum
‘cos how can you be grumpy
when the sun shines out your bum!
The next stop on our Queensland adventure was Binna Burra Lodge, a heritage eco retreat in the picturesque Lamington National park. Founded in 1933 the lodge retains much of it’s vintage charm, and quite frankly I think holds a little bit of magic too.
Our petite cabin was perfection, it has hosted (we were told by a small plaque on the door) Princess Alice ad Charles Chauvel. It really did have the most spectacular view (though so did pretty much everywhere in the lodge, from the quirky library (with preserved specimens in jars of varying small wildlife), serving high tea cheese and biscuits as the sun sets to the marvellous dining room, where guests are encouraged to eat communally next to a large glass wall showcasing the vista of the valley beyond.
I have never been so enchanted by a place. One of the staff told me he used to visit as a boy and requested to work here as an adult, I can see why! The nature is incredible, our evening walk along the driveway brought us to dozens of happily grazing pademelons (something like a cross between a hare and a kangaroo) and of course, just look up, the night sky from here is unbelievable, certainly for a Londoner who can hardly see the moon most nights. We ventured on a couple of hikes too, one guided, one alone where we came across a large scaled creature (probably a snake, but we didn’t stop long enough to be sure) which made us turn and retreat with the greatest haste (the pure joy of getting back to the lodge was immense), and despite this Binna Burra is still one of our favourite places in Australia.
In a different state but less than an hour away is Byron Bay and the eastern most point in Australia. Here we marvelled at Dolphins and whales in the sea and lizards on land. We also enjoyed a bit on conscious consumerism at the Mullumbimby markets and Byron boutiques.
One Dress came out and found a few more words and before we knew it, we were Sydney Bound!
Yours Down Under