Our last days in the ‘Land of the Clouds’

view from our cabin

Our last three days have been up in the mountains, in Eungella, meaning ‘land in the clouds’. Before invasion, this place was inhabited by the Biria and Wiri tribes. When the Europeans arrived, trees were cut for timber and the rich soil is used for dairy farming. Thankfully, Eungella National Park was established in 1941, preserving a great deal of rainforest.

Eungella National Park

Our first day was completely in the cloud, so we spent it mostly indoors playing games and reading books. That afternoon the clouds parted and we headed to Broken River, where we spotted heaps of platypus, turtles and a few kingfishers.

Rhiannon watching platypus in Broken River

The rainforest is full of walks, but the girls were sick of walking . . . and so we ran. We timed ourselves running a 700 metre track. Again and again and again. K was fastest.

Then the girls found a vine to climb.

It’s hard to believe the girls and I will fly back to Brisbane tomorrow. And Monday there’s school, work, meetings, and a lot of laundry. Lee has a list of jobs a mile long, but he’ll stop off at Agnes Waters for another surf on the drive back to Brisbane. It’s been magic to slow down in the bush once again.

sunset drinks at our cabin

From Cape Hillsborough to Platypus Bush Camp

morning walk, Cape Hillsborough Nat. Park

While Brisbane sat in lockdown, we were extremely lucky to spend last week in Cape Hillsborough National Park. The water was beautiful, but uninviting:

box jellyfish (aka Irukandji) are only supposed to be present in the summer months, as are the crocs, but we didn’t see anyone jumping in the water

But the part iron-ore volcanic rocks on the beach were perfect for climbing!

And with no phone, there was plenty of time for reading. K read most of Stephen King’s It in four days. Rhiannon finished The Ickabog and is onto Nevermore. I read Devil in the White City, about Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Expo and the serial killer H. H. Holmes. Lee’s enjoying Venero Armano’s Firehead.  

time to read
Off to Platypus Bush Camp

Then it was time to pack up and head to Platypus Bush Camp, where we stayed on our trip round Australia in 2016. It was as perfect as I remembered.

We’ve just spent four days and nights in the rainforest with no wi-fi and on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most relaxed, I’m sitting on 11.

fun with innertubes in the ‘pool’ at Platypus Bush Camp

This magic spot is located in the rainforest with a natural pool and showers with three walls that open onto the outdoors (I spotted an emerald pigeon while showering). There’s a campfire where we made friends, and viewing area for platypus. This is about the sweetest camp spot in Australia. Thank you, Wazza! He’s the old man who built this retreat 26 years ago.

view from my kitchen
rock-hopping at nearby Finch-Hatton Gorge

Aside from a run-in with a vicious hairy Mary vine (it seems even the horticultural naming is sexist in Queensland) it was a perfect four days.

Next stop, Eungella.