On November 7th I received a warm welcome from Jan’s sister, Sue Lassen, who lives in Gold Coast, north of Sydney. Cousin Sue and I decided on a plan for the week – while she was at work and I would be touring the area.
I took a Byron Bay Tour the next morning, November 8th, a rainy, windy day with spectacular vistas and a non-stop commentary from the tour guide/driver.
On Friday I had a private rainforest tour with Kaylene Whitely in Springbrook National Park. Another soggy day to explore the falls at Natural Bridge and Purling Brook Falls. During one downpour we enjoyed freshly baked lemon cake and mocha at the Rosella Café. Later I saw the work of strangling fig vines which, over time, have ‘devoured’ entire trees.
On the path to ‘Best Ever Lookout’ Kaylene pointed out ancient Antarctic beech trees and her favourite, the ‘sentinel’ trees standing straight and tall and evenly spaced as if they had been planted that way.
Once at the lookout the fog was too thick to see beyond our out held hands, so when the skies opened up again it was a dash back up the track to the car. That evening Sue, Gus and I visited the Spit near Surfers’ Paradise. There were very few other people on our walk to the jetty and along the beach, with spectacular views back toward Broadbeach.
On Saturday, November 11th, Sue and I drove up to Mt. Tamborine. At O’Reilly’s we were surrounded by friendly parrots, lovely villas and hanging bridges over tree-tops on our rainforest walk.
We had a hot tasty lunch at the North Tamborine pub with live music. The local ‘Fortitude’ ginger beer was awesome. Then we toured the Mt. Tamborine Botanic Gardens. It was a gorgeous walk with with brooks, ponds and bridges and many shrubs, flowering plants and trees eg booyong.
I bade cousin Sue and Gus farewell early Sunday morning, returning to Sydney and cousin Jan. The adventure continues….