After the week I’ve had, it was wonderful to drive up the mountains with Mum to enjoy some fresh rainforest air. Our destination was the 17.5km (10.8 mile) Tooloona Creek Circuit at Lamington National Park (Green Mountains Section). After the obligatory photo at the national park entry sign we were off on the trail. The first few hundred meters are sealed with bitumen before our shoes met the rich dark rainforest soil.
After about an hour we came to a small rockfall that we clambered over to reach the Elabana Falls. The falls thundered loudly down their canyon home between the lush green leaves and mosses. We boiled the billy and ate Tim Tams (chocolate biscuits) by the pool at the base of the falls.
A little further we came to the pretty Box Log Falls. The trail crossed the top of the falls where moss and lichen grew in abundance on the rocks and boulders that helped filter water downstream. It was slippery to cross the creek so I just walked in the water while Mum sensibly took off her shoes to keep her feet dry.
The trail took us up a rainforest gorge, passing countless waterfalls. I couldn’t help but wonder what it is about waterfalls that draws us humans to them. Hearing them in the distance makes me feel happy and seeing them makes me smile. And I think it’s almost universal to feel this way.
It wasn’t just the waterfalls that caught my attention on the walk. There were many varieties of mushroom. They can in a variety of colours including tiny orange ones that grew on fallen logs, funnel-shaped purple ones growing at the base of trees and white oyster-like mushrooms growing on tree stumps. Berries hung in trees like ropes of jewels draped across green fern fronds. And birds flitted around in the trees and hopped along the ground.
The bush is an amazing place filled with random surprises, like this comfortable rock that felt like a reclining couch.
And massive ancient Antarctic beech trees that dwarfed simultaneously dwarfed and amazed us.
We stopped for lunch at Tooloona Lookout with its expansive views to the south-east. The flatlands and farmscapes are familiar sights for me as a South-East Queensland local, but that never stops me loving it. We ate chicken tikka masala with rice; it came prepackaged but was absolutely delicious. Mum forgot her spork so I gave her mine, eating my own lunch with the lid of my gas stove holder.
The walk was lovely. I enjoyed Mum’s company and the scenery. I feel at home out there in the bush with nature. Even the leeches and their blood-sucking ways can’t diminish my joy.