O'Reilleys - Mountain Rainforest Escape

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, September 17, 2007

For those of you who have been following our blog religiously (?), you will have noticed that recently, the entries have been few and far between.  Brisbane should have had an entry, Colin's Mum's birthday should have had an entry, but they didn't and they won't for a while, as we try to catch up over the next week or so.  We will instead document our escape to the fabled land of O'Reilley's (where we stopped yesterday on our way down to Sydney).  In this part of the country, serenity and Australian animals run wild.
We headed out from Brisbane quite late in the day for the sleepy little village of Canungra. This would end up being our mountain base camp for the next two days. We arranged our travel gear, ready for the mountain climb (er, drive) up the perilous slopes. This consisted of some fuel for the car, a bottle of water and some trail mix.
On our hour long trip up the mountain Melissa, who was under the impression that the closest you will ever get to an Australian wild animal was in a Zoo, encountered a couple of Aussie creatures in the flesh (by Crikey!).  She was delighted when she saw a cute Kangaroo hunched over eating nuts along by the roadside (this particular species was known as a 'Pretty-faced Wallaby').  Further along, she was blessed with the magical presence of a Koala, hanging from a tree while engrossed in consuming its own body weight in eucalyptus leaves.  Finally, upon our arrival, we were heralded by a gaggle of bush turkeys and a flock of lorikeets - There is definitely something about a rainforest that tends to attract the animals of the bush.
We spent the day exploring the area. Strolling through the Tree Top walk and botanical gardens, plus a number of other pleasant trips - It is certainly a beautiful part of the world!
With the sun setting, we headed in to the O'Reilly's Resort which was now exuding warmth and seemed very much to be a retirement village filled to the brim with tourists from all over. We sat down to warm ourselves at the libraries fireplace and heard from a nearby piano bar, the sounds of 'Star Spangle Banner' which seemed a tad out of place here in the wilderness of Australia.
Our dinner at the resort was wonderfully scrumptious. Melissa, in reference to our treacherous return to the foot of the mountain in the dark said, "You won't be drinking any wine, I'll be having your glass".  For after all, there are two ways down the mountain:  either to drive down or fall off - fortunately, we chose the first of these methods and didn't even encounter a car during the dark 36km trip down.
Next up our journey continues, to the beautiful Celtic town of Glen Innes.
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