travel things

Australia: Mt Tamborine

If you missed it, read about the first leg of our trip here.

As I mentioned, I have ALWAYS loved rainforests (since Kindergarden when I first learned about them!). Going to Mt Tamborine in Australia was my very first time being IN a rainforest It was. the best.

Our camp, where we stayed for the Australian Cru (called Student Life) Mid-Year Conference, was rustic. It was the middle of winter (July! If you didn’t know, the Southern Hemisphere’s seasons are backwards from ours), yet there was no central heating in the buildings. (Of course, Australian winters are very mild! We were in mid-Australia, which is fairly warm, but it was cool up in the mountains. It was on average high 60’s, maybe low 70’s during the day, and at night in the 50’s.) As luck would have it, the space heater in Whit’s and my room was broken.

You know what one of the worst things in life is? A cold toilet seat. Moving on.

For the first time in winter, it was warmer to be outside in the sunshine mid-day than it was to go inside! As much as possible, I tried to sun during the day and stay out of the buildings to keep warm. Strange! I couldn’t wait for the sun to come out every day so that I could go warm up. At night, we had twin beds, so Whit and I wore pretty much of all our clothes (jeans, socks, hoodie) to sleep. Finally, on the last night we squeezed in one of the beds together and had the best night of sleep of the week! Ha.

Enough about the temperature. If it hadn’t been cold in the buildings, I would have said the weather was PERFECT! Well, still a bit chilly for my taste, but for winter?? You can’t ask for more than low 70’s in the winter! And it was sunny almost every day. Ahhh.

Do you want to know what my FAVORITE thing about Mt. Tamborine was??

I’ll give you a hint: chirp chirp.

It was… the BIRDS!!

Never in a million years would I have thought that I would fall in love with birds!! Yet they were so enchanting.

Here in the temperate US, all of our birds are pretty standard and boring. Well that’s a bit unfair, but most of them are approximately the same size, are earthy colors (brown, tan, maybe yellow), and make common noises.

However… the birds in Australia are magnificent! There are so many different kinds, sizes, and colors. Even the common pigeon-like bird is a stunning jet-black and stark white, with an interesting shape and long tail. At dusk and dawn I would walk around our camp listening to the different chirps and calls – they were so diverse and musical!

In our location, every day I could see and hear kookaburras, mockingbirds, and numerous lorikeets. In Virginia, the only time you can see lorikeets is at the zoo!! The kookaburra‘s calls were so comforting, and I loved trying to whistle a tune that the mockingbirds would mimic (I was eventually successful!!). Later, when we were on the southern coast of Australia, I saw a PINK COCKATIEL in someone’s front yard!! No biggie. I thought about how many hundreds of dollars that would sell for in an American pet store.

{Upon further inspection, Google does not seem to think there is a mockingbird in Australia. Sooo I’m not sure what kind of bird was mimicking me! Maybe it was a mockingjay ;)}

So yeah, I loved the birds.

We also did a little exploring to see a more natural side of the rainforest than a camp where a ton of people are living.

First was a short hike in a national park.

We searched high and low for a wild koala, but they are elusive little guys!

Later in the week, we convinced a staff member with a car to take us to a rainforest canopy walk. This was my dream come true!!

We arrived a bit late in the day when the light was fading, but it was still wonderful.

We explored the ground floor, noting the many different plants and fauna.

Then we walked around the canopy level and admired the foliage! We took in the sight and the sound of the birds serenading us with their bedtime song.

Of course, the conference was great, too! We made lots of friends from various parts of Australia, sang worship songs, and grew in the Lord together. It was refreshing and a good jump into Australian culture before our ministry began in Melbourne.

After the conference ended, we took a bus to the airport and jetted down to Melbourne.

Read about the rest of our trip to Australia here.

 

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