There is something magical about being in the mountains. Maybe it’s the view, like from the Millaa Millaa lookout, which offered us a peek at the enormity of the land we’re visiting. From the rolling hills, to sprawling fields laid out for miles, right until the land meets the sea. Maybe it’s the sheer power they seem to hold, which radiates into spaces like Lake Eacham, where we were able to take a swim in the vast body of fresh water, while soaking up the sun. Or maybe it’s what’s nestled in the mountains themselves. We are currently staying in Yungaburra, Australia, a little town nestled in the surrounding rainforest. It’s a cozy little spot and everyone has been able to truly appreciate the nature that encircles us. We kicked off our stay by grabbing our paddles and hopping in canoes on a lake just five minutes away. As the boats glided across the water, the fauna came out to greet us: a few wallabies looking to retire for the night, and a water dragon, peering out at us from the log he was resting on. All the while, the sun slowly descended onto the horizon, until the stars came out to offer us their guidance.
The following day, the staff aided us in our exploration of the rainforest, where Millaa Millaa Falls was easily the highlight of the day! Some might call the waterfall picturesque, and they’d be right: it’s one of the most photographed natural Australian sights, and for good reason. Like something out of a painting, the water flows endlessly over slick black rock, falling spectacularly over a precipice green with moss before crashing below and creating a thick white froth. A few of the trip members also went for a swim and perched themselves behind the thick curtain of the falls. We came back from Millaa Millaa feeling refreshed and accomplished! Other highlights of the day included visiting “The Cathedral”, a gigantic strangler fig tree that served as James Cameron’s inspiration for the Tree of Souls in Avatar. Our group also bonded over the Iron Chef activity, where we used our culinary minds to fashion meals out of ingredients given to us by our trip leaders! It’s hard to say what was more entertaining: the “dishes” that were created, or the reactions of the trip leaders upon tasting them!
Upon our arrival, Cairns was waiting for us with open arms. The famous Great Barrier Reef is right off the coast and Alexa I. called her time there, “The sickest experience I’ve ever had!” Oh, what an experience it was, submerging oneself into what is truly, a different world filled with starfish, stingrays, even octopus! We were also lucky enough to visit the Tjapukai Cultural Park and learn about the fascinating culture of the many tribes indigenous to Australia. The guides at the park even taught us how to properly throw a boomerang! With the beautifully designed aboriginal face-paint still drying, we tried our hands at some cable skiing. It’s certainly not an easy feat, but everyone was reminded that perseverance pays off. Some of us (like Jacob W. and Chase M.) loved it so much, they stayed out on the water the whole time! Speaking of water, no one stayed dry during our rafting experience on the Tully River. Situated in the wettest area of Australia – known to sometimes get as much as 24 feet of rain in a year – the Tully offered us amazing rapids to conquer.
Northeast Australia has definitely shown us a good time, but now our journey takes us south, into a famous city in New South Wales. Anyone here know a P. Sherman, on 42 Wallaby Way?
Bye for now!
The Westcoast Blogger
Looking for a wild adventure next summer? Read more about our variety of amazing Australia trips!