Our adventures from the Wallaby Lodge are some of the most unique we will experience here in Oz! After a short flight from Brisbane to Cairns, we got picked up by Paul, also known as tall Paul and Not So Small Paul! The one hour bus ride though the curvy mountains (600 turns according to Paul!) was full of beautiful scenery. After a quick pit stop at Gallo Cheese and Chocolate, we headed to the lodge and got settled in. We were immediately greeted by Jedd (Paul’s dog) who was extremely happy to see so many new faces! Andrew G and Jenna L were immediately attached to Jedd and spent tons of time playing with him! We dropped off our bags and headed to the lake for some platypus spotting. Sam R, Brian S, Gabby M and Maegan T were amongst the first to spot the sneaky little fellow! After being really quiet for a few minutes, it popped its head out again, and the rest of the group had the chance to see it swim across its habitat.
After enjoying a nice home cooked meal, half the group went night canoeing at the lake. Daniel A, Sean S, were the best at spotting the tree kangaroos with their flashlights while Adam M and Lindsay G spotted some Flying Foxes and Azure King Fisher birds!
Day one at the lodge was a real treat – we spent the day with the aboriginals! We learned about their culture, how to strip, carve, and soften the didgeridoos for use, and then went out to the open field to learn the proper way to throw a boomerang (Aidan A, Jack B and Jonah E all got it on the first throw!). Cameron F and Devon K immediately got to work by hollowing the tree bark, while Jack P, Max R, Cliff G, Peter S and Rachel G started stripping the bark from the outside. The rest of the group went to go sit down with one of the aboriginals where each tour member learned about their spirit animal, and what color represents them best. Some got butterflies, crocodiles, eagles, koalas and kangaroos with shades of yellow, green, purple, blue, white, red and black.
After all the groups rotated from one station to the next, all tour members had the chance to take part in the didgeridoo making process. Gabby M, Andrew G, Sam R, Lindy S and Patrick C all got a mini didgeridoo by the owner himself by playing the didgeridoo so well throughout the day and Lauren A for a special painted tree bark as well with her spirit animal and colours. Way to go guys!! Our day concluded with the most interesting way one can prepare a meal! The aboriginals cooked their food deep in the ground surrounded by hot stones to lock in the heat, big leaves to seal in the moisture, and aluminium foil to make sure nothing gets in there! It smelled so good! We sat by the fire, heard the professional play the didgeridoo, and headed back to the lodge for some down time.
Day two at the lodge was the complete opposite – away from dry land and into water – 4 waterfalls to be exact! The water was not warm, but the experience was unforgettable! Tall Paul gave us all a challenge – whoever jumps in to all 4 waterfalls would get a prize. Not very many did it, but the few that did, must be recognized – Alex G, Andrew G, Sam R, Patrick C and Jordyn B – Great job! The majority of the group went into Millaa Millaa falls – home of the famous herbal essences commercial! The views were amazing, the water was fresh, and we all left energized and refreshed for the rest of our journey.
Our last stop was at the lake where we all jumped into the lake (which was warmer than the falls) to enjoy some swim time and relax, soak up some sun and dry off before we headed back to the wallaby lodge. We had a great dinner, played battle of the sexes, and caught some shut eye for the evening.
The morning began with a great 6 mile bike ride through the town – Josephine G, Noah J, Zach K, Cory W, Raquel K, Jack P and Brian S did an amazing job biking up and down the hills while some of the other tour members went on a shorter 1.5 mile bike ride through the town! We are sad to say goodbye to the Wallaby Lodge and Paul, but it’s time we drive on north to Cairns – Stay tuned as you will hear amazing stories about the great barrier reef, cable skiing, wake boarding and snorkeling!
The Westcoast Blogger
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