While visiting a friend in Brisbane, Shelby and I decided to rent a car and get out of town. We looked at a map and were immediately drawn to a magical sounding place called Tamborine Mountain.
On the way, we enjoyed Australian radio while I got used to driving on the left side of the road. I was surprised at how easy it was for me to rent a car given that I did not have an Australian driver’s license. That being said, it only took me a few miles to get used to the different road system. Before I knew it I was going 100kph down the Pacific motorway as if I did it every day.
After an hour of driving we arrived at our destination. We had visited a Coles grocery store before we left to pick up some croissants, ham and cheese so we stopped at the visitor center at the top of the mountain to have a picnic. It wasn’t stylish but it was lunch.
We walked inside the visitor center and spoke to the old lady who worked for the parks. We asked her many questions about the area our plans for the day, all of which she answered with comfortingly knowledgeable responses. After gathering as much information as we could, we asked her if we should experience any dangerous wildlife while on our hikes. She peacefully replied that the most dangerous wildlife in the area at that time of the year was the children, and they didn’t get out of school until three o’clock.
We hiked down into the Tamborine forest on the Witches Falls trail and then later the Knoll section of Cameron falls trail. On Witches Falls trail we were amazed by the speed at which civilization disappeared. At one moment we were hiking along a switchback trail, descending into the forest. The next moment we were in the forest and there was no trail at all. Our route was determined by ribbons tied around some trees.
The sounds of the forest were the most mystifying nature sounds I have ever heard. The songs of Australian birds are so different than those I am used to in the United States. The trees were enormous, some towering way over the canopy so high that I couldn’t see to the top.
Though it was a beautiful day, it must have rained recently because there were large pools of muddy water blocking some parts of the trail forcing us to venture off into the woods. After a few hours of adventuring and photographing our way through the wilderness, we decided to retreat to the vehicle and leave dense forest and its biting insects behind.
After hiking for half of the day, we drove into town to see what it had to offer. We discovered that it is a very pleasant place with lots of little shops. A hot tea lover, I was immediately drawn to a green shop called Tamborine Tea. We went in and found a nice selection of local loose leaf teas. I picked out a few to take home with me. We struck up a conversation with the cashier who was interested in our familiar accents. She was a kind lady who missed her home in Florida. She raised her daughter in Florida before moving back to her home in Australia and she said she missed the United States so much that our accents apparently brought back fond memories.
We walked down the street and grabbed a cup of cappuccino at Byron Bay Coffee Company. The shop was level with the street at the front entrance, but the porch in the rear was level with the tree tops making visitors feel as if they are in a tree house. The atmosphere complimented the cappuccino.
Acting on the visitor center lady’s advice, we headed to the Cameron falls trail to watch the sunset. It was breath taking. The mountain faced the wind which allowed the ever present breeze to fill our ears and clear our minds as we watched the sun set on another perfect day in Australia.