Lamington National Park- Bird feeding, treetop walk and other attractions!

Lamington National Park is a popular day trip destination from Gold Coast and Brisbane in Australia. When I checked online, I figured that it made more sense to rent a car and drive on my own, than book couple of day tours from Gold Coast. Driving self gives me better experience, flexibility and fun, than sitting in a van, being taken around on a fixed itinerary. Thus on my day 02 in Gold Coast, I first drove to Springbrook National Park area, then drove to Lamington national park. The drive was long -about 50 kms and enjoyed the scenic drive on the Australian country side. Was warned with sign that there’s no fuel station for next hundred kms- so if you’re visiting Springbrook and Lamington National Park area, go with full tank or enough fuel for 100-150 kms. Enroute there were also many road work stops, so we had to wait till the workers gave green sign to proceed.

Because I hadn't done extensive research and my main focus was to enjoy the scenic drive, I didn't have a clear idea of what to do or expect once inside Lamington National Park. I saw a tour company's bus ahead of me, so decided to keep following it. The final destination for those visiting Lamington National Park is O'Reilly's Rain-forest retreat- an accommodation and recreational facility inside the core of Lamington Rain-forest National Park. The tour bus offloaded its passengers in-front of the reception, while I parked in public car park and set out to see what I can explore as a day visitor in the Lamington National Park.

As I walked in, I could see a lady and her mother (assumed) feeding birds, with some bird food (seeds) in a plate. Bird feeding seems to be one of the very popular activity here. The lady an her mother were overwhelmed by the sheer number of birds attacking them for food. The parakeets had no fear of people and they would sit wherever they could get a grip on- on arms, on head, on shoulder-anywhere. The lady had minor bruises and bites on her shoulder and forearm due to sharp beaks/legs of these parakeets. They readily handed over the food plate to me and birds shifted their attention on me. It was fun to have them all over me. Managed to click a few selfies and asked the women to take some pics of me. Few good ones below.



I had not planned for this bird feeding and I didn't pay anything either. The birds are not in any kind of cage or confined environment- they are free to find their food elsewhere in the forest, but they hang around for easy food offered by tourists.

Next I came across this statue. The statue shows two people being provided with water- the two smaller statues represent survivors  John Proud and Joeseph Binstead of Stinson Airline crash in February 1936 [Full details on Wikipedia] The pilots and few other passengers were dead in the crash  on a routine flight from Brisbane to Sydney, VH-UHH of Stinson Airliner. These two survived on water from the creek for several days before locals spotted them and provided help.
Thus a small memorial today remembers the crash and the bravery of survivors and rescue effort mounted to search them.

Nearby is the plane that crashed- it is a replica of the plane that crashed


I walked further and saw many walking tracks. One that interested me was the tree top walk. It was a nice walk in the wood. Could limb on one of the trees to get good view of the valley.


Below: View of the valley from the tree-top.

There were more things one could do in Lamington National Park area- there're more walking trails- one of them leads to a waterfalls. Then there're picnic areas and more. You can also take some diversions to explore more. I had to decide between spending more time at Lamington National Park vs heading to Mount Tamborine before it is too late in the evening- after some deliberation I decided to leave for Mount Tamborine. One can plan to spend at least half a day here. Rest rooms, cafe, souvenir shops etc are available. The last few kms of the road is narrow- drive carefully.

Accommodation facility is available here, you can book a night and enjoy the night in this scenic place. Otherwise you can spend a few hours in the campus and return. No entry fees, no parking fees. If you wish to book your stay at O'Reilly's Rain-forest Retreat, check and book using below widget. Costs roughly INR 7000 to 10000 onwards per night depending on season.

Booking.com
On my way back, stopped at a look out- Was a nice 500 meters diversion from the track for this good view.

Standby for more posts from my Gold Coast-Brisbane trip.

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