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Home / Essays / 2014 / December / Australia 2014 - Day 28 - Arrival in the Lamington National Park

Australia 2014 - Day 28 - Arrival in the Lamington National Park

Monday morning in Brisbane. A cloudy sky. But the breakfast from Duncan, who was staying at home, because he told my that he works as a freelancer, was enough and tasty. We were talking about my plans to go to the Lamington National Park during my trip from Brissie to Sydney with my camper van. He was very helpful, gave me some hints, tips and some small maps for for the area around the guesthouse O'Reilly, which was located in the middle of the park.

The first goal should, how i have mentioned before the O' Reilly Rain Forrest Retreat in the Lamington National Park. I read in the travel guide that the most of the especcially german travellers are doing this, instead to go on the Pacific Highway directly to Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is a holiday paradise with endless white beaches. But it is also a hot spot of mass tourism with hotel skyscraper, a lot of theme parks like Movie world, Dream World and Sea World and so forth. I don't think that these attractions are the reason why germans are coming to Australia. And it wasn't my reason too.

It was very easy to get out of the city on the M1, which should bring me to Nerang. My next stop was Nerang approximately 70 km far away from Brisbane. I wanted to stop there to by some food for my breakfast for the next 7 days. After one hour driving I reached "Aldi Süd" has got shops in Australia too. Its very consequent from "Aldi Süd" to have shops on the most southern place of the world too.

After my shopping tour there I left the Pacific Highway and took the 90ies to the Lamington Nationa Park. It was an amazing drive. At first I was driving through breedy valleys passing vineyards and lot of cattle station. After one hour driving the mountains were getting higher and the road was coiling around the steep slopes. Often it was so steep there that there was only place for one lane and the cars had to wait when another car was on the lane. But anyway I was getting very comfortable with this conditions, but never forgetting the signs of the recommended velocity before the curves.

My first stop on this stage was the Mountview Alpaca farm. I didn't know that this farm is in my route, but it was a good chance to make a break after 1 1/2 hour windy streets, because I was getting a little bit tired from driving with a high concentration which you need on these roads.

I was wondering a little bit to see Alpacas here. Because I had expected Alpacas in the andes but not here in Australia. But on the other side there were adventive so much foreign animals and plants over time, so that  I wouldn't wonder if I would see elephants behind the next corner.

The Alpacas are cute animals, which were standing behind the fence and were looking at me all at the same time. 

Alpacas in the Mountview Alpaca farmMountview Alpaca Farm is situated in the heart of Lamington National Park, along the scenic winding road to O’Reilly’s Guesthouse.

I felt myself observed and didn't know why.  

Curious AlpacaAlpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years. The Moche people of northern Peru often used alpaca images in their art.

One Alpaca was jumping nervous outside of the enclosure. And I was wondering why. So I had a assumption, that the Alpaca was jumping over the fence before and couldn't get back. So I opened the Alpaca passed the gate and was jumping to its flock happily. And i was proud of myself to do a good action this day. 

Still Alpaca Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool.

On the fence was a sign, that it was allowed the feed the Alpacas when you buy a feed bag in the Alpaca shop, cafe and restaurant close by. So wasn't thinking too long and bought a bag. It was a pleasure to feed the Alpacas. And it seems to me that they were very hungry. 

Hungry alpacaAlpacas require much less food than most animals of their size. They generally eat hay or grasses, but can eat some other plants (e.g. some leaves), and will normally try to chew on almost anything (e.g. empty bottle).

One of them was spitting to me with the feed i gave them before. I became a little bit frightened, but I recognized that it wasn't for me but for  predator.

Hagen feeds the AlpacasAlpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to be beasts of burden, but were bred specifically for their fiber.

I asked some Japanese tourists who just arrived a few minutes ago to make some photos when i was feeding the Alpacas. I gave them some feed too and they had the some fun too.

After my break with a cappuccino my trip brought me to the Kamerun lookout, where I perceived that I have reached a high altitude, because I was freezzing in my shirt and short pants. 

View from the Kamerun lookout

Whether the sky was very cloudy I had an stunning view over the beautiful mountains of the National Park.

Kamerun lookout over the Lamington National Park

The lookout was the last break before the O'Reilly Rain Forrest Retreat which I arrived after a half of a hour. The road lead along windy streets and thick rain forrest with high thickly trees so that less sunshine reached the ground.

Lamington National Park Road

The O'Reilly Rain Forrest Retreat was located on the top of a mountain. There were a guesthouse with a pub and bar, a bistro, tourist information center a campground,  some other accommodations and a bird feeding area. I decided to go on the campground if it were possible. But it wasnt so easy because the tourist information wasn't open anymore. So I asked the sop assistant in the bistro how I could book a campsite. She called the responsible ranger, with I booked my campsite.

So I went to the campground with my car, was looking for my campsite and parked my camper there. Because it wasn't obvious clearly if it was the right number of the campsite, I asked a neighbor if it is the number one. And it was. Later it turned out the my neighbors were from Germany too and both were born in the same homeland in Germany too in Saxonia-Anhalt. A small world.

But at first I wanted to use the rest of the light of the day walked around a little bit. Of course always with my camera bag.

I was informing about the opportunities which I could do here and found an information panel, where all the walking tracks with additional informations were be displayed. A couple was informing themselves too and I noted that they were germans too so that I contacted them. We had a small talk about where we were from and where we wanted to go. So I decide to take the Box Forrest Circuit track tomorrow.  The track had a distance of 10,6 km and I thought that it is maybe too much with my camera bag, but otherwise I thought that I have walked su much during my trip so it  will be doable. And I didn't regret it.

Afterwards I was exploring a tree top walk, where the track leads to the top of the tree directly and I could experience the rain forrest at close range. It was quit interesting, but to dark to make photos.

So I decided to go back and to ask for a track map in the guesthouse. I noted that the guesthouse had a pub too and I took 2 beers there from its balcony. And it was a good decision again because I had a stunning view across the mountain. An whether I couldn't see the sunset because it was still very cloudy the sun was looking for a cloud gap and was sending that last red light to all the guests on the balcony whilst I was talking with the local ranger about his job and his passion to the landscape of the Lamington National Park.

Evening glowing from the O'Reillyes GuesthouseO'Reilly's is located on the western edge of World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, a scenic 90 minute drive west from the Gold Coast and just under 2 hours drive south west of Brisbane, nestled in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

After the 2 beers I went to my car and was preparing something for dinner. As I perceived that my neighbors were speaking german, I asked them something so that we were getting in a small talk about the area and so forth. Because  I hadn't finished my dinner I apologized myself  at first.

They prepared their dinner too but with more effort like me I have to say. It seems to me that they hat to be profits in camping.

Whilst I was eating my dinner which was only made from canned food, the woman of the couple invited me for a red vine after my dinner. This was very nice of them. So I brought a few beer and munchies to their table later.

We were talking about Australia of course. And I emphasized that the couple was a hardcore Australia fan. They told a lot of adventurous experience which they have made in the last years. Amazing. It was wonderful evening under high trees in the rain forrest in the Lamington National Park.