After a good sleep in my luxury B&B in Darwin it was time to pack my luggage and to prepare myself for the flight to Brisbane.
I asked my host, who was an elder woman maybe in the 60ties, if i could stay in their house until the taxi will pick up me. She wasn't really amused, because she wanted to go to the golf course with her husband. I was wondering a little bit how a human being could go to a golf course an make a game there by 38 degrees and a humidity of 70% but don't have understand everything. After I asserted her that I will lock every door of her house she was willing in that i could stay here.
After my arrival on the airport which wasnt far away from my last B&B I had a little bit trouble on the checkin because I had bought an additional piece of baggage because of my baggage has got overweight for domestic flights. I knew that it isn't the same after I had asked an employee of Quantas for another flight before. But this was Virgin. But the checkin assistance was obliging and checked in my luggage wit jour charging an extra fee.
The flight to Brisbane took 4 hours and I was flying across the large continent once again. I wrote Duncan an ameil beef my start when I will have arrived in Brisbane and asked him how I could get to his B&B which i have book before in Germany. He responded that i could choose the Airtrain or a taxi.
After the landing of my plane with an amazing view on the colorful illuminated CBD of Brisbane at around 7 o'clock pm I chose the Airtrain to get to the Roma Station because it was much more cheaper than a taxi and it was a good connection.
My host gave me a warm welcome in their lovely house. It was pretty beautiful cottage in a suburb called Petri Terrace.
After I dropped of my luggage I went to the Caxton Street which were close by my accommodation to have something for dinner. Duncan was recommending me to go there.
I decided to go the the Brewski Bar with a large offer of different beers and ordered a pizza there.
Later in Germany I recognized that our chancellor Angela Merkel stepped in this pub too to welcome their guest and to make selfies with them. She stayed in a Hotel opposite the pub during the G20 3 weeks later.
On the next day I was planning to make a sightseeing tour through the CBD of Brisbane.
But I reached only the Southbank on the Brisbane River. I felt the efforts of the last twenty days in the Red Center and in the Kakadu National Park in my body and my limbs. I was really exhausted traveling so much. So I decided to stay the whole afternoon on the riverside.
After relaxing for 3 hours I did a little walk through the CBD but was happy to arrive my accommodation later.
On the next day I picked up my camper from the rental station on the early afternoon ans was relaxing the rest of the day too.
On Sunday I started a trip to the North Stradbroke Island which is located before the coast. I went there by car which takes around 40 km to Cleveland where you have to take a ferry to get to the island. Then it took another half of an hour to get there. Unfortunality we missed the bus, which should bring us to the other side of the island, because the ferry was 10 minutes to late.
But an australian couple was so kind and offered us to give me and two chilean musicians a lift to the other side of the island.
The other side of the island at Point Look Out was really beautiful.
After we have arrived there there weather was getting a little bit worse. But I couldnt stop walking on the coast line and went to amain lookout where the surge was crashing against the beach.
So I couldn't resist to unpack my photo equipement and take some longtime explore captures.
While i was walking back to the bus station I came along a gras where a few kangaroos were sitting feeding gras.
The bus brought me back to the landing stage of the ferry in the late afternoon. Shortly before our arrival of the ferry in Cleveland the setting sund was performing a beautiful red colored painting in the sky.
My car wasn't standing far away from on a car park. But When i was starting my car I got a rude awakening. The car won't to start. Immediately I recognized that the battery was out of power. I didnt know why, because I only used the air condition wich i didn't turn off and didn't use the light before. But this want the question now. So I asked a man who was collecting his family on the car park. He was supporting me and told me that i need a jumper lead to start the engine of my car. But I didn't have such a device. I was getting a little bit nervous.
But Then he asked another man on the same carpark for a jumper lead. And Thank God he had such a device and he had the same problem like me. So he helped me to start here engine so that I could ge back to my accommodation happily.
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.
I felt myself observed and didn't know why.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether the sky was very cloudy I had an stunning view over the beautiful mountains of the 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.
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.
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.
The next day I woke up a little bit earlier as usual to have more time for my 10 km hike in the morning. Then I wanted to go to Byron Bay after my line on this day too.
My nice neighbors from yesterday evening had left the campsite in the very early morning already, because they wanted to drive a long distance today. As I recognized this I had a strange feeling in my stomach. I was thinking about the beautiful evening and the interesting chat we had together yesterday. And we didn't know each other before. But there was a willingness of them and myself to share a short time of their and my life, their experience they had in Australia for instance and to have a good time together.
I wished we could have more openness in our casual life together. We would profit of it, I am sure.
With this warm feelings inside me, I started to prepare my breakfast as usual with a fruit salad with walnuts and yoghurt, a coffee and a slice of bread with peanut butter and jam. But somehow somebody has recognized it and wanted to take part in having breakfast. It was a beautiful red parrot.
I knew that the Lamington National Park was famous for its bird life and I had seen some birds at the bird feeding area in the front of the guesthouse, but that they could guess where the next breakfast will happen, I didn't expect. So I feeded them with a few nuts. They were so trustful, so that one of the parrot was jumping on my hand, during i was feeding him.
After I have finished my breakfast it was time to start my hike along the Box Forrest Circuit Track. The track was the part of large track system in the Lamington National Park. There a few other tracks, one of them was closed, but I choose this one because it was manageable to do it in the morning.
So I dressed my walking shoes and my green light jacket because it was a little bit cold and passed the entry to the park around half past eight.
And I can say now a beautiful adventure was waiting for me. At this point I have to mention that the Lamington National Park ist the largest subtropical primeval forrest of Australia. The Park has got over 500 waterfalls and a rich flora.
The national park protects one of the most diverse areas of vegetation in the country. The park’s lush rainforests include one of the largest upland subtropical rainforest remnants in the world and the most northern Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforests in Australia.
The roots of the oldest Antarctic beech trees are over 5,000 years old. Around Mount Widgee numbers of Antarctic beech appear to be increasing. The park protects one of the country's largest remaining forests of hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) which are found on the drier slopes.
Below 880 metres (2,890 ft) the white booyong and black booyong are commonly found. In higher elevations the yellow carabeen, red carabeen, pigeonberry ash, rosewood and soft corkwood trees predominate.
The park contains more than 500 waterfalls, including Elabana Falls and Running Creek Falls in the south of the park which falls into a box canyon. I stopped at the Darragumai Falls for at lest an hour to make this beautiful capture.
Yarrbilgong Falls and Coomera Falls both flow into Coomera Gorge. Morans Falls is another cascade that is passed on the 6-kilometre (3.7 mi) long Morans Falls Track.
Upper Ballanjui Falls, Lower Ballanjui Falls, Stairway Falls and Nagarigoon Falls are also located in the national park.
A number of well marked and varied walks connect with this Border Track creating a network which can be easily negotiated by relatively inexperienced bushwalkers.
These include the Box Forest Circuit, which is 10.9 kilometres (6.8 mi) or 4 hours return from O'Reilly's; Toolona Creek Circuit, which is 17.4 kilometres (10.8 mi) or 6 hours return, and the Albert River Circuit, which is 20.6 kilometres (12.8 mi) or 7 hours return to O'Reilly's—to name some of the best known.
While the Border Track remains reasonably level for most of its length, many of the other tracks descend to lower elevations of 750 metres (2,460 ft) or less and provide access to some of the diverse variety of flora, fauna and geography to be found in the park.
The small track winded along steep slopes to the ground of the Canunga Greek , how you can see at the pictures above. In the greek i was walking along some water falls like the Darragumai Falls above and the Box Log Falls below.
Unfortunality my batteries were running out of power so that couldnt take nay photos of the Elabans falls.
But nevertheless the walks with my 14kg photo equipment on my back was an amazing experience in a subtropical rain forrest.
After my return to the guesthouse I made a stop at the bird feeding area, where i shot the following photo.
After I have prepared my camper for the next stage, I started to my next stage to Byron Bay. During my trip back to the coast I made a stop on a beautiful look out over the Lamington Park.
And the last time in a beautiful valley where a wine yard was located.
On the O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards I bought a bottle of a tasty wine for the beach in Byron Bay.
After a 2 hour drive I reached Byron Bay in the late eveningh, where a eventful and beautiful day ended with a delicious wine from the Lamington National Park and a gloomy sunrise on the beach of Byron Bay.
The arrival in Byron Bay was amazing. At first the glooming sunset on the beach, then I found a nice caravan on the beach and at last the city has got a special wibe, like every travel guide described.
After I parked my car on my campsite, I was longing for something to have for dinner. So I went to the main street which was only a few meters far away from the caravan park and the beach too. From young french backpacker over german couples to aged hippies you could find a wide mixture of different people who were walking through the street. And it seems to me that they had all a smile in their faces, were joking or laughing. There were also beside the bars, pubs and restaurants a lot of shops for surfer wears i the street too.
After a 30 minutes walk through the inner city I have found a nice restaurant close to the beach. I ordered fish and chips an a pale ale and was happy to sit and relax and to watch all the different people who were walking by my table. Two women and two guys were sitting next to me. The woman were wearing light summer dresses with a touch of the passed hippie fashion and the man have had longer hairs, were tanned and were looking like typical mid aged surfer boys. They were talking, joking and laughing very loud and making selfies from themselves and from friends who were walking by during I have my fish and ships. I enjoyed it very much to watch these happy people, to get sated from the tasty fish and chips, to get a little bit tipsy from my beer in this warm and really relaxed atmosphere in Byron Bay.
I decided to stay 2 nights on this very beautiful place on earth to relax on the beach the next day.
After a few hours on the beach on the next day I wanted visit the most easterly point of Australia and the lighthouse of Byron Bay. I packed my photo equipment and walked to my destination in the late afternoon. But I underestimated the distance from my caravan park to the lighthouse a little bit, especially in the heat of the this sunny afternoon. But nevertheless I enjoyed the walk at first along the Apex Park then along the beach and then up to the hill of the lighthouse. Fortunenality I hadn't to walk the whole way because suddenly a car stopped beside me while I was climbing the steep street and y young guy was jumping out the car and asked me if I need a lift to the lighthouse hill. I was really surprised about so much kindness. I hesitated a little bit to assume his offer as I saw the the backbench was occupied from two young girls already and I saw problems to get in the car with my large legs and my huge camera bag. But as I recognized there was a will of the two very friendly girls to move together, I jumped in the car too. The two girls were from Germany too, so we had a small talk about from where we came and to where we wanted to go in Australia. After only a few minutes we reached the top of the hill. I was thanking the guy for the short lift and wished the girls a good time in Australia further. And I saved another nice anecdote in my mind.
Reached at the top the beautiful lighthouse of Byron Bay, which was standing on the top the cliff coast was welcoming me.
Constructed of prefabricated concrete blocks in 1901, the Cape Byron Lighthouse stands on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland and is Australia's most easterly lighthouse.
It is built in the James Barnet style, by his successor, Charles Harding. James Barnet, the New South Wales colonial architect, was renown for his towers having large ornate crowns and are easily distinguished.
The first-order optical lens, which weighs 8 tons, was made by the French company, Societe des Establishment, Henry Lepante, Paris. It contains 760 pieces of highly polished prismatic glass. The original concentric six wick burner was 145,000 cd. This was replaced in 1922 by a vapourised kerosene mantle burner which gave an illumination of 500,000 cd.
After I had spend some time at the lighthouse I was walking slowly down the road when I saw a great lookout on the other side on the hill.
And then I explored a track called Cape Byron Walking Track in the late afternoon. I was looking for a good location for the evening so walked the track through coast bush and forrest down to the rocks to the most easterly point of the mainland of Australia, where the waves were crushing against it.
And it was worth it.
I jumped over the fences of the look out on the feet of the cliff coast to get a good place for my captures I wanted to do.
And it was really an amazing place. I was impressed of the color of the rocks and especially how the wind and the water has formed this beautiful shapes and colors.
I think I spend at least three hours there and I forgot the time when I was taking my photos there.
Satisfied from this walking trip I walked back to my caravan park, had dinner in the city and slept later very well in my bed.
I had to get early in the next day, because I wanted to make some captures from the sunrise at the Byron Bay Beach. I don't like to get up early, but sometime I had to do it. I think I was alone on the empty beach. So I had all calmness to prepare my tripod and camera. But again it was it worth to how you can see on the next photo.
After I had captured the beautiful sunrise on the beach of Byron Bay, I made my standard breakfast which consist of a fresh fruit salad coffee and toast on the caravan park, packed my baggage to start into direction Coffs Harbour, the banana capital of Australia.
It was a trip from 239 km and should took at least approximately 3 h. But I wanted to make a stop in Ballina and Yamba, so I planned more time the the time Googla Maps has figured out for me.
after 30 minutes I reached Ballina. Ballina was a typical a bit boring city but with a beautiful beach like you can see often on the east coast. Si didn't spend a lot of time there, but had a small break there.
So I continued my day trip to my next break in Yamba and Angourie.
Because of Yamba was a avarage touristic austrlaien city with a big marina I continued to a smaller village called Angourie. Angourie is a small coastal village in the Clarence Valley Council of New South Wales, Australia. A local attraction of note is the group of blue and green pools, freshwater pools created when the old quarries hit underground springs. The story goes that the miners working on the quarries went home one night and came back the next morning to find the quarries filled with water. The pools are less than 20 metres from the ocean, and the two bodies of water are separated by mounds of quarried rock and earth.
The pools were quite interesting, but I recognized the the weather was getting more worse, so that i decided to stay not so long and to continue my trip to Coffs Harbour very quickly. So I went back to the M1 or the Pacific Highway.
On the further way I was driving at least one hour into a really large thunderstorm cloud, I have never seen before, which was floating from the coast to the mainland. I was hoping that I won't reach the storm. And I had luck. Whether it was raining a little bit on my drive I was reprieved from the thunderstorm.
So I reached Coffs Harbour on my chosen caravan park approximately at 5.30 o'clock pm. After my arrival I went very quickly to the beach and captured a photo of the rest of the thunderstorm in the sky, which were magnificent.
I spent only one night in Coffs Harbour. It seems to me that Coffs Harbour wasn't so interesting to spent more time here. But I visited at least the Big Banana, which is a famous landmark of Coffs Harbour, because the city will be called as the Banana Capital of Australia.
My next goal on the next day should be Dorrigo in the Dorrigo National Park. So my way leads me back from the coast to the Hinterland again.
My first break on the way to Dorrigo was Bellingen.
Bellingen is a small town on Waterfall Way on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is approximately halfway between the major Australian cities of Sydney and Brisbane.
It is the seat of Bellingen Shire and has a mixture of valley, plateau and coastal environments. Bellingen was a small but beautiful city. It seemed to me that the people I watched on the main street haven't got much stress. The buildings and warehouse looks very pretty.
And the end of the main street were a really pretty cafe located. I stopped there because I read in my Lonely Planet travel guide about a cafe which was located on a steep slope.
I was the only guest there and ordered a sandwich a cappucino there and a had a nice small talk with the waitress there about my travel and about the nice city Bellingen.
After the short break I continued my trip on windy streets through subtropical rainforest to my goal Dorrigo in the Dorrigo National Park.
On a caravan park in Dorrigo I booked my campsite and continued my trip on the waterfall way to the Ebor Falls.
The journey across the Dorrigo Plateau to the falls was quite spectacular.
The Dorrigo Plateau is a plateau in the Northern Tablelands and New England regions of New South Wales, Australia.
The plateau forms part of the Great Dividing Range and is sometimes referred to as the Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes Plateau.
Finally I arrived the Ebor Falls in the late afternoon. Unfortunality there was only a access to the waterfall from above. But it was worth to take a photo of it.
After one hour there, I went back to whole way of 85 km back to Dorrigo, where I had a delicious pub meal a pizza called "everything from all" in the crowded pub.
A Dinner in a really typical pub in the village called Dorringo, where tourists are get lost seldom, whether this is the Dorringo National Park on the Waterfall Way, is very interesting But the tourist here are staying rather on the Caravan Parks than in the local pub. But I am a traveller and went in the local pub. In one case I was wondering, all the guest are drinking beer and I guess there weren't going by feet at home. So they have to drive drunken to home. A pub or Hotel, how it called it in Australia, in a small village is more then a place where you can have a drink. I think it's the living room of the community where you can have a beer or course, but you can watch Big Brother on a big screen too have dinner in the evening too, your children if you have some are playing in a playground room, so that they don't do monkeyshines. And at least I think they have elected Tony Abott in the last election of Australia.
I slept very well after the dinner and two beers on the campsite in my camper van.
On the next day I had my breakfast usually on the campsite in the morning sun and with a lot of different birds around myself. It was really wonderful morning mood in the upcoming sun with a tasty breakfast.
After my breakfast, I prepared my car to visit the Dangar falls on the other end of the city Dorrigo.
I was the only person there, so I had enough time and silence to make from this small but beautiful waterfall.
On my way back from the Dorrigo National Park to the coast, I made a short visit on the Rainforest Visitor Center of Dorrigo and walked a small track of 4 km through the rain forrest there.
And had a great view over the rain forrest valley from the look out there.
After this it was time to go back to the coast to South West Rocks.
But I couldnt resit to make a last stop at the Griffiths Lookout - Dorrigo Mountain Top.
This was a really beautiful Good Bye of the Dorrigo National Park.