Continued from here: Brisbane - Gold Coast Hinterland - Day 1.
A long and adventurous day ensured that we slept like babies at the resort. We had some awesome places and activities lined for the coming day. Although, just 3 hours ahead of time from our home time zone of Auckland, we were awake at 4 AM local time in the morning. After waking up I realised that it was too early and everyone was asleep.
The interesting point I noted was the fact that there was no daylight savings time correction in Brisbane, in fact in the whole state of Queensland. As a result, the sunrise happened even before 5 AM. This was a pleasant surprise for us. Our friends being used to the phenomena were deep asleep. We decided to make most of that available time and went out roaming in the rural surroundings of the resort.
|Ramada Resort Kooralbyn Valley|
We were walking ahead and talking about where to see the kangaroos in Brisbane. Suddenly we saw a herd of Kangaroos and felt someone had just heard and granted our wish to see them. We were elated to our core and had to calm us down to an extent so that the Kangaroos might not run away. They were just roaming around and as we went near them, they retreated. We understood that it was necessary to maintain a distance to observe them without making them feel threatened.
|Kangaroos roaming around in the morning|
The highlight of the herd of kangaroos was a decent sized female with a baby in her stomach pocket. It was an awesome revelation to see that female from such a close distance. We were very happy and satisfied. We followed them at a safe distance for almost half an hour and tried to figure out their habits. They gathered around a water tap and tried to drink from it. I went ahead and opened the tap for them. However being afraid they went away and came back to drink it only when we had retreated.
|View of the valley from Robert Sowter Park|
Along with the Kangaroos, we also saw some local birds. I joked that we could also see some snakes in the wild. Fortunately, we didn't. We went ahead and walked into the golf course at the resort. It was still early in the morning and we couldn't find anyone except some birds. We noticed that there were footsteps of Kangaroos on the golf course, which made us realise that they might have been playing around there earlier.
|Rock cut sculpture at Robert Sowter Park|
After more than an hour, we went back to our room and started getting ready for the day ahead. One of our friends had been to the nearby places earlier and he suggested that we visit Tamborine Mountain which was a popular tourist place. We packed up for the day and drove ahead. Stopping at Beaudesert, we planned to have a quick breakfast there. We didn't realise it would be hard to find eateries open on the day because of the holiday season.
|Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk|
However, we did find a Hungry Jack's outlet open. We instantly decided to have a quick bite there. We have always liked their vegetarian burger and the fact that it can be customised to one's needs. We ate to our satisfaction keeping in view the fact that it was going to be a long day ahead. We then drove ahead to Tamborine Mountain via Canungra, a small rural town in the region.
|Relief Map of Brisbane and surrounds|
The road to the mountain was hilly and scenic. As we drove ahead, it quickly gained altitude. There was a point where a part of the road was single lane and a red light was operating to let the one side traffic clear away and then allow the other side traffic. We reached the plateau of Tamborine Mountain and saw a scenic lookout named Robert Sowter Park on the way. We stopped there for a break and noticed we were quite high from the valley in the background. It was a marvellous place and the partly cloudy day with sunny periods enhanced the view a lot.
There was a glow worm cave nearby. However, we decided to skip it since we had seen similar ones in New Zealand. There were quite a few beautiful walks like Sandy Creek Circuit in the vicinity. We decided that we would visit Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. It was a major attraction in the region. We reached the parking and bought the tickets to the skywalk.
This was a walk amongst the tall native trees. The walkway was on land and some part of it was on elevated ramps in the high trees. The ramps were made of steel frame mesh and we could see the bottom through it. The moment we reached the highest point of the ramp, I became conscious of the height and held the side railing tightly. This disabled me from taking pictures to some extent since I was wary of the heights. To add to the fun, the whole ramp was moving from the movement of other people which made it even more difficult for me to enjoy the surrounds.
|One of the amazing trees in the Rainforest|
Some of the trees were really amazing and unique in terms of their shape and size. Small creeks were there as well where we sat down and took a break. After completing the walking track, we took rest in the skywalk cafe and had some snacks there. While discussing the next destination, I talked to the local staff who gave us a detailed brochure of the region. We found out that there a lot of other attractions left to visit.
|Cedar Creek Description|
The next one which we all agreed to was Cedar Creek Falls. It was nearby the Skywalk so it didn't take us that long to visit it. We drove right to the entrance of the falls to find out that the parking was completely full. We went back to the main road to find a car park. Afterwards, we walked to the falls entrance. It was a decent walk down the hill to the waterfalls.
|Cedar Creek Falls|
Locals who knew about the falls had already grabbed the best picnic spots there. We walked down to the falls to see that the water was less in quantity given the hot weather and less rainfall in the previous days. The water was not as clean as we would expect in a New Zealand waterfall. The rocks near the waterfall were slippery due to algae formation.
|Cedar Creek Falls|
While trying to sit down with my legs in the water, it became so slippery due to algae that I slipped and landed on my hips. Fortunately, it didn't hurt and I escaped uninjured. After spending almost half an hour at the waterfalls, we decided to walk to the parking and go back to the resort. Being an uphill climb, it was a bit tiring since everyone was in a relaxing mood.
We then started for the resort. On the way downhill, we took a quick break at a place called Bearded Dragon Hotel Tamborine. It reminded of old American western motels and taverns as seen in famous Hollywood movies. We drove ahead on the Beaudesert road and took a quick stop to shop for necessities at the Woolworths Beaudesert.
Reaching the resort in time, we relaxed and took some much-needed rest. It had been a fun-filled day visiting new places. After meeting everyone in the group of friends who had visited other nearby attractions, we went to the restaurant for dinner. It was a nice gathering at the dinner table where we got to hear about everyone's experiences. Enjoying the delicious dinner was an ideal end to the day.