I am very fortunate to have National Park close by which stretches from the north, to the east and around to the south. While there are many walking tracks which cross the park, many places are too distant and need a 4 wheel drive to reach. I drive an ordinary car! Last week two good friends offered to take me down the Freshwater road across the park and over to the beach on the eastern side. (Many thanks to Sarah and Graham!) Driving safely on the beach requires a low tide so we planned for a day when the low tide was in the middle of the day to give us plenty of time to get over there and have a good look around. This link is to a map of the area.
After careful planning we woke up to a sky like this - and then the rain showers began!
The radar showed that the showers should pass out to sea and by nine o' clock it was fine and sunny. The Freshwater Road through the park goes off the Rainbow Beach road. Rainforest starts a few kilometers down the road. The road is accessible to ordinary vehicles as far as the Bymien Picnic area. Beyond this, it was all new country to me. The road was narrow but for most of the way it had a good base of gravel over the sand. The rainforest is amazing!
Just beyond this is the Freshwater picnic and camping area. It is well maintained and looks so different from what you have just traveled through.
This is a pandanus palm which is a native species and common around much of the coastal area. The palm puts these roots out from its main trunk and they slowly grow down into the ground.
I heard birds everywhere! But if I had stopped to photograph them there wouldn't have been time to see all the things that I wanted to! So I hurriedly snapped only the birds that came around us at this picnic area. The Brush Turkeys seem to be everywhere and this one came around as soon as we stopped for afternoon tea.
This is an Eastern Yellow Robin and is also fairly common but I have not yet got good photographs of it. This one was perched for a few seconds under a picnic table and in the shade but with bright sunshine beyond it.
It is only a few meters beyond this area to the beach. Suddenly the vegetation changes again to the lower scrubby growth which is all along the beach. The road changes also to dry and deep sand.
The next part of the trip was along the beach - and that will come next week!