Bird Feeeding at Lamington NP
It's hard to imagine but after days spent on the Gold Coast's miles of shimmering white sand and warm turquoise water, all baking under seemingly endless sunshine, you'll want a change of pace and colour. When you do, there's Lamington National Park with its endless shades of green.
Lamington NP is the largest of its kind in Australia and its sub-tropical rainforest is home to a wide (and wild) variety of animals and birds. Although a National Park, at its heart lies O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, a resort that has been in business over 80 years and an ideal place to stay, or just stop, and explore the park's 160km of graded walking trails.
Lamington National Park is in the Gold Coast hinterland, almost directly inland from Coolangatta and Palm Beach.
How to get there?
From the Gold Coast resorts find your way to Nerang, just off the M1 highway. Nerang to Lamington is only 65 km (about 40 miles) but the road after Canungra zigzags its way up a thousand metres (about 3000 ft) from sea-level to the top of the Lamington Plateau where almost pristine rainforest still exists, even though it's a popular spot for visitors. The drive up to the Park is exciting or scary, depending on your point-of-view. The narrow two-lane road with its tight bends and amazing views out over the valleys below is fantastic - until you meet someone coming the other way!
As you near O'Reilly's, the trees grow bigger and the road squeezes between them, literally! The surface runs right up to the tree trunks! Once you?re there, you can let someone else drive while you sight-see because the resort lays on 4x4 bus excursions through the forest and other guided adventure activities. The resort also has a number of quieter visitor attractions, such as a Tree Top Walk, over 20m (60 ft) from the ground and not for those with vertigo, a garden of sub-tropical plants, a restaurant, and a bird-feeding area. Kids, I can confirm, like the treetop walk and bird-feeding.
The Tree Top Walk is a suspended wooden walkway strung between tree-tops and therefore popular with older kids. It has a civilised entrance and exit and it's pretty stable in-between, no Tarzan-style rope-work is required. At one tree junction, you can climb even higher than the 20 metres you're already viewing from but that's the only real 'climbing' -- and you can miss it out if you prefer.
With younger kids, it's the bird feeding area that's the big attraction. Other places you feed sparrows and pigeons, at Lamington the birds are king parrots and crimson rosellas. They make for really colourful family photos.
And when you're done, it's only a couple of hours drive back to the Gold Coast and its night-life but that's another story.
By Paul from www.Brisbane-Walkabout.com