Friday, 18 October 2013

Mirrong Falls - Bindarri National Park

On both sides of the old logging trail, callicomas form a shaded tunnel through the surrounding rainforest. Walking silently, daydreaming about the journey ahead, I suddenly pop out of darkness into a patch of open sunlight. Straight blackbutts emerge from the forest and stand guard over stark white paper daisies growing on the track. Leaf litter crunches underfoot. The bush here looks slightly stressed and dry as the hot spring weather continues and smoke haze hangs in the air.

We are high in the hills of Bindarri National Park, just west of Coffs Harbour, near the headwaters of some amazing creek systems. Here, contour lines gather closely together on the topographical map forming a deep blur of gullies and creeks and spurs: enough to feed the wild imagination and daydreams of any walker.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Fireflies - Washpool National Park

Sometimes it is not an adventure you come home from, but a miracle of timing. 

We were sitting in Bellbird Campground in Washpool National Park surrounded by thick, dark rainforest. Small tent clearings had been carved out between the callicoma and coachwood trees. It was getting dark and we sat at the picnic table reading and relaxing after a long, off-track day walk to the headwaters of Washpool Creek. 

Coombadjha Creek - Washpool National Park

What made us look up? The dimming light perhaps. Something out of the corner of the eye. 

On dusk, the forest filled with fireflies: flitting through the trees, drifting  past us, falling amongst the leaf litter. I could catch them in my hand. As it got darker there were more and more. Behind our campsite, where a footpath cut through the dense rainforest, the fireflies were easy to observe. The majority hovered about 1m above the ground and the effect of so many blinking, moving, playful lights was breathtaking. 

After 20 minutes, they were nearly all gone. Within half an hour - the forest was dark again.