Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Top of the World

Our family is in the middle of our excellent adventure of living in Australia.

Do you think that living in another country is a good homeschooling adventure?

We find ourselves in places and doing things that simply change our lives. From the ground up.

We did another of those things again today.

Mount Tamborine is one of the local mountains, maybe an hour away. It is 550 meters above sea level. The name does not refer to the musical tamborine; it is a name from the aboriginal fathers from this area who lived here for thousands of years and Tamborine is a fairly loose phonetic spelling of the aboriginal word meaning "wild lime."  

This one little mountain contains some of the most beautiful sights in the world! Set in the Hinterlands, an area known for several extensive mountain ranges in the Gold Coast area of Queensland, this area is protected as a national park. From this mountain top we could see for so many miles in an almost 360 degree unobstructed circle that we could see ocean and mountain from one spot, including the gorgeous scenic rim mountain range that Mount Tamborine is a part of:  a beautiful, ancient range built by volcanoes in eons past. Surfer's Paradise in the distance looked like some distant ...paradise. It was spectacular!!!

Approaching the mountain, climbing some steep hills, our car chugging along, as the view grew and grew into such beauty we had to stop on the side of the road just to take it in! (I am originally from "The Prairie State" and this type of elevation turns me into a Fan Girl!) Driving through a cool little antique and shop area on the crest of the mountain, we stopped for some fudge and some unique shopping. Don't laugh, but I bought some rocks. Also, I'm coming back sans kids one day just to traipse through the shops! 
Maybe with Just the Girls...

The Adventure Continues

Looking at the map we picked up from the tourist center, the closest waterfall to us was Curtis Falls, just a short bush walk away. Curtis Falls is one of the minor falls of the area, but even a minor fall is better than none!

Through the eucalyptus and gum trees, we could hear the rush of the creek below, promising us something, keeping us moving. Strangler Figs live up to their names here. The basalt rock walls at the pool at the base of the falls made it a cool and damp place to be...perfect for the platypus that live there! A colony of glow worms also calls this spot "home". Standing on the wooden platform built for observing, we enjoyed the rush of the water and the shadow of the bush. Many places along the creek, we saw peaceful spots for sitting and creek watching. This place was pristine!

This part of the mountain is known for the birding. Albert's Lyrebird can be heard calling, but we didn't spot any. The lyrebird is one of those birds that can mimic the sounds it hears. We learned about it from Sir David Attenborough! We did see dozens of bush turkeys though...

While on the trail leading to the falls, we saw an eight foot green snake. I forget what kind of snake. But this guy caused quite a stir! OH, it was called a carpenter snake we think...

Although we had never seen a waterfall before coming to Australia, we have become waterfall lovers. We have made plans of going on a waterfall odyssey that will take us through Maleny in the Glass House Mountains and other parts of Queensland to find these beauties of nature.

Three other magnificent waterfalls beacon on this mount...we will get to them one day - because we all decided:  We are coming back!!!!!!!

Bonobo, in silent contemplation 
While in the area we decided to drive up to a nearby scenic Beacon Lookout. To get to this outlook we passed a number of houses that cling to the mountain top and live in the grandeur of the view. We were surprised when we passed an old abandoned distillery way up there in the  mountains. From Beacon Outlook we could see for MILES!  erm...KILOMETERS! At this time of afternoon we were looking into the glare of the sun, yet still we were all in silent contemplation of the enormity of the scenic rim mountain range.

Why am I even trying to describe the view?
It was beyond description.

Still on the Mountain

While on the mountain we ran into some of our favorite people and friends and made plans to get together at the glow worm caves toward the end of the day.  So as afternoon wore on we made our way to this little gem of a locality.

If you don't know about glow worms, these little fellas live in very dark, wet caves in Australia and New Zealand only, living on the roof of the cave and secrete a sticky string of goo to capture their prey, little midges and flies that follow creeks into the cave. On our recent trip to New Zealand, we visited a small, little-known natural glow work cave in Waipu.

This little cave on Cedar Creek Estate on Tamborine is a man-made cave, designed to increase the population of glow worms so that their existence is ensured with encroaching human settlement and climate change.  

Again, indescribable. Our family was blown away by the constellations of glowing lights on the cave ceiling.

The trip down the mountain was treacherous and steep...and had some spectacular views! We then met our friends at an excellent seafood place in Ashmore:  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

What do you think?
Good homeschool experience?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:  
En Zed   
Lessons on Bribie Island   
Star-Craving Mad   
A Culture of Peace


  1. Fabulous place, glad you enjoyed it Karen :-)

  2. Glad you had fun! We love it there too :)

  3. The freedom to jump in the car and go on adventures anytime is a definite bonus of home education!

  4. What a way to spend the day! Sounds like an amazing learning experience!

    1. We are overwhelmed again and again with the beauty of our Australian home!


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