23-24 August: At peace among the bloodwoods

Author: Mrs A

Location: Cania Gorge, Queensland

Wednesday: We awoke to the sound of bird footsteps on our roof, the well fed and humanised parrots expecting their breakfast. With temperatures near to zero again, we weren’t keen to leave the heated confines of our Zone, but I stuck my hand out of the window with a few raw peanuts in my hand, and I soon had a pair of king parrots sat on it munching away.

Before long, it was warming up a little outside, so Mr A fired up the Baby Q and cooked up pork sausages and eggs for breakfast. Not a bad start to Wednesday morning.

Of course all this eating meant we needed to burn it off, so we decided to tackle one of the walks. We chose a circuit, first hiking up to a lookout (the Giant’s Chair) and then looping around to the Fern Tree Pool.Queensland is very dry currently, not having had rain in this area for a couple of months. This is very evident in the sheer numbers of birds flocking to this little water source, particularly grey fantails and flocks of silvereyes, so gorgeous.Six kilometres later we were back at camp for a relax. This is one of the nicest places we have parked our mobile apartment in a long while, surrounded by tall gum trees, dappled sunlight and high sandstone walls providing a picturesque backdrop. As we sat outside with a cup of tea a couple we had seen on our walk strolled past, the American man inviting Mark to join him on a cycle up to the dam later on in the afternoon. Mark accepted his invitation, and jumped on his bike for a ride.I meanwhile finished baking an orange and almond cake, and left that to cool while I went off on another 6km walk.

This time I walked to the babbling Three Moon Creek, hoping to see platypus doing backstroke along the clear pools. Sadly it was not to be, but I did enjoy the gorgeous reflections in the late afternoon sun.From there, I walked up to Dragon Cave, so named for the black ‘mural’ of a dragon up on the wall in there…with a little imagination. Generally I just enjoyed the clean fresh air, the sound of the birds and just being outdoors in the warm light of the late afternoon.I reached camp just as the sun was setting, and Mr A was already sipping a glass of French red wine with his cycling partner and some other neighbours. It turns out the cyclist, Ben, works with mutual friends in Sydney. What a small world!

Thursday: We had a slow start to the day, getting our washing done and enjoying pancakes and blueberries in the early morning sunshine.

By 11 o’clock we were out in the car this time, whizzing up to the reservoir Mark had cycled up to yesterday. It was strange seeing such a large body of water after so much dry land.Cania Gorge had a gold rush in the 1870s, and the remnants were visible on a short walk. There was little gold here, with 183.5 tons of rock yielding only around 4.3kg of gold – a lot of work for little reward under gruelling conditions. Today felt pretty warm at about 25 degrees centigrade in the middle of winter. We had a wander around, then headed off to do another, longer walk.

Our next hike took us up to Bloodwood Cave, named for the roots of a bloodwood gum tree which intertwine through the cave. The towering bloodwoods were a key feature of the walk overall.We hiked up to a lookout giving us a fabulous view across this little National Park, before returning to camp.

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