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Tropical Wonders in Queensland, Australia

Sometimes the most beautiful places on earth are a lot closer than you think.

Such was the case when Bear and I went a-hunting for waterfalls last week. When we got to our first stop – Daggs Falls – I was speechless. I thought places like this were only found deep in South American jungles. (click here to view photos) I had no clue they were a one hour drive from my front door.

Much to my delight, the beauty was only just beginning. After meandering through a forest glistening with rain drops and rounding a bend to a sun-filled glade, we headed back down the trail and emerged at a lookout with this view of Queen Mary Falls.

I leaned carefully over the edge, watching the once placid stream gush over the cliff edge and fall to the rocks below. Sunlight broke through the heavy mist for a few minutes and turned the scene into something out of a tropical jungle. I fully expected monkeys to start swinging in the trees.

Everywhere I looked was lush growth: ferns clinging to the hillsides, trees growing right out of the rocky cliff face. “I can’t believe this! I can’t believe this!” may or may not have been repeated a dozen times by yours truly.

All too soon we rejoined the trail and hoofed it down the mountain so we could see the waterfall from the bottom. The trails themselves were gorgeous, canopied by bright green leaves glossy from rain, carpeted with even more leaves in chocolate brown and russet. I loved the fuschia ferns lining the path.

Finally we reached the bottom, glancing back at the creek magically transformed from a raging torrent to a quiet stream flowing gently among the boulders.

Then we craned our necks to look up through the mist to the cascading water. It was wondrous. Once again I felt I had been transported to a tropical oasis. This just couldn’t be so close to home.

We lingered awhile, trying to soak it all in, and at last turned homewards, hiking the trail through the bush, climbing leaf-strewn stone steps.

We got back to the car just before the heavy mist turned into a downpour. We dashed inside a nearby cafe and watched the deluge from dry, warm seats, sipping hot drinks and grinning at the trees filled with birds in bright green, blue, yellow and orange.

It was a good day.

What is the prettiest waterfall you’ve ever seen?

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Deanna - I love Bridal Vail Falls in Yosemite. I’ve never seen any waterfalls like these. They’re stunning.

jenny@atasteoftravel - Absolutely stunning. Lucky you having these one hour from home.

bellini - Almost too speechless for words Krista. Such a gorgeous place to spend an afternoon.

Krista - Oh! I love them too, Deanna! 🙂 I lived near there for eight years and treasure every time I got to go hiking in that area. 🙂

Krista - So glad you like them too, Jenny! 🙂 I can’t believe it’s so close. I feel VERY lucky indeed. 🙂

Krista - I feel the same way, dear Val. I was absolutely staggered. 🙂

Joanne - Oh my god…I just can’t imagine seeing this in real life since you’re photos are so incredibly breathtaking.

Em (WIne and Butter) - Waaay too beautiful!! My fave waterfall is Victoria Falls – literally the only time my mind has been completely blown by nature. ADORE. 

mlleparadis - OMG these pictures!!!!!!!!!   How much do you love yourself?  Are you proud of these pictures or what?  You should be!  (Hey nice camera, too by the way!)  Keep em coming please!

Krista - It was truly gob-smacking, dear Joanne. The sights and smells, the feel of warm mist on my face. Sigh, it was heaven. 🙂

Krista - I would love to see Victoria Falls one day, Em. 🙂 How wonderful!

Krista - Oh, I could hug you so tight for that, dear Paradis. 🙂 Thank you more than I can say. 🙂

Jeanne @ CookSister - Oh wow – that’s too gorgeous!  Reminds me SO MUCH of the Garden Route’s indigenous forests in South Africa 🙂

serty -  Mesmerizing!! Hoping to visit that Tropical Wonders in Queensland, Australia .

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