After Sue and I left the historic Woolshed at Jondaryan, we headed north on our adventure. We aimed for the Bunya Mountains, a place that promised forest, views, and cooler temperatures.
It did not disappoint.
As Sue’s trusty van inched higher and higher up into the mountains, we opened our windows to breathe in the fresh air and brrr! We could hardly believe the difference in temperatures between our farm and the Bunya Mountains as we switched from sweltering to shivering. We hastily pulled cozy flannel shirts over our sundresses and felt much better.
How I loved it. With overcast skies that foretold rain, dense forest, massive trees, and clean, cold air, it felt just like my old stomping grounds in Canada or Washington State.
As we moseyed our way through the trees, exclaiming at the massive Bunya pines and dramatically twisting vines, we emerged into a clearing that would serve as our home for the next two days and nights.
Much to our delight, we weren’t the only ones in residence. All over the grassy sward were wallabies happily noshing on green grass.
I know these beauties are normal sights to most Aussies, but to my Canadian self they are still a novelty.
Aren’t they gorgeous? The ones on our farm hightail it out of sight as soon as they catch wind of us, but these lovelies ignored us completely, utterly unfazed by our presence, letting us wander among them sighing happily at their adorableness.
They amazed me as they nuzzled each other, scratched an itchy elbow, and hopped from one verdant patch to the next.
The most wonderful moment was when a tiny joey hopped out of its mother’s pouch to have a bit of a graze with the grown-ups before crawling right back in again for a snuggle.
We finally tore ourselves away from wallaby-watching when the rumble of thunder reminded us we’d better get our camp set up before the storm arrived.
We found a spot with lovely views of the woods and hastily arranged table and chairs, organized food supplies and Sue’s van room, and put up my tent. I closed the last zipper a mere 40 seconds before the rain pelted down. I hid inside for the duration, listening to the rain pelt against my waterproof tarp as I cozied in and read my book, thinking that I couldn’t have asked for a better start to our trip.
The storm dissipated after a few chapters, and Sue and I emerged from our homes into the rain-washed air to make a hot dinner.
Sue poured wine and collected the fresh basil as I boiled up plump gnocchi and poured on a simple tomato sauce and generous sprinklings of Parmesan cheese.
Then we settled into our cushion-topped chairs to chat, eat, and watch our neighbors attempt to wrestle a too-big mattress into a too-small tent. It took seven of them huffing and puffing, pushing and shoving, but they managed it. We were duly impressed.
After welcoming us with a humdinger of a rainy storm, the Bunya Mountains made up for it with a spectacular sunset.
It was the end of a wonderful first day of adventuring in Southern Queensland. xo