Entering the Bunya Mountain rainforest is like stepping into a fairyland.
The hum of traffic disappears, distant voices are silenced, and even the sunlight vanishes behind the canopy of trees that towers far, far overhead, only slipping through occasional gaps to provide shimmers of light on rain-drenched leaves.
It’s a wonderful place to walk, cool and dark, moist and lush, with so many treasures underfoot to discover. We found tiny mushrooms and vivid fungi clusters, glossy clumps of berries and showers of flowers that drifted down from unseen branches above.
We gazed in wonder at the massive trees around us, each one a unique configuration of color and texture, some swallowed up by eerie strangler figs, like the ghost gum below.
Up and down, side to side, our eyes danced from one beauty to another. Aren’t these sculptures amazing? I think they’re some sort of fungi, but they looked like ice crystals or snow carvings.
I was awed by the tangles of roots that tumbled over each other, twisting and turning before disappearing into a sea of ferns.
The rainforest is a dappled vision of shades of green, but now and then a burst of color would appear in the form of tropical flowers or vivid red and yellow leaves that tumbled down from the canopy above.
We found waterfalls, lazy streams, and crystal clear pools that looked like scenes out of Swiss Family Robinson.
We clambered over big rocks to sit by one stream and lingered there a long time munching on crisp apples and walnuts. We listened to the gurgle of water, the shushing of wind through the trees, and chatted amiably with other hikers as they trudged past.
One thing I love about my friend Sue is she’s comfy to travel with. A great conversationalist with interesting things to chat about, she’s also at ease with quiet.
In the rainforest you need that companionable silence, time to walk mindfully and let your thoughts amble along wherever they need to go as you bask in the wonder of magnificent trees and delicate ferns, glossy fallen leaves underfoot and serene little streams tumbling gently beside the trail.
With each mile you feel the stress of everyday life dissipate, and rather than worrying about bills or troublesome issues, your brain is lulled into delicious rest. It’s lovely.
After a couple of hours on the trail, the incline grew steeper and suddenly we emerged into a breathtaking alpine meadow.