Kiama, Part 3.

Budderoo National Park – Minnamurra Rainforest

Hi There,

Following on from previous posts from Kiama, the Budderoo National Park is not far from Kiama on the south coast of New South Wales.  It’s a beautiful place with waterfalls and lookouts and a rainforest to boot as well.

Rainfall here approaches the 2 metre mark per annum, that’s 2000mm.  In other words a lot of rain and its evident here in the lush landscape of ferns, vines, rainforest trees and more ferns.  Ferns growing on ferns, on rocks, on trees, on everything in fact.  A very different landscape.

Above is a typical scene in this rainforest, huge vines scrambling everywhere, strangling everything looking for sunlight.  A constant theme in any forest is the search for sunlight by plants.  Trees reaching for the sky seeking that elusive substance.

Asplenium australasicum or commonly referred to as Bird Nest Ferns were evident everywhere.

These are actually Epiphytes(plants that grow on other plants-but not parasites).  They have a lovely silky smooth glossy green leaf.  Quite a spectacular plant and readily available in most nurseries.

A few more in some trees below!

And some more for good measure!  This rock was incredible-countless ferns and mosses all over it!

Check out the rock below, it has ferns running over it by the look of it, amazing!  I think it is Arthropteris beckleri also known as Hairy Climbing Fishbone Fern.

One of the trees in this rainforest is the Jackwood(see picture below) or Native Laurel, which is also known as Cryptocarya glaucescens which grows to about 35 metres tall.  Click HERE for more info on this tree.

I just realised that you can’t see the top!  Not a great photo but gives you a sense of scale!  Another commonly grown plant in gardens is the Elkhorn which is an Epiphyte as well.  scientifically known as Platycerium bifurcatum.  The one below is quite a size!

Another great tree was the Strangler Fig, Ficus oblique , which is also known as the Small leaved Fig.  The leaves are the only thing on it that are small!

And again!

It was very hard to get all of this tree in the frame, what a monster!

Some nice buttress roots

I think we will progress to smaller things just to calm ourselves down a fraction.  Below is the Fragrant Fern, Microsorum scandens which is clambering over a boulder.  Looks quite lovely don’t you think?

Now for something out of the blue and a slightly different track we came across a very interesting bird which can be difficult to see in its native habitat.

The Superb Lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae .  Click HERE to find out more about this master of hiding and mimicry.  To hear its amazing vocal chords, click HERE.  I was quite chuffed to see this bird in the wild, a first for me.  One normally heres them if you can be sure of their birdsong but hardly sees them.

Not great photos, but in this case they will have to do.  Check out the amazing tail they have.  Below you can see the landscape and how green it is, a couple of patches of red reveal the Illawarra Flame Tree, Brachychiton acerifolius.  Click HERE for more info.  This was as close as I got to them.

Some more ferns, this could be Blechnum neohollandicum , Prickly Rasp Fern.

This may be the Sickle Fern, Pellaea falcata.

Some nice lacy effects from under a tree-fern

The one below is the Giant Maiden Hair , Adiantum formusum.

Heres another lovely side view of the Birds Nest Fern.

Some vines now to make it a little scary!

Look out!  You don’t want to stand still for too long Here!

Here are some roots of a strangler Fig and more vines!

Hmmmm.

A truly remarkable environment for adventitious plants.

Another remarkable tree here is the Australian Red Cedar, Toona ciliata var. australis.  This tree is now scarce as it was highly sought after by the early settlers and the early timber industry as the wood was highly sought after for its fine grain.  It has beautiful dusky pink-red trunks.

Very Majestic.

And another one.

This one below has some ferns growing on it.  I think they may be the Rock Felt Fern, Pyrrosia rupestris.

Ill finish our tour here with a couple of general shots in the Minnamurra Rainforest. Go and have a look at it if you ever get the chance!

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Until next time.

Cheers!

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Kiama. part 2.

Budderoo National Park / Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk

Hi There,

During our holiday to Kiama last January, we spent a day at the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk, where one can fly through the tall trees and walk amongst the tree tops of the Budderoo National Park.

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Hard to see in the above photo but the ground is on a slope of somewhere between 50-70% and the trees are quite tall.  Lower right in this photo, one can make out a zip line.  Quite a contraption that holds platforms to these trees.  Each year Engineers measure how deep the clamps are and adjust as necessary to keep the platforms where they are and to not strangle any tree as well.

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Here we are walking across a rope bridge.  The course was a collection of these bridges and three zip lines.

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And again

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To give you and idea of the steep terrain, check out the photo below!

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Notice those two trees seem to be quite close to one another.  Look where there bases are, nearly under each other.  Heres a nice long zip line!

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This one let you reach quite a speed which was exhilarating, if you’re not scared of heights!

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Soft landing!

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After the course is completed you are able to wander around the tree tops and enjoy the views and the flora of course!

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A mighty specimen holding its head high!  Intricate patterns of fern leaves from above, see below.

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The tree top walkway!

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Not for the faint hearted!

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At a mid-point there was a tower you could climb for some stunning views over the valley and to the sea!

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unfortunately it was a little cloudy but yet  this made it quite mystical.  Sea in the distant.

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Some magical rock formations which sort of just drop straight down.

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If you are ever near Kiama, give this a go.  It’s a lot of fun!  Until next time.

Cheers!