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Getting Wild in Surfers Paradise

Keep your hair on, I mean wildlife people!

If you’re like me, you might be thinking that Australia is awash with snakes and spiders just waiting to jump out at you and you will no doubt have heard the advice of checking under the toilet seat (which I did religiously) just in case a redback spider was lurking there. I also spent a good deal of time scanning rooms for the great big huntsman I’d seen so many photos of. Thankfully, I didn’t see any spiders on this holiday, so my blood pressure remained pretty normal, but the wildlife we did see was fantastic and sometimes very unexpected!

There are bats you see! Huge, enormous, fabulous bats! In fact, I think I may even have seen batman, this thing was that big. Walking back to our apartment in Surfers Paradise one night and, had I not been completely sober I would have doubted my own eyes, this thing swept right across our path and off into the distance, it was massive! It was awesome!

There was also a great colony of flying foxes on our regular walk along to Pacific Fair Mall, where hundreds of them are just hanging from the trees. Giant pods that look like they are straight off a sci-fi film set and a few of them you could see unfurling their wings to get more comfortable!

We also saw on our wanderings, Kookaburras, Lorikeets, Stumped Tail Lizards and Water Dragons, that’s right people, we saw a dragon!

After a few days of R&R, we thought it was time for a hike, so we hired a car and went up to Springbrook National Park, just a short drive away from Surfers. This place is a sight to behold, with gorgeous rock faces in various shades of reds and oranges, cascading waterfalls and tall, ancient looking trees swaying in the wind, it was very Jurassic Park.

There were panoramic view points that allowed you to see for miles over the lush green hills and valleys and the hike through the National Park itself was pretty straight forward and the trails were well marked.

We had been walking for about 40 minutes when we came across a little stream that led onto a waterfall, nothing too big, but I really wanted to get close to the edge to take some action photos (the trouble I get myself into trying to get photos!), so, I’m crouched down trying to get a good angle, I’ve put my hand out behind me to get back up and as I pivot around there is a great big snake taking a nap just 2 feet away from me. I slowly straightened up and saw that Martin was coming towards me and I’m whisper screaming through gritted teeth at him to back up, obviously he doesn’t speak whisper scream and keeps coming towards me and so I then crab walk around the ledge where the snake is and shooing Martin back the way he came. My heart was in my mouth, I’ve no idea how I missed seeing it when I went to the waters edge, this things was huge!

But of course, now that we’re here and all is well, I had to get a photo of it!

Boys will be boys in this situation and Martin got all Bear Grylls on me, grabbing the camera and getting as close as he (safely) could to get some photos. I think he may have been on his belly at one point, although I’m not sure as I had my hands over my eyes!

Up until that point in our hike we were just calmly bumbling through the trees, chatting and having a laugh, but after seeing that snake, we were a little more aware of our surroundings, being a little more careful when climbing over the tree stumps that grow over the path in case anything was having a nap behind it!

Then not too far from that spot, we came out into an opening next to pool fed from a stream, most likely the run off from the waterfall I was talking about. While I was snapping away with the camera, I noticed there was some real strange nonsense going on. There were little piles of stones dotted around the area, pebbles piled up and balanced on top of each other, some of them had to have been super glued on to be at such a crazy angle!

We had to retrace our steps to get back onto the main trail and pass the area where the snake was and by this time it had woke up and was making it’s way onto the actual path itself, when we saw it we stopped and I think it clocked us at the exact same time as it stopped slithering along. So it was some strange stand off, but we needed to get back on track so with a deep breath, we moved forward and passed it and it didn’t move, phew!

It was quite an exhilarating experience, so far from my comfort zone as I am known to be a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to animals.

But moving on, we completed a couple of the trails including Best of all lookout track, Purling Brook Falls circuit and the Twin Falls circuit. They were all awesome, I especially loved Twin Falls as it released the inner Indiana Jones in us as we got to walk behind the waterfall and through caves, it was an epic experience!

Happy travels everyone!


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