Today we officially ended our stay in the city and embarked on our next Australian adventure. Our destination: Lamington National Park. The ride up went smoothly enough—we stopped only once as we encountered a herd of cows traveling along the road. Immediately upon arrival, we spotted two of the four animals we are hoping to film: the carpet python and the lace monitor lizard. With this boost in excitement, we set out on our hike through the rainforest. We reached the top and looked over the entire forest—a truly breathtaking sight that no camera could capture.
Today we went to the City Botanical Gardens, located in the heart of Brisbane, Australia. The purpose of this activity was to become more familiar with the local vegetation before we leave for the forests of Lamington National Park. The Gardens did feature some flowers, as we might expect from a garden, but trees were most prominent. We walked along the paths sketching enormous fig trees covered in vines, slender and papery Eucalyptus, and even exotic species like the sausage tree which produced hanging fruits that look like large potatoes.
I have never before done any traveling down to the Southern Hemisphere, but the weather here has definitely made a positive impact on me compared to the snow that is to found back in good ole' Idaho. Our first day here, we got off the train from the Brisbane Airport and walked the four blocks to a hostel that we will be staying in until the Monday morning of January 7th. Known as the Explorer's Club, I found it an appropriate name for the overall purpose of our trip.
Three years ago, I was a nervous sophomore frantically packing everything I could possibly need for a month in Australia. Waves of excitement washed over me as I gathered field notebooks, snorkel gear, sunscreen, and shorts.