When my fellow classmates and I arrived at Lamington National Park we had no idea what was in store for us. We stepped off the bus and realized that we were no longer in the comforts of the city. The singing of birds and the dense forest looked promising for an adventure and an experience that would last a life time. Within the first 20 minutes, we spotted brush turkeys, skinks, and a carpet python. We were all excited to begin filming and start snapping pictures. A couple of groups hiked different trails hoping to catch amazing footage of Australia’s wildlife.
Today, we reached the first hard work day of our Australia trip. We all want to go on longer hikes for our last day in Lamington, but our documentaries are due soon which made us buckle down. Although this limited the excitement of the day, we are looking forward to tomorrow. My group and another group that was unable to go on the hike to Coomera Falls earlier in the week will be completing the 20K (about 12.5 miles) trek. While there, we hope to see creatures like the spiny crayfish and lace monitor lizards.
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.
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.