|Fraser Island - Valley of the Giants||August 24 2017|
Having failed to drive close enough for a reasonable walk to the Valley of the
Giants we decided to walk in from the coast.
This map was at the entrance to the red dashed track. We are camped about 400m north of the entrance.
From our general map of the island we already knew the distance between the
Giant Satinay and our dashed track was about 600m.
If the bush would allow us we planned to bush bash.
If not the first attempt then the two paths are closer than 400m further west.
So we made ourselves a mud map.
All we would need was a compass and to know our gps coordinates - our phone provides both, and we also have an old magnetic compass.
|As we left the shore we pass through banksias and other low bushes.|
The birds have been shy. Even after a couple of days in a camp.
So we took an opportunity to watch this yellow breasted robin for the few moments it flew around us.
|The we walked around this, what looks to us like a carpet, snake.|
|The bush got a bit taller as we encountered scribbly gums.|
And then even taller as we began to see satinay and tallowwood trees.
A few have been chopped down.
But lots of big trees standing.
This is one of the clearer parts of our bush bash.
There's a few vines around to impede progress.
Harder were fallen trees. Often across our path. And too big to climb over.
That tree in the distance, just left of centre, is our target.
We are about 50m from it.
Rather obviously, we think, a very big tree in a forest of big trees.
Our dead reckoning worked.
We have only a few scratches.
It occurs to us that searching for a needle in a haystack is relatively simple due to the differences between a needle and hay.
Searching for a particular tree in a forest is fundamentally different - but we are pleased we saw the wood through the trees.
These aren't the giant satinay. Just a couple of more big satinay trees.
With Ali to show some scale.
Or should I say its a photo of Ali next to a big tree?
To compensate, this is Ali next to the giant satinay.
The spiralling pattern to the satinay bark is very noticeable.
The tree is more than 1000 years old.
Alis is .....
Its totally impossible to photograph a tree.
This is from about 100m along the widish track.
We have a sense of awe.
Which is convenient as we've just read a new scientist article about the beneficial effects of awe on mental health.
I was worried it may fall over.
We think our bush bash was worthwhile.
We couldn't have walked all the long way round and back.
I made a quick (2 km) detour to the giant tallowwood tree.
Not as big as the satinay but awesome in a different way.
Its also more than 1000 years old.
One of the benches, with food safe, at the Valley of the Giants hikers
There are no hikers present.
There were though giants of a different kind in residence round about 1990.
This camp was a centre for environmental protestors trying to stop the logging on Fraser Island.
But for those giant people there would probably be no big trees here.
Which we think is a very sobering thought.
Knobbly big trees.
Tallowwood we think. At least not satinay.
We don't really need to know what they are labeled in order to be awestruck.
Just that its sometimes nice to see the differences.
| Typical (to us) satinay bark.
Quite deep and a spiral.
The spiral can be in either direction and quite steep sometimes.
| It seems we are only ever going to disturb goannas.
There are swamp wallabies on the island.
But probably nearer swamps than the middle of the forest.
Its apparently rain forest. But no permanent water near us as it just drains into the sand.
| On our way back.
Just another 2km.
We are back among the scribbly gums.
|Time to get the bird book out.|
| Back at our camp we've walked 18 km. I added another 2 km
so 20 km.
That is lots more than we intended. We thought about 15 km.
We are not good at estimating.
But we are pleased with ourselves, if somewhat achy and tired.
To celebrate I snuck up on these two rainbow bee eaters that have been teasing us with their presence.
|Fraser Island - Kirrar Sandblow (Rainbow Gorge)||August 25 - 27 2017|