Saturday, August 11, 2018

Natural Bridge

My parents always enjoyed going for a drive somewhere and my father in particular enjoyed a drive to the Numinbah Valley south of Brisbane. One of the main sights is the Natural Bridge.

More about the 'no swimming' later.

This are is a few miles west of the famous Gold Coast. The Bridge lies in the Numinbah Valley between two plateaus.

The Bridge is located in a sub tropical rain forest. It's often rainy and consequently the vegetation is lush.

Vines encircling a tree.

I've been coming to this location for probably over 60 years and it is still a thrill to walk down this path down to the creek. When I was young, I probably ran.

Down at the creek. There used to be only stepping stones to cross the creek but now there is a bridge. If there had been recent rain the  rushing water would cover the stones and you would have to return up the hill.

Much of Australia is in the grip of severe drought and this area is very dry as well. There was some water but not much.

This creek eventually becomes the Nerang River and flows into and fills the nearby Hinze Dam.

Staghorns in the trees.

So this is what the fuss is about. There is a large cave and a waterfall that empties into a pool inside the cave.

Inside the cave. It's much darker that what the photo shows and sometimes you can see glowworms. You used to be able to go way back in the cave where it was much darker and there you could occasionally see the glowworms. There are also some very small bats flitting about.

Mouth of the cave.

Water heading down to the lower bridge that we crossed earlier.

Top of the waterfall descending into the cave. Daredevils used to jump off and occasionally injure or kill themselves so that is the reason for the 'no swimming' sign.

This is the actual bridge which forms the top of the cave. At one time there used to be an actual man made bridge as well but that was removed.

Looking further upstream.

We then drove around to our bnb at nearby Beechmont and we stopped to admire the view over the Numinbah Valley. It' usually very windy at this spot and it used to be a popular launching place for hang gliders. No longer. A row of trees has been planted to the left of the photo which makes launching impossible.

It still is an impressive view and in the distance to the far right is Mt Warning.

Mt Warning. It is the center of a huge caldera left over from a volcanic explosion.

Our cute bnb building. We could have moved right in and stayed.

The view was similar to that of a house we used to stay at years ago but at a different angle.

One of the local wallabies (small kangaroo).

Paper bark tree.

It's a bit chilly in winter about 3000' up so a wood fire was welcome.

The usual spectacular sunset.

There are times when we wish we could live up here at Beechmont but it is not really suitable for retirement since the only way to get to shops and hospitals is via steep narrow roads with lots of bends.

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