As my beloved and I conducted our holiday port-mortem, it inevitably threw up our vacation highlights. We then attempted to whittle these down to five – easier said than done on such a great trip. So here we go!
1. Getting up close and personal with the wildlife
As confirmed urbanites, we’re just not used to seeing wild animals, just domestic ones. At Wolgan Valley we loved coming out of our bungalow and finding roos and wallabies enjoying the surrounding grassy areas. These were regularly watered and, from the animals’ perspective, had lots of nice juicy green shoots. When they saw us approach, the wallabies tended to freeze and were therefore easier to photograph while the wombats and kangaroos scuttled or hopped away. However, we got some great shots of the kangaroos when we rode around the estate on mountain bikes.
We also love all the noisy birdlife though they proved even more difficult to photograph. Long range my iPad photos are too fuzzy or by the time my beloved had focused his camera the bird had literally flown the coop. Easiest of all to photograph were the animals at EKKA or at The Farm who were visibly constrained.
I didn’t mind the large lizards who enjoyed basking in the sunshine. The ones on Whitehaven were larger than those we spotted elsewhere but that might have been on account of them snaffling the BBQ left overs!
Plus, my beloved much enjoyed snorkeling in both the Whitsundays and on the Great Barrier Reef and seeing the amazingly colourful sea life.
I’m pleased to report that we did not at any time get up close and personal with sharks, orcas, crocs, snakes or poisonous spiders.
2. The wonderful sub-tropical and tropical flora
We absolutely loved the scenery, everything was just so lush and green. Of course, most of the time we had no idea about the names of the trees or flowers though many of you have since kindly identified much of what I’ve photographed and it’s much appreciated.
3. The night skies in Wolgan Valley
Because of the absence of any nearby lights, the skies were jet black and the stars did indeed twinkle like diamonds. It was quite magical and I’m only sorry that our attempts at photographing such magnificence came to nought. But we’ll never forget. The sunrises and sunsets were pretty spectacular too!
4. Clear bright day-light beloved of artists
Living on the Cote d’Azur we’re used to the bright light beloved of artists but this was even brighter. Consequently, we rarely ventured out without Factor 50+, hats and sunglasses. Although we photographed loads of fabulous views, from time to time I wished I painted so as to better capture the light and the way it fell on the magnificent Aussie scenery.
5. People we met along the way
Aussies are by their very nature a friendly bunch and we met many who were escaping the winter conditions where they lived or who were enjoying holidays with their youngsters, before being tied down to school holidays. We also met a very entertaining family from India, a family of Chinese from Shanghai, all 20 clad in a team trip t-shirt and a delightful couple from Spain. Staff where we stayed were also unfailingly helpful with their much appreciated recommendations. Plus, I was most fortunate to catch up with fellow blogger Lyn in Brisbane in between her travels. A big thanks to all of them for enriching our vacation.
One or two of you may be muttering what about the Great Barrier Reef? Well, that’s deserving of it’s own special post!