Last week, I made it to Queensland!
My original plan when I came to Australia was to follow the sun around the country.
Australian winter isn’t nearly as cold as Canada’s, but can get down to frost temperatures in the southern states; my plan was to start in New South Wales for the Australian summer, roughly January-March, and spend Australian winter in tropical Queensland, where it would be between 20-30 degrees every day.
Then, of course, there was a global pandemic, the Queensland border shut, and I ended up spending much of the Australian winter in Wagga Wagga. Wagga is hot and dry summer, but in winter it’s rather cool and (while I was there, anyway) very rainy.
So I waited, not always very patiently, for months… restrictions began to lift across New South Wales: kids went back to school, restaurants reopened, travelling around the state became not just allowed but encouraged, and still Queensland was shut.
Finally, they announced that the Queensland border would open again on July 10.
I crossed on July 12.
You had to complete a border declaration online and display a border pass in your car; I crossed very early in the morning and was waved right through.
I drove down the highway with a massive grin on my face. I don’t think I stopped smiling the rest of the day.
It was sunny, warm, and finally… I was in Queensland!
Subie’s first time in Queensland (with me):
Terrified I would jinx it, I’d made absolutely zero plans for what to do when I finally got there. Driving down the highway, I saw a sign for “Springbrook National Park”, and that sounded pretty cool. I followed the signs and spend a sunny afternoon birding around there and enjoying the many lookout points.
First lookout point in the park:
You could see the Gold Coast from there. Here’s Surfer’s Paradise, a city characterised by high-rises and beautiful beaches:
The “Best of All” lookout point (that’s what it was called):
Another view of Gold Coast and Surfer’s Paradise. From this lookout point, you could see both Queensland and New South Wales forests:
You could even see Byron Bay/Cape Byron, way off in the distance. It’s that bit of sand sticking out into the ocean, near the top of the picture…. apologies for the photo quality:
Also in Springbrook, I saw some massive Antarctic beech trees. These trees help prove Australia’s connection to the supercontinent Gondwana millions of years ago, before Gondwana broke apart and the present-day continents were formed:
Springbrook was beautiful, but being at an elevation, it was a touch too cold for me. I headed back down and spent the night free camping near Brisbane.