Sunday, November 15, 2009

Flat Stanley's Australian Adventure! Part 3: To the Sunshine Coast!

From Flat Stanley
“Where to today?” asked Stanley.

“We’re going to drive North along the Bruce Highway – headed for the Sunshine Coast!” said Kevin.

“Yes. And, we’re going to see the Glass House Mountains!” exclaimed Ann.

“Are the Mountains made of Glass?” asked Stanley as he pressed his face against the windscreen and watched the trees whiz by.

“No. Captain Cook, who is credited with discovering and first exploring Australia, saw the mountains from his boat in 1770 and thought they looked like the glass factories back in his home country of England.”

“Does that mean they smoke?” asked Stanley.
From Flat Stanley

“Only when they catch on fire! They were formed from volcanoes, but that was a long time ago. They are also very important to the original people of Australia, the Aborigines. The mountains were named by them: Mt Beerburum, Mt Coonowrin, Mt Ngungun, Mt Tibrogargan”
From Flat Stanley
From Flat Stanley

“Neat,” said Stanley as the car turned off the highway and onto Steve Irwin Drive.

“Do you know who Steve Irwin was?” asked Ann.

“The Crocodile Hunter!” shouted Stanley.

“Let’s stop at his zoo and say hello to the animals,” said Kevin and he pulled into the Australia Zoo.
From Flat Stanley

The Australia Zoo was a very cool place. Stanley reflected as they left. “It’s not like other zoos. No lions or bears or wolves.”

“Nope,” agreed Kevin. “They really emphasize Australian animals. Kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats…”

“And miles and miles of crocodiles!” Ann teased. “What did you like best, Stanley? The snakes? The Tasmanian devil?”

“Feeding the kangaroos,” Stanley replied decisively.

“Hurry,” Kevin urged. “We have more to see!”

And so they all piled into the car and headed down the Glass House Mountains tourist drive in search of the Big Pineapple.
From Flat Stanley

“Blackall Range tourist drive,” mused Kevin as he came upon a brown road sign. “We haven’t been there before.” And a new adventure was afoot.

“Look! Look! Look!” pointed Stanley. “A rainforest!”

“Oh! And a Café!” exclaimed Ann, who was hungry.

Kevin turned the car around and pulled into the Mary Cairncross Reserve. After sharing a sandwich and picking up a few postcards, Ann, Kevin, and Stanley entered the information building.

“Have you been here before?” asked the curator.

“Not me!” said Stanley. “I’m here from Ohio!”

“Keep your eyes open. You’ll probably see some padmelons…”

“Is that like a watermelon?” interrupted Stanley.

“No. They are little wallabies, which are like small kangaroos” continued the ranger. “You might also see some snakes!” and he extended his arms out to demonstrate the snakes might be very large indeed. “But, don’t worry. They’d be carpet pythons and they won’t hurt you.”

Ann looked dubious but the three set off through the building exit and into the rainforest.
From Flat Stanley

“Look at the enormous roots on that tree. And, how the vines climb up the trunk.” Ann was feeling more comfortable in the cool, green forest.

“But, Ann,” Kevin corrected, “that vine is a snake!”
From Flat Stanley


The walk continued peacefully, with the trio appreciating the big trees and the beautiful bird songs. Suddenly Ann stopped everyone, pointing and whispering, “Look!” It was a little padmelon – not much larger than a rabbit and sitting in a pool of sunlight.
From Flat Stanley

“Oh, this is even better than the zoo because this is REAL,” mused Stanley.

As the rainforest trail ended, Kevin suggested they retrace the beginning of their hike to check on the snake. There was a cluster of people gathered at the tree. The snake wasn’t up in the vines anymore. It had moved down close to the roots and was slowly swallowing a mouse it had caught!

It was starting to get late so the decision was made to push on to Nambour. Initially Kevin, following Ann’s suggestion, pushed on north when he should have pushed on south, but eventually they pulled into a parking lot and there sat a very large pineapple, indeed.

“Cool,” they all said at once.
From Flat Stanley
From Flat Stanley

It was too late to take the train around the plantation
From Flat Stanley
so Ann took Stanley to the edge of the fence and showed him a field of small spiky plants.
From Flat Stanley
“Those,” she said with authority, “are baby pineapple plants. Pineapples don’t grow on trees,” and she glanced at Kevin. “And they don’t grow underground like potatoes. They grow upside down from the center of these plants. But, only when they get much bigger,” she added. “I’ll show you a picture at home.”

Stanley was very tired after his big day and fell asleep in the car on the way home. Ann had to carry him up the last walk to the lookout station on Wild Horse Mountain where they could see both the Glass House Mountains and the ocean (and on a clear day, Brisbane.)
From photo a day

“Kevin. Stanley. We have to get up early tomorrow. We’re going to see the whales!”

And, even though he could hardly hold up his head any longer, Stanley replied, “I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep. I’m so exci…” and he fell asleep.



Steven said...

Aww, the pictures reminded me of my visit to Australian land. Well, my purpose of visit to the country were for business and I only had a
day or two to explore the country. One of the places that I were able to visit was that same crocodile farm that you have visited. I heard that there
are other adventures in the country and I am very eager and excited to have the chance to experience it. I hope that I get the chance to do so next
year. Awesome pictures BTW.

NNV said...

Thanks, Steven. I hope there is a great Australian adventure in your future.