Seeing the Forest and the Trees

A little less than a week into my Australian sojourn, I saw my first rain forest. A rain forest is a forest that not only gets a lot of rain but that has no dry season. In Australia, there are three types of rain forest: tropical, semi-tropical, and temperate. The temperate rain forest occurs in Tasmania, which is one of only two places in the world it does occur, the other being the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.

Queensland has both tropical and semi-tropical rain forest. Australia’s tropical rain forest occurs north of the Tropic of Capricorn, so it was the semi-tropical sort that I encountered in the mountains outside Brisbane. Of course, I didn’t know all this about rain forests at the time. I just went because it sounded like a cool thing to do—see a rain forest. It turned out to be more than that, of course. That first rain forest visit seems to me now to have been where I started to change.

As we hiked down Mt. Tamborine, making our way through the rich greenery, we encountered many of the waterfalls that are so characteristic of the rain forest. The one below is known as Curtis Falls.

Curtis Falls, Mt. Tamborine, Queensland

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2 Comments

Filed under Australia, Book, Nature, Travel

2 responses to “Seeing the Forest and the Trees

  1. On a recent visit to Australia, I walked up & through the Cape Byron headland Reserve. This is a rainforest abutting the ocean : ‘littoral rainforest’ I believe being the technical term. The only other place I have seen a similar sight was in the Andaman & Nicobar islands, a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal close to Thailand, though they are a part of India.

    Here is my post on the Byron Bay visit.
    http://harinair.wordpress.com/2007/07/27/byron-bay/

  2. Yep, you’re right on the terminology — “littoral” is the term for the coast along an ocean or sea — so the rain forest in such an area is called “littoral rain forest.” However, the littoral rain forest in Australia is kind of vanishing, as seaside communities like Byron Bay become more popular.

    I enjoyed your post on Byron Bay. During my second trip to Australia, I rented a car in Sydney and spent a few days driving up the coast, stopping at historic sites and national parks. I stopped in Byron Bay for lunch on my way up to the lovely forest of the Cape Byron reserve. (I’m not much of a “beach vacation” person, so there was no point in lingering in town.) Thanks for the little “trip” back to the region.

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