Tag Archives: Boonah

It’s a wild life in the Scenic Rim

Fruit bats and termites aren’t your usual cute and furry tourist magnets, but they’re still pretty amazing creatures.

Last night, we stopped at the local info centre in Boonah to fill up our water tanks – and we weren’t short of company. Thousands of squawking, squeaking fruit bats were roosting in the trees nearby. Here’s a few just hanging around…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Going batty in Boonah

But the thing that fascinated me were the hundreds of termite mounds dotted across the paddocks along the road from Beaudesert to Boonah.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Termite mounds near Boonah

Termites may be a No.1 pest on the urban hit list, but they play a vital role in balancing Australian ecosystems.

What do they do? Apart from building architectural mud masterpieces, these busy little creatures help to decompose dead plant matter and quickly turn it into nutritious soil (clearly not something you want in your woodwork at home).

They are also on the menu for wildlife like lizards, birds, spiders, ants, echidnas and other small marsupials. Some don’t just eat the termites, they nest in ‘the pantry’ or shelter from fire in the mounds.

From weird and wonderful to some dam fine scenery…

On the way home, we swung by Wyaralong Dam and the Mt Joyce Recreation Park, a fantastic place for kayaking, camping, fishing, waterbird watching and more.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

In Queensland’s January 2011 floods, the new Wyaralong Dam filled overnight. Pretty spectacular since, when it’s full, it covers 1,230 hectares!

We also encountered wild life here, of the dusty, sweaty cyclist kind. These creatures are a clue to the fun to be had on kilometres of mountain bike trails in the surrounding hills. They assured us the trails were better than our favourites at Daisy Hill in Brisbane – and not as busy.

Of course, EB immediately decided it was time to dust off our trusty mountain bikes so we can come back here to test the trails ourselves…

Back to bird watching. Gotta hang onto the serenity while you can, hey?

Copyright: Louise Ralph

going fishing, egret style

Copyright: Louise Ralph

making ripples…

On the flight path…literally

What do you get someone like EB who has everything (including the spirit for adventure)? A flight in a glider of course.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Boonah Gliding Club. (Photos: Louise Ralph)

So this weekend, we’re an hour west of Brisbane in the Scenic Rim in south east Queensland for EB’s glider flight, a taste test of the boutique wines grown in the region and camping at Lake Moogerah.  First stop, Boonah Gliding Club for an experience that comes close to the flight of a bird…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

This is how it’s done… Peter gives EB the pre-flight lowdown

The members of club are serious glider enthusiasts, spending most weekends flying or volunteering there.

Peter, EB’s pilot, tells us gliding is a great way to start learning to fly because your focus is on what’s going on outside the plane rather than mostly monitoring instruments inside the cockpit.

Glider pilots are switched on to everything around and below them – the shadows of clouds on the ground, the changing colours that indicate different heating intensities, and even the soaring raptors and pelicans. These are all clues guiding them to the best thermals…

Like Peter, many of the members have impressive military and commercial flying backgrounds. That’s their job, this is their passion.

EB is clearly in safe hands…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

But first, a ‘push your own glider’ moment…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

And they’re off, with EB doing an impression of Captain Planet…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

A different perspective (Photo: EB)

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Coming in for a smooth landing…

Flying (and being grounded, camera in hand) is thirsty work, so we make a bee-line for Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm. The building is amazing and clearly timeless. It won awards twelve years ago but looks as fresh as today. And the wine is equally as fabulous.

We stay for lunch and vino with a view – and tomorrow we’ll be back for their French music and food festival. As if we could resist.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Vino with a view at Kooroomba Vineyards