Our Fabulous Travels – 2016 ANZAC Day Parade Brisbane

We started the day by watching the Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial and the address by Brendan Nelson Director of the AWM. Nelson was as good as I have seen at delivering a heartfelt message of remembrance for all Australians who have served their country in theatres of war and elsewhere. He made me feel proud about my heritage, my father’s service in the Middle East 1940 -1942 and my son’s service currently.

Following breakfast, we put on our walking shoes and stepped it out to the City via the Goodwill Bridge QUT and the Botanic Gardens. A most enjoyable stroll in early morning sunshine with the promise of a pleasant warm day. We made our way up Albert St., then into Charlotte St., and finally onto George St. (the wind tunnel of Brisbane) where the various units were assembling. The marchers were in George St. headed north, the bands in Elizabeth St. headed east and the vehicles containing digger too old or disabled to march in Elizabeth St headed west. They would combine at the intersection of George and Elizabeth to form the parade.

We proceeded onto the stairs of the Toshiba Building at the corner of George St., and Adelaide St. took up a comfortable position – Kerry sitting on a wall and me standing camera in hand. People were milling awaiting the whistle for the parade to commence. Organisers in red polo shirts buzzed everywhere clip boards at the ready and the wind started to build whipping up George St like a gale in Bass Strait.

The it started run on 9.30 am with a group re-enacting the appearance of Queensland soldiers from the Boer war for we were not a nation then.

There was a squad of old taxis carrying the old and disabled diggers followed by the Air Force who presented in their sky blue shirts followed by the Navy and then the Army – 150 units in all. Various volunteers, police men and officials spent a lot of time rounding up hats blown off the marchers. The parade continued well past 11.30 am when we decided it was time to walk home as rain was now threatening as well. Nevertheless, a grand parade to remember all the servicemen and women throughout our short history as a nation.

The Retirees at Binna Burra Australia

After arranging to meet with Carly and her family at Binna Burra we arrived and were enjoying a cup of hot chocolate to find out Carly is on another mountain at O’Reilly’s – one and a half hours down and up another mountain. We decided that with the weather turned cool with a gusting wind that we would enjoy our cup of hot chocolate and read Sunday’s newspaper in the warm of Binna Burra Tea Rooms.

After finishing our chocolate and the newspapers, we ventured outside and the weather was decidedly improved. After checking the trails that were open we decided to take the Forest circuit and divert onto the Loop track – 2.1 klms in all.

Binna Burra is a parcel of private land and mountain lodge surrounded by Lamington National Park. It is also the name of a locality in the same area hemce the confusion about where we were to meet Carly. The lodge lies in the north-eastern corner of the Lamington Plateau, 75 km south of Brisbane. According to Wikipedia, Binna Burra means “where the Antarctic Beech trees grow” in a local Aboriginal language. You can visit the remaining Antartic Beech Forest on the way to Natural Arch.

Our walk commeced by passing through the gate to the Park where we encounter one of the locals – a small black snake sunning itself on the path. At only 1 foot long it did not present any danger.

The walk through the forest was cool due to the cloud and the light rain but the incline meant that we would work up a sweat.

The forest is filled with Satinash trees which seem to be very vulnerable to the Strangler Fig which grows up and around the trees eventually crushing it but creating this spectacular twisted natural sculpture. The wind had brought down some of the dead tress that are scattered through the forest.

High up in the trees are the crows nest ferns but thanks to high winds the ferns find their way to the forest floor .

Also on the floor of the forest are some amazing fungi.

The rain eventually built up to the point where we decided to return to the car and make our way home. Travelling down the mountain we stopped at one of the well known jumping off points for the para-gliders. It was far too windy today but you can still experience some fabulous views.

Travelling down the mountain we tried to get a view of the Hinze Dam which flooded Advancetown and the Upper Coomera Valley to provide water to the Gold Coast. We were unable to get a picture showing the whole of the dam but some parts of it and the views to the Gold Coast.