Pacifica (autumnwinds) wrote,

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Brisbane and Maleny

Today Bob and I drove up north to pick up Dee from Maleny, but since she had told the group the day before that she wasn't in any hurry to go, we planned to spend the day in Brisbane and get her that evening.

Brisbane is a hard city to drive in, because the main freeways terminate in the city, and you have to use little windy-curvy-one-way city streets to get anywhere. We were trying to get to Mt. Coot-tha, which we could see from the city, but took us an hour to actually get to.

The reason we wanted to get to Mt. Coot-tha was because it contained Australia's largest planetarium and I wanted to see a show, and also because it had a wonderful botanical garden. Bob and I had a nice lunch in an open-air restaurant down by the pond (lots of waterbirds and cheeky little perching birds, and large waterdragons, which look a lot like iguanas) and then walked in the gardens for a while. This garden was much more organized than the Syndey botanical gardens. There was a section just for cacti and xeric plants, a beautiful house devoted entirely to ferns, a Japanese garden, and a bonsai house. That was all we saw before we left to get Dee, but we checked the times of the planetarium, since there was no show that day. It took us a really long time to get out of Brisbane, since we had to wind our way out of it tortuously and weren't even sure if we were going the right way. We got on the right road eventually and drove past the gorgeous Glasshouse Mountains, which are beautiful almost beyond description, so here's a picture.

The road to Maleny passed the Glasshouse Mountains and then started to wind up the hills and finally to a ridgetop, which it followed for miles. It was so beautiful, and so peaceful. If I ever live in Australia, I'd have to give Maleny a lot of consideration.

We eventually made it to the White Eagle lodge. Dee had evidently been ready to go for a while, which sort of conflicted with what we'd been told, so I felt bad about that. She gave us a little tour of the grounds and showed us a beautiful grove of macadamia nut trees in the neighboring yard. She also showed us some pudding plants, and pointed out the planks of a wooden walkway. It looked like conifer wood, but it was eucalyptus, and bore testament to how fast the trees grow because of the huge space between the rings.

It was getting dark, so we had dinner in Maleny (I had pumpkin soup, of course) and I checked my email for more news of my debit card troubles before we started on the long drive to Tweed.

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