The reason that we went to Airlie Beach for a night is that it took us half way to Eungella – our actual destination. (You say Young-guell-a with a hard g sound).
Eungella sits on an escarpment at the top of a hill, overlooking an amazing valley. You can see the township to the left of this photo.
The road to get up there is four and a half kilometres of winding and twisting, hairpin turns and cliff face drops. One of the many things which makes me anxious in this life is driving on hills. I’m always exhausted when we reach the top. I wonder what on earth made the first person decide it would be a good place to live. Why is it necessary to live there when there are much less stressful places at the bottom of the hill.
There is a building at the top that is called the Eugella Chalet. It was built in 1934. People have been getting up and down that winding road for a very long time. Logging and dairy farms would have been industries that employed people in those early years. Now a lot of the area is national park. People come here to walk through the rainforest and to see views like this.
This is the reason that we came here:
To sit very quietly beside a normally calm creek which is rushing with water following recent flooding rains.
If you sit there long enough
and you are very quiet
and very patient
you will see this
A platypus. In the wild. Feeding in the early evening.
These creatures are notoriously shy and difficult to see in the wild. Every time I have been to Eungella I have seen one, without fail. We sat and watched it for almost two hours. Coming to the surface to breathe, then ducking under the water to feed in the mud at the bottom of the creek. All the while thinking how very lucky we were.
Don’t think for a single moment that I was CAMPING! HA! There is quite a nice mountain lodge within walking distance of the creek. I was sleeping in a queen sized bed, not a tent.