January 14/15 – Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s

This morning everyone was awake and ready to go due to a good night’s sleep and a great dinner the night before. Last night’s dinner consisted of a huge meal that could have kept us going for weeks. We had vegetables, bread, steak, salmon, chicken, dessert, and more. We are staying at a family owned business that is part of a national park. They have different activities for us to do each day and we can choose the activities that we would like to do.

Our entire class arrived the night before and we all went on the Flying Fox, a zip line that we all enjoyed. Some people did flips or went backwards as we waited our turn to go. It was cool because we saw a bunch of wallabies, or “kangarats” as we like to call them.


This morning, we had the option to wake up early and attend a 6:45am bird walk that lasted for about an hour. About 8 of us woke up and went on the walk with Luke, our bird guide. While we were listening to Luke discuss the different types of birds, parrots were flying around us and landing on our heads. The parrots were very friendly and joined us for most of our walk. We also saw other birds such as the bow bird, eastern yellow robin, eastern whip bird (whose call sounds like a whip), southern log runner, and many more. We also heard a lewens honey eater bird whose call sounds like a machine gun. The most interesting bird for me was the bow bird, who collects dark blue and yellow items to put in a nest to attract a mate.

We all then met at breakfast at 8am where we had many other options to choose from. First, we could go to the animal show or go on a two hour walk to a wishing tree. Most of us chose to go to the animal show, where we got to see a black bird magpie named Jackie (who was stubborn and didn’t want to do one of her tricks for us), a plains rat, four squirrel gliders, and a coastal carpet python named Paige. We learned a lot about these animals and about marsupials in particular. Marsupials are not defined here as an animal with a pouch, but rather an animal that has very underdeveloped young. The shortest pregnancy for a marsupial is 11 days and the longest is 35 days. The other group, the one that did the wishing tree walk, seemed to really enjoy it and they said that they leaned a lot about the trees and plants in their walk.

Our next choice of the day was to either go on a hike with Dr. N and see different waterfalls, or go on a guided eco-tour. On the hike we were able to see 4 different waterfalls and some crayfish as well. The ecotour group learned about the different types of trees and plants that are in the rainforest. They learned about a leaf that looks normal, yet if you touch it it will give you a nasty burn that will last for months.


We then all watched a movie presentation about the rainforest. It was interesting to see and learn more about plants and animals that we had encountered earlier on our tours.

Later that night we had our last activity: the glow worm tour. We met with our guides and took a short bus ride to our drop off point. From there, we walked into the woods, with only small torches to light the way. After about a 15 minute walk, the guides asked us to turn off our flashlights and we filed into wooden benches. In front of us was a creek bank covered in what seemed like hundreds of tiny, bright glow worms. It was interesting because for some people the worms appeared to be glowing green, some saw blue, and others saw white. We learned about the glow worms’ lifecycle and how they team up with spiders for protection against predators. After a great informative talk, we filed back into the woods and out to the buses. Before getting back on, we took some time to admire the beautiful night sky and the clear, visible stars. We learned about a couple of constellations and were even lucky enough to see several shooting stars!

Overall, it was a very busy day, but everyone seemed to have fun and learn a lot along the way.

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