The morning is yet again misty, these fires are having an awful effect on the environment. We are soon packed and ready to continue our journey. Although we are driving to Toowoomba, west of Brisbane we take a detour north to Beerburrum and the Glass House Mountains National Park.
As we travel between Beerburrum and Beerwah on the Steve Irwin Way we enter forestry land where US pines are grown for timber. Passing fields of pineapples, we suddenly see a pointed mountain with thick green covered slopes. This is the first of the Glass House Mountains named such by James Cook, due to their conical shapes which reminded him of the glass-making furnaces of Yorkshire.
We follow the signs for the National Park and end up going around in circles and ending up in the same place. We find directions on our phone and follow these to the Glass House Mountains lookout, driving through dense forests.
Climbing the Old Gympie Road, we snake through dense bush and eventually reach the lookout. The view of the volcanic plugs rising abruptly from the sub-tropical plains is breath taking. A circular lookout provides 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside.
We walk down a circular trail which takes us through the bush. The noise of birds and insects is deafening and we are able to see a variety of birds roosting in the trees. There is evidence of fire here with scorched ground and burnt tree trunks.
On returning to the car park we come across an indigenous Australian who is playing the didgeridoo. He has a range of his own beautiful aboriginal art work in the boot of his estate car and I would buy a piece if we didn’t have to carry everything with us for the next four months. Mark and he chat and he tells us really interesting tales of his ancestors and the life of his tribe and their respect of the land.
Leaving the lookout, we continue on a dirt track towards Woodford. This bumpy ride is in an isolated area and the occasional passing car or truck kick up huge plumes of dust. Although only about 8 km long it takes over half an hour to travel and the car is absolutely filthy at the end of it.
Woodford is a one street Timber town with no petrol station. We pull up at the tourist information centre and cross the road to the auction market. Monday is sale day and we are able to wander round examining the cattle on sale. There are a large number of bullocks with large eyes and long lashes, they are really cute.
Driving north we stop for petrol and then turn south towards Toowoomba on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. As we near the city we start to climb above the plains and the car struggles. Toowoomba is 700m above sea level and we catch glimpses of the views down towards Brisbane.
Arriving at our accommodation we settle in and have a walk to the local shops (there is a shopping centre at the end of the road). There is mist in the air which is caused by a bush fire which is burning quite close to the city.
Sadly we hear on the news that there has been an eruption on White Island in New Zealand with a number of Australians being injured and losing their lives.