Hi guys! My name is Kirra, teen travel blogger. If you haven’t read any of my blog posts already, I am 10 years old and my family is traveling Australia for the year! In this post, you will read all about our family’s adventure to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia. All of the pictures, except the one of me and the bird and the one of me on the vine, were taken by ME! Have fun reading!
Ten minutes into the ride, and I was already bored! We were heading up to a place in the mountains called O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat located in Lamington National Park. The ride was very scenic so far, but I didn’t want to just stare out a window for an hour and a half. Then I remembered that I had brought a notebook and some markers! I got my notebook, grabbed some markers, and started drawing. I LOVE drawing! I drew T-Shirts, puppy dogs, cars, people, and books! Now my hands were sore! I drew so many things that I felt like I couldn’t even pick up a pencil!
So I sat there, in the middle row, of our four-wheel drive next to Niyah, my two-year-old sister. “Wait,” I said, “I can take pictures for my blog posts!” “Great idea, Kirra!” my mom said as she handed me her phone. I rolled down the window only to find that it was VERY chilly! “Brrrrrrrrr!” I shivered. In fact, it wasn’t chilly, it was COLD!! We hadn’t brought jumpers (coats) or sweatshirts so I had to do without! 🙁
First, I took a few pictures of the bush and countryside. Then, as we drove up the mountain, it turned into a dark green rainforest. We were winding in and out of the paved paths on the mountainside. It was VERY freaky at times because I felt like we were going to fall off the side of the mountain! But the views were INCREDIBLE!! The mountains were pale and dotted with sunlight. The grass was rich and green, and the rivers and lakes were sparkling with the sun. It was beautiful!
We finally got to the sign that said Lamington National Park (O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat)! I was sooo excited!! Maybe it was warmer up here. But the moment I stepped out of the car into the parking lot, I had goosebumps! It was even COLDER up here! ‘Oh No,’ I thought, no jumpers, or sweatshirts! Only 1 blanket that Niyah is going to use in the stroller. Dad gave me his jumper, and then Ellie & Quinn started complaining that they didn’t have something to warm them up. “We’ll try to find something to warm you two up!” my mom explained. We went down to the eating area so we could have lunch. I ate chips and guacamole, and a turkey sandwich.
After lunch, we went to the gift shop to see if there were any jumpers that we could get. I found a black one, Ellie found a pink one, and Quinn got a scarf that he could wrap around his shoulders. (All the jumpers were too big for Quinn) Later we went to look at the stuffed animals and boomerangs. Most of the stuff was $45.00, so I got a small wombat. I named him Pig because he was very pudgy. I put on my jumper so that we could go and feed the Rosellas and Lorikeets!
Next, we walked up a steep stone walkway, we got to a metal fence. Inside the fence, there were a lot of people. There were Rosellas on people and Lorikeets on the feeding bowls. My dad had purchased two bowls of seeds for the amazing birds! As we came through the opening in the gate, a Rosella flew over me and landed on Ellie’s feeding tray and started eating the seeds inside the bowl. I held my bowl for a while and finally, a big plump Lorikeet came to feed on my bowl! The Lorikeet left and I handed my bowl to Quinn so I could take pictures of the birds. I got some really good photos for my posts (see below)!
Then, we went to the beginning of the TreeTop Walk. The TreeTop Walk is a wooden boardwalk that goes to the tops of the trees. As we walked, we saw neon orange fungi and a chickadee! We came to a great big vine that came down from the dark green treetops! We each took a turn swinging on the vine! It was so fun! As we got closer the TreeTop Ladder, there was a bouncy wooden ‘drawbridge’. The sign in the front of it said, ‘No bouncing’, so we carefully walked across it. The TreeTops Ladder is a ladder that goes up past the trees and supposedly you can see a good view of the mountains from the top! Dad, Ellie, and Quinn climbed up the ladder to see the view. When they came back, they said that the view was overgrown with a tree branch! That must have been frustrating!
Last, but not least, we headed to the O’Reilly Gardens. It was beautiful! Green plants and vibrant flowers filled the garden! We had to leave the stroller at the gate because the path was too bumpy. We walked around a corner that had minty green plants! It smelled AMAZING! Dad, Ellie, and Quinn walked ahead, while Mom, Niyah, and I stayed behind. Suddenly, Dad said, “Ellie, Quinn, slowly back up.” He said it very calmly. When we got out of the gardens, Dad said, “It was a snake!” I asked, “What type?” He answered, “I don’t know, but you should stay away from any type of snake in Australia!” That was very frightening to hear. We headed back to the car so we could get back in time for dinner.
I really recommend visiting O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat if you ever go to Australia! I hope you enjoyed hearing about my amazing adventure to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat! Hopefully, I can go back sometime! Bye!
***Dad Side Note: after a little research and comparing the picture of the snake to websites about Australian snakes, my dad realized that the snake was an Australian Marsh snake (which is ‘moderately’ venomous). Click here (and scroll down) to read more about them.***
About the Author
Kirra is a 10-year-old, currently living in Labrador, Gold Coast, Australia. She is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. She loves swimming, volleyball, and singing. Her favorite part about being on the Gold Coast currently is being close to the ocean. When she isn’t doing her schoolwork, you can find her listening to music and singing along. Her family loves to travel and never sits still, so she is always wondering where they will head next.