Goodbye New Zealand, Hello Australia

This week we flew out of New Zealand and arrived in Brisbane, Australia. We visited Mt Coot-tha, a viewpoint which gives you a panoramic vista of Brisbane City and the surrounding areas. When you see the wide river running through Brisbane, you can understand why they were so badly affected by the recent floods.

Rhino poaching footage shown during a presentation at the University of Queensland shocked viewers.
Rhino poaching footage shown during a presentation at the University of Queensland shocked viewers.

We did a presentation to at the University of Queensland, Department of Biological Sciences. Footage of a rhino that had its horn hacked off and was left to die left many visibly horrified and moved by the reality of what is happening back in Southern Africa with rhino poaching.

At the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with over 130 koala, we had the privilege of seeing animals we do not have back home like kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, Tasmanian devils and platypus to name a few. The most interesting bird was the endangered Southern Cassowary, the third largest flightless bird. They live a solitary life and there is an estimated population of 1,500 left.

In the town of Maleny, 90 km north of Brisbane in the Blackall Range overlooking the Sunshine Coast, we experienced something of their sub-tropical climate. They have cool clear winters and warm wet summers and the area is also known as ‘rainy Maleny’; it certainly lived up to this on our short visit.

Prior to European settlers, the area was covered in thick sub-tropical rainforest with huge hardwood trees. Sadly, heavy logging in the late 19th and early 20th century practically wiped out these magnificent forests with the wood being sent to Europe. Today, small pockets of rainforest remain.

The community of Maleny today are very environmentally conscious and have established an organisation called Sustainable Maleny which is run by volunteers to promote sustainability and community strength in Maleny and its environs, with projects supporting local food, local economy and renewable energy.

At the end of the week we left for central Sydney to do a breakfast presentation to Rotary Sydney Darling Harbour Club – it was dark, cold and raining when we left to catch the train into the City. We took the opportunity after the talk to take the ferry over to Manly to get a ‘sheltered’ view of Sydney without getting wet!

Post published in: Environment

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