Our last day we travelled up into the hinterland to visit Kondilla falls. I love this area. Not only is it lushly green, a site for sore eyes in a country that has been ravaged by drought for years, but the mountains are littered with small scenic towns boasting a huge variety of lovey arts & crafts.
Ditz had a meltdown over footwear~ totally exhausting ~ & then was the only one to attract a collection of leeches between her toes during the walk. Be grateful you weren't there. Ditz & I actually let mum & Liddy do the walk together with us trailing 1/2 an hour or more behind them as Ditz in one of her states drives them both crazy while I can ignore most of her theatrics while waiting on a semblance of civility returning.
The Kondilla walk is a class 3 walk ~ this is supposed to mean it is reasonably difficult but although it climbs 9o metres or more into the valley & then out again the gradient is gently winding & the path mostly free of obstacles & neither Ditz nor I found it difficult though we passed plenty of tourists who enquired of us how far to the bottom & how difficult? Most turned back so perhaps we are fitter than I think we are ~ or just prepared to take it very slowly & gently.
Kondilla means *rushing waters* & is set in 330 hectares of broadly sweeping valleys on the western slopes of the Blackhall Ranges ~ & they are part of that huge sea of mountains along the eastern seaboard known as the Great Dividing Range.
The area was created by volcanoes & then carved about by water to create a rich basalt soil for subtropical rainforest.
Open eucalypt forest mingles with tropical rainforest. In practical terms the drier forest is at the top, especially on the western escarpment, & you gradually descend into a sub tropical rainforest so you get quite a variety of different terrain & shrubbery.
Riparian rainforest lines the Skene Creek ~ cracks me up that term because it just means along the banks of a creek! Technical term for something really very simple but I guess it also refers to the types of flora & fauna that are to be found in that sort of environment.
The water flows down through a series of falls & pools ~ freezing but swimmable if you're so inclined. Not us though we saw plenty of people carting towels & hiking in their togs.
It is impossible to really show the grandeur of the landscape with a little computer camera. The whole place is littered with huge boulders; the trees soar foot after foot into the air; there is just so much water, especially after rain, & the thundering sound of it bellowing over the rocks & down the hillside fills the air.
This area is home to 107 bird species, 70 types of reptiles & 32 different species of frog including the rare pouched frog that does something really bizarre with it's young & it's stomach. The rare bopple nut, which is vulnerable to extinction, also grows here.
From the bottom you can look back up the hill to the cascade of falling water, all 90m of it.
Ditz gets rather a kick out of knowing she's come all that way down from the top. Liddy & mum did the circuit well within the 2 hours allowance time recommended ~ despite running into at least one snake that Liddy nearly stepped on. Trust Liddy not to see it.
I love these walks. On a good day [one that is relatively tourist free] it is blissfully quiet & peaceful & my girls don't attract unwanted male attention. *sigh* Even having mother & grandmother within cooee distance doesn't put some boys off. :(