The Hinterlands and Beyond!

Hey All!

I’ve had a pretty eventful past week.  On Saturday I left my city surroundings and headed south to the Hinterlands, in the Gold Coast.  The Hinterlands cover a vast area and contain several beautiful, national parks.  The scenery consisted of mountains, waterfalls, ancient trees and Australian wildlife.

Hiking the Hinterlands

While it only took an hour to get to the Hinterlands, it took our bus driver an additional 45 minutes to navigate the windy, steep and narrow roads, to get us to the top of the Hinterlands forest.  It was rather entertaining and somewhat freaky.

My group’s first stop was at one of the many lookouts in the area.  We visited two lookouts and both provided amazing views.

The view from lookout #1

The view from lookout #2

After the lookouts, we headed to a glow-worm cave.  The caves were pretty much what you would expect. They were full of thousands of tiny glow worms that light up at the tip of their tails.  Apparently, they use their little light to attract insects into their webbing.  I found the critters to be surprisingly interesting!

Following the cave adventures, we continued our “Forest of Dreams” tour and fed some native Crimson Rosella birds.  However, when I use the term “fed” I should actually say we were “attacked” by Crimson Rosellas.  The birds were extremely happy to be eating out of the palms of our hands.  So much so, that they swarmed us!  I’m not much of  bird watcher-enthusiast, but these little guys were pretty cute and very entertaining.

The birds sizing each other up over who's going to get the bird seed first

The next stop on the tour consisted of a 6km hike of the Purlingbrook Falls. We started at the top of the falls and hiked down to the bottom. We sat at the pools below the falls for lunch.  I don’t know if the pictures justify the beauty of this area and I don’t know if I can put into words how fabulous the scenery was, but it really was amazing.

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Our final stop was at a natural bridge with a waterfall flowing through it.  There seems to be no shortage of spectacular views in this part of Australia.  I really enjoyed spending my Saturday in the Hinterlands.

The "Natural Bridge"

After my forest adventures on Saturday, I spent my Sunday hanging around my residential College.  Our girls grass hockey team had a number of games on Sunday.  I participated in the final two.  Despite the fact that we’re a terrible team and lost horrendously in almost every game, we did a really great job of having a good time.  We’re inspirational losers!

During our final game, as the sky opened up and began pouring down on us, we continued to try out best and get just one goal for our entire season.  We weren’t successful, but like I said previously, we still have a good time trying not to be so terrible! haha.

IH Housies

I also had a good time earlier this week when I attended court with a friend of mine.  In between my travels around this beautiful country, I’ve also been keeping busy studying the Aussie legal system. I’ve been taking Family Law here and was very excited to have the opportunity to sit in on a Family Law Hearing at the Magistrates Court in Brisbane.

Despite the fact that the issue was very minor, I still enjoyed the view into Australian family law.  The family law/parenting regime here is a little different from what we have back in Canada.  In particular, the Australian system has recently introduced a shared parenting regime, which was designed to encourage equal time to be spent between parents with their children.  There has also been a few notable problems with the interpretation of this law.

I find this issue intriguing as I did some research on it last year, because Canada is thinking of adopting similar protocols. While I’m studying in Australia, I’m getting a great first-hand view of the positives and negatives of this share-parenting regime.

All in all, I’ve been busy here in Oz, and I’m learnings lots both inside and outside of the classroom, which is always appreciated!

As a final note, while cats and dogs were not allowed in the Hinterlands, my plastic travelling pig is 100% acceptable!

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