Cuddly Koalas

Dear blog readers,

I apologise in advance for the cheesey touristy photos you are about to be subjected to.  In my defence, when I asked Harvey on the plane to Australia what he most wanted to do, the answer was to cuddle a koala.  So today this Mama made her little boy’s wish a reality.  And her little girl’s.  But don’t panic, there are some fab scenery pics and lots of interesting food related tales and pictures too.

Our day started early (up at 6:30 – lots to see today) at a World and National Heritage site.

World Heritage List Australia enables you to enjoy the beauty of the land so well.  Sites are well sign posted from the road, car parking and entry to everything we have been to is free of charge and access up to or down to sites is very well maintained.

We were headed down to Barron Falls.  We had no idea what to expect as we are just following brown signs and enjoying the surprise when we get there.  The walkways were very solid so even though they were high up, I was quite brave.walkway to Barron Jeepers Creepers!Creeper In the distance, about a third of the way down in this photo, you can just make out James and Harvey coming behind us on the walkway.  It helps provide a scale as these rainforests contain trees which are incredibly tall, something I had not appreciated before.B and H on walkway My photos absolutely do not do Barron Waterfall and gorge justice.  The sunny parts are really bright but as the gorge was sooo far down, it is very dark. This waterfall is IMMENSE!  Absolutely massive and you can hear the water thundering down from a great distance.Barron 7 The advantage of being so early is that we were the only ones there 🙂  A while later, a train arrived and it was packed which was not so much fun so I am very happy we managed to appreciate this spectacular and special place alone.Barron 6I used my telephoto lens to get some close up shots of sections of this waterfall and pools.  I wish you could have been there too to appreciate how big and beautiful it was.
Barron 5 Barron 4 Barron 3 This is the top of the falls.Barron 2 Barron 1

Our next stop was the mountain village of Kuranda which is very touristy.  It was settled by a group of arty hippies in the 1960’s and still has that vibe to it.

Luckily for us, it also has Kuranda Koala Gardens.  No prizes for guessing what the main attraction is!koala The enclosures were very visitor friendly.  These cute koalas were in an open enclosure with just a waist high fence so it was really easy to see the koalas properly.koala walking Photo time.  One very happy boy.H and Koala And one very happy girl.Lara and Koala Then we all muscled in.  I do usually abhor such things as these but I confess I really enjoyed being so close to a koala.

According to Lara and Harvey they are very heavy!  I can confirm they are very soft.we 4 and koala Next was the wallaby and kangaroo enclosure and Lara and Harvey fed the wallabies.H feeding wallaby Then lounged around with the chilled out ‘roos.  It was such a bonus being so early that we could enjoy these amazing animals without it being too crowded.

This is a tiny little zoo but we also saw wombats, freshwater crocodiles and a variety of snakes and reptiles.L and H with kangaroo

Our next stop was to learn more about something I consume every day but know very little about.  Any idea what these plants are?coffee plants

These are the berries, which are known as “cherries”.  These are coffee plants and inside each cherry are 2 coffee beans.

We visited Jaques Coffee plantation near Mareeba.  It was very interesting.  We watched a video about the family who set up and still own and run the plantation and then went on a tour of the plantation.  It was all quite low key and very friendly.  We all really enjoyed it.

We picked a cherry and ate it from the plant.  The cherry is quite tough and requires some chewing but has a mild and pleasant flavour.  The actual raw coffee beans are really tough and don’t taste of much at all.coffee cherries This is the part of the process that washes the beans.

washing coffee Our tour finished with a complimentary coffee of our choice and then, because I was so interested, we had a personal tour of the family’s garden.

I admit I was very envious at the beautiful flowers and plants that can grow in this humid and hot land with fertile soil.  I took way too many pictures today to post any of them though.

I am not sure exactly what these are but they are something like a mandarin and they also had oranges.citrus Lemons – we were given some to take away 🙂lemons at Jacques Mango flowers.  One of my favourite fruits and I have never seen them growing in the wild.  There are huge mango orchards in this part of Queensland but this coffee plantation just had about 4 trees.mango flowers Limes.limes Macadamia blossom!  These long flowers produce clusters of nuts along the stem.macadamia flowers We really enjoyed our visit to Jaques Coffee and are looking forward to grinding up the beans we bought when we get home.

This is nothing to do with coffee – it’s a termite mound.  There are loads of them in this area.termite This is James standing in front of a field of sugar cane.  The foreground has been recently cropped.  Presumably it will be ploughed and then resown with new plants which is what we see as we drive along.  These are such tall plants.B with sugar cane sugar cane We drove along tarmac roads and dirt roads, through rainforest, beside crops and orchards and also through the bush where eucalyptus trees abound.  Every turn of the road brings another beautiful view.tree roots Here is a real animals in their natural environment shot.  Driving home we saw a field full of Wallabies.  James wins wildlife spotter of the day as he noticed them first.

Wallabies

I know, this is supposed to be a blog about what Zoe ate today and her attempts to lose weight and become healthy.  A bit of a mixed bag again today.

I started well with some fresh papaya, banana and yogurt – all from the provisions we had bought at source yesterday so everything was very fresh and superb quality.breaky 708013Eaten with great pleasure with passionfruit.
breakfast 7-8-13 We had egg mayo sandwiches at Barron Falls which we made before we left our apartment.  Those Bio Dynamic eggs we bought yesterday were lovely.egg mayo In Kuranda we had coffee and a snack.  I had some macadamia nut cookies which were lovely with my latte.Latte and macadamia cookies Late afternoon we snacked on some chocolate biscuits and a handful of these mixed nuts.Smart SnaxWhile I have been blogging I ate my supper which was a huge salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomato and snow pea shoots with some Cheddar cheese and Caesar dressing.  It was really good.

As well as walking around during the day, we went out this evening and walked and exercised for an hour and a half.  The temperature in the evenings here is perfect for exercising in, as is the sea front location.  So not a brilliant day but slightly redeemed by a light supper and lots of exercise.

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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3 Responses to Cuddly Koalas

  1. laura1952 says:

    Thank you again for the magnificent photography and scaling it to size with James and Harvey both with the trees and again with the sugarcane plants. The Barron Waterfall was breathtaking just from viewing your blog. I can’t imagine what it was like to see and hear it for real.

    • I thought you would enjoy seeing all the fruit and nut trees as I guess your climate is similar to ours so you can not grow coffee, citrus and tropical fruits.

      • laura1952 says:

        Not a chance could we grow it, so it was quite the treat. I did see the Sugar Cane fields when we were in Barbados and they look puny compared to what James is standing beside! Maybe they were newly planted and just growing.

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