MacDonald rainforest circuit is a fairly comfortable 1.4km long walk and is located in 29 acres of surprisingly, pristine bushland, considering its vicinity to (what I would class as) rural suburbia. It is also, just around the corner from the very popular ‘Long Rd’ (on Mount Tamborine) that is a tranquil street full of interesting little gift shops, sweets and ice-cream parlours, wine tasting cellars and plenty of places to have a bite to eat. If you are travelling here though, don’t be fooled by the weather on the Gold Coast, it can be a rather different temperature up here in the hills, especially in winter, so rug up.
The area itself was originally inhabited by the Yugambeh Aboriginal people who’s clan once called the Scenic Rim region to Logan City their home. This particular precious tract of subtropical rainforest was named after Miss Jessie MacDonald who donated this area to become a National Park back in 1933. The forest is inhabited by ‘Yellow Carabben’ Sloanea woollsii and Giant strangler figs that block out much of the light. The ground is extremely wet with many streams that provide the perfect environment for the Piccabeen palms Archontophoenix cunninghamiana along with an assortment of other ferns, vines and epiphytes.
The walk although short is spectacular and warms you up for the rest of your days outing. It starts at the top of a ridge and runs down into sub-tropical rainforest looping and returning you back to the original track, rather like a balloon on a string. There is also a nice little picnic area at the top of the walk. On the morning we came here it was a crisp winters day and the sun was shining through the forest giving it an ancient effect. Here are some of the photos we took of this beautiful forest.
Well, this is the first walk of the ‘Gold Coast Hinterland’ series. There are many walks, both long and short and for most levels of fitness in this beautiful piece of Australia. The next walk in this series will be the ‘Dave’s Creek Circuit’. This walk is roughly 4 hours and has vastly different forests to what we have looked at today. Hope you have enjoyed today’s walk and will see you next time on ‘My Walkabout Plants’.
Sources of information:
- Plaque at beginning of walk.
- Photography by Simon Schubert and Minako Howarth.