The Amaryllis Belladonna pink lily is a surprising plant. The plant starts growing from an onion like bulb which protrudes from the ground. Delicate, long pink buds open into beautiful lilies which appear before the leaves. Remarkably, the plant thrives in full sun.
I was surprised to find these pretty flowers – which attract tiny native bees – suddenly appear one morning.
The strangler fig starts life as a tiny seed in the rainforest canopy. It begins to grow on the forest floor and as it grows, the fig gradually wraps itself around a host tree.
These strangler figs we viewed from the boardwalk at the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre near Port Macquarie, make an interesting pattern on their host trees as they grow and widen, their size and strength evident as they slowly surround the host’s trunk.
Look up into the canopy as you walk on the boardwalk at Sea Acres Rainforest centre, and you can see the Staghorns, Elkhorns, Birds Nest Ferns and Ribbon Ferns growing high up on the tree branches. These plants are called Epiphytes and grow on host trees but are not parasitic.
The long leaves of a Ribbon Fern in my photo are growing from an Elkhorn, while another tree is supporting a Birds Nest Fern.
Apart from the wonderful rainforest to be seen from the boardwalk, there are some amazing sculptures at the Sea Acres National Park.
A sculpture by Stephen King of Ninox, the powerful owl, is part of a memorial to Boyd Laut, who was a senior national park ranger. The owl, larger than life, greets you in an open-air classroom on the boardwalk.
I couldn’t resist including this photo I took of a curled frond on the branch of a Tree Fern, which reminds me of an owl with its large eyes and head slightly turned.
Close to Port Macquarie is the Sea Acres National Park. This 76 hectare park has an easy 1.3km boardwalk through the subtropical rainforest canopy.
Majestic cabbage tree palms growing beside the walkway and vibrant birds nest ferns deep in the undergrowth made this walk a photographers paradise.
After our walk we enjoyed a delicious lunch on the deck at the Rainforest Cafe, which is surrounded by trees and palms.
The Koala hospital at Port Macquarie is located in the grounds of historic Roto House. They not only treat sick and injured koalas but are involved in research work into koala diseases. This sleeping Koala is recovering in the hospital and as Koalas sleep during the day, it didn’t move as I approached his cage to take a photo.
Roto house at Port Macquarie Built in 1890, was home to John Flynn, a land surveyor and his family. The house is maintained by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and has been extensively repaired and furnished with much of the original items used in everyday life of the 1890’s. Well worth a visit, this 11 room weatherboard house constructed from local red mahogany was occupied by his family right up until 1979.
On a visit to Port Macquarie this summer, we were impressed with the historic house and the work of the Koala hospital.
What amazing birds these pelicans are. White with black wings and a pink bill, they have been recorded as having the longest bill of any living bird.
Waiting at the boat-ramp near the fish cleaning table with their eyes on the incoming boats, they are ever watchful for discarded fish and will catch any offerings with ease.
My grandson and I were lucky to be able to photograph these beautiful birds as they seemed to stand in formation, alert to any movement from the fishermen.
These cream and orange grevilleas are a delight to find as you stroll along the pathways at the Mt. Penang gardens.
The scribbly gums, displaying their zigzag tracks – which are tunnels made by the larvae of the scribbly gum moth – are Australian eucalypt trees, and are a feature of the parklands.
A lovely stand of Kangaroo Paws lines a pathway with their orange and yellow flowers swaying in the breeze.
Some colourful flowers are starting to appear in the extensive aquatic gardens at Mt. Penang parklands. Ponds filled with stunning lotus flowers – Nelumbo nucifera or sacred lotus – waving their large leaves and tall seed pods in the breeze, is quite an amazing sight.
Over 8 hectares of native gardens with meandering pathways and water features, makes a visit to the Mt Penang parklands at Kariong a rewarding experience. We were lucky to visit the garden, take a few photos and enjoy morning tea at the Waterfall Cafe.
Featured above, are the beautiful yellow Grevilleas, Illawarra flame trees with their amazing seed pods, the huge leaves of the Lotus flower, a pretty branch on the pink flowering gum tree and some unique Queensland bottle trees.