Trees Galore

From planting young saplings to walking through ancient rainforest, this week has revolved around trees.

We spent a morning volunteering with the UQ Sustainability Team planting trees at UQ Gatton campus. This campus is located about an hour away from the St Lucia campus and is Australia’s leading provider in the field of Animals, Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Food and the Environment.

gatton solar
Solar research facility at UQ Gatton’s campus

The campus also contains a 3.275 megawatt Solar Research Facility which comprises more than 37,000 thin-film photovoltaic panels, mounted on the campus’s 10ha former airstrip. Last year the facility generated more than 5.8 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy: the equivalent to the annual electricity usage of more than 1000 average Queensland households. It looks like something you’d see in outer space, but is a good installment nonetheless!

During the day we planted 5300 trees along a 1.5km area that was badly affected by floods, before finishing with a BBQ, as all events here do. Tree planting here is a cinch compared to tree planting in Scotland – mainly because the ground isn’t frozen so it’s actually possible to dig – although I’m yet to learn my lesson that rushing out the door in the morning without putting suncream on properly will result in returning looking like a tomato.

Tree planting success

From the new to the old… with the hiking club, I loved visiting Lamington National Park and Springbrook National Park. The national parks here couldn’t be more different to the ones in the UK; while British national parks are often full to bursting with people, here you can walk for miles without really seeing anyone. The rainforest is so dense that can’t easily walk between the trees in the same way as you can in the UK, and the leeches and snakes take a bit of getting used to!

My favourite hike was the Warrie Circuit in Springbrook National Park. The track gets its name from the aboriginal word ‘warrie’ meaning ‘rushing water’ and crosses several creeks and gullies. We stopped for lunch at the ‘meeting of the waters’ where all watercourses draining the canyon meet. Here are some of the waterfalls we saw along the way…

Below is a the view of a rainbow catching a waterfall from a lookout point on the left and the view from under a waterfall on the right…

A carpet of trees. I would point out the route we took in there but, um well yeah I have no idea

And just because the walk was seriously beautiful, here are a final few shots from the day…

“…what a wonderful thing a tree is. It’s strange, mysterious, isn’t it? So settled, quiet, serene. It’s so old, so full of time, it gives the feeling that it has always been there, or somewhere.”                             JD Fergusson, 1944

Trees Galore


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