Today we headed for the ‘hinterland’. To me, hinterland (German word that means ‘land behind’) conjures up images of barren war stricken wastelands. I’m not sure if I got that idea from a film, or what, but here it merely means the bush!
We drove towards Tambourine Mountain, a quaint little series of villages up in the mountain that kind of remind me of Wild West America. We wanted to do the rainforest Skywalk, we had read about it and it looked really awesome. Sadly, only 120m of walkway was open (free) because last week’s storms caused tree fall that damaged sections of the walkway. It’s a shame, because the little bit we did see was stunning.
We headed back to Eagle Heights to seek out some walks instead. Intending to do a short one to Curtis falls, then find lunch. We parked up beside a sign that said ‘Teas and niceties’ and were laughing at how they had on their billboard ‘Devonshire Teas’ when a guy came over to talk to us. He was a local gardener, and came to tell us we definitely needed to go into this particular tea shop, then we definitely should NOT do this walk, instead he directed us to a ‘much better one’. After a lovely chat about how he must have a terrible job (haha) we headed into the tea shop.
The photos don’t really do it justice, but it was a ‘garden tea rooms’ and you could sit anywhere within the gardens, there were seating arrangements everywhere, on the lawn, on the deck, under trees, in a garden ‘pagoda’ type room, it was amazing.
The food was stunning, but the Devonshire teas: OMG. Huge light fluffy scones (two each!) with jam and cream, tall silver teapots with loose leaf tea, tea strainer, sugar pot (with lid) and proper China cups and saucers. My mum would have been right at home! All that was missing was the cucumber sandwiches!
The gardener stopped us again on the way to to ask what we that, we told him it was a superb recommend and we were off to do his walk next.
Through another couple of quaint villages and a tiny road took us to a car park and viewing platform over the valley. (It wouldn’t have been tarseal all up here if it was NZ!) the walk took us through forest (The Knoll) (bushland) and down to a stunning waterfall – Cameron Falls – that exited over a sheer rock face. The bushland here isn’t as green as New Zealand. The ferns are replaced with palms, but palm trees drop their leaves which wither and lie browning on the rainforest floor. There’s little greenery at floor level.
A short walk from the loop track took us to a viewing platform where we could see some of the falls (we couldn’t see the bottom) and an impressive view of the valley. Further down the path, it crosses the top of the falls, no fences, just some rocks which you’re free to climb over, then the water vanishes over the edge. Somewhat a wow factor!
Dinner in tonight, saving pennies. 🙂