Today we took a drive north to Maleny, a small town nestled in the hills that reminds me of a small community I visited a couple years ago in Colorado. The main street is lined with shops, but the shops cater to a specific clientele. There are organic restaurants, a co-op, coffee shops, three bookstores, and shops that advertise holistic and natural medicines and gifts. The town smells of pachouli, literally. And I like that kind of town; my in-laws not as much.
The highlight of visiting Maleny was definitely Mary Cairncross Park and its rainforest walk. We walked in the rainforest for about an hour, protected from some passing rain by the canopy of fig and palm trees, vines, and ferns. There were a couple other people on the track, but for the most part the forest was quiet aside from an occasional bird chirp or rustling in the bushes as we passed pairs of wild turkeys. We even passed by a group of kookaburra making a bunch of racket in a giant fig. Kookaburra laughter is contagious.
My in-laws were also fortunate enough to spy a wallaby foraging in the rainforest just off the trail. We stood and watched it for a couple minutes and then proceeded on our walk. A couple minutes later there was some loud rustling in the bushes behind us and I turned to see another wallaby streak across the path. Dan and his mother walked back to where it had passed and the wallaby crossed the path one more time giving us all a good look. How nice that in their first full week they’ve had the opportunity to encounter some of the animals that they may have heard about or read about but never seen in person. Now we just need to visit the koala sanctuary so they can hold a koala.