For today’s adventure, I decided to go chasing some “rivers and the lakes that I’m not used to” by visiting Lake Somerset and the Mapleton National Park adjacent Wappa Dam and Wappa Falls.
Starting early to make the long drive to the northern reaches of the Sunshine Coast, I chanced upon across a dingo! I had never before seen a dingo in the wild before. Even though I had heard about them roaming the plainlands, I’ve never in all my years come across one. That dingo fence spanning across Queensland and South Australia does not work!
Unfortunately, the poor thing was lying on the road having been only just very recently hit by a car. It was still alive and moving its head. I pulled over to see what I could do, but was also afraid it might bite me.
A car was coming, and I went to caution it to be careful, but they pulled over and immediately took over the situation. He dragged the creature that had stopped moving now off the road in a way that was a little colder and nonchalant than I would have liked and then drove off.
Umm, okay. I said Rest In Peace to the beautiful iconic Australian animal and added it to the list of animals that I’ve seen die right before my eyes for this super messed up year and carried onwards. (Please drive slower in the early morning, late afternoon and night everybody, the animals are very active during these times.)
Next, I dropped into Lake Somerset for a hot minute and the opposite of what happened before happened here. Today was all about life and death. Two birds were chasing each other in the air and copulating on the grass near the road. There should be some new noisy miner birds hatching in about 16 days, according to Wikipedia about incubation periods. How cute!
Beelining towards the Sunshine Coast, without stopping because of how easily distractions occur, (I went to see these these places another day, but I got distracted by other attractions, so I changed my plans because I wouldn’t have enough time to even get there.) I stopped into Nambour to grab a slice (of pizza, naturally) and headed to Wappa Dam nearby Mapleton National Park.
Wow! The park by the dam wall was surprisingly picturesque. It’s a small, intimate lake with undulating mountains on the other side and the park has serious Canadian vibes with all the orange, yellow and red-hued maple trees that were everywhere! That’s why it’s called “Mapleton” National “Park”. Ha, ha, ha. Nowhere else in the untouched national park areas though.
I was digging the autumn vibes so much. This is such a rarity in Australia to have that classic Autumn feel, at least in my experience. Maple trees and other similarily changing trees are few and far between.
We have jacarandas that produce beautiful purple or blue flowers before losing them for the winter and well as some places that have a winter feel like Canberra and the Snowy Mountains, but not often a place so filled with that classic Autumn feel.
I was transported to Canada and imagined moose and squirrels named Sam and Dean Winchester roaming this park eating the grass and climbing the trees and dropping acorns on my head, even though I don’t think there were any oak trees. Let me live the dream, dammit!
Adding to the illusion that I was transported to the lush, everorangeness that is Canada during fall, it was rained. Sometimes it was light, sometimes it stopped, and sometimes it poured.
Getting in my fill of photos, I then went to visit the last destination of the day, the adjacent Wappa Falls. The short walk to the falls revealed a stunning small waterfall which unlike most waterfalls I visit that aren’t straight after months of rain, was gushing. Not like a torrential, flooding rain kind of gushing, but also not a disappointing amount of trickle either. Aided by the dam upstream feeding it and the rains that were falling, the waterfall was flowing a good amount to get some nice long shutter photographs.
I would have extended my walk and explored the area more, but it was getting dark and the rain was getting heavier, I decided to call it a day.
Aside from the sad demise of one of Australia’s beloved dingos, it was a great day exploring some lakes and a waterfall in the beautiful, lush Somerset and Sunshine Coast regions.
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