For a long while I have been thinking of different ways to enjoy what our local lifestyle has to offer. It's so tempting to drive down to the Gold Coast or visit parks in the city as a way to 'do something fun and different'. But I have really come to appreciate the fun and different things that our local suburbs have to offer - and ironically in particular the one in which we used to live!
I was aware of the fact that Daisy Hill had a forest in it. It's hard to miss, as it spans practically the entire back of the suburb. But how many times had I been there in the 4 1/2 years we lived there? Probably about four times. No joke! And each time was for an actual planned event. Maybe a church picnic, a birthday party, or to visit the forest's Koala Center. Every time I went there I thought to myself, "isn't this nice? It's so special, a real hidden treasure. I'll have to come back here one day...." But I never did. In all this time I had never walked one of the bush trails, and I had never seen it in the weekday. Why?? Because I was too busy driving an hour to the zoo to see wild animals, and driving 2 hours to the mountains to go on a bush walk!
Then one day, I can't even remember the reason why, I decided to take the girls to the forest. It was early, maybe 9am. To my complete surprise we were the only ones there! A beautiful forest like this - how could it be? We could have danced naked in the middle of the clearing, it was that empty. But that was fine with us! We walked through the koala center (which was actually the only busy place), and found out about a small (400m) kids' walk called The Paperbark Trail off in the forest. The kids loved it! Every time they go they find their favorite spots again and ask me to re-read the information posts placed here and there along the walk. They describe the different animals that live there, and explains why the river is orange slime (not for the reasons you think!) and why the white trees are called Paperbarks. they love it, and feel very smart retelling the information to daddy and their friends. :-)
We have since been back multiple times, sometimes with friends. I am thinking about having a big mothers group out there one morning. Apart from the occasional Asian couple practicing Tia Ch, or a couple of tourist walking the trails, it is deserted. The weekends are a whole other ball game, with Sundays it is filled with mountain bikers, and kids' parties galore. But for us, we are blessed to be able to have this beautiful park on our doorstep to use whenever we want. How lucky are we?!