Port Macquarie is officially koala country. It’s where we first started seeing koala crossing roadsigns, and there were many. (Roadsigns, that is, not koalas crossing the roads!) This has nothing to do with the rest of this post. But this guy finally, after much tooth wiggling and patient anticipation, lost his first tooth. At seven-and-three-quarters. It was a long time coming. And it happened at the caravan park in Bonny HIlls, just south of Port Macquarie. While we were at the water park. I’m just glad he didn’t lose it coming down the waterslide! Life in a caravan means memories like these might happen anywhere! We saw our first of the koalas from the Hello Koalas trail. (Blog post on that coming soon.) It’s inside the visitor centre, just before you head out onto the boardwalk. See JitterBug in the back? He’s standing like the koala. 🙂 The walk through the rainforest is on an elevated boardwalk. You never touch the ground. It’s a unique view and at a bit over a kilometre it’s long-ish for this type of walk. That was a lot of boardwalk they built! (Pssst…that’s Nan further down the boardwalk. The kids were surprised when Nan & Pa suddenly showed up and camped next to us. What a fun surprise for the kids! Oh, and us adults were happy to see them too!) We kept seeing these palms, from above they look almost like umbrellas. We learned they are cabbage tree palms. They were used for weaving baskets, fishing nets and even hats. This is a strangling fig. Aptly named. It makes such pretty patterns around the tree. I find these interesting because they are not parasitic, although they look like they must be. They do harm the host tree since they end up using some of the available sunshine and nutrients, but really they are using the tree for structure. They take hold somewhere up the trunk and drop their roots ever so slowly to the ground. We’ve seen many of these in various rainforests. The palms. Have I mentioned I love palm trees? Even though they aren’t trees? This guy didn’t last the whole walk. He fell asleep in his pram. So many neat things to see in a rainforest! We learned that a plant growing on a tree is called an epiphyte. Who knew? (Put your hand down, all you botanists.) There were plenty of examples around. See the lanyards the kids are wearing? In the visitor centre before you head out the door you can grab a lanyard for your kids to wear. They can search along the boardwalk for medallions that match the animals on their lanyards. At first I thought we were supposed to try to spot the actual animals and I was wondering how on earth we’d spot them and how long the kids would want to stay to look for them all. I was relieved to find it was just matching pictures. SkeeterBug and LadyBug both had birds, so many of theirs overlapped. And now we commence with pictures of all the matching medallions… JitterBug had insects and other creatures. In each picture he tried to pose like the animal on the medallion. Knowing JitterBug, this is unsurprising. :) That last one’s a spider, in case you’re wondering about the face he’s making! More birds, and the hoods came on because it started to rain. In the rainforest. Imagine. Can you tell what the first one is? See the tongue? He’s being a snake. The picture is hard to see. The last one’s a possum. (By the way, I finally looked up the difference between an opossum and a possum. I was wondering if they just have different names in North America vs Australia. Nope, they are different creatures altogether. I totally agree with this guy that says the main difference is that Australian possums are cute and cuddly looking while American opossums are scary looking with their pointy teeth. We’ve met several friendly possums during our travels. They are mostly interested in our food and trash, pretty much ignoring us mere people altogether.) This last picture was in the pouring rain. We ended up making a dash for it and happened to see SkeeterBug’s last medallion along the way. We lost Nan & Pa and the pram with a sleeping TurboBug, they’d taken refuge on the boardwalk under the tree. We all ended up a bit wet by the time we made it back to the visitor centre. Fortunately it was warm and dry inside. A lovely way to spend an afternoon, in the rain in the rainforest in Port Macquarie. What a great idea they have for a kids activity, to keep them engaged through the walk. We enjoyed this much more than we thought we would, so glad we went!