Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek

After a ride on the 75 Mile Beach and a bite of lunch at the Eurong Resort, we headed inland to the Central Station. This was the center of the logging industry until the late 1950's. The growths on the tree in the photo above are called Elkhorn Ferns.

They are named this because the hang-down bits kinds look like a set of elk horns. There's another fern with a simply set of dangle bits called a Staghorn that lives in a similar way. These plants give nothing to the host tree and take nothing except support. they are found no where else on this island.

And they grow really large.

After leaving the park area of the Central Station, we headed down towards the Wanggoolba Creek. along the way we saw the King Fern. Rare and only found in southeastern Australia in cool damp places. It grows in South Africa and a few other places in the tropics, but it is not at all common in Australia. Fraser Island is one of the few places it is found.

However, the most amazing thing here is the creek. It flows along the the sandy floor of the rain forest. It is only creek I've ever seen that is absolutely clear from one end to the other. It is swift-flowing stream with no algae, scum, stains from tannins, or foreign matter of any sort in it. It is simply the clearest, cleanest ever. Its flow rate does not depend on rain. It is forced out of the ground by the weight of the island on the ground water below. The water you see below is estimated to have been rain 80 to 100 years ago.

The forest is full of exotic trees, the names of which I cannot remember and is adorned by King Fern along the way.

We were encouraged to fill a water bottle from the creek for drinking. Several folks did, we did not. I'm sure it is cold and refreshing.

Here are some photos of the creek.

The tree that brought the loggers is the Satinay Oak, the large one above. It is dense and good for building ships. Some docks in London rebuilt after WWI, bits for the Suez Canal, and a couple other large wooden structures are built from trees taken from here.

The walk along the creek was 1.8 km and was a nice cool experience. Something we'll remember for a long time.