Montville, Queensland, Australia

I enjoyed my recent trip to Australia—or, as I like to call it, The Place Where Some of the Coins Are Huge, Most the Flowers Are Purple and All the Birds Are Really Weird. I went there to attend a writers’ retreat with two writer friends.

See below for about 50 photos selected from over 200 in total. (About a quarter were out-of-focus shots of flowers, and another 25% were of a very cooperative kookaburra that sat still while I took photos of him for 20 minutes.)

Photos from Australia

Putting the seat numbers on the screens was a genius idea. Thanks, whoever you are, for thinking that up.
I didn’t recognize the logo on the back of the car my friend rented. It’s Holden. (An Australian brand.)
I don’t know what they are, but I loved seeing these things everywhere in various stages of blooming.
The cabin at Montville Country Cabins that my friends and I stayed in.
Another nice purple flower. They look like a bit like fireworks, right?
Someone else’s cabin overlooking the lake.
Cattails, aka bulrushes.
Peaceful bench is peaceful.
Not sure whether that’s a functional boat or just a decorative one.
Waaay up there on the hill is the building where the workshops were conducted.
Sunshine on the lake.
Fluffy clouds.
Nice view.
Purple flower in the process of bursting open.
These things attached to trees are called staghorn ferns, and although they look glued on, actually they just grow that way.
Rosegum Cabin.
Steep path.
I was told this is an Asian magnolia, and that later the pods will turn pink and bright orange seeds will come out.
It looks like someone photoshopped this picture or painted these berries, but… they’re really just purple. Update: After some Googling, I think these are Blue Flax Lilies (Dianella caerulea).
I’m going to call these “fireworks flowers”.
Update: These are agapanthus, aka lilies of the Nile. (Thanks Inda!)
More fireworks flowers!
Yet more fireworks flowers!
Fireworks flower buds!
This cockatoo is not an escaped pet. Cockatoos fly around wild here! I guess they had to be native to somewhere.
Here’s the photogenic kookaburra sitting in a tree.
“Merry, merry king of the bush is he.”
Some of the ones I saw photos of online have blue feathers, but this one seemed thoroughly brownish.
Facing the other way.
In a different tree. Nice Spanish moss there.
I’m told they sound hilarious, and I probably heard several during my stay, but this one was quiet the whole time I was watching him.
From the photos, it looks like there were no people… But here we all are!
I think I was the only one using a laptop.
Different town (Moffat Beach) where my two friends and I ate on the way back to the airport.
I don’t like water much.
In fact, what’s great about the ocean, if you ask me, is that it lets you see more pretty clouds.
See? Lots of clouds!
Another weird bird. I don’t even know what this one is.
Update: It’s an ibis. (Thanks Raelene!)
This one is an Australian magpie.
Pinkish and purplish clouds at sunset.
The problem with this particular beach is that the land is to the west, so the sun doesn’t set over the ocean. It sets over the parking lot. Gah!
All the books in the airport shop looked like large print versions. They were like 6″ x 9″ or something, for no reason I could see.
I’m noticing a continuing trend of blocky, sans-serif fonts on book covers. That trend involving some kind of 3D ribbon seems to be over, though.
This is the farthest south I have ever been. Previously, I was on three different Indonesian islands, so I have been south of the equator before. Just not this far south!
It’s 2:30 in Brisbane, and we have 7 hours of flying ahead of us. Ugh.
Emirates has a great information + communication + entertainment system, but I needed to sleep. No movies for me this time.
Another genius idea: putting little starry lights in the ceiling of the plane. Goodnight, everybody!

Next please read Maria’s blog post about the Sunshine Writer’s Retreat.

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