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Antarctic Beeches, Springbrook National Park

Updated on July 23, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

Bronwen has lived in, taught in and visited a number of countries and loves to share these travel experiences with others.

Rainforest Wonders

Come, follow me for a visit to a hidden spot that is full of wonder.

Drive up from the low lying Queensland Gold Coast into the cool mountains of the Hinterland rainforest. This is the home of the Springbrook World Heritage National Park. The park is quite large and runs along part of the border between Queensland and New South Wales.

Change the view of the map below to 'terrain.' Now you can see the mountains and valleys and where the border runs.

  • Firstly, we reach the small township of Springbrook on the edge of the park (see balloon A on the map below).
  • Then follow the signposts seven kilometres to a car park at the top end of Repeater Station Road ( see balloon B on the map below).
  • From here, take the walking track that follows the caldera of an ancient volcano. It leads to The Best of All Lookout (see balloon C on the map below).

Halfway along the track to the Lookout is a true wonder of the modern natural world.

show route and directions
A markerSpringbrook National Park -
Springbrook National Park, Carricks Road, Springbrook QLD 4213, Australia
get directions

B markerRepeater Station Road -
Repeater Station Road, Springbrook QLD 4213, Australia
get directions

C markerThe Best of All Lookout -
Best Of All Lookout, Repeater Station Road, Springbrook QLD 4213, Australia
get directions

Antarctic Beech Trees

They are the ancient Antarctic Beech Trees. It is certainly worth doing the short walk, only about 200 metres along an easy track to the Lookout, just to see these amazing trees.

Talk about an anachronism! The beeches are descended from forests of these trees that clad large areas of Australia when it was part of Gondwana and was joined to Antarctica, New Zealand and South America about 50 million years ago, so I have been told. I believe that they grow as far north as the mountains of Papua New Guinea, but are not found in the northern hemisphere, except as fossils.

It is interesting that I have never heard or read of Antarctic beeches in Southern Africa and yet some of our flora, such as our Waratah, and fauna, such as the Sunbird, are said to be related to those of Southern Africa through our being joined as part of Gondwana.

In comparison, these beeches are only about 2,000 years old.

Imagine that! When Jesus was on the earth, these trees were in their infancy and already growing here.

The Information Board by the Antarctic Beeches
The Information Board by the Antarctic Beeches | Source

Link to Ancient Times

The information board near some of the beeches is very useful and explains how they are a link to ancient times. Unfortunately, my photograph is not very clear, but from it we can see the shape of the leaves, small flowers and the seeds.

Naturally, the trees are protected within the World Heritage area and are cared for by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Bushfires are a problem as if a fire swept through this area it would be devastating for these majestic trees. They are very slow to recover from fire.

Part of the Magic Circle
Part of the Magic Circle | Source

A Magic Circle

As the climate changed, the trees died out in lower areas and grew only in the higher, cooler areas. Many of the prehistoric creatures died out, too, and we only know about them from the fossils that have been preserved. Some of these animals and birds had helped to spread their seeds.

Now there are a few birds that may continue the process, so it is usually through coppicing that these ancient beeches continue to survive. This means that new stems and branches have sprung up from the widespread roots and appear to be new trees, while some have died. The result is like the formation of a magic circle as the central trunk has rotted away while the others on the outside remain.

It is believed that the bottom part of the trees was once in the soil, but over hundreds of years that has been eroded away by the weather. Now that part of the beeches is beautifully clad in a variety of mosses.

These Antarctic Beech Trees are Truly Majestic
These Antarctic Beech Trees are Truly Majestic | Source

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    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      oceansnsunsets: Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it - and certainly hope that the bushfires that are so prevalent in much of Australia during this summer will never destroy these beautiful trees and the national park where they are situated.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Blossom, I found this hub very interesting about the Antarctic Beech Trees! I have never heard of them, and what a fascinating tale from so long ago. The magic circle they create to keep on reproducing is so neat also. I am so glad to find this hub and learn of these trees. I love parks like these, and traveling and learning about nature and history. I do hope fires never reach these trees. Thank you for sharing your information, journey and photos. Wonderful!

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      travmaj: It is incredible, and so beautiful, too. I do hope you can visit some day, I'm sure you'd love it.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      What an incredible sight and story. I loved the journey with you to see the Antarctic Beech trees. I must make an effort to visit, truly magnificent. Thank you.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Sushma Webber: Yes, they really are awesome and I know what you mean about it giving a sense of connection. It's a very special place, hushed, like a tree cathedral.

    • Sushma Webber profile image

      Sushma Webber 3 years ago from New Zealand

      I saw these awesome trees as well and felt a sense of connection with our ancestors, not just humans but also trees, plants, animals and birds.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      How true! God is great indeed and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to enjoy his creative handiwork in such places as this. Thank you for your lovely comment.

    • bettybarnesb profile image

      bettybarnesb 4 years ago from Bartlett, TN

      How beautiful! God's creation never cease to amaze me. Nature, even pictures, bring such peace to our hearts as a true reminder of how "GREAT OUR GOD IS."

      Thank you for sharing,

      be blessed.....

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      aviannovice: It is amazing and there are so many interesting natural wonders in this world, just waiting for us to find them and enjoy. I hope you achieve your aim and have a wonderful time.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Now, this is one amazing place with such natural wonders. I have GOT to get out of the country for a while and explore. Who knows, I could find things that are from the past...

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Faith Reaper: Thank you for your lovely comments, it's great to share about God's amazing world. May He bless you, too.

      davenmidtown: Yes. When I lived in that area I usually took any visitors to see them as I find those trees so interesting and all that history behind them, too.

      Mhatter99: Glad you enjoyed it.

      cleaner3: That is so true, Michael. Thank you for your visit.

      kidscrafts: Yes. What tales they could tell from over that long time!

      Eiddwen: It's great that you found it interesting and beautiful - I'm continually fascinated by those trees.

      Frank Atanacio: It's a pleasure to share - and taking photos is so easy these days compared with all the heavy equipment we once had to carry around.

      MsDora: They certainly are on my list of the wonders of the world. Thank you for your lovely comments.

      Mike Robbers: Thanks. Maybe one day you might visit and see them for yourself. You never know!

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      Great hub and such an interesting place to visit! Thanks for the tour.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Blossom, thanks for the view of Springbrook National Park. Trees 2,000 years old are among the wonders of the world. Good pictures, too.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      again Blossoms thanks for letting us share your visuals Bless you

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      This is so beautiful and interesting Blossom ; thank you so much for sharing.

      Eddy.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      What a great hub, Blossom! Very interesting to think that 2000 years ago those trees were already there and that so many people walk by them over the centuries!

      Thank you for sharing!

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      wow.. great hub Blossom .. mother nature is great with her work although accommodations are not the best .. she is stubborn and keeps these beautiful tree's growing.

      Michael

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this fascinating tour

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Blossom: What an amazing hub! It is very impressive to see ancient plants but even more so when their story is so much alive and relevant. Amazing to find living pieces of such an old geological puzzle. Awesome job!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      My goodness, Blossom,

      You sure get around . . . to beautiful sites to behold in His creation! As always such an enjoyable read with your amazing photos included.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper