Friday, October 2, 2015

New England holiday trip, part 2

We were without internet access for a few days, so this post is a bit behind the time; it covers Tuesday and Wednesday. We made our way eastwards of Armidale along the aptly named Waterfall Way and spent two nights at Thungutti Campground in New England National Park. Problem was, it is reasonably close to the peak of Point Lookout, a mountain of more than 1,500 m, so the nights were cold!

Anyway, there were indeed lots of waterfalls and nice lookouts.

The first picture shows Gara Gorge as seen from the eponymous lookout. This is still near Armidale and fairly dry at the moment.

Here shown are the Wollomombi Falls in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and the smaller Chandlers Falls to the right above them. Wollomombi Falls are considered to be the second tallest waterfall in Australia.

The other waterfall in this post is the Upper Ebor Falls in Guy Fawkes National Park. As the name implies there is a lower step further down; it seems taller but less photogenic.

Back to forested slopes: A view from the summit area of Point Lookout. We were lucky with the timing, as some time later it got cloudy.

Finally, something botanical: Lophozonia moorei (= Nothofagus moorei, Nothofagaceae). This is the first southern beech I have seen that has large leaves like the northern beeches of the genus Fagus. The southern beeches I have encountered before - in Patagonia, Tasmania and New Zealand - all had very small leaves.

By the way, I still don't really understand why Nothofagaceae can't just be Nothofagus, and why Nothofagaceae can't be in Fagaceae given their close similarity to Fagus. (I assume the two families do form a clade?) I guess I am a lumper at the genus level.

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