Australia Sustainable Food, Environment, & Social Systems 2017

Blog site for the 2017 MSU study abroad program.


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Day 22: Yungaburra

G’day everyone!

After breakfast at On the Wallaby, we headed to our first stop of the day: Gallo Dairyland. Gallo is a dairy farm that produces chocolates and dairy products for the Tablelands region. Our presenter Linda spoke about the history of the farm and its operations. They milk 350 cows twice a day, which equates to 20 L of milk per cow per day. Some of their sustainable practices include scraping the animal food lot into the manure pit to use as fertilizer and using rainwater to clean the factory. We then got to sample chocolate and a few of Gallo’s 15 types of cheese – yum!

IMG_1381Buying our own cheese and chocolate after the presentation

IMG_1383SO. MUCH. CHEESE.

From Gallo we headed to Curtain Fig National Park, where our tour guide/bus driver Roger gave us a small talk about the magnificent Curtain Fig Tree. The tree’s roots hang down over the branches, giving it the appearance of having curtains. It and the surrounding mabi forest provide important habitat for wildlife and help to support biodiversity in the Tablelands.

IMG_1396The Curtain Fig Tree, one of the most frequently visited sites within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area

Our next stop was a “surprise” not listed on the itinerary – the breathtaking Millaa Millaa Falls! Some of the group braved the cool water for a chance to swim in the same location that was featured in an Herbal Essence commercial. The rest of us stayed dry and took photographs or simply enjoyed the natural beauty.

IMG_1407

Some of the gang enjoying the refreshing water (including one of our day leaders!)

We ended the sight-seeing portion of our day with lunch at Lake Eacham, a volcanic lake nestled in the rainforest. There are many opportunities for wildlife-viewing, walking, and swimming here, which we took full advantage of.

IMG_1415The stunningly blue water of Lake Eacham

After returning to the hostel, the rest of the afternoon was spent taking our second exam, in which we responded to three questions based on what we’ve learned about sustainability and all of our experiences on the trip thus far. The second half of the group then got to unwind with an evening canoe trip on Lake Tinaroo, and we all rejoined in the evening to play games and celebrate our last night in Yungaburra before leaving for Sydney in the morning.

Cheers!

-Lindsay and Collin

 

For more information on some of our stops today:

http://www.gallodairyland.com.au

http://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/curtain-fig/about.html

http://www.millaamillaa.com/waterfalls.htm