Travelling Australia - Journal 2011
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26-31 July 2011 - Mount Surprise, 40-Mile Scrub Nat Pk
40-Mile Scrub National Park is a small national park on the Kennedy Development Road just north of the intersection with the Mount Surprise Road (the Gulf Developmental Road). This national park was established to preserve a pocket of dry rainforest surrounded by the eucalyptus woodland commonly found in this part of Queensland. A dry rainforest is different to the more widely known wet rainforest.

The more commonly known rainforest receives rain all year and is a generally damp place. The dry rainforest differs in receiving heavy rain sometime during the year but receiving no rainfall at other times. Regular dry periods lead to a different form of rainforest, in this case known as a "semi-evergreen vine thicket".

A dry rainforest shares the rainforest characteristics of a closed canopy, few ground plants and aversion to fire. The upper canopy is punctuated by scattered taller trees growing well above the main canopy top; the broad-leaf bottle tree is a particularly impressive example of this taller tree growing well above the canopy. In the dry season the bare branches are as distinctive as the mass of bright green leaves in the wet season. Low spreading trees, such as the python tree, provide support for the woody vines climbing around and between trees to the upper canopy.

Many trees in the dry rainforest are almost deciduous, called semi-evergreen; they bear leaves in the wet season (Summer) but drop the leaves briefly in the dry season (winter) because moisture is lost through leaves which become a liability for the plant.

Bottle Tree A broad-leaf bottle tree towering over the dry rainforest. It will lose its leaves for a while later in the dry season.

White Flower White flower on one of the numerous vines in the dry rainforest.

Travelling Australia - 40-Mile Scrub Nat Pk - page 2
There is a single public access point for this national park on the western side of the Kennedy Developmental Road about four kilometres north of the road from Mount Surprise. Position is 18° 06' 33"S, 144° 49' 32"E, elevation 783 metres. This is also a rest area for passing traffic with parking area, toilet, shelter and information boards. A 300 metre walking track looping from the information boards passes through a typical section of the dry rainforest.
Orange Fruit Bright orange fruit contrast with the green leaves.

Green Frog Green frog fitting snugly under a leaf well hidden from view. The frog was hidden in the large shrub with the orange berries shown above.

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