The Royal GeographicalSociety of Queensland Ltd
by Steve Turton
A small group of RGSQ Sunshine Coast members braved the sunny but cool conditions to enjoy a forest walk and picnic at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve near Maleny. The forest walk was led by Professor Steve Turton, convenor of the RGSQ Sunshine Coast group. Steve gave a short field lecture, starting with the break-up of Gondwanaland 45 million years ago through to the present. This included a brief overview of the widespread volcanic activity that affected the area from 30-22 million years, which has shaped the modern landscape including the formation of the Glasshouse Mountains. The scenic reserve is 55 ha in size and provides an exceptional example of the complex sub-tropical rainforest that once covered the rich basalt soils of the Blackall Range, prior to European colonisation of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. The forest contains a diverse array of flora and fauna, many with ancient Gondwanan origins.
RGSQ group, Mary Cairncross scenic reserve, 20 June 2021; image courtesy of Ralph Carlisle.
After enjoying the forest walk and hearing interesting observations from bird watchers in the group, members gathered for a picnic winter solstice lunch, having been joined by the Society’s president, Iraphne Childs, and Ralph Carlisle. Discussions were held about future activities for local members, including occasional guest lectures, other interesting site visits on the Sunshine Coast and a possible joint excursion with the Brisbane members.
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The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Ltd.Level 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill QLD email@example.com | +61 7 3368 2066ABN 87 014 673 068 | ACN 636 005 068
Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, Governor of Queensland