Here is a picture of the Waratah, which is the state flower for New South Wales. You can see it is pretty tall. My coworker and her husband seemed to think the Waratah was fairly rare to see in the wild, but we saw a bunch of them.
There are also several sports teams named the Waratahs (cricket and rugby). I guess Aussie athletes feel that they are tough enough that they can name their teams after a flower instead of a vicious animal, like we do in the U.S.
Here is a eucalyptus (called gumtrees over here) that has been scarred by fire. As you might imagine, fire is a major factor in growth and development of the bush. Most plants have adapted in a way that uses fire in their growth cycle.
The hike was a little hilly. In this picture, we are standing at an overlook, looking toward the Hawkesbury River. Some of the furthest south rainforest in Australia is in this valley. We didn’t take the hike into the valley as it would have taken all day. We all agreed that it would be fun for next year, though.
Instead, we mostly enjoyed the flowers. It is difficult to show how pretty the bush is in bloom. It was covered with flowers, mostly these yellow and pink ones.
Here we are at another overlook, looking toward the entrance of the Hawkesbury River. There is a little town called Brooklyn down below us. Consequently, the bridge you are looking at, my friends, is the Brooklyn Bridge.
It was sort of hot and I was a little unprepared as I misunderstood and thought we were going to a garden, not a nature preserve. However, I still had a good time hiking around, and I really enjoyed getting a botany lesson from my coworker. I am looking forward to going again next year.