Braided Streams

Reflections | Travels | Interests

Zillie, Ellinjaa, Millaa Millaa, Mungalli

I could be speaking another language, but really I'm just naming the waterfalls that we visited recently as part of the Tablelands Waterfall Circuit, near the town of Millaa Millaa.  After driving for about an hour (and stopping several times for the roadworks that seem to be taking place everywhere, before the Wet Season begins) via the Malanda-Millaa Millaa Road, we got out of the vans at Zillie Waterfall.  From the beginning of the trail, at the top of the falls, one's view is limited and the falls don't seem very impressive.  But after walking down a steep, slippery red-mud track, we got to the bottom of the waterfall, where the students waded in the cold water and we had a spectacular view of the falls. 

Our next stop was Ellinjaa Falls, which we reached by a much easier walking track and set of steps.  These falls were shorter and much softer in a way, and a nice swimmable pool collected at the bottom.  It was too cold for me, but other people went swimming; I just walked along the boulders that formed a path across the pool of water to take pictures of the falls.

Our last stop was Millaa Millaa Falls, which is the most famous, but looked entirely different from when I had seen it during the Wet Season in 2009 (see the bottom right photo on my home page!).  Though there was much less water in it this time, it was still beautiful, and we lazed about in the sun, ate lunch, and swam beneath the falls while a group of people tried slack-lining across the pool of water at the bottom.

After spending the morning and part of the afternoon visiting these falls, we drove down the most beautiful stretch of road that I've yet seen on the Tablelands to Mungalli Creek Dairy, a biodynamic organic farm, where we sampled delicious feta cheese and passionfruit, mango, and  Davidson plum yoghurt.  I was fascinated learning about how a biodynamic farm works.  A higher-level certification than just an organic farm, the biodynamic farming method was developed after WWI in response to all of the chemical fertilizers being used at that time.

The brain-child of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic agriculture views the farm as an ecosystem and works to put biology back into the landscape, incorporating both science and spiritual/mystical perspectives.  One method of preparing the soil on a biodynamic farm is to take a cow horn, fill it with manure, and bury it in the soil for several months at a specific time of year.  When the time comes, this composted substance is then dug up and spun in a vortex with water before being sprayed over the land.  A gulf-ball size of the cow-manure mixture (called 500) is sprayed over an entire acre of land, giving the soil the biology and fertility it needs to be a healthy and productive system.

After learning about the processes employed at Mungalli Creek and viewing the cows grazing off in the distance, we stopped in the Out of the Whey Teahouse for a few treats before heading back to the Centre, knowing a little bit more about where our food comes from--we eat Mungalli Creek yoghurt at breakfast every day.