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The five best places to see and photograph fungi around Brisbane

October 15, 2018


They come in all shapes, colours, forms and some even glow at night. They have intrigued man and been used in many scientific experiments, consumed with food, used as a drug and in floral arrangements.

Are they mushrooms or fungi? Well its simple: all mushrooms are fungi, but not all fungi are mushrooms.

Where to see Fungi around Brisbane

1-Mt Glorious and Mt Nebo
Virtually at Brisbane’s front door, this makes a perfect day trip out. Tracks shaped by the drays of timber-getters and gold prospectors during the 1860’s, lead you through along this historically scenic drive. Make sure you take some time to pause by fallen trees where fungi sprout in a range of colours.

2-The Rainforest Way
Travel the Rainforest Way – a world-class scenic drive through a world-heritage listed region. See Mount Warning, the most easterly point of Australia to receive the first sun’s rays each day.  With numerous accommodations options from camping to 5-star, take time to enjoy a walk or two. See the ancient beech trees, flowering orchids, waterfalls and many varied fungi.


3-Tamborine Mountain National Park
Home to Queensland’s oldest national park and the third oldest in the world, and once my home. Located only 50 minutes from Brisbane and 30 minutes from Southport, there are 13 sections of ancient rainforest to explore.

Some of my favourite sections for fungi viewing within Tamborine Mountain National Park are Joalah, McDonald, The Knoll and of course the Witches Falls Section, which was first proclaimed in 1908 as a national park. Early risers may often also see or hear an Albert’s Lyrebird – one of the many endangered species that thrive on Tamborine Mountain.
More: https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/tamborine/about.html

Fungi (30)_square_400

4-Lamington and Binna Burra
Another short drive from Brisbane is the twin peaks of Lamington and Binna Burra. A walking trail links the two together as does a fully sealed road making the two, a great day or overnight stay.

From short strolls to longer hikes take you deeper into the forest and to fungi! We call it a magical garden – just take the time to wander slowly and look around. Accommodation ranges from camping to cabins to upper market units and suites.
More: https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/lamington

5-The islands
Sand and beaches may not be considered the environment to look for fungi. This is wrong!

Along the foreshores timber is rotting, leaf matter provides another layer of natural compost and from this a variety of fungi from. Look closely, we have seen bright red through to sparkling oranges, vibrant whites to the darkest of blacks, and many colours in between. Our favourite islands for fungi spotting around Brisbane are Fraser Island, Bribie Island and North Stradbroke.
Did you know? All Queensland islands have fungi.


Five quick tips for photographing fungi

1-Watch your Depth of Field (DOF)
You control the amount of your subject in and out of focus.
Fungi left: f/51
Fungi right: f/8

Picture3 Picture2

2-Use a tripod or some form of support for your camera in low light.
If you are using a tripod turn Image Stabilisation/vibration Reduction OFF!

3-Turn flash OFF – it creates ugly shadows and frontal light kills any texture in your subject.

Overcast light is the best.

4- Watch closely
Fungi are usually not large, so watch closely as you meander along any of path from the city to the outback. Its one advantage of walking a track both ways.

Use general household items that are light to carry like alfoil as a reflector and muslin.  Some preparation needs to go into your planning – don’t expect to get to the location and the perfect environment and flowering on-hand. Unfortunately, we cannot control Mother Nature….these areas known for leeches, so we also carry a small amount of salt to pour over the bloodsuckers plus we spray our walking boots, legs and body before departing on a walk.

Images courtesy of Danielle Lancaster
Images cannot be reproduced or used in any format without written consent.


Cath photographing a fungi during a Bluedog Photography Fraser Island tour.



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