Yesterday, I caught a train for Blackheath, a small town in the Blue Mountains just east of Sydney. As I understand it, the East coast of Australia backs promptly into these craggy, tropical, and nearly-impassible mountains, and from then on west it's all pretty flat.
There's an impressive national park here, and I spent a delightful day trecking here and there, looking at mountains and waterfalls and birds and getting some very sore muscles.
Afterward, I asked a very nice and helpful ranger for assistance with some ids. She convinced me that the abundant birds that look like Yellow Rumped Warblers with big, downcurved beaks are really wattlebirds. But I saw a Red Wattlebird in a garden on the way back to the train, and it's a big bird -- easily three times the size of my talkative little flycatching acrobats. My best guess is New Holland Honeyeater.
The odd gum tree seems pretty impressive. A whole forest of gum trees, well, there you are. I understand that banksia is common where I was walking, but I'm not at all sure what a banksia is to its friends.
After quite a few miles of the cliff to trail -- the cliff in question having a strong tendency to indulge in very precipitous rises and ravines -- I had a nifty lamb pie at Gardiner's in Blackheath, waiting for the train, and a coupel of schooners of beer. I should learn about meat pies; it could be a very useful genre.