In my last post, I talked about how Aussies care deeply about their environment. “Do the right thing” is the specific rhetoric adopted to promote environmental awareness and protection. Rightly so, if you do right by nature, nature does right by you. And guess what, you can use that your advantage.
I saw such rewards of nature in Springbrook, Gold Coast. It’s a beautiful green area on a mountain with waterfalls, farms, and forests with scores of stunning birds and wildlife. Springbrook is an eco-sensitive area which loosely means that the ecosystem is vulnerable to environmental changes. It needs special care and attention to be preserved in its true form. The Queensland government and the local businesses make it a point to educate their people and the tourists regarding these environmental sensitivities so that everyone can enjoy the place without causing intentional or unintentional harm.
The Fudge Shop in Springbrook is a family-owned business that claims that it has “the best damn fudge on the coast.” This tiny little place uses Springbrook’s environment as its branding. Upon arrival the first thing you see is this caution:
On a closer look, the place seems like a setting in Alice in Wonderland. In the outdoors, the existing elements of nature are utilized and accessorized with artistic pieces and decor to ensure minimum disruption.
All that is missing is a little jar with the words “Drink me” written on it.
Miniature sculptures of animals and fairies make for an outdoor gallery and give the place a magical aura.
Upon entering the shop you get an instant dose of vibrant colours and the sweetest welcome you can get at a place.
We (me and my brother) were greeted by Wendy, Steph and Java; the warmest and politest hosts ever and had a nice long chat with them about our travel experiences in Australia. Steph, in particular, was adding to the ambiance of the place with her colorful attire and funky green hair.
All the art pieces from menus to specials boards are inspired by the flora and fauna of Springbrook. A local artist Milly Davies (pictured behind Java in the image above) and Sharon McLeod are responsible for creating this magical art and decor. I had a totally coincidental and delightful encounter with Sharon in the evening in a cafe nearby. You can see more of her work here. She is as colourful and “other-worldy” as her work. With a cigarette in one hand, she looked at me like artists usually look at paintings and asked me where I was from. When I revealed my nationality she remarked “Oh love you look like an ancient goddess. Look at those features!” The highest praise I’ve ever received and will store it in my mind for future instances when I’m running low on self-esteem. Thank you, Sharon.
Coming back to the shop now, they also sell organic soaps and skin care essentials as their “Australia in a Bottle” collection. You can also grab a bottle of some Springbrook honey.
Nothing says souvenir shopping like these whacky keychains.
As if I wasn’t already in love with the place, this made me feel right at home.
An environment inspired message about family for you.
It was time to get some coffee and get the ‘real taste’ of the place with this stunning assortment of fudges. From bubble gum to chocolate to espresso, you name it and they have it, and then some. Click here for a detailed list of all the flavors they offer. Anyone else having difficulty choosing?
We finally chose the Red Velvet and Chocolate Fudge, grabbed our coffee and went outside to initiate our devouring session. The best damn fudge and one of the best damn coffees we have ever had!
Meanwhile, Steph came out with a huge basket. She spread some seeds around the garden so we could spot some native birds.
Within seconds flocks of Cockatoos and other multicolored species of parrots came flying in and took over the setting. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The colours of these birds can leave you awestruck like one of those HD Windows 10 screensavers. We sat there for a long time, just observing the birds have their lunch.
The Cockatoos need no introduction.
The Crimson Rosella is just stunning. That bright red and blue screams, “Look at me! Look at me! I’m beautiful.”
The Crested Pigeon might not be as bright and colourful as the parrots but that little crown on the head and those red eyes make it stand out.
This is the Pale Headed Rosella. It also adorns different shades of the primary colours but in lighter tones. It was quite socially anxious and didn’t want to join the party. Instead, it waited for the commotion to be over before stepping in the cafeteria.
The Rainbow Lorikeet is a feisty one. It’s quite aggressive and territorial (from what we saw). Even the Cockatoos don’t stand a chance in front of him. One little threat from this pretty monster and they fly away and wait for their turn (or leftovers).
Lesson no. 1: It’s not your physical appearance but your personality that matters.
Lesson no. 2: If you don’t learn to share or compromise, you end up bitter and alone.
After we had witnessed nature’s fine dining exhibit to our heart’s content we were ready to leave. So with satisfied sweet teeth and a promise to come back again, we said goodbye to our delightful hosts and this little slice of heaven.