Friday, 11 July 2008

Duckus-Billus Platypus

We have travelled quite a bit further North from the Whitsundays now (all the area North of there was very tranquil beaches and some nice little camp spots, I dont mean to brush over it, as it was nice, just lots of the same!) and are now travelling in an area called the Cassowary Coast which is basically between Townsville and Cairns - quite a long distance in itself - and weaving in and out of coastal and tablelands (Atherton Tablelands in fact) behind the mountain range (Great Dividing Range) which follows the entire coast of the continent.  The vegetation up here is lush, green and tropical; ferns, palms, eucalypts, some pines, then green pastures over the mountains away from the coast where all sorts of tropical fruits and hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane are grown and there are plenty of cows too.  P1070587

This is a working dairy we visited on the way through, useful stuff to see for when me & Em own our own cattle station in outback Queensland:


Explorer Christie Palmerston carved a path through the mountains from the coast with his trusty Aboriginal friend Pompo in 1882:


We followed a similar route to them (except it took us a few hours rather than two weeks) and in one day we saw the following....

Freshwater turtles in Mungali Creek just off the Palmerston Highway on a "Waterfall Circuit": P1070562

Brolgas (a type of crane) in a harvested sugar cane field on the Atherton Tablelands:


A fat little quail thing that I haven't identified yet!


And last, but not least, a Duck-billed Platypus in a beautiful waterfall on the way to Milla Milla called Elinjaa Falls:


These are pretty hard to spot as they are about the size of a rat (I always thought they were much bigger!), they look like a wet log, and they move really quick!  I spotted this one and it's the first one me & Em have ever seen in the wild, so we were well chuffed.  We were at this waterfall all on our own and he dived and came up twice, then disappeared from view.  A real treat to see.

One of many waterfalls:


Then in the evening we set up camp in a beautiful, but slightly chilly, spot at Lake Tinaroo:


Where we saw a feral pig snuffling along the shore line of the lake!

We were treated to a really quiet night, apart from the blood curdling call of the bush curlew and also wild dogs howling and barking at sunset!  All in all a really good few days getting here, and we are looking forward to getting to Cairns and re-grouping ready for our attack on "The Cape".

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