Wet Tropical Queensland

A Hop, a Skip and a Jump

A week in the Wet tropics of Queensland and we are hoping to spy a Rainbow Bee-eater, an Olive-Backed Sunbird and maybe a Gouldian Finch and a Cassowary or two. So we hop on a plane to Townsville, skip along the road in our hire car as we drive to Etty Bay, by many a sugar cane field and jump into the fun, sun and birds of this beautiful part of the world. 

Our accommodation is just perfect. Although we arrived in the dark we managed to still get into Innisfail township and have a meal at the local pub. Back at our base we could hear some loud screeches and considered there may be an owl about but Sandra went outside, torch in hand, to find a Bush Stone-Curlew who bolted away from her.

The morning began with the three of us scurrying outside in the early light to see this wonderful bird. It looks spectactular which is more than I can say for us in our PJs!!!! (no photo thankfully)

Our day continued to include seeing the feathered wildlife, including a Cassowary. 

Mourilyan Harbour. Lots of shiny leisure and fishing boats head out from here.

Clear seas and skies make for a colourful contrast with this tenatious tree.

Warrina Lakes Innisfail.

Waterfalls, beaches and more fun

My day started with a wake up call from this very tiny Olive Backed Sunbird. Little in size but not of voice and it is a lovely way to wake up. Our morning also included the discovery of more birds around the garden including a pair of Bush Stone-Curlews who had been calling during the night with calls that could make a novice think there was murder being done in the dark!!

With the heat of the day  a swim was in order. After a scramble across the rocks of Josephine Falls it was very refreshing to plunge into the clear cold water.

This is the clear pool of water we swam in.

Part of the waterfall.

We stopped by to check out the colourful water tower of Innisfail.

At dusk we headed to Etty Bay to enjoy the last of the daylight on the beach and maybe see some more Cassowarys. None came to the beach but we did encounter this young one as we headed down the road to the bay.

On the beach at dusk.

Mudflats and Lakes

Looking out from the best view point as we climbed (in the car) the Gillies Range - locally called the 'Gillies'. This range separates the Far North Queensland costal plain from the interior Atherton Tablelands. Today we enjoyed the varied environments of the coast to the tablelands and all the parts in-between.

Before traversing the Gillies we walked along the Esplanade following the shore front in Cairns. From here there was much excitement (at least for our keen bird looking) as we watched Godwits, Whimbrels, Eastern Curlews, lots of Terns and others. 

On point duty and finding lots of Kingfishers and they were definitely living up to their name.

Once we had soaked in the fun of the shore birds and had a coffee to sustain us we then headed up the Gillies. A long and stunning climb to reach the Crater Lakes district. This is Lake Barrine and here we stopped in the lovely tea rooms and had some much needed lunch while overlooking this beautiful lake.

Looking back across the lake. Reminds me of the Lake District but only tropical.

The second lake we walked around was Lake Eacham. The water colour was so many shades of blue but also very clear. The signs did say that a freshwater crocodile called the lake home - although they are meant to be much more timid than the salt water variety they still don't like to be disturbed - a fine reputation to have.

There was almost a scary moment on the track......

Having a moment or two to rest as we walked around the tracks.

Of all the birds we heard and saw today this Brush Turkey and its many friends were the most comical. They do the 'Harry Butler' bolt at times and there seems no particular rhyme of reason for the move - maybe its just to impress an audience.

From sunrise to night time entertainment

Standing on the beach at Etty Bay watching the sunrise. Warm surrounds and a great way to start the day.

The sun rising on the forest as it meets the sea.

Just one of the 'not so small' Cassowary footprints in the sand.

Into the rainforest I go - it feels and looks like the story of 'Where The Forest Meets The Sea'.

This wonderful creature graced us with its presence - although it really is quite regal and basically ignored us.

Our further afield exploration after the sunrise outing brought us to Bingil Bay and this very funky cafe was our coffee and cake moment. We will return here this evening for food and entertainment because a singer songwriter will be performing and he has been recommended to us. 

The interior of this delightful cafe has a very 'cool' vibe.

Leaving the cafe we went along the edge of the coast towards Mission Beach and on the way stopped at great spots - this one is covered in stunning coral - and we watched an Osprey sitting high in the trees. We had our lunch of fish and chips at Mission Beach. Ian had thought of having a hamburger but the take-away shop was out of mince - go figure!! Still this was a beautiful spot - the freshwater running through the forest towards the beach. One of the outlooks we enjoyed.

Everyday is Excellent

Starting the day with Tai Chi on the beach at sunrise. 

There is always lots to appreciate and soak in here and there is a tiny spot on one of the outer most branches of the tree in the distance on which an Osprey sits and watches - very patiently.

Fresh water flows from the forest hillside onto the beach. On the way it nurtures a complex, tangle of dense and beautiful rainforest.

There are so many climbing spots in here!

The 'royal' Cassowary has wandered pass us each an every time we walk the beach - such a privilege.

As the tide recedes the crabs get busy making these patterns in the sand. 

Later in the day we visited Flying Fish Point and stopped at a cafe with another excellent outlook.

A drive through Innisfail provides a feast of Art Deco Designed buildings - even the fire station.