Mareeba and Surrounds

Great Egret prepares to roost for the night

 

Greetings from Mareeba,

It seems we have gone from one extreme to another…the van site we had in Cooktown was one of the hardest spots we have had to get into and here at the Trinity Plains Tourist Park we are in a huge paddock, all by ourselves.

Incredible to have so much space around us and the sky here is just enormous. We haven’t got any trees around us so no shade which makes it quite hot in the afternoons but the mornings are fantastic.

We also have the added bonus of the hot air balloons rising above the morning fog outside our dining window so it’s great to watch them while we are having our morning cappochinos.

 

 

With all this big sky around it’s a great spot for watching all the birds of prey.

So far we have seen numerous Black kites which are nesting here, the Black shouldered Kite, Whistling kite, Wedge tail Eagle, Brown Goshawk, Nankeen Kestrel and Little Eagle.

There seems to be a few squabbles going on too between them which is great to watch but not close enough for photos though Anthony is trying his hardest.

 

Whistling Kite at rest on a Termite mound
That Piercing stare of a Black-shoulderd Kite

 

Emerald Creek Falls is one of our favourite waterfalls in the area to visit.

You can climb right to the top where there’s a beautiful view .

Also lots of bottlebrush flowering with heaps of Honeyeaters feasting but extremely hard to get any photos as the birds just didn’t want to show themselves. It’s still great though just to hear them and be in their presence with the sound of water in the background, blissful and it’s only about 10 kms from the van park.

 

Emerald Creek Falls
The top of the Emerald Creek Falls

 

 

This morning we revisited Granite Gorge which is always a fantastic place in nature, we just love it there.

We didn’t see too many birds but there’s plenty of Dragonfly action…..an unbelievable amount of Orange thread tails, and you have to eyeball all of them just in case it’s something different.

I took a photo of Anthony almost crawling up a rocky wall backwards, just like a Goanna …..trying to get photos of a Archtail dragonfly.

It looked quite amazing so please enjoy.

 

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Its all about getting the shot !!!!!

Below is that shot …. I thought it was worth it.

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Archtail Dragonfly

 

And a few more ….

Female Tropical Rockmaster

 

Male Fig bird feasting in a Mulberry Bush at Granite Gorge
Every afternoon we walk around the back of the park grounds here where there is a
small waterhole.
Also a huge family of Curlews hiding in a young Eucalyptus Plantation and truck loads of Double barred finches on the edge of the trees. where they can quickly hide after feasting in the paddocks surrounding the plantation.
There’s a bit of birdlife around the big trees on the edge of the property so Anthony has been getting some amazing photos as the big sun is going down.
We are here for a few more days yet so hope to see plenty more critters.

Pale-headed Rosella this is the Northern Race
Double-barred Finch
Hoping to visit Kuranda tomorrow…..we used to live there so it’s always a bit of nostalgia going back.
Please enjoy the pics, no video as yet as I’m still working on it,
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

A Mareeba Sunset

More of Cooktown and Surrounds

Shower time for this Yellow Oriole at the Botanical Gardens

 

Its hard to believe, but our week here in Cooktown has already gone…. We have been super busy.

We thought we might be stuck here for a while but our switch for the front legs on the van arrived today. Gave us quite a surprise as it came from Melbourne.

Anthony wired it up quick smartly and we gave it a test run and all seems to be ok.

See how it goes tomorrow when we hitch up.🤓🤓

 

Annan Gorge

 

 

Red-Winged Parrot (male)
Cooktown has been a great place to hang out, there’s a lot to see from here.
Lots of nature, waterfalls etc. and the town itself is nice and has everything you need.
We never did get to the museum…..maybe next time.
Our only disappointment was we didn’t see too many birds.
When visiting the Isabella Falls we explored and had lunch sitting on the tailgate of the truck and honestly we did not hear one peep from a bird. Apparently October to December is the best time for birds when they all decide to come back from PNG.
Luckily we had Keatings Lagoon to fall back on and even though it wasn’t teeming with birdlife, there was enough there to keep us amused.

 

 

Entrance to Endervour Falls and Camping Grounds

More Falls and Camp ground Pics

Endevour Falls

 

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Press Play to view Steph’s Snippets

We did love visiting the Endevour Falls and Tourist Park, wow what a beautiful spot they have there. So many palm trees in manicured gardens with the waterfall in their back yard. Absolutely idyllic.

I think the photos and video speak for themselves, it’s a great place to visit,


Green Skimmer
Scarlet Perchers egg laying on the run

 


Isabella Falls

Isabella Creek

 

Tomorrow we will drive all the way back to Mareeba.
Its about a 3 hours drive but we will definitely be stopping at the Palmer river roadhouse for coffee on the way.🤩🤩
Cheers Steph and Anthony.
PS… As you can see….Anthony had no problem finding Dragonflies, lots of them …and he does tend to go a bit bonkers photographing them from every angle so please enjoy them too, bye.😉😉

 

Cooktown NQ

Mud Frolicing

 

Hello from Cooktown.
Our road trip here was ok, though seemed rather long.
It was only about 2 and a half hours but we were hoping to stop at either the Palmer River roadhouse or at Lakeland for a cuppa break etc….
Well Palmer was on the wrong side so we decided to keep going to Lakeland and as we were approaching we thought at first the enormous rest area with loos on the left was the roadhouse, so started to pull in there with another car up our clacker which always makes us nervous when looking for somewhere to pull in.
We realised our mistake and pulled out again to realise we hadn’t even looked on the right side of the road and tucked away from the highway was the Lakeland servo……we had totally missed it.🤨🤨
We couldn’t turn around so had to keep going, I suggested we pull over at the next rest stop where I would cook us up some brunch and cappuccinos but there was no rest area big enough for us, which is unbelievable considering the big message out there. Stop Rest Revive to stay alive etc.
With no cuppa fix we were a bit frazzled when we rocked up to the Cooktown Caravan Park.
The site they had kept for us was heaps big enough but no room to manoeuvre….
With juggling other people’s vehicles and yours truly on the hand held uhf we did get in much to the dismay of a ex Truckie who said we would never get in there.🙄🙄

Part of the new Wharf Precinct
Picturesque Cooktown

 

Black Kite over Grassy Hill
Our front electric legs on our van had meanwhile just stopped. We weren’t sure if it was the motor, the switch or absolute horror… maybe the legs are bowed.
We had to manually winch the van off the truck ..not helping, our site was sloped towards the back, so we had to unwind the legs right down, which took forever.
I tried to help a bit, but started getting blisters really quickly from the handle so poor Anthony was stuck with that task. I suggested we at least have a cappuccino first but the power was out at the park……funny how there is always “icing on the cake “.
The rest of the afternoon was taken up with phone calls and we have ordered a new switch and are praying that is the problem otherwise we may be stuck here for a while….There is no way we will be able to winch 5 tonnes of van back on to the truck.
😖

The Endevour River

 

So the last few days we have been in better spirits and have been checking out our surrounds.

Well we really like it here. Cooktown is small but nicely laid out on the Endevour River. There’s lots of history here of course being James Cooks first landing etc so there is plenty to see in the way of monuments and old buildings, also a museum which will be interesting.

There’s a beautiful botanical garden with walks to a lookout and beaches.


Common Glider in flight over Keatings Lagoon

 

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Press Play to View Stephanie’s Video Snippets from 

Keatings Lagoon

 

The Lagoon
We have visited Keatings Lagoon twice, just south of Cooktown and have seen quite a few critters there.
We haven’t seen much elsewhere, but still plenty of places to check out.
The Spider (hunting) Wasp was enormous…..wow you wouldn’t want to get stung by one. I didn’t realise he was tackling a spider till I was filming for a while…..apparently they use the spider as a host to incubate their eggs how bizarre is that?.
I almost trod on the Green tree snake….he was pretending to be a blade of grass, absolutely beautiful green blue colour.
Also the goshawk was a bonus. I think we will be spending quite a bit of time at the Lagoon.
Pity about the Mozzies there, they are just bearable with plenty of spray.

Some amazing Paperbarks here
Female Brown Goshawk

 

Magpie Geese at rest after a frolic in the Mud

 

Enjoy the pics and video, I got great footage of the Spider (hunting) Wasp.

Cheers Steph and Anthony.