We decided to visit Mount Lewis as we have heard so much about this place for exceptional birdlife.
Another early morning as it’s quite a drive from here( Mount Carbine) to just outside Julatten. We weren’t sure if our big f truck would fit on the steep, narrow and windy dirt road but decided to give it a go.
Well it was just fine but we were glad we didn’t have to pass anyone coming the other way…..that would have been a bit squishy🙄🙄
It’s about 10 kms to a clearing where there is a 2 km rainforest walking track to a beautiful dam. It’s around another 18 kms to the top of Mount Lewis but there is a sign that says it’s 4 WD from the clearing and we really didn’t want to push our luck plus it was a very slow trip to there.
I think our expectations were a bit high for this place…… as we really didn’t see many birds. The ones we did see were very high in the canopy.
The Chowchillas were very nervous, I got some video but Anthony missed out for photos. Also the Tooth billed Bowerbird was so hard to spot even though we could hear him for ages. Another missed photo but I did manage to get the last bit of his spectacular very loud voice on video.
When we arrived at the dam, this beautiful ( enormous) Red bellied black snake was basking on the path in the sun.
We couldn’t believe our luck, what a beautiful big healthy snake, absolutely awesome to see.
We were very quiet and he wasn’t bothered by us one bit…..even slithered straight towards me when he decided to go hunting.
I had to quickly do the sideways shuffle to get out the way….wow could he move at speed.
I captured it all on video 🤩🤩 not my panicked shuffle of course but the awesome snake🙄😳
It was a great place to visit but not sure we would be racing back up there any time soon.
Press Play to View Stephanie’s Snippets
On the way back we stopped at a little rest area near a babbling brook that looked promising for birdlife.
And that it was….a hotspot for the spectacled Monarch. This gorgeous little bird always has Anthony so frustrated as they never seem to come out from the shadows.
Well he found a place in the brook on top of some rocks where the trees opened up a bit and all sorts of birds came out to play…..some even coming down for a little drink.
Onwards to Mount Molloy…..
What a hidden gem this place is. The Bicentennial Park with a few picturesque lagoons, is a really nice spot.
We found quite a few dragonflies and Butterflies here.
Across the road were some amazing flowering grevillea trees with plenty of honeyeaters in them. It was already getting late so we will have to visit here again with more time to spare.
In the morning we will look around the park here at Mount Carbine, we know there’s plenty of birds here too but we also have to move on to Cooktown so this is probably another place we will come back to and explore further.
The weather did take a turn for the worse….. cold and drizzly for about 4 days. We were starting to wonder if we would ever see the sun again. The weather report kept saying the next day would be partly cloudy and when we woke up it was dark and drizzle drizzle, horrible.
We did take the opportunity though to revamp our kitchen, after 11 years of heavy duty use the laminate bench tops were very chipped and scuffed. We decided the simplest and of course cheapest option was to just cover them with marble look a like contact paper, not the cheapie paper though, this contact came from the US as we couldn’t get it here, it’s especially for benchtops. We also did some splash backs with these amazing ….. plastic ….. Tic Tac tiles. They came from England, again, not available here. Well we think it looks amazing even though it is all plastic, so have added some pics at the end of this Blog.
Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo spotting at the Nerada Tea Factory Grounds
(Luckily we have a long lens to capture these critters high in the tree tops)
Press Play to view Tree Kangaroo Vid
Due to the cool and wet weather on the Atherton Tablelands our beloved Dragonflies are few and far between.
Male Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly
Male and Female Fiery Skimmer Dragonflies
So back to the weather, the blue skies are back and our spirits have returned with it. We have been out and about everywhere. We just love the tablelands, waterfalls, lakes, wildlife, rainforests and of course, great cafes. What more could you want.
We did live up here for 4 years in Kuranda, but realised we don’t need to live here or anywhere really. With a house on wheels you can just visit the best places at the right time of year, if your lucky of course.
No horrible wet seasons to contend with.
A showcase of stunning Rainbow Bee-eaters
Anthony has been having a feast with the bird photos lately…..we found a little birdie hotspot down by Lake Tinaroo. We can just walk there from our van which is fantastic, this afternoon we were so focused on the brown cuckoo dove eating tobacco bush berries when the echidna just ambled past us. What an amazing creature, we just love seeing these precious little animals that must really be struggling with our human impact.
Doves Galore on the Tablelands
We also drove out to the Nerada Tea Plantation which is the best place to see Tree Kangaroos. Its quite a drive but so worth it. I don’t know why but they are always around there somewhere, fantastic. They have even cordoned off their habitat with barbed wire with signs everywhere to keep us out, how cool is that?? I’d rather they didn’t use barbed wire but these amazing animals really need our help. Their habitat is rapidly disappearing so it’s great to see a big company keeping a nice place for them.
Another Peterson’s Creek Platapus
Inquisitive Turtle at Malanda Falls
A Common Jezabel feasting on Lantana Flowers
And a few other critters we stumbled across
Press play to watch Stephanie’s Snippets
We have to move on soon if we want to get up to Cooktown before the weather heats up, though it will be hard to leave here. I guess we can always come back on our way south again.
At the moment we keep putting off leaving. The joys of freedom.
Hello again from Yungaburra, things have been going well despite the weather not being the best. It’s been really really windy and showery but when the sun pops out occasionally it’s just fantastic, especially when Anthony’s camera is focused on a dragonfly or Butterfly.
We did have one clear morning where Anthony raced down to the waterfront of Lake Tinaroo ( almost on our doorstep ) to get some beautiful photos of the lake, nice and calm and some morning mist. This really is a beautiful place to hang out as you can see.
We have had a few outings too, yesterday we drove past Mareeba to the Wetlands which to our dismay are now permanently closed.
We then backtracked to Granite Gorge Nature Park which is always nice rock hopping and looking for dragonflies. We saw an echidna here too but couldn’t get a good photo as he saw us too and tried to squish himself under a rock, so we gave him some space and let him be.
Yes we have Dragonflies
I’ve been deprived of seeing my favorite Insects for some time now.
These critters put a huge grin on my face 🙂
Elusive Archtail Dragonfly
Orange Threadtail Damselfly
Female Tropical Rockmaster Damselfly
(faded) Tropical Rockmaster Damselfly
Female Scarlet Percher
Crater Lakes Barrine and Eacham
We also visited the two amazing volcanic lakes just up the road from Yungaburra, You can walk around both but we had Devonshire teas ( award winning) at Lake Barrine. Then onto Lake Eacham, which we did walk around.
These are great places to see the Victoria’s rifle bird, we heard them a few times but no luck for photos. Another elusive bird we are chasing is the Pied Monarch, such a gorgeous little bird that we have spotted a few times but never get a photo. We passed another photographer at Lake Eacham who proudly showed us a great photo he just got of the Monarch…..just around the next bend……🤨🤨 but no such luck for us.
Giant Kauri Pines at Lake Barrine
and of course Birds
Press play to veiw a selection of video snippets
Today the weather is really awful so we will have a inside maintenance day, enjoy the pics and Video snippets.
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.
Odds and ends
I have fond and sometimes painful memories of doing just that up here
Well we had no problems fitting into the Lakeside Caravan Park in Tinaburra, on the Southern Atherton Tablelands.
It’s very busy, however the managers kept a nice big site for us so we are happy campers for the next few weeks.
We have been out and about catching up with family and friends as well as checking out some great places for wildlife.
Here are a few images of this gorgous Macleay’s Honeyeater with a face full of pollen from the Metrosideros Flower
Peterson Creek is a Hotspot for Platypus
Press Play to check out this Platypus
Just up the road here in Yungaburra is Peterson Creek. With a great walking track and a variety of habitats there’s always something to see. We have spotted quite a few platypus even around 2 pm which I think is unusual. They must be quite used to humans being around as you can get quite close to them on the banks.
I got a nice little video. Apparently Tree Kangaroos are seen here too but we haven’t spotted one there yet.
Here is a long range shot of one we spotted at Mt Hypipamee (Thanks Nissi)
We did take a drive out to Mount Hypipamee National Park where we spotted one a long way away, also a young Cassowary close to the picnic area but pretty quiet on the bird front.
The weather has been a bit iffy, very overcast and rainy yesterday. Today we woke to blue skies and within a couple of hours it was very dark and overcast again and even a couple of showers. It may be like this for the next week so we will just have to get out when we can and hope for nice weather.
A welcome Flyby of Sarus Cranes
At the suspension bridge across Peterson Creek we were treated by 2 Scarlet Honeyeaters (an adult and Immature) feasting on the fresh Bottlebrush Pollen.
The Sarus cranes are around the area at the moment too and they are great to see flying over honking to each other, fantastic to see.
Anthony has already got a great collection of photos since we have been here so please enjoy them.