Well we have been back in Stanthorpe for a week now and back at work thinning apples for 4 days.
Thinning must be one of the most boring jobs on planet earth but we don’t mind it. We get into a really good routine where we work 6 days a week with Sundays off which is today..hooray 🤩🤩 We also manage to have a little power nap under the apple trees after lunch which is always rewarding, so peaceful just listening to the birds and the wind through the trees.
We will be doing this now till the end of January, then we will be picking the apples which is much more fun but longer hours.
We realised today that after shopping, cleaning etc we had a few hours spare to go and visit Quart Pot creek in town. It’s only down the road from the van park we are in so nice and very close.
We have been there many times before but the light down there this afternoon was just spectacular for photos. We were quite surprised to see some green grass and the creek itself looked ok considering they are in a severe drought here. They did get a downpour a few weeks ago so that was great news.
Sadly there has also been a few bushfires close to the town and on our way to work which is just horrible to see this beautiful place so scorched. We have been coming back now for 5 years so even though we have a house on wheels, this is like coming home for us. We love the town and surrounds and the people are very friendly here.
More Pacific Black Ducks
Hardheads (male on top)
Press Play to view Steph’s Snippets
We will try our best to visit the creek on our Sundays off as it’s teeming with birdlife at the moment, it’s probably one of the few places around with a good water supply so we are just praying for some rain. Please enjoy the pics and I took a small video of the creek.
Greetings from the Crystal Creek Caravan Park!! ( at the foot of the Paluma Range).
Well this is certainly the place to base yourself if you want to explore the area.
It’s only 20 kms up to Paluma, there is a very steep narrow range road to traverse and after our last visit two months ago I swore I wouldn’t go up there again. The road is fine but seems to attract a few ‘wallies’.
Being a Monday we thought we would be relatively safe and it was fine, we only passed a few cars up and down so that was a bonus. Anthony of course only had one thing on his mind……The Golden Bowerbird.
We have been looking and looking for a few years now and never seem to be in the right place at the right time but this morning all the stars aligned and as soon as we saw the bower….with a gorgeous male sitting out the front doing some decorating…..we knew we were in for a treat…Things got even better when another male flew in attempting a Bower takeover.
It was pretty much action packed for at least the two hours that we were there. We got some great photos and video……they weren’t bothered by us at all as they were so busy trying to outshine each other, chase each other and also the occasional dive bomb each other. We only fleetingly saw a female come in and they both reacted straight away…like it was ‘Showtime’.🤩🤩
We never saw either of the males go back down to the bower which was a shame as we would have liked some pics of the decorating but we couldn’t have asked for a better day, we couldn’t believe our luck.
We also managed to walk around 5 kms through the beautiful rainforest to a couple of lookouts and a little creek/ waterfall. Also of course Birthday Creek falls where the Bowerbirds are.
The Gorgous Golden Bowerbird
The 2 metre Bower adorned with Lichen
Please enjoy this slide show
Press Play to View Steph’s Snippets of the Golden Bowerbird
Birthday Creek Falls & Cloudy Creek, Paluma
Today’s events have overshadowed yesterday’s which was also a great day. We arrived here earlyish and even though it was super hot drove off to visit Rollingstone and Balgal Beach. These are both good places to see lots of birds. The fish and chips at the Fisherman’s Landing are pretty good too.
Great habitat at the creek at Rollingstone
Press Play to view Steph’s Video Snippets of Rollingsone & Balgal Beach
Anyway it’s certainly been an action packed couple of days, tomorrow we are off to Bowen so we hope our luck with the birds continues.
Our new front legs on the van work perfectly so that sure is a relief.
Well we finally made the decision to move on. The weather has been very drizzly again the last few days.
Yesterday we drove back to Granite Gorge near Mareeba. You can bet if it’s cold and drizzly here in Yungaburra it’s about 5 degrees warmer and sunny over that way. As soon as you drive off the plateau north towards Mareeba you can just watch the temperature gauge increasing.
It’s a beautiful place in nature and there seems to be a lot more butterflies and dragonflies around the Gorge than anywhere else we have been so far. We did see quite a few birds there as well but we didn’t get there till nearly lunch time so could have done better with photos if we had of gotten there earlier. We will definetly go back there on our return trip.
We got lucky….. while touring the tablelands a flock of Sarus Cranes flew over our truck and just had enough time to grab a couple of inflight shots.
Tomorrow we are off to Mount Carbine for 3 nights before heading on to Cooktown. We are really excited to see some new places.
Not really new as we have been to these places before but now that we are always looking for critters it’s a totally different experience. It’s like our eyes are wide open now and are always scanning the trees, sky, grass etc….waiting for something to catch our eye, it’s really fantastic and makes us feel so alive.
We must have had blinkers on before in our old life as I don’t really remember seeing much wildlife when out and about.
Pea Blue Butterfly
Orange Bush Brown
Just a couple of Butterflies that managed to keep still for a Photo
Press Play and enjoy Stephanie’s latest Video Snippets
Please enjoy our last video snippets and photos from the last few days and I hope we see some new and exciting things on our northward journey.
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