03.11.2012 - 08.11.2012
After a four-flight epic journey to the other side of the world, we're in Australia. We're staying with Caroline's sister and brother-in-law in North Queensland who happily have beaches, national parks, rainforests and teeming flora and fauna on their doorstep. Once you get past the endless suburban sprawl anyway. An early morning walk yesterday - river turtles, flocks of breakfasting cockatoos and two kangaroos. We wake up each day to a crazy dawn chorus of tropical squawking, chirruping and whooping, and at dusk big fruit bats come out in flocks, slowly flapping like crows. Hawks circle the beach.
Massively excited to see a family of three kangaroos, who stood obligingly still for a few snaps before taking off. Didn't expect to see them just standing around in a field. Or hanging around in the suburbs for that matter.
Paluma National Park is made of real rainforest - a first-time experience. Deep silence, apart from faint rustlings and occasional startling screeches; incredibly dense webs of trees, ferns, creepers, lichen, fungi (which perform nocturnal glowings apparently) - all sorts of intertwined growth, huge and tiny, all shrouded in eerie mist. A primal fear of being lost, straying too far from the path.
And to gorgeous Magnetic Island today. A haven for koalas - we didn't see any though. We did see some cute rock wallabies, and some canoodling galahs however. And some seriously beautiful beaches.
Next: a road trip up the Coral Coast, via the Great Barrier Reef, to a solar eclipse...