Thursday, 16 August 2018

Eungella: Platypus Splash


Situated not far west of Mackay, Eungella is a beautiful chunk of national park highlands. Our previous visit was in 2013, but venturing back up the hill again was just as good as the first time.

This year we decided to head a bit further out, to Eungella Dam. There's quite a bit of rural farmland between the classic rainforest location and the dam. That said, the dam was a great place to camp. Plenty of space to stretch out, and a top spot for highland lake fishing.

Before our visit, Cyclone Iris had been trying her best to kick up a stink in the north of Queensland. While she failed to get too worked up, her tantrum did send storms rippling along the east coast. The sunny days that proceed such weather generally brings the forests to life. Well, when we were heading out to the dam, we saw much of this life. In the form of what seemed to be a locust plague!

They were everywhere, swarms of large grasshoppers. Birds and reptiles were out and about getting their fill! Fortunately, one side of the campground was rather windy, keeping most of the 'hoppers at bay. One of the photos—beneath this post on the left—looks like a dodgy shot of the ground. If you blow up the image and look at all those leaves—well, what appears to be leaves—you shall see thousands of grasshoppers!

The bottom of the food chain flourishing is not such a bad thing. Not at all! It means that the critters hanging out on a higher rung are more active too! And, when we went on one of the short strolls through platypus territory, we saw one of the 'duck-beaked water-moles' splashing about, foraging for food without a care in the world! This was pretty rad. We had seen them in the wild a couple of times, but never so active and repeatedly easy to spot!

We made sure to snap a couple of pics, and I've added a little YouTube clip below for those who've never seen a platypus in the wild.