BACK TO NATURE
10.08.2018 - 14.08.2018
The Atherton Tablelands was the next area on our itinerary and after picking out from our Wikicamps App a place to stay that would enable me to strike another thing off my Bucket List, we chose Bonadio Nature and RV Park. As if timed to coincide with our arrival, a bandicoot fossicked around close to our van as we completed our set up.
Bonadio was a working corn farm on a lovely plot of land alongside rainforest and with part of the Barron River passing through it. The farmer had taken advantage of the natural resources on his property by making a Campground for travellers like us. The property boasted of getting up close and personal with rare and endangered Austlalian wildlife like platypus, and several species of nocturnal animals.
Our fellow campers were a friendly lot. Late afternoons were spent sitting around the campfire swapping travel stories and getting hints on spotting the elusive platypus in the area. As the sky darkened it was time to make our way to the barn. The barn was a three sided shed boasting a campers kitchen at one end and with tables and benches set along one wall. The other side of the shed was entirely open to the rainforest. At around 7 o'clock each evening nocturnal animals would come hoping to get a feed.
We were surprised at the number of animals that ventured close to get their fill of peanuts and fruit. One night we spotted 13 possums.
Several Pademelons came to get a feed too. Pademelon's are macropods belonging to the kangaroo family.
The other visitors to the barn was the occasional mouse. I have not been able to determine exactly what species they are but I thought they were rather cute.
If we waited long and quiet enough we were able to see several species of animals eating alongside each other. The pademelon and the bandicoot were particularly funny, with the pademelon complaining loudly when the bandicoot wanted a share in the food. It didn't seem to bother the bandicoot, he just kept on munching.
We were up early the next morning armed with cameras, coffee and a stool for Zak to have a bit of comfort while we waited by the river to observe and photograph the elusive platypus.
OUR OBSERVATION POINT ON THE BARRON RIVER
We didn't need to wait long before we spotted platypus but getting a photo of them was another story. They would come to the surface and disappear quickly when they sensed anyone near. It took quite a bit of patience to photograph and video them but it was very rewarding considering we had been looking for them in various places. We got very good at spotting them after awhile and each time we ventured down the river we were able to see them.
Here are a few facts to refresh our memories.:-
The platypus is found only on the east coast of Australia and Tasmania.
It has a bill like a duck, webbed feet and thick brown fur.
It is a one of five species of monotreme.
The platypus like the equidna lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young.
The female platypus feeds her young through milk patches on her belly.
The male platypus has 2 hollow spurs on its back legs which can deliver a painful venom strong enough to kill a small dog.
Our last day on the Atherton Tablelands was spent site seeing around the area.
Lake Barrine and surrounds was very beautiful, such stunning colours in the garden
KAURI PINE, RAINFOREST GIANTS