Sunday, 19 April 2009

Port Douglas to Lake Tizali

Leaving Port Douglas in a heavy tropical downpour, we made our way inland to the Atherton Tableland. Higher up, it was much less humid than the coast. Our first stop was Granite Gorge. As our car wasn't insured to drive along dirt roads we had to walk for a while. We passed giant termite mounds and a few large 'beetle things' crushed under car wheels. Once we got to the gorge, we were inundated with wallabies who were used to being hand fed.

After a night spent at Lake Tinaroo – home to a large hydro electric and irrigation scheme, we headed to the Curtain Fig Tree. It was gigantic and well worth the detour. Needing a bit more exercise, we decided to do a walk around Lake Eacham. What should have been a short walk was soon aborted due to a python on the path – our first wild snake. Slightly freaked out by the snake, we were calmed by some of the other wildlife, including some turtles and 30cm-long lizards by the lakeside. Apparently these turtles have the ability to breathe through their bottoms. We wonder if they can talk out of them as well...

A short diversion en-route, with some interesting road signs, took us to a local tea factory which did an impressive cream tea.

Our hectic day of sightseeing then saw us take a sharp turn off the main road to Lake Tizali, where we could spot some wild platypuses – no see, no fee – as our guide stated. Within ten minutes, we sighted our first platypus and were addicted, trying to get better photos each time they surfaced. They were beautiful, swam very elegantly and were a real highlight. We never thought we'd get to see them as they are very elusive.