Sunday, 28 September 2014

Fitzroy River paddle

Fitzroy River 

Alan wanted to paddle the 41 km from South Yaamba to the canoe club and invited a few friends to go along. Chris and another canoe club member dropped us off at South Yaamba in the early morning fog and after unloading the canoes, headed back to Rocky. 


I must admit we were a bit worried as we knew there were at least 7 known crocodiles in the stretch of river we were about to paddle.
Alan set a cracking pace from the blocks and some of us struggled to keep up. 










After about two hours, we pulled up amongst paperbark trees for morning tea.













Further downstream, and about 17 km from the canoe club, we met up with another club member, Ian who took a few photos of us as we approached. Not long after that we paddled through an area of early season blue green algae.








Around midday, we stopped for lunch before continuing on our way to the canoe club. 




















At one point I saw a beast the had been dragged into the river and left to rot, (crocodiles find it easier to break up and swallow like this).


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Bulburin 2014

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We decided to take a couple of days to camp and do some walking.

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On the first day we found the old steep track that we had been on years before with the 4X4 club. 

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We stopped at the top and went back to the start of Bulburin Scenic Drive (4X4 only) which is currently closed off due to works being carried out on the road. Here we found a shady tree, and started unpacking our lunch. As we were doing so, 2 National Parks vehicles arrived, and the ranger got out to check that we were ok. We explained what we were up to, and despite an initial formal conversation, we ended up following them down to the top of the Boyne River to have lunch with them under the shady trees there.

After lunch we went back past the campsite, to the other end of the closed off Bulburin Scenic Drive, parked and walked down the road to the first creek. There was an old bridge which is closed off as it is dangerous, but NPWS has put in a culvert beside it.

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I really like Alocasia spp so was pleased to see so many growing here.

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This is one of the largest land snail shells we have ever seen, almost as big as the palm of Darryl's hand.

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Some Tradescantia spp. Also along this walk were plenty of maidenhair fern and shield ferns perched in rocky outcrops.

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A smaller snail shell (just to prove that they aren't all giants).

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I am not sure what this 'flower' is.

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I spied the bright fruit on the ground, but could not see the tree or bush that it came from.

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Some of the beautiful boulders we scrambled down, and then back up on the way back.

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A huge tree had come down so we were able to get quite close to these large Elkhorns.

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A tiny orchid on the same tree.

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After our walk, we went back to the campsite (the old Forestry Research Station), and as we stopped had a flat tyre!. Darryl changed it before we set up, had happy hour, then cooked dinner.

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A Tawny Frogmouth at our campsite during the evening.

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The next day we returned to the northernmost end of Bulburin Scenic Drive, and parked at the top of the ridge and walked down the road to the place we had eaten lunch with the rangers the previous day.

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The first area of interest along this part of the Boyne River is what the rangers called 'Flat Rock'.

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Lots of Water Dragons lazily warmed themselves in the sun. Mostly they took absolutely no notice of us at all, and just held their ground.

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The whole river bed was ablaze with Weeping Bottlebrush - Callistemon viminalis.

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Interesting rocks made the 'rock-hopping' enjoyable.

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A huge fig tree provided a nice shady spot. Near here was also a lovely stand of Burdekin Plum trees Pleigynium timorense, along with plenty of native blackberries Rubus spp.

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One of the lovely pools along the way.

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This should give you an idea as to why my ankles were aching, after rock-hopping over 8km of this (although, not all of it was this bad).

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There were plenty of these Cordyline spp, especially at one spot where another creek joined in.

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This was as far as we went. We 'were' trying to get to Mt Jacob mine, but Darryl realised that we had only made it just over half-way, and it was already 11am. There was no way I would have made it any further.

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This gorgeous flower - Turraea pubescens (native witch hazel) had a beautiful perfume to go with its delicate looks.

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Another interesting snail shell.

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I couldn't resist a photo of this bottlebrush just because of the number of blooms.

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A conglomerate.

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Pink granite.

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This flower smelled strongly like bananas! I believe it is Melodorum leichhardtii (zig-zag vine).

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I am not sure if this is the red flush of new growth, or just the normal colour of these leaves.

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The Leech who got me! See how engorged she is with blood? That's my blood she took there, and this was just before Darryl popped her. (By Sat afternoon behind my left knee was looking pretty red, and I started getting a streak up my leg. So, after 8pm I got Darryl to take me to Emergency Department, and I was admitted for IV antibiotics. Not a nice way to spend a few days!)

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Some of the leftover machinery from the Forestry days.

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This goanna decided I was the sort of risk that required a tree ascent.

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These were some of the plants around the campsite.

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