I visited Broadwater camping ground in 2015 and when I returned recently I found that it hadn’t changed much except that more of the damage from cyclone Yasi (2011) had healed in the meantime.

There are wide open grassy areas with scattered tall eucalypts, picnic shelters and amenities, and camping sites for vans and tents. With almost no mobile phone service (there’s just a very poor, intermittent, signal from one part of the picnic ground) it’s a good choice for a digital detox.

The National Parks information page about Broadwater says that it, “forms part of Abergowrie State Forest, which was first gazetted in 1965. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages the area to conserve its natural, cultural and historic values,” but doesn’t mention that the camping ground has pine plantations around it. They don’t intrude, however, because the camping ground and its patch of rainforest sit within a loop of the creek and the plantations are all outside it.


The creek was gorgeous with its broad shallow pools, stony shallows and rapids, and overhanging paperbarks. Platypus probably live in it but I wasn’t lucky enough to spot any. On the other hand, I enjoyed watching this young Whistling Kite in a tall tree across the creek during my early-morning vigil.

Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite

The Rainforest Walk introduces visitors (painlessly!) to the Gympie Stinging Tree (Dendrocnide moroides), feared for its agonising and long-lasting sting. It’s good to be able to recognise it. If you want more information, here is a good article on phys.org.

Other wildlife included Cairns Birdwing butterflies (they are a rainforest species and the park is definitely Wet Tropics), goannas, and many small birds and insects.

Nearby parks and walks

My prior visit to the park was tagged on to a Wildlife Queensland walk up the Dalrymple Track nearby. This one, at the end of July, was similarly planned to tag on to a walk around Dunk Island with WQ members from both Cassowary Coast and Townsville branches, following the success of their combined Kennedy Track walk. When we were told at the last minute that “the boat broke” I went to Broadwater anyway and treated myself to a morning at the Tyto Wetlands on the way home.

The Town Common in September

The Town Common Conservation Park, to give it its full name, is a valuable wetland year-round but changes with the seasons. Now, in mid-September, it is drying out. Grasses and small shrubs are dying off except where they are in or near the remaining open water. Water birds are returning to the Common as other resources dry out even more, but insects and other birds are not so numerous.

Continue reading “The Town Common in September”

Capping Uanda Bore

Guest post by Jessie Alford

Diane Alford wrote about Rainsby, a cattle property near Aramac, here nearly ten years ago. Jessie and her husband Tim have taken over its management since then; Jessie wrote this for her Facebook page but was happy to share it more widely.

The people of Western Queensland have depended on artesian bores for a century but have realised that the supply is not endless. Here’s one small step towards reducing waste.

Bore drain on Rainsby
Uanda bore – permanent water in dry country

Continue reading “Capping Uanda Bore”

Ross Dam and the Borrow Pits

We visited Ross Dam recently with members of Wildlife Queensland’s Townsville Branch for a morning of birdwatching and botanising.  We wandered along the dam wall, back to the park at its foot, and then down to the Borrow Pits nearby.

The dam was much lower than on my last visits, in March and May of last year, but the Borrow Pit made me a liar by being emptier than when I saw it in December 2013. Perhaps we had had more rain before that visit than we have had in the last few months?

Views from the dam wall

Ross Dam
Looking along the dam wall

Continue reading “Ross Dam and the Borrow Pits”

Soft launch, soft anniversary

Green Path should have celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this year but (frankly) didn’t notice at the time. The first ‘real’ post on the blog is dated January 10, 2011, and features a young Golden Orb Weaver. The ‘official’ launch post is dated April 21 and notes that, “Part of my [development] process was to write posts for the blog-to-be. It seemed a shame to waste them all so [the blog] therefore has entries going back several months although today is its official launch.”

Since then I have republished some earlier writing here under its original publication dates, so it may look as though Green Path began in February 2005 with a visit to Western Queensland, but that’s a bit of a stretch: I’m happy to claim ten years but not sixteen.

Ten years ago I had no idea how long the project might last. I’m pleased that it has gone on so long but I still have no idea how long it might continue; “as long as I enjoy doing it” is probably the best answer I can give.

Birds in Townsville suburbs

I noticed a lot of birds moving around when I walked outside late on Thursday afternoon. One camera and forty minutes later I had photos of 15 species without going any further than our nature strip.

That’s almost half of the number of species we have seen from this suburban (Mundingburra) location since we moved here and includes most of our common residents and visitors, so it has become an opportunity to update and extend the list I began here two years ago.

Photos on this page are from Thursday and can be seen at full size in the lightbox. Species links will take you to photos (and sometimes descriptions) elsewhere on Green Path.     Continue reading “Birds in Townsville suburbs”