Views from Mt Stuart

I visited the top of Mt Stuart on Wednesday, mainly hunting small wildlife, and came home with some unusual angles on familiar locations.


Toansville Palmetum from above
Townsville Palmetum in context

The Palmetum lies between Ross River, Nathan St and the oldest part of Annandale, with Good Shepherd nursing home taking quite a large corner of its site.

Mt Louisa in context

Mt Louisa (the mountain) is an island in the suburban sea, with Kirwan on the near side, Mount Louisa (the suburb) on the far side, Currajong on the extreme right and Burdell in the distance at the far left of the picture.

The city council has recently opened a new Bush Walking Track which climbs from the end of Bayswater Rd to a loop around the summit. I have yet to try it out but will report on it when I do.

mudflats cape cleveland
Looking East from Mt Stuart

The view from the Lookout car-park is almost exactly due East and takes in Cape Cleveland, Mt Elliott and the low-lying land between them. I don’t know whether the 100 – 150 mm of rain in the previous week was responsible but the amount of water lying around really emphasized the topography: there’s almost as much water behind the Cleveland Bay coastline as in front of it, and we can see right across the base of Cape Cleveland to the wide bay on its ocean side.

The big industrial complex at the far right is Sun Metals and the smaller one in the foreground is the Meatworks.  Google Maps will make it all clearer.

Following on from my thoughts about the Many Peaks Range nearly a year ago, we might see both Cape Cleveland and Mount Louisa as islands-to-be, pending only a small rise in sea level.


The rain brought by the tropical low which became cyclone Niran a week ago has made the summit of Mt Stuart uncharacteristically lush and sparked (if that’s the right word) a population boom in the insect world. In about two hours I photographed at least fifty species – beetles, butterflies, ants, grasshoppers and katydids, a mantis and many spiders. Then I drove halfway down the mountain to the beginning of the mountain bike track for another twenty.

There are far too many to share here but they are now all on iNaturalist. This link takes you to the last of them, and you can page back through my observations to the first if you wish. Here’s a sample:

clearwing swallowtail butterfly
Female Clearwing Swallowtail on snakeweed

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