Chillagoe is a hauntingly beautiful, intriguingly odd place which we liked twenty years ago but hadn’t revisited since then because it’s a bit out of the way even by outback Queensland standards (more on its location later).

The town has a population of only a few hundred people these days but it was an important mining centre a century ago and has significant remnants to show for it. It also has improbable limestone bluffs riddled with caves, and our camping ground featured the best dawn chorus of our two-week northern journey, easily beating Cape Trib and Cooktown.    Continue reading “Chillagoe”

Daintree River wildlife

What the visitor sees on a wildlife safari or cruise depends on the wildlife and the weather, but also on the guide’s interests and local knowledge. Daintree River Wild Watch advertised “Bird Watching and Photography Cruises” which ticked the boxes we wanted, and we were well rewarded.

Crocodiles are top of the list for most tourists, and we did see one, but the highlight for us was the Jabiru (Black-necked Stork, Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) prancing around in the shallows to scare up his breakfast.



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Mud-nest Builders

Mud is a great construction material, as wasps, people and termites realised long ago. Three species of Australian birds use it to make cup-shaped nests in trees, which is a bit unorthodox, and I happened to see two of them on my recent trip up north.

The first is so well known around Townsville that I’m surprised we don’t see their nests more often. The second is a dry-country species, common enough in the west but rare on the coast.

The Pee-wit

Pee-wit on nest
Pee-wit on nest in Cooktown Botanic Gardens

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Cooktown and Cape Trib

Photo: Endeavour River, Cooktown, at sunset

Once again there has been a gap in posting because of an extended camping trip – this time, as the title suggests, to the north. In the last two weeks we have been to Chillagoe, Port Douglas,  Cooktown, Cape Tribulation and the Daintree, spending two or three days at each. In passing we visited Mossman Gorge, the Reef, Granite Gorge near Mareeba, and a few other places of interest.

Most of these will get their own posts in coming days or weeks. I will link to them from this page which will become a hub for the series, like this page for a similar trip to Cobbold Gorge and Undara last year.

Follow these links for posts about …

These other posts are incidental to the trip: