Thursday, March 21, 2013

From Airlie Beach to Mission Beach

March 19th
A last outing in the salt water pools at Airlie Bay.

The wind makes it cold when you get out.

March 20th
Then a drive through rain and cane fields to Townsville. We are staying at the historic Yongala Lodge.

The History of this country is so short even compared to the USA, that anything from the 1800's is valuable and historical. Captain Cook was discovering things here in 1770.

Then our outing to the Reef HQ.
We arrive just in time for the afternoon feeding talk. The leopard sharks act like kittens . Coming up for pets from the keeper. But they do snap at the squid he gives them.

The saltwater crocodile leaps up for his beef heart and a large fish jumps for his fish treat.

We spend some time in the reef tunnel and the other tanks until the 3:30 turtle talk. Most of the problems that turtles have is due to eating plastic bags that they think are jelly fish, accidentally eating other garbage and fishing line and habitat destruction. That is destruction of sea grass.

We see the turtle hospital where they treat turtles who are ill from eating plastic and other detritus. One turtle had been injured from being hit by a boat. When the turtles are well enough they put them in the reef tank and feed them up. Then they release them. Green turtles are the most common turtle they treat.
turtle being treated

turtle in the reef tank being fed up before being released

Truthfully the Monterey Bay Aquarium is fancier, but this one does attempt to emulate the reef. But even with the turbulent water snorkeling over the reef was better. We will try for another trip out to the reef.

March 21st

We head out to Mission Beach a bit further up the coast.
Time to get up Barry.

 A flooded road as we head out of town toward Ingram.

It is not raining all the time but showers come up hard and suddenly.

We take a turn off to a path to Crystal Creek.

 The sandy beach is not here and William decides not to go in the water. The rocks look slippery and crocs may be lurking.

Next is a refreshing stop at the Frosty Mango. William has a cone, but I have a small cup of frozen mango puree. Quite delicious. I love the names of all the tropical fruits. I have tasted jack fruit, passion fruit and rambutan.

Hibiscus Lodge in Mission Beach is lovely. They have a very inviting salt water pool.

 This is a rain forest so our swim is cut off by a rain shower. No matter everything is warm. This is how I like my rain forest. Sitting on the porch wondering if Smokey Bear the cat will come over.
Smokey Bear

Cassowaries live around here and often come into the back yard.

A horned bird. About the same size at an emu. Only about 1,000 left in the wild and most live around here in Mission Beach.

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