Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 277. Finch Hatton Gorge to Rockhampton

An early rise, rewarded with an elusive Platypus....

The alarm woke me up at 4:45am this morning. What the? I set the alarm for a reason, but it didn't make it any easier when it came to climbing out of bed. I've been informed that 'first light' is the best time to see the Platypus that calls the Finch Hatton Creek 'home'; here at 'Platypus Bush Camp'. After the limited success we had last night, I really wanted to get a look at this little Monotreme. Unfortunately, the sun was already up, so I thought my chances of seeing one were very slim - but I had to try....

Can you spot the Azure Kingfisher in the tree, and the Platypus in the water?

Aahh...there you are!

With Bec and Scarlett fast asleep in bed, I quietly left the caravan and walked the 100mtrs down to the Platypus Pool. I found that I had the whole place to myself, so I quietly found a spot to sit and wait...., and wait...., and wait..... Bingo! Finally I had my first glimpse of the Platypus as it broke the surface of the water on the far side of the creek.

The little fellow was amazing to watch, and I felt quite privileged to be here and watch it swim and hunt for its morning breakfast. I was so totally focused on the morning antics of this Platypus, that I didn't even notice the arrival of three more people who had also come down to the waters edge in hope a sighting. I was hooked, and other than the arrival of an Azure Kingfisher; who proceeded to dive in the water and catch small fish near and around the Platypus, there was total stillness and silence in the rainforest. What a magical moment!

I guess all up I was down at the creek for almost two hours before I decided it was time to return to the van and back to my two Princess's. As it was almost 7am I thought they would now be wide awake; but I under estimated the both of them, as neither had even hinted at stirring until almost 8am. By the time they both climbed out of bed I had already had two cups of teas, and read three chapters of a book on my Kindle! Unbelievable!

We packed up the van, and said goodbye to Peter, Jennifer, Holly and Josh; and started our easy drive east and into Mackay. We stopped here, and topped up the diesel before then heading south on the Bruce Hwy.

The trip south was very uneventful; other than a number of reckless P plate drivers; who were obviously trying to meet their maker a little sooner rather than later! We finally reached Rockhampton by mid afternoon, so we pulled into the first caravan park we came across and quickly set up camp. It was then off into town to find 'The Great Western Hotel', where we dined on $10 T-bone steaks with mushroom sauce and vegetables for dinner! Mmmm....

The Great Western Hotel - Rockhampton

The hotel itself is a bit of an icon here in Rockhampton (which also boasts the fact that it's the Cattle Capital of Australia), as at one stage of its life it was owned by country singer Lee Kernigan. It even has an indoor rodeo arena out back of the bar! Unfortunately there was a private function going on, so we couldn't have a good look around, but both Bec and Scarlett were impressed with all the cattle heads, bull riding, and rodeo paraphernalia adorning the walls.

Today was a long day! Up at the crack of dawn, and not hitting the hay until after 11pm. Hopefully there won't be to many early mornings, but one thing I've learnt on this trip of discovery - you have to be up early if you really want to see and experience the wildlife and beauty that is Australia!

Good night!

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