We packed up after drying the tent off with a bit after some rain overnight. The expected overnight noise with the barra-chasers going out at all hours of the night didn’t eventuate and it was a quiet place considering the number of blokes, boats and beer around. We passed through Proserpine and stopped at Airlie Beach to reminisce about our Whitsundays sailing adventure that departed from here about 15 years ago.
The yachts looked very enticing but we opted for some swimming in the foreshore lagoon and gazed out over the water. Our plans were to head inland to hopefully spot some platypus in the Mackay hinterland which is renowned for the monotremes – particularly Eungella which we intended to visit.
One of the campgrounds up at Eungella has been closed so we looked at other options and decided to try Mia Mia State Forest where you could find you own spot.
The forest is pretty ordinary with obvious cyclone damage to both the native forest, the pine plantation which was essentially flattened, and the steep road which was almost impassable with bad erosion and wash-outs.
Add to that the thick Lantana and it’s not a good look. We had almost given up finding anywhere suitable to camp when we reached Captains Crossing on the Teemburra River. The river is flowing well and is a beautiful temperature. There was a group camping near the road but we went in just a bit further downstream from them and spied a great tent site right next to the river.
The people next to us had trail bikes and a quad bike but they were pretty tame and surprisingly quiet considering they were up all night with their fire blazing away – we didn’t hear a single word from them. We had a great time swimming and floating down the rapids.
The birds and butterflies were great with the red bottlebrush trees along the riverbank attracting brilliant blue Ulysses butterflies and a range of honeyeaters.
The kingfishers are incredible to watch – we’ve never seen so much activity with them either zooming through or otherwise hunting with a big splash into the river right in front of us. .
It was about 5am when Amy got up to investigate a splash in the river that she was sure was a platypus – Josh rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. Five seconds later it was confirmed as a platypus and Josh dragged himself out of bed (it better not be a turtle!!). We watched two platypus go about their dawn routine – well Amy watched briefly and then went back to bed (!) while Josh walked up and down the bank for hours watching three platypus hunting – at one point coming within a metre.
The next morning was very quiet on the platypus front. At least one bushfire nearby was billowing a huge amount of smoke and the haze was thick which wasn’t ideal for spotting.