Platypus Bay, Fraser Island.
Sat 28 May 2016 06:46
Looking North to where Fraser Island bends around to the East. The row of black dots are Pied Cormorants:
Here they are closer up - I tiptoed up over the dune, got about this close then they all took flight!
It would be hard to imagine a more beautiful beach and with no one else laying out their towel, making sand castles or collecting the shells. The occasional local passed through driving along in their 4x4 but as we only saw one or two a day they didn’t bother us. There was loads to explore. A silver river wound its way parallel to the beach then flooded over the sand, carving new channels for itself every fresh tide: gorges, meanders, river cliffs and deltas recreated in miniature as we watched.
Every now and again the flow of the river uncovered black volcanic rocks, these acted as cap rocks so the river carved out little plunge pools perfect for taking a dip in the cool fresh water. I was keeping my wrist out of the sea water as a tropical infection was proving hard to shift (it had grown from a half-penny size to that of a fifty pence piece in a couple of days) so I was able to cool off without worrying and we all brought down soap and shampoo to make use of the ample running water - Bella’s first bath in a river I think!
Looking over the river as it flowed out over the sand.
Everywhere we looked there was evidence of wildlife. Dingo and bird prints were alongside the ponds above the beach, which were filled with tiny hopping frogs and squirming tadpoles. The largest bird tracks had us intrigued, what could have made such huge prints?
Foot prints and bill marks in the sand.
The answer was a pair of Jabiru storks, blue green against white with black skull caps, standing 1 1/2 m tall on their red legs and spreading 2 1/2 m wings when we got too close.
All along the shore at low tide crabs had spread pearls around their dens, like careless jewellers, while Red Capped Plovers piped.
Further up the bay we became intrepid dinghy explorers, finding our way around bar and into the high tide channel a river had carved through the beach, leading us into a lagoon which was hiding from view behind the sand dunes. There we discovered a most peculiar creature: a totally transparent jelly slug, about 3 inches long and an inch across. There were loads stranded on the beach. Sitting with our feet in the shallows little box fish nibbled at our toes as we watched turtles feeding near the mangroves. Overhead Brahminy kites and Ospreys joined the Sea Eagles.
There was so much to see and enjoy that we could have been happily occupied for weeks, as long as the supplies held out. But our guests had a plane to catch, time was marching on so we said a fond farewell to this delightful haven for wildlife and made the jump across the bay to Bundaberg.