Monday, 14 July 2014

Broken River

Landscape of the Month


What's so special about it?

Platypus, Broken River
Located along the Queensland coast near Mackay, the Broken River is the best place in the world to see wild Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). In the rest of their range, Platypus are notoriously shy and crepuscular creatures, but the population in Broken River can be easily observed from the river bank at almost any time of day. The Broken River is also famous for the ancient fossils found inside its rockbeds, including the preserved remains of primitive fish from 400 million years ago.

Where can I see it?

Broken River is a 90-minute drive west from Mackay, through the southern end of the stunning Clarke Range. Much of the forest here forms part of Eungella National Park, and a section of the Broken River is also protected by it. To access the site where the Platypus viewing platform is located, pull over into the carpark along Eungella Dam Road, just after it crosses the river. I visited the area last year - see here for more information.

Is there anything similar near Brisbane?

Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis),
flowering along the South Pine River, Strathpine
Of all the large rivers running through the Brisbane area, the Pine River is my favourite one for wildlife-watching. Platypus still occur in a few locations along its length, sharing the water with such creatures as Crimson-spotted Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi) and Short-necked Turtles (Emydura macquarii). The lower reaches of the Pine River have been immensely altered and degraded by human activity, and pollution and erosion are increasing problems. A small remnant of the luxuriant forests that originally cloaked these river banks can still be seen at John Oxley Reserve, in Murrumba Downs. 

15 comments:

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    1. Definitely - like it was designed by committee! :)

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  2. It all looks and sounds rather special Christian.The Duck-billed Platypus is a living monument to how ancient and special such places are. 400 million years is certainly something for us all to ponder - pity we don't do so.

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    1. Apparently, once upon a time there were several Platypus species according to the fossil records, some much bigger! I think this guy is the perfect size and yes, very special!

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  3. What an amazing river!! I have to agree with you that the Pine River is a local speciality too. There is a particular spot along the North Pine River that is a popular waterhole, with great birds not to far from Lake Samsonvale.

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    1. You'll have to feature that spot in your blog sometime, Ben!

      I grew up in Bracken Ridge, so I have many great memories of the Pine Rivers area as a young naturalist :)

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  4. fabulous to be able to find platypus pretty reliable in that location; you got a great photo Christian. I have walked to that reserve at Murrumba Downs many years back now when friends built there...another nice post from you. Cheers!

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    1. Great that you've been to John Oxley, Carole! It's been a popular birding spot lately because a White-throated Nightjar has taken to roosting a very visible, clear, trackside tree along the boardwalk there.

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  5. What amazing animals they are. I'd love to see one. I always think it's like stepping back in time, even watching them on TV!

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    1. I under-estimated just how special it would feel to see one in the wild. It was SUCH an enchanting creature!

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  6. Seeing a Platypus in the wild must have been quite a wonderful sight!

    I totally agree with your comment on my blog post regarding the current dry spell. I have a friend who has family out west around Dalby & Tara. Many of the farmers haven't even planted crops this year due to the drought.

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    1. It was one of my all-time wildlife highlights!

      Yes I've heard it's been very bad out in the western parts of the state this year. Let's hope the forecasts are wrong!

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  7. Wow Christian great work mate!! Your love of the natural world really comes through in your writing, a pleasure as always to read... And very informative, will definitely be coming back some time to reread those tips ;) thanks!!

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    1. I don't know why it posted here it was meant for your latest blog!

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    2. Thanks Noah, glad you enjoyed it and found it useful. And thank you for inspiring it! :)

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