|Photo by Luke Martin.
Our time there overlapped for one weekend, in which we enjoyed swims, drinks, hearty dinners and a sailing adventure around the islands.
I started with a journey into the forests of Conway National Park, just a ten minute drive east of Airlie Beach. I spent a sunny, humid morning walking up to the peak of Mount Rooper, through vine scrub and eucalypt forest.
I immediately saw a new species of bird for me in the carpark there, a female olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis). After so much rain earlier in the week, the forest floor was also teeming with amazing fungi!
After lunch back in town, I returned to the national park, this time to Cape Conway's lowland tropical rainforest. Here I had an up-close encounter with a gentle collared whipsnake (Demansia torquata), as well as green-spotted triangles (Graphium agamemnon) and yet more beautiful fungi.
My next destination was Yeppoon on the Capricorn Coast, and after a day of driving, I arrived at my lovely AirBNB accommodation in Adelaide Park.
Because of the rain Queensland has been drenched with this year, I decided to forego murky marine adventures for more mainland exploration. I began the next day walking down gravel roads through the fog in Bungundarra, where I had my favourite sighting of the whole trip: a blue-winged kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)!
The day offered delights in many other forms too, gifting me with my first sightings of the bar-breasted honeyeater (Ramsayornis fasciatus) and frilled lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) at Lammemoor, and then flocks of brolga (Grus rubicunda) at Emu Park. I finished the day by watching the full moon from Fan Rock Lookout, as it slid out from the sea to shine over the Great Barrier Reef. Truly magical!
After such a big day, I kept the next one simple, with a trip out to a tropical woodland at Lake Mary, followed by a dip in Yeppoon Lagoon, a man-made infinity pool by the shore.