Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What a Wonderful Wallaman

My father and step-mother came to visit me for a week in my tropical place of study. I was very happy to see them. And to celebrate the occasion, we decided to do a little sight seeing.
Wallaman Falls is the largest single drop water fall in Australia, and I had wanted to go see it even before I arrived here in Oz. So I figured this would be a perfect stop on our way up to Cairns from Townsville.
So after my Friday morning lecture we started up Bruce HWY and arrived at the Falls around noon. Breath taking views of the gorge were plentiful and so was the blistering sun. So we decided to head off down the trail to cool off at the pool of the falls.
 On this walk through the semi-wet tropics I became over frustrated because there were skinks everywhere, but abundant habitat everywhere as well. Thus, I was unable to catch any skinks :( but I did see two new species: the Flecked Monitor (Varanis tristis) and the Major Skink (Egernia Frerei) 
Once at the bottom of the gorge, we were greeted with a small sign that said something about danger and slipper rocks, or something, but I didn't really read it. I was focused on making my way to the water. After negociating many large and slipper boulders I was able to swim in the very cool water where I was met by a large eel. I know nothing about eels, but I'm pretty sure this guy wasn't afraid of me and thought I might be worth a sniff. The water clarity was not great. So after a short swim, I scrambled back over the rocks to head back. The walk down to the gorge where the pool is located isn't bad, but coming back up will whip your bums into shape.

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