I live in the UK – when I walk along my little estuary beach in the town of Southend on Sea, I am constantly encountering the different kinds of wildlife, that rest on or near our shore, at different times of the year. Since my children were born, I have shared with them, my love of the outdoor world and the wildlife that lives in it.
In the summer months I am fascinated by the jellyfish stranded on the sands and spend time taking photographs of their purple centered globules. Sometimes contacting my local sea life centre to find out more about them or other manifestations that are not normally around. I have been known, on the odd occasion, to pick up something very dead and a bit smelly and pop in with it, so that that the Aquarists and Marine Biologists can identify its remains.
So, on our travels to Australia, it brought me great pleasure to introduce our children to the marine life and other creatures that inhabit and surround the waters of this wonderful continent.
On our trip into Kakadu National Park, the Gagudju Dreaming cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong, brought us up close with the crocodiles living in the muddy and life filled waters.(Watch the video carefully and you will catch sight of the croc) The difference between watching them in a crocodile park such as the one in Samutpraken Bangkok, to experiencing these elegant hunting machines in the wild – was a world apart. I would much rather observe them in their natural habitat. It yields a far greater reward and lends itself to satisfaction.
Not all Crocs are found in the wilds, as you can see below!
In Darwin, our first marine encounter was fish feeding at Aquascene in Dr’s Gully. The gentle nibbling of the barramundi, shovel nosed rays, milkfish and batfish made this a fantastic way for us all as a family to have a gentle introduction, into the marine life surrounding the land of Oz.
In Runaway Bay, the chance to moor ourselves off the shoreline of Surfers Paradise and fish became a possibility – our dinner caught that evening. A Trevally for tea.
Some time spent on Stradbrooke Island, close to Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast, allowed to the delight of the children and the horror of me, them the opportunity to fill their hands with the tiny blue crabs, living on the shoreline.
In Hervey Bay, we sat down to study the remains of a turtle abandoned on the rocks and in Ballina looked up at the biggest Prawn we had ever seen.
One of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, turned out to be the bright blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef – although I didn’t enjoy the commercialism surrounding the trip, the colour and the clarity of the water is something I will never forget. Watching the waters wash over the reef from the ocean, as the tide grew ever higher, was as fascinating as watching them reduce, exposing the corals to the sun. The luxury of being on a yacht, with only a couple of companions to share the encounter with, is something I can only dream of.
There is so much wildlife to explore in Australia and so many things to see, do and discover whilst you are there. I wonder what is your favourite – land or sea?
I’d love to know your thoughts…