The Mary River Wetlands:

The Wetlands
The Wetlands

It was a calm and peaceful trip through the Wetlands. As we explored part of the Alligator River system by boat (an oddly named river system as there are no alligators in Australia), our aboriginal guide pointed out unique plant and animal life — with some of us having to dodge the occasional tree limb in narrow channels.

What lurks in these murky waters?

The Wetlands are home to many bird species as well as other animals. (Incidentally, most of them were too fast or far for me to photograph. Why haven’t I invested in a telephoto lens?)

And we were certainly trolling for freshwater crocodiles (“freshies”) and/or the spectacular yet illusive saltwater crocodile! All of us were looking to the water hopeful for an up close look at a fierce predator who has dominated various waterways of the world since the time of the dinosaurs.

There were quite a few weed-adiles and log-adiles spotted. (Grin, grin)

Melaleuca or paperbark tree
Water lilies and an invasive weed species

And of course, that’s when an 8 meter croc jumped out of the water and gnashed its horrible teeth at the boat …. Alright, that’s not exactly how it went …. Though I was still exhilarated when a 2 meter freshie made an appearance as the tinny was heading back to the dock! Freshies are not as aggressive as saltwater crocodiles and don’t grow nearly as large but they are still best left alone to do important crocodile stuff.

Finally, a wild animal and not a Log-adile!

With this sighting, my first true wetlands experience was complete!


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