Hike Eubenangee Swamp National Park
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Adventures in the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland.
Eubenangee Wetlands is located in Eubenangee National Park, about one hour away south of Cairns, a 74 km drive and one hour and half from Atherton Town, a 112 km drive.
Eubenangee Swamp is famous worldwide due to the rich flora communities, including vine forest, grasslands, sedge and paperbark swamp forest. The habitat of the wetlands is paramount for at least 200 species of birds and other animals.
Eubenangee Swamp Walk.
Saltwater crocodile in Eubenangee Wetlands. Image credit https://www.babindainfocentre.com.au/what-to-see/attractions/eubenangee-wetlands/
A trail meanders in the rainforest and up to a grassy hill. Once on the top of the grassy hill is possible to view Bartle Frere and Bellenden Kerr, Queensland’s two highest peaks, and the wetlands with many birds.
The trail is 1.5 km return, allow about an hour. The walk is classified as easy, on a well-maintained track.
Some signs warn about the presence of salty crocodiles; stay away from the water.
Crocodiles thrive in any sort of waters. Stay away from the shore of the Alice River.
There is a dedicated carpark just off Cartwright Road marked with the sign of the Eubenangee National Park. The trail starts near the old bridge for sugar cane trains over Alice River.
Sugar cane railway lines are very common around Babinda; trains may pass at any time, pay attention.
At the beginning, the trail follows Alice River, which in this area is the size of a creek. The trail runs under the canopy of the forest and then, suddenly, it exits on grassland and climbs up a hill.
The trail follows Alice River for a little while in the rainforest.
The trail leads to the top of the grassy hill. The trail is well maintained, and the grass is regularly cut.
The track stops on the top of the hill, it is not possible to go any further or down the hill due to the very tall grass. There is no access to the wetlands and for good reasons. It is well known by the local people that the swamp is inhabited by saltwater crocodiles.
Eubenangee Wetlands is home to many birds and crocodiles.
It is safe to remain on the hill and take photos from there. A binocular can be very useful to see the vegetation and the animals in the swamp.
Bring with you a binocular to see closely the life in the swamp.
I have read many articles about Eubenangee Wetlands and all of them mentioned the birds, but not the crocodiles. I found that strange! A friend of mine, who used to live in North Queensland, said that especially in the night is possible to see the crocodiles in the swamp when their eyes reflect the light.
An Important Habitat for Birds and Many Other Animals.
Eubenangee Swamp is part of the Coastal Wet Tropics Important Bird Area. The national park is in the water catchment of the North Johnstone and Russell Rivers.
There are about 200 species of native birds and, the wetlands, are also vital for native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and arachnids.
Good to Know.
The jacanas are a group of birds called waders since they have long legs and can stand on vegetation while feeding. Remarkably the females are larger and some species have harems of males during the breeding season. The males are in charge of incubating the eggs and taking care of the chicks. Photo credit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacanidae
Saltwater crocodiles are prehistoric predators, and they are excellent hunters. They generally ambush their prey, waiting patiently completely still, concealed in the water. They can stay underwater for about an hour and it is very hard to spot them when they are submerged.
Saltwater crocodiles prefer saltwater, or brackish water, where they are sure to find more food.
Crocodiles can be found anywhere along the coast of Queensland and inland, up for 100km. Rivers, creeks, beaches, waterholes and the sea are crocodiles' favourite areas. They are strong swimmers, they have been seen swimming in the ocean several km away from the shore.
These reptiles are more active at dusk, night and dawn. This doesn't mean that is unlikely to meet a crocodile during the day. It can happen anytime.
Keep away from the waters and don't swim in waters where crocodiles may be present.
It is interesting to know that crocodiles are known to study the behaviour of animals and people. Do not go in the same spot repeatedly. Image credit tps://www.babindainfocentre.com.au/
A walk in the rainforest and see one of the most important wetlands in the world.
Being nervous to meet a crocodile on the trail.
Hikers can take photos from the top of the hill where it is possible to see the surrounding mountains and the wetlands.
From Babinda town, travel on the Bruce Hwy to Mirriwinni; turn left on Bucklands Road, which becomes Brownstone Beach Road. Turn right onto Cartwright Road and travel for 1.5km to Eubenangee Swamp National Park. Just off Cartwright Road, there is a carpark and the sign of the national park.
There are no facilities except for the walking track, and camping is not permitted.
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262376 - 2023-09-05 09:09:26