Cooktown, Queensland, 19 July 2022
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Gastro stopped me seeing as much of Cooktown as I would have liked but we are now on our way out, heading towards Mosman Gorge. On the way we stopped at Keatings Lagoon or Mulbabidgeee.
Mulbabidgeee is a wetlands area on the outskirts of Cooktown.
I could have got closer on the way in, going off the path, but something was holding me back.
A bit further on there is a view across the lagoon from a bird hide.
… and some distant waterbirds….
Giant waterlily in flower.
After a while one a bit came closer. Note the extraordinary toes.
This is a juvenile comb-crested jacana. It becomes more spectacular as an adult.
They roost and build nests on the floating lilypads.
Walking back with some reflection(s).
The black pile of rocks in the background is Black Mountain or Kalkajaka.
This was originally a tongue of volcanic magma. Over time, heat and water led to fractures and it is now a heap of granite boulders with the solid granite core buried well beneath.
Beneath the surface rocks is a maze of passages and chambers, with sheer drops in complete darkness, pockets of bad air and likely encounters with bats and snakes. So access is prohibited and it also includes many sites sacred to Aborigines.
It houses unique wildlife, including Black Mountain boulderfrog, Black Mountain skink and Black Mountain gecko, as well as Godman’s rock-wallabies and amethystine pythons that can grow to more than five metres long. There have been numerous reports as recently as a few decades ago of an animal appearing to be a thylaceo or marsupial lion and reputedly living here, though supposedly extinct for 20,000 years.
Aboriginal legend has it that the twin-peaked black mountain was built by two brothers who were competing for the same girl. They were so invested in this task that they did not notice an approaching cyclone which blew the brothers into the cracks between the boulders and drowned the girl.
Somewhat further on, we stopped near a bridge and I took some images of the small river flowing through.
Much further in the journey, getting close to our Mosman Gorge destination, this is the view from Rex Range Lookout, looking north towards the Daintree.
Now in our B&B near Mosman Gorge, this is the view from our bedroom window.