Eungella National Park

Had my first adventure bushwalking!

Eungella is about a 1.5 hour drive west from Mackay & atop one of the many hill. Everything there -- and en route -- was lush & bright green. Sugar cane is everywhere in this part of Queensland.  The view of Pioneer Valley was unsurpassed!

love seeing all the foreign wildlife here in Australia.... and I've seen a lot in the past 13 days!  For example, turkeys live across the street, kookaburras wake me up every morning with their distinct call, and the a curious mini-lizard frequents my bedroom. As we arrived at Eungella National Park the first sight that caught my attention was a pair of vibrantly colored Ulysses Butterflies.  They were black with a stunning, reflective blue that mirrored Fiji's waters. 
As us girls walked one of Eungella's many trails (I was leading) I noticed some small rocks falling onto the path, no more than 10 feet ahead. I had no clue what prompted their slide and then I saw it... at first I thought it was a snake because it's neck was sooo long & it kept sticking its black, Y-shaped tongue out. Frozen in fear, the 3 of us watched as a four foot long lizard (called a "goana") clumsily crossed the path & headed down toward the river.
I was relieved but also excited that I was able to see local fauna. But that was nothing compared to seeing Eungella's most prized and advertised animal: the platypus.

They were not at the usual viewing area as it was the wrong time of day; they're out around dawn/dusk and it was midday. After a tip from the boys, we trekked to a more shaded pool & I saw two platypi in the water. They wouldn't hold still long enough for me to get a clear photo, but it made me feel so insignificant to see them in real life! The only surviving species of monotremes are indiginous to Australia & New Guinea. You cannot see these creatures anywhere else on the planet. Forgetting physical barriers, there are time constraints too. I may never see a monotreme (echidnas & platypi) again since they're endangered animals!
They were Mallard Duck-sized but not round -- flat. And platypi just skim the water so you're advised to look for their ripples/distrubances in the water as opposed to actually trying to spot them amidst the shaded pools.

The animals in Eungella -- heck everywhere -- are awesome and timeless, and I hope we can save them from extinction.