Central Queensland BirdwatchingAuthor: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: December 2006
In 2006 and 2007 we spent 255 Days driving around Australia. We started in Darwin, drove south to Alice Springs, backtracked to Cairns, went down the East Coast to Rockhampton, cut over to Melbourne, went across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth, drove up the West Coast to Broome, and finished by crossing the Kimberely Region on our way back to Darwin -- 24,000 miles & 6 rental cars. Along the way we stayed in 56 cities and saw 693 bird species/subspecies.
This Trip Report covers the 11-days we spent bird watching in Central Queensland in Nov 2006 -- Paluma, Euggella, Mackay, Yeppoon, and Chinchilla.
We saw 153 bird species at 9 Nature Areas: Paluma Mountain = 44, Bruce Highway to Eungella = 19, Eungella NP = 39, Slade Point = 30, Clearview Beach = 12, Bruce Highway to Yeppoon = 22, Mary River Loop Rd = 51, Byfield NP = 42, & Leichardt & Warrego Hwy = 47.
Paluma - We stayed at the Paluma Rainforest Cottages (www.palumarainforest.com.au/stay_selfcontained.htm 19.009S 146.211E). This nice 2-bed room house had a full kitchen, washer/dryer, and a great front porch with excellent birdwatching.
There are no grocery stores in Paluma, so stock up in advance -- the closest store is Wooly's (Woolworths) in Ingham, a long 39 miles (75 minutes) away down a steep mountain. There appeared to be one restaurant in Paluma, but we didn't eat there.
If you put these coordinates into Google Earth, you can see the locations I am discussing. Typically, there will be lots of pictures as well.
Eungella - We stayed at the Broken River Resort (www.eungella.info 21.167S 148.505E) in the Eungella NP. We saw 37 bird species on the resort grounds. Beautiful restaurant!!!
Mackay - We stayed at the Sea Breeze Resort on Slade Point (21.077S 149.226E). The resort had a nice casino and restaurant.
Yeppoon - We stayed at the Brae Bothy B&B (www.bnbqld.com/brae-bothy-bed-and-breakfast.htm 23.257S 150.603E) in Ironpot (half way between Rockhampton and Yappoon). The B&B is a nice country house with flowers, birds, a friendly dog, and resident Kangaroos. We arranged to eat our Dinners with the owners, who are retired schoolteachers -- Beautiful!!!
Chinchilla - We stayed at the Chinchilla Palms Motor Inn (www.chinchillamotel.com.au 26.747S 150.639E). Good restaurant on site. We saw 7 bird species running around the grounds.
If we were planning the trip again, I would:
Stay more nights in Eungella. Rooms are scarce and we could only stay 1 night because a convention had booked most of the rooms.
Skip Mackay in favor of more nights at Eungella and Paluma.
Highlights of the Region:
Seeing an Azure Kingfisher at the Birthday Creek Falls in the Paluma Rainforest.
Seeing 32 bird species from our porch in Paluma.
Seeing a small Platypus swimming in the Broken River at Eungella in the Great Dividing Range.
The Mary River Loop Rd and Byfield NP in Yeppoon were surprisingly good birding areas. We ended up seeing 82 bird species in the Yeppoon area.
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