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eungella

Postcard from Eungella

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Postcard from Eungella

From Capricorn Caves, we drive to Eungella National Park and pull into Broken River camp just before sunset - Eungella being 100km west of Mackay. Although 26degC today, at 900m elevation it gets cold at night, the mountain rainforest dense, with a lush fern and palm understorey.

It's often wet underfoot, especially at night and early morning. And yes, there is the occasional leech. But for a National Park camp as special as this and with only 12-spots, it's a surprise to see only three occupied... and no-one directly on the river bank. There is a little mud, but we do have gumboots and drive right in, our truck bonnet overlooking the river.

We've read about this place some time back, the best chance to see platypus in the wild, but to be honest, we take that claim with a grain of salt as neither of us have ever seen a platypus in the wild.

So it's incredible to believe our luck when we get out of the truck to look down on the river and spot a platypus cruising in our direction, seemingly oblivious of our rapturous attention and focused on his evening meal, followed by another of his brethren sighted just upstream.

With the fading light we listen to a last kookaburra chorus and the white noise of water rushing over rocks upstream, donning jackets as darkness settles, the air dank and earthy, the forest leaves already wet.

After dinner we sit reading under our truck awning and ponder our luck, just how the hell we managed to pull up, park and be immediately treated to a personal visit from an emblematic oddity and a national treasure normally so "solitary, shy and difficult to observe".

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