An American family with only a few days to spend in southeast Queensland asked for a whirlwind 6 day tour of outback, rainforest, wildlife park and beaches at the end of winter (late August). A French intern working fir Wildlife Tourism Australia also joined us.
The surprisingly good little council-owned zoo at Queen’s Park in Ipswich was our first stop, to see animals we would not be seeing in the wild, such as billies, wombats and quolls. This also gave me a chance to talk with Frank Manthey (founder of Save the Bilby Fund) who will be opening the Scenic Rim Wildlife Bioblitz in October, while Darren showed our guests around the zoo.
As usual, our first night was spent in St George. We consider the western end of the bridge as the beginning of the true outback – past all sorghum, cotton and other crops, into free-range grazing or wilderness, red soils, red kangaroos, lot of emus, Major Mitchell cockatoos etc.
Next day took us through Cunnamulla to Bowra, a former cattle property well-known as a birding hotspot and now owned by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
We were delighted to be welcomed at our arrival by not just one but two echidnas!
Here are just a few of the other species we saw over the next few hours and following morning
One night is never enough in Bowra, but our American family only had 6 days to explore southern Queensland, so we moved eastwards again to the rainforests of Lamington National Park, the glow worms of Tamborine Mountain, woodland-lined beach at Fingal and captive-breeding programs and platypus aquarium at David Fleay Wildlife Park.