What's it like to live in the wet tropics of North Queensland?
Australia is an arid continent but you wouldn't think so around here. Just inland from Innisfail the average rainfall is in excess of 4m per annum and they have the enviable, or unenviable, record of being the wettest place on the continent! It's an incredibly vibrant, intense, beautiful and green part of the world. The coastline is amazing, the hinterland is dominated by hills covered in lush tropical rain-forest that includes Queensland's highest mountain, Bartle Frere at 1622m in the Wooroonooran National Park. Agriculturally it's dominated by sugar cane and banana plantations with a fair smattering of papaya as well.
Mt Bartle Frere in the background. Tea plantation to the fore.
The love of tropical fruit.
Complex mesophyll vine forest - Wooroonooran National Park.
Ever since I was a child growing up in England in the 60's I've been fascinated by the tropics - the numerous adventures stories, Tarzan, King Solomon's Mines, of men going off to the colonies to make their fortune. The hardships of heat, humidity and wildlife that eats you, sucks your blood or gives you hideous diseases!. Plenty to engage the growing mind. Then later studying about tropical rainforests and the importance of them in terms of biodiversity and climate.
Staying inland from Innisfail in Jane's bach-like Gecko Cottage that we called 'Jungle Cottage' because of the verdant plant-life and abundant animals. Hear Jane talking about living in the tropics through the audio link at the top of this page.
What Jane did not say about the python that ate her chickens is that it was over 3m long - they can get to 5metres! What with crocodiles in the creeks and snakes in the chicken pen there is a real juxtaposition between raw life and 21st Century human society.
To illustrate this here's a quote from the Innisfail News and Views on Facebook:
“Massive thank you to the Snake Removalists who just took away this 3mtr Brown Taipan that very quickly appeared from nowhere & was heading towards us while I was out visiting today. They arrived & caught it within minutes....awesome service & highly recommend them to anyone needing a snake removed!”
The brown or coastal taipan is the third most venomous snake on the planet and rather than being a reason for not coming here, the proximity to amazing wildlife and their habitats is the reason why you should.