Wet Tropics of Northern Queensland, Australia
Part 9: Granite Gorge
Granite Gorge is a privately-owned park whose main attraction is its very tame Rock Wallabies.
Unlike most macropods, Rock Wallabies form pair-bonds that can last as long as 4 years and frequent bouts of mutual grooming help to strengthen the pair-bond.
As their name suggests, Rock Wallabies live in rocky habitats and their agility among the boulders is astounding, having no problem with scaling near vertical cliffs and sloping tree trunks.
Their long tail is less thickened at the base than in other wallabies and kangaroos and it is used more for balance than support.
Rock Wallabies are usually mostly nocturnal but the population at Granite Gorge are active throughout the day to take advantage of the tourists who feed them with food pellets supplied at the reception centre.
At Granite Gorge, Squatter Pigeons are almost as tame as the wallabies and will often come very close to where you are sitting.
Squatter Pigeon is an uncommon pigeon that is found in a range of drier woodlands and grassy habitats away from the high-rainfall areas, but they usually never stray far from a water source.
There are several active bowers of the Great Bowerbird in the reserve. These beautifully constructed, woven structures are usually decorated with carefully arranged piles of white plastic and other white objects the bird has collected from the surrounding area or stolen from another bowerbird's bower. The bower acts as a display arena and its sole purpose is to attract females. Once mating has occurred the female will depart, build her nest and raise the young on her own.
If you take the walk up to the "dinosaur footprints" be prepared for some major scrambling as it involves some serious rock-hopping! After having made the effort myself, I am not sure it was worth it as I seriously doubt the authenticity of these "footprints". I'm not an expert but to my untrained eye they just looked like erosion hollows.
Since getting home I have done several web searches and have so far been unable to find a single mention of these "footprints" from any reputable sources.
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