Australia 2007 Trip Report - Part 7


Rainbow Beach and Beyond + Trip Summary, Lists, etc.


The next day, we were off to Rainbow Beach for a couple of days up there.  Rainbow Beach is a little resort town located on the Great Sandy National Park.   A large national park area that includes world-heritage site Fraser Island and a large chunk of beach property to the south and west of the Island.  Rainbow beach is slightly south of Fraser Island and an area we had said we wanted to explore after a brief visit there 2 years ago.  Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating on this leg of the trip at all.   Rain was in the forecast on and off over the next 3 days and the forecast was pretty much accurate, we had rain... on and off.  Nothing to write home about and not enough to ruin anything, just enough to be a constant consideration and occasional annoyance.  I think my biggest problem was not the rain but the dreadful lighting conditions that we constantly faced over the next few days making photography somewhat challenging!


On the way out to Rainbow Beach Lynn spotted two huge Wedge-tailed Eagles in a field.  These are Australia's largest raptors.


Wedge-tailed Eagle



Of course, skinks were common in Rainbow Beach but I was a bit disappointed with the variety, this was mostly what we found in and around the area we stayed.


Eastern Striped Skink



Blue-faced Honeyeaters were again common!



Check out the beach, in the summertime down there, on a weekend...  I am looking down toward town and where our hotel was.  It's about a 3 mile walk to the bluff you can see over my left shoulder.  There is NOBODY on the beach...  That's one of the great things about Australia.  If you are willing to go just a bit out of your way and you like solitude or privacy, you can't beat it!



Looking out to the south east from Rainbow Beach.



One of many different crabs scurrying around above the high-tide mark.



And of course, back at the hotel grounds... More Rainbow Lorikeets, Kookaburras, etc.


Rainbow Lorikeet


Laughing Kookaburra


Unknown skipper


Australia Brush Turkey



We hired a 4WD vehicle for the next day to drive down the beach and hopefully explore some inland trails however when we picked up the car in the morning we were informed that you couldn't drive up the beach do to some severe erosion from recent storms and instead had to take an inland route that came out several miles down the beach.  Not a problem but high tide was going to be a factor that day as well, limiting the amount of time we'd have on the beach.  (Cars are regularly lost to the ocean here as tide swings are quite dramatic and swift, the sand is deep and if you get stuck, you'd better have time to dig out or the car will be a total loss!) - FYI #2, insurance is a bit different in Australia on rental cars as well and you are usually committed to a fairly large out of pocked chunk, e.g. $2-4,000 if you damage the car unless you pay extra premiums, etc.  Car rental in Australia is a HUGE expense, more expensive that lodging.  You do not want to loose a car on the beach here so you heed the warnings and there are plenty.


Anyway, back to the story... we picked up the car and were on the 4WD track by 9:00 AM.  We stopped at many places along the way including a place where we took a fairly health hike to a lake.  The trail seemed to be uphill the entire way!  We did spot these cool Woomba Fruit Doves high up in the tree canopy.  FYI, it was raining on and off most of the day making it double difficult to take picutres in this rainforest type setting.


Wompoo Fruit Dove


Wompoo Fruit Dove


It took us about an hour to get to the lake, seen here.



Of course, we saw nary a creature out here in the "wilds" but as soon as we got back to the parking lot where we had left our car... well, the wildlife was waiting for us.  The largest of the three Lace Monitors we'd see here was walking on top of this fallen log until it saw me photographing it.


Lace Monitor


So, up the tree he goes!  This one was pushing 5 perhaps even 6 feet total length...


Lace Monitor


This skink was found "sunning" himself at another roadside stop we made.


Bar-sided Skink - Eulamprus ?


It started to rain more heavily after this and we finally made it down to the beach only to see that the tide was going to prevent us from continuing on down the coast.  Other 4WD vehicles were already moving off the beach with the exception of one that was partially buried in the sand.  There were a couple of dozed people helping to dig it out and it looked like they were going to be OK.  We watched the tide come in a bit and then back-tracked our way to town.  Lynn captured this Australian White Pelican at an inlet at Rainbow beach.  The area has several inland waterways with little boat harbors and the like including the area that this bird was hanging out.


Australian White Pelican


The rest of the day was uneventful, we had a great dinner at a seafood restaurant and the skies opened up for most of the evening, keeping things cool and making it easy to drift off to sleep as the tropical rain beat down on our hotel room roof!


As I have said a few times, the sun comes up EARLY here this time of year!  I was up at the break of dawn and taking a walk around the hotel grounds.  This is looking down the beach from the hotel at around 5:30 AM.  Note that there are a few people on the beach for a change...


A few shots from around the hotel.



Noisy Friarbird


Crested Pigeon




Noisy Friarbird


Lewin's Honeyeater


We stopped in a town called Maryborough on the way back that afternoon and walked around a small park that was in the middle of town.  There was quite a bit of interesting wildlife there including some nice Water Dragons, Ibis, Herons, etc.  Here are some shots from there.



Australian White Ibis




Eastern Water Dragon - Physignathus lesuerii


Water Skink - Eulamprus quoyii


White-faced Heron


Water Skink - Eulamprus quoyii


Eastern Water Dragon - Physignathus lesuerii


Pacific Black Duck


Little Pied Cormorant


Blue-faced Honeyeater (female)


Blue-faced Honeyeater (female)


Back in Hervey Bay...  In Mike's back yard.


Praying Mantis (unkown sp.)



Green Treefrog


The trip was now winding down quickly, tomorrow would be our second to last day and last day in Hervey Bay, we decided to take another quick tour around the area, hitting a few spots that we either didn't get to on a previous trip or wanted to go back to.  I got up again at the crack of dawn and went down to the Botanical Gardens for a quick walk-around before everyone else was up then drove back along the beach before picking up Lynn.   Here are a few shots from early morning.


Rainbow Lorikeet


Red Kangaroo





Sacred Kingfisher




Laughing Kookaburra


Leaden Flycatcher


Olive-backed Oriole


Rainbow Lorikeet




Golden-headed Cisticola




After picking up Lynn and co. we went to a beach that was known for it's sea shells and while Lynn was foraging along the tide lines, I was checking out the sea shore life.  These Soldier crabs were out in force, they form large "armies" as many as 10,000 and march across the sand sifting through the mud for bits of food.  They are unique among crabs as well with their ability to walk straigt ahead while most crabs can only move from side to side.


Soldier Crabs


There were plenty of shore birds along an extensive mud flat.


Bar-tailed Godwit and Plovers


Gull-billed Tern


Pied Oystercatcher


As well as a lot of life along the brush and trees that marked the high tide line.


Red-backed Fairywren


Shinning Bronze-Cuckoo


Shining Bronze-cuckoo


Shining Bronze-cuckoo




Far-eastern Curlew


After leaving the beach we made our way to another, private botanical/tea garden for lunch and a brief walk-about.


Lewin's Honeyeater


Krefft's River Turtle


Black Swan and chicks


Little Black Cormorant


Rainbow Lorikeet


Brown Honeyeater


Pacific Black Duck and River Turtle


Dubious Dtella - Gehyra dubia


The next day we departed Hervey Bay early in the day and drove down to Brisbane, stopping in town for a couple of hours for some shopping before making our last stop of the trip at Mt. Cool-tha, a reserve just outside the city limits.  You can see downtown Brisbane over Lynn's shoulder from the lookout at the top of the mountain.


Lynn with Brisbane in the background


We made a stop at one of the picnic areas and chased around several species as the sun set ending our final day in Australia...


Laughing Kookaburra


Scaly-breasted Lorikeet 


Pale-headed Rosella



We were up early and to the airport the next day and back in Los Angeles at 7:00 A.M. with a load of memories and a ton of pictures!  We ended up with 13,500 photos over the 17 days on the ground.  Here's a list of the Birds, Reptiles and Mammals that we saw along the way.  Can't wait for the next trip and thanks for letting us share this with you!


- Brad & Lynn




Animals Observed:


Note:  I am often asked what a "Life List" is.  A Life List in this case is simply a list of all of the animals you have seen in your life of a particular type, like Birds or Herps.  Some people keep very simple life lists and others keep track even by location, so they may have multiple life lists such as Birds of North America, Birds of Australia, etc.  When you see (LL) next to a name here it means that it is the first time that I have ever seen this animal in the wild hence it is new to my "Life List"



1          Australasian Grebe   

2          Australian Brush-Turkey       

3          Australian Darter       

4          Australian Magpie

5          Australian Pelican  

6          Australian Pratincole    (LL)

7          Australian White Ibis  

8          Australian Wood Duck        

9          Azure Kingfisher      

10        Bar-breasted Honeyeater   (LL)

11        Barn Swallow

12        Bar-shouldered Dove        

13        Bar-tailed Godwit

14        Black Kite   

15        Black Swan  

16        Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

17        Black-fronted Dotterel          

18        Black-necked Stork

19        Black-shouldered Kite         

20        Black-winged Stilt   

21        Blue-faced Honeyeater

22        Blue-winged Kookabarra

23        Brahminy Kite         

24        Brolga Crane (LL)

25        Brown Falcon  (LL)

26        Brown Honeyeater 

27        Bush Thick-knee (LL)

28        Cattle Egret

29        Chestnut-breasted Munia (Manikin)  (LL)

30        Comb-crested Jacana   (LL)

31        Common Bronzewing          

32        Common Sandpiper (LL)

33        Crested Pigeon  

34        Crimson Finch  (LL)

35        Diamond Dove  (LL)

36        Dollarbird  (LL)

37        Double-barred Finch          

38        Dusky Moorehen        

39        Eastern Reef Egret 

40        Eurasian Coot          

41        Far-eastern Curlew

42        Figbird           

43        Forest Kingfisher

44        Galah

45        Glossy Ibis     

46        Golden-headed Cisticola (LL)

47        Gray Butcherbird      

48        Gray Fantail   

49        Gray-crowned Babbler (LL)

50        Gray-headed Honeyeater  (LL)

51        Gray-tailed Tattler (LL)

52        Great Bowerbird (LL)

53        Great Cormorant   

54        Great Egret 

55        Green Pygmy-goose  (LL)

56        Ground Cuckoo-shrike   (LL)

57        Gull-billed Tern          

58        Helmeted Friarbird  

59        House Sparrow        

60        Intermediate Egret 

61        Laughing Kookaburra

62        Leaden Flycatcher (LL)

63        Lemon-bellied Flycatcher  (LL)

64        Lewin's Honeyeater

65        Little Black Cormorant

66        Little Corella (LL)

67        Little Egret     

68        Little Friarbird (LL)

69        Little Pied Cormorant    

70        Little Wattlebird        

71        Long-tailed Finch (LL)

72        Magpie Goose        

73        Magpie Lark

74        Masked Lapwing    

75        Mistletoebird (LL)

76        Noisy Friarbird      

77        Noisy Miner    

78        Northern Fantail   (LL)

79        Northern Rosella       (LL)

80        Olive-backed Oriole  

81        Orange-footed Scrub-fowl 

82        Osprey           

83        Pacific Black Duck 

84        Pacific Golden-plover       

85        Pale Headed Rosella           

86        Partridge Pigeon  (LL)

87        Peaceful Dove         

88        Pheasant Coucal (LL)

89        Pied Butcherbird       

90        Pied Cormorant        

91        Pied Heron  (LL)

92        Pied Oystercatcher  (LL)

93        Plumed Whistling-Duck       

94        Port Lincoln (Australian) Ringneck Parrot  (LL)

95        Purple Swamphen  

96        Radjah Shelduck      

97        Rainbow Bee-eater 

98        Rainbow Lorikeet    

99        Rainbow Pitta (LL)

100      Red-backed Fairywren       

101      Sacred Kingfisher    

102      Red-browed Finch 

102a    Red-collared Lorikeet  (LL)

103      Red-headed Honeyeater  (LL)

104      Red-kneed Dotterel (LL)

105      Red-tailed Black Cockatoo         

106      Red-Winged Parrot

107      Restless Flycatcher  (LL)

108      Rock Pigeon 

109      Royal Spoonbill         

110      Rufous Fantail (LL)

111      Rufous Night-Heron 

112      Rufous Whistler        

113      Rufous-banded Honeyeater (LL)

114      Scaly-breasted Lorikeet (LL)

115      Shining Bronze-cuckoo (LL)

116      Silver Gull     

117      Silver-crowned Friarbird  (LL)

118      Silvereye      

119      Spangled Drongo  (LL)

120      Spectacled Monarch           

121      Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater   (LL)

122      Spotted Turtle-dove

123      Straw-necked Ibis

124      Striated Heron 

125      Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

126      Tawny Grassbird (LL)

127      Torresian Crow

128      Torresian Imperial-Pigeon (LL)

129      Tree Martin    (LL)

130      Varied Triller (LL)

131      Variegated Fairy-wren (LL)

132      Wandering Whistling-duck (LL)

133      Wedge-tailed Eagle

134      Weebill (LL)

135      Welcome Swallow

136      Whimbrel

137      Whiskered Tern  (LL)

138      Whistling Kite

139      White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (LL)

140      White-bellied Sea-eagle

141      White-breasted Woodswallow

142      White-browed Crake  (LL)

143      White-faced Heron 

144      White-gaped Honeyeater (LL)

145      White-plumed Honeyeater 

146      White-throated Needletail (LL)

147      Willy Wagtail 

148      Wompoo Fruit Dove  (LL)

149      Wood Sandpiper (LL)

150      Yellow Oriole

151      Yellow-faced Honeyeater  

152      Yellow-throated Miner (LL)

153      Zebra Finch (LL)

154      Mallard        






1          Common Tree Snake           

2          Olive Python    (LL)

3          Desert Banded Sand Snake           (LL)

4          Narrow-banded Shovel-nosed Snake         (LL)

5          Keelback Water Snake       




6          Gilbert's Dragon (LL)

7          Long-nosed Dragon (LL)

8          Northern Water Dragon  (LL)

9          Two-spined Rainbow Skink (LL)

10        Red-sided Rainbow Skink  (LL)

11        Frilled Lizard  

12        Shining-palmed Snake-eyed Skink  (LL)

13        Callose-palmed Shining Skink      (LL)

14        Central Netted Dragon    (LL)

15        Orange-tailed Finesnout Ctenotus (LL)

16        Leonhardis Ctenotus  (LL)

17        Eastern Striped Skink         

18        Fat-tailed Gecko (LL)

19        Crowned Gecko (LL)

20        Arnhem Dragon         (LL)

21        Two-lined Dragon (LL)

22        Dark Bar-sided Skink (LL)

23        Dubious Dtella          

24        Purplish Dtella  (LL)

25        Asian House Gecko

26        Burton's Snake Lizard          

27        Thorny Devil  (LL)

28        Robust Velvet Gecko           

29        Eastern Water Dragon        

30        Bearded Dragon      

31        Western Hooded Scaly-foot (LL)

32        Beaked Gecko         (LL)

33        Northern Spiny-tailed Gecko (LL)

34        Sand Monitor  (LL)

35        Yellow-spotted Monitor  (LL)

36        Lace Monitor 

37        Water Skink   (LL)

38        Dtella House Gecko 




39        Krefft's River Turtle  




40        Salt Water Crocodile




41        Giant Frog (LL)

42        Long-footed Frog  (LL)

43        Northern Dwarf Treefrog

44        Green Treefrog          

45        Striped Rocket Frog

46        Cane Toad




01        Agile Wallaby        

02        Antelopine Wallaroo       

03        Black Flying Fox     

04        Camel  

05        Dingo

06        Euro

07        Nabarlek 

08        Red Kangaroo











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