Thursday, August 20, 2009
Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas
Aaron rented a van from Older Car Hire in Cairns. And it was very definitely an older car. But at least all 7 of us could be properly belted in our seats.
Our first stop was the Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas. This was very similar to the wildlife section of the Rainforestation in Kuranda that we had visited the previous week, except larger. There were lots of birds, even a few kookaburras. There are 2 types of kookaburra birds. The most commonly known is the laughing kookaburra. It has a very distinctive call. The other type kookaburra is much less common; we saw one at the Wildlife Dome atop the casino in Cairns. It looks very mean and reminds me of the barking owl that also is native to Australia.
The kids bought kangaroo food and fed the kangaroos and wallabies. Buying the food in the gift shop is a rip-off because there is so much kangaroo food lying all over the grounds that it is just a waste of money to buy more. Elisabeth told us that it doesn't matter about the food on the ground because the kangaroos won't eat off the ground. She says they only eat out of your hand or out of their raised food bowls. She and Zachary fed many of them. The ducks and swans and geese, on the other hand, did eat the kangaroo food off the ground. We discouraged the kids from allowing any of the birds to eat from their hands. Just did not seem like a wise idea to us adults.
We did not recognize 99% of the birds that were in the habitat. Did recognize the large cassowary. How could one forget those huge black birds with the gorgeous blue heads and hard protrusions around their heads. Those are such unusual birds. They grow to 2 meters tall, well over 6-feet, and are well-known for attacking people who stumble into their natural habitat. Sure would not want to run into one of those while walking in the forest. And of course we recognized the saltwater crocodiles. There was one pair of very long-legged birds. One was standing around and the other was sitting on an enormous nest. Not sure which was the male and which was the female as they looked just alike to our uninitiated eyes. One bird that was new to us was a large black and white pelican with a pink beak and pouch.
The most unusual creature that we saw was the tree kangaroo. Now, that is one strange animal! None of us had ever heard of a tree kangaroo. It looked like a cross between a tiny bear and a monkey. Check it out on Wikipedia if you have any interest in learning about this strange animal. It is found in Papua New Guinea and in northern Queensland here in Australia.
Then it was on to Daintree.