Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Queensland Road Trip 2: Savannah & Undara - Squatter Pigeon, Two Rock Wallabies & Bats

Allied Rock-Wallaby
Following our overnight stay at Belyando Crossing (see following post) we headed north to Charters Towers for a two night stay in a caravan park. Apart from a fine collection of nicely maintained historic buildings, the highlight here is Tower Hill.

Allied Rock-Wallaby
The summit of the lookout over the town is home to a thriving population of Allied Rock-Wallabies. The animals are readily found early in the morning around the carpark; it's gratifying indeed to see a population of rock-wallabies doing well in the centre of an urban area.

Camping at Greenvale
We continued north for an overnight stay in the delightful caravan park in the strange township of Greenvale. The nickel mine here for Clive Palmer's refinery on the coast 200km distant closed long ago (the mineral has been imported since from New Caledonia) but sporting and other facilities in what is essentially a ghost town are maintained. Tree change? A 3-bedroom home can be had for $78,000.

Savannah at Undara
Onwards further north to Undara Volcanic National Park. The park protects extensive tracts of savannah woodland and basaltic rocky outcrops, along with spectacular lava tubes - the longest of their kind in the world.

Mareeba Rock-Wallaby
The downside to this place is that you pay an arm and a leg for everything - including entry to the park and lava tubes, and camping - because Queensland Parks and Wildlife have leased all tourist operations to private entrepreneurs. National parks are supposed to be for the people, not for wealthy graziers (the former leaseholders of the park) to exploit commercially.

Undara Lava Tube
Close to the camp I found several Mareeba Rock-Wallabies, a close relative of the Allied species of Charters Towers.

Pretty-face Wallabies


Macropods were in abundance in the park including Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Wallaroo and Pretty-face Wallaby.

Eastern Horseshoe Bat
During a lava tube inspection we saw several Eastern Horseshoe Bats hanging from the cave ceilings.

Squatter Pigeon
Squatter Pigeon
Squatter Pigeon is always a nice bird to encounter. They appeared to be quite common in the park. Diamond Doves were also present.

Australian Hobby

Great Bowerbird 
Other birds about included Australian Hobby and Great Bowerbird. A full list of species seen in the park can be found here.

Tawny Frogmouth
While plenty of Tawny Frogmouths and Southern Boobooks were about the camp.

Southern Boobook
Plus a skink to be ID when I get home.


  1. Incredible raptor life out there, and that bat was awesome! Keep posting!

  2. Greg, just wondering ... do you have a field guide on mammals of Australia. I'm always amazed at how you know the names to all our Kangaroos and Wallabies, bats etc. Jude