We have moved from paradise at Portland Roads to Mareeba

We left paradise at Portland Roads and moved to Mareeba in July 2014.

Mareeba is a lovely country town 50 minutes drive from Cairns, and we have settled there (probably for a few years).

Cate has a job here and Zoe is enjoying her school (there are more students at her school than people in the town of Lockhart!)

Seamus is building websitesselling Mosiguard and Rainforest Rejuvenation online, and at the markets around Mareeba.

We will continue to update this blog (irregularly) as we have many more photos and stories to share.





Beautiful Dragonfly photo by Cate.

The insects are starting to come out now the wet is nearing.


Tonight I was walking boomer and these days I always check for eye shine between the shore and the mangroves
I was just thinking that I am starting to think of the little fellow as our pet croc
then I saw red eye shine, but it was not in the water
It was over under the bushes near the monument
I thought it couldn’t be a croc up on land but it was distinctly 2 very bright eyes,
I wanted to inspect, but my instinct brain was sending adrenalin through me and imagining me getting close enough to see a croc then it snapping at me
Then one of the eyes wobbled and moved away from the other, then took off in flight!!! with a flapping noise
One eye stayed still so i got really close and it was a bird just sitting there on the ground
It let me get quite close before it flew away
Title of this email was going to be the croc that flew – but that gives it away.

Worked out later that it was probably a Spotted Nightjar.


Crocs, birds and tourists fishing

One of our local crocs was seen fishing today. It knows one of the boats and usually comes for a visit when that boat is launched.

A group of tourists were also there attracted by the croc which was attracted by the boat and a school of fish further out.

I saw it catch a fish but wasn’t quick enough to get it on camera.

After the school of fish moved on, the croc cruised over to the point to check us out.

One fisherman decided to keep fishing – we warned him but he reckoned he was pretty safe (I’m still not convinced)

Breakdown on the high seas

We’ve have witnessed 2 breakdowns in the past 2 week – one yacht got towed in about 10 days ago, and earlier the same day, a fishing boat was also towed into our bay.

The fishing boat had a blown up motor, and the yacht a broken rudder.

I took some photos of the yacht getting ready to be towed. The people who owned the yacht had to wait here (not such a bad place to be stuck) for the tow boat to arrive.

Sandy’s Treats: Ice-cream at Portland Roads

Friendly ice-cream service, in Portland Roads, Far North Queensland.

Friendly ice-cream service, in Portland Roads, Far North Queensland.

Sandy’s Treats offers friendly ice-cream service, in Portland Roads, Far North Queensland.

“Our range  of delicious gourmet ice-creams, sold in the bush, will bring a smile to everyone’s dial.
If ice-cream is not your fancy we also have a large of real fruit smoothies and nectars as well as wonderful milkshakes made with your favourite ice-cream flavour or fruit purees.
If a quick bite is what you need our “Shake ‘n’ Dog” will do the trick, and all with a friendly smile.
Ask our  local servers to give you a brief history of the block and the area.”
Food Business License No. FBL129
sandys treats icecream sign

sandys treats icecream sign

sandys treats icecream van

sandys treats icecream van

You can view or print the menu by clicking the image below.

Sandy’s Treats Menu

sandys treats menu

The Lockhart River Art Gang Are Back!

Three of Australia’s leading female Indigenous artists have reunited for an exclusive exhibition called REUNION at Vivien Anderson Gallery, 16 May – 9 June.

Colloquially known as the founding members of the Lockhart River Art Gang, Samantha Hobson (SH), Rosella Namok (RN) and Fiona Omeenyo (FO) are exhibiting their new works in a joint exhibition for the first time in over 10 years.

The art stars talk about their new exhibition and their new works.

From Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Newsletter.

Sunbird frolicking in the rain

Watching a sunbird frolicking in the rain.  Although I try to avoid anthropomorphism, it was hard to not feel that this little bird was having a great deal of fun.

frolicking sunbird

frolicking sunbird

Orange Beetle Dilocrosis balteata

Our neighbour on the hill behind us brought down this strange coloured beetle that he’d found. He’s been here for 20 odd years and has never seen one this colour before.

If anyone knows what this beetle is let us know. We think it’s a Christmas Beetle (Scarabaeidae Rutelinae) but can’t find these colours anywhere in our fieldguides or on the net.

We have now found out the beetle is Dilocrosis balteata. We’re trying to get more info on it.

Jack Hasenpusch from the Australian Insect Farm has very kindly, sent us this:

“Your beetle is Dilocrosis balteata and belongs in the Family Cetoniidae – these are flower beetles and your beetle also likes to eat fruit. I collected some in my garden the other day. I breed them up and supply them to schools for children to rear and breed and learn about insects in the classroom.
D.balteata occurs in Papua New Guinea all the way down the coast to approx Paluma (near Townsville). They like to breed in humus usually in hollow trees .
They are quite common actually but rarely seen , you can find them on blossom of Euodia trees, Eucalypts, Syzigiums etc usually quite high up.
We are doing a revision of this Genus of beetles at the moment but it all takes time.
The Cetoniidae is a large family within Australia and there are some beautiful species you can see on blossom generally in Spring and Summer , some are plain black or brown and others are of the most fluorescent and metallic greens and reds you have ever seen.”

Jack has written, with co-author Paul D Brock,  “The Complete Field Guide to Stick And Leaf Insects Of Australia“. It’s available on the Australian Insect Farm website.


Baby Sunbirds left the nest

Our baby sunbirds left the nest today. I’m assuming both of them left as I only actually saw one go. Both parents were hovering close by the nest, twittering away. The baby cautiously crawled out of the nest, holding on with it’s claws until it’s beak was pointing vertically towards the floor. Then with much twittering from parents, he let go, almost tumbled but then started flying. Incredible to watch. I didn’t have time to video it and only got two photos. I watched him outside for a little while – both parent birds keeping an eye on him. Couldn’t see the other baby, so I suppose it was flying around somewhere.