Week 1 July 2004: For the next 17 days we are off on a bus tour through Central Queensland to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Armidale Tree Group organized the Gulf and Savannah Tour that will cover 6300 kilometres. Four nights will be spent in motels whilst the remainder will be in tents at various camping areas and caravan parks. There are 37 participants and we will be observing wildlife, plants, geology, fossils, mines and the landscape in general.
Day one was spent travelling as far as Roma, a town in southern Queensland. From the bus we observed a number of Sennas flowering along the roadside.
On the second day we really got down to business. This day was spent walking in Carnarvon National Park. There is a spectacular walk following a creek through a gorge dominated by sandstone cliffs. We visited an area known as the Moss Garden where a small waterfall supports a dazzling array of ferns and mosses. On this walk we managed to observe a Red-backed Wren. White Cedars grow along the creek and at this time of the year their foliage has yellow, autumn colouring. Hibiscus heterophyllus brightened the bushland with bright yellow flowers. Macrozamia moorei and Livistona nitida are two species, with limited distribution, that are common along the gorge track.
Our next visit was the Undara Lava Tubes. There were some interesting plants in this National Park. We saw large numbers of butterflies clustered around a flowering Melaleuca.
The Lava Tubes are a unique feature. About 1900,00 years ago rivers of lava flowed across the landscape from a very active volcano. The surface hardened and allowed the lava to flow until the tubes were drained.
The last day of the week saw the group in Croydon just in time to see the Gulflander train arrive from Normanton.