A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about innisfail

Living on a boat in Innisfail - Far North QLD


Innisfail is a town located in the far north of the state of Queensland., which until 1910 was known as Geraldton. It is the major township of the Cassowary Coast and is well renowned for its sugar and banana industries, as well as for being one of Australia's wettest towns. In March 2006 Innisfail gained worldwide attention when severe Tropical Cyclone Larry passed over causing extensive damage.

There is a beautiful riverfront and marina which became my home for the next couple of weeks.
Grant lives on his boat, called Island Affair
with a poly 'tinny' which made me smile, as tinnies are normally made of... tin!

There was usually someone around or some form of entertainment from the neighbours, like feeding the 2m long grouper that lived under the jetty!

In exchange for food and board, I helped Grant renovate the properties he was working on. the main project was this new wodden stair case
replacing an old metal stair case
Grant had given this one a bit more flair using red gum wood,
and widening It at the bottom
The colour and grain of the wood showed through when we gave it a coat of natural coloured oiloiling2.jpgoiling1.jpg

Always willing to help anyone, Grant was asked by his friend Eric to free a rope that has become tangled int he prop of his boat
the problem was, the marina where it had been moored was known to have crocodiles in!
So, rather than jump in the water, we towed the boat with the tinny to the jetty to be able to stand and cut the rope off without loosing and arm of leg!

And after this excitement we had a well-earned drink at South Johnston while Grant played for his team in the pool competition.
If you look closely, you'll see through the door just how close the sugar cane trains run down the min road, past the pub

I loved living on the boat, especially enjoying the view form the top ddeck
and getting up to watch the sunrise in the morning

One great discovery, was heading down to Ettie Bay
to find a Cassowary
They're pretty big!!!...
The cassowaries are ratites (flightless birds without a keel on their sternum bone) and are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, nearby islands, and north-eastern Australia
There are three extant species. The most common of these, the southern cassowary, is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu.
Cassowaries feed mainly on fruit, although all species are truly omnivorous and will take a range of other plant food including shoots, grass seeds, and fungi in addition to invertebrates and small vertebrates.
This one liked to check every car for possible food!
Cassowaries are very shy,
but when provoked they are capable of inflicting injuries, occasionally fatal, to dogs and people.
All cassowaries are usually shy birds of the deep forest, adept at disappearing long before a human knows they are there. Even the more accessible southern cassowary of the far north Queensland rain forests is not well understood.
A cassowary's three-toed feet have sharp claws. The second toe, the inner one in the medial position, sports a dagger-like claw that is 125 millimetres (5 in) long. This claw is particularly fearsome since cassowaries sometimes kick humans and animals with their enormously powerful legs.
Cassowaries can run at up to 50 km/h (31 mph) through the dense forest.
They can jump up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) and they are good swimmers, crossing wide rivers and swimming in the sea
All three species have horn-like but soft and spongy crests called casques on their heads, up to 18 cm (7 in). These consist of "a keratinous skin over a core of firm, cellular foam-like material".
Several purposes for the casques have been proposed. One possibility is that they are secondary sexual characteristics. Other suggestions include that they are used to batter through underbrush, as a weapon for dominance disputes, or as a tool for pushing aside leaf litter during foraging. The latter three are disputed by biologist Andrew Mack, whose personal observation suggests that the casque amplifies deep sounds.
However, the earlier article by Crome and Moore says that the birds lower their heads when running "full tilt through the vegetation, brushing saplings aside and occasionally careening into small trees. The casque would help protect the skull from such collisions".

Posted by charlystyles 13:59 Archived in Australia Tagged cassowary innisfail Comments (0)