As we travel around Australia, people frequently inquire if we’ve had any encounters with the unique Aussie wildlife. They mostly want to know if we’ve been frightened by the dangerous wildlife that exist. Australia is not only home to marsupials, but there are also some rather large spiders and a significant snake population—many of which are poisonous.
Luckily, we have only had one heart-stopping encounter with a harmless huntsman spider in Tasmania. We are thankful (knock on wood) that we have not had any chance encounters with any snakes or poisonous critters during our stay. However, we’ve seen a lot of unique wildlife during our visit and enjoyed some of the not-so-scary wildlife during our recent stay in Airlie Beach.
Wild Pack of Cockatoos
While working early one morning in his office (the patio), Kevin made friends with the local pack of Cockatoos. These curious and noisy birds are quick to draw attention. They are known for their loud squawking and their willingness to eat nearly anything in sight. One was gnawing on the palm tree; one hanging upside down from the tree; while a third walked around on the gutters. These beautiful but pesky birds even posed for a few pics while curiously peering at Kevin from the rooftops.
While working “remotely” from the front door stoop (see Unique Work Locations) Kevin was able to observe nature first hand. He not only managed to pick up a few bites from the local mossies, but he also observed three leaf bugs enjoying the breeze blowing through their wings from our doorstep. They were a unique insect that we had never seen before.
Perry, the Praying Mantis
One of the most spectacular finds during our stay was a mighty praying mantis that we affectionately named Perry. We met Perry after our day trip to the Whitsunday Islands. I headed out after dark to hang our swimsuits to dry on our patio. As I turned to head back inside, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something large on corner of our table. I beckoned for Kevin. He turned on the light on his way out to the patio. There swaying to the beat of a local band playing at a bar down the street, was Perry. He continued to keep beat as we observed him. I had never seen a praying mantis up close and this one was huge. He was fascinating and kept Kevin entertained for well over a half hour before deciding to seek out a less busy place (the patio next door) to continue enjoying the mild evening.
We have enjoyed our chance encounters with these unique and harmless critters, especially since they follow my laws of nature! I look forward to observing a few more unique animals in their native habitats at the Great Barrier Reef. We have been forewarned about the large snake population present around Cairns…and hope our string of luck does not run out!