If you are looking to see some unusual animals on your next adventure to Australia, you should seriously consider adding time for a trip to Heritage Daintree National Park to your itinerary. Comprising the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest in Australia, the World Heritage Daintree National Park Rainforest is an ancient wonderland of flora and fauna.
Australia is known for its unique wildlife and Daintree National Park doesn’t disappoint. Known for its rare and diverse wildlife, the Daintree Rainforest contains 30% of all frog, reptile and marsupial species, 65% of all bat and butterflies, and roughly 18% of all bird species found in Australia.
Some of its more interesting inhabitants include:
Creating a striking figure against dense rainforest foliage, the Cassowary, Australia’s heaviest flightless bird, looks as if it just walked out of a nearby spaceship. Standing tall, with a pointed head, vivid blue neck and drooping red wattles, the Cassowary helps to disperse rainforest seeds while it feeds on small fruit, plants and a range of unfortunate invertebrates.
The Lace Monitor
These chunky, wild looking lizards are adept at running, swimming, burrowing and scaling trees, and are clad in camouflage-like skin. A type of navy seal reptile, the lace monitor is known to aggressively launch into bird nests for a hearty feast, while feeding on insects, reptiles and small animals during its more passive moments.
The Musky Rat-Kangaroo
Drawn towards the creeks and rivers of the rainforest, theses small, dark, hairy marsupials have five toes on their hind foot and move with a type of ‘bunny hop’. Generally a solitary creature, the friendless musky rat-kangaroo hops it way towards the fruits of rainforest trees and small marsupials. It also hangs it hat amongst a bed of dried leaves and ferns at night.
The majestic looking Osprey is a diurnal fish eater that dwells typically near the ocean, but also near any body of water with the potential for a good meal. Possessing unique, avian, fish hunting characteristics, the Osprey has a reversible outer toe, fit for grabbing slippery fish. It also has a short tail, long narrow wings, and five feather-like fingers to give it an atypical airborne appearance.
The Red Eyed Tree Frog
More seldom seen than its relative the Green Tree Frog, the Red Eyed Tree Frog, true to its name, has bright red eyes and a glowing green back, giving it an appearance of ‘otherworldliness’. This nocturnal creature roams the dark forests feasting on moths and other insects. Able to create exceptionally loud noises, these vampiric looking amphibians create a ‘waa-aa…waa-aa’ sound, followed by a soft trill.
Tawny Frogmouth Owl
This nocturnal ‘weak footed’ creature is actually more related to the nightjar than the owl, and can be found in less dense parts of the rainforest. Its plumage is silver-grey, and is streaked and mottled with black and auburn. Creating a deep, soft and continuous ‘oom oom’ sound, this rather clumsy clawed inhabitant is known to fly into car headlights when in pursuit of a good insect.
This post is courtesy of Thala Beach Lodge which is a Port Douglas Eco Resort offering accommodation in close proximity to Daintree National Park.