The reason that we went to Airlie Beach for a night is that it took us half way to Eungella – our actual destination. (You say Young-guell-a with a hard g sound).

Eungella sits on an escarpment at the top of a hill, overlooking an amazing valley. You can see the township to the left of this photo.


The road to get up there is four and a half kilometres of winding and twisting, hairpin turns and cliff face drops. One of the many things which makes me anxious in this life is driving on hills. I’m always exhausted when we reach the top. I wonder what on earth made the first person decide it would be a good place to live. Why is it necessary to live there when there are much less stressful places at the bottom of the hill.

There is a building at the top that is called the Eugella Chalet. It was built in 1934. People have been getting up and down that winding road for a very long time. Logging and dairy farms would have been industries that employed people in those early years. Now a lot of the area is national park. People come here to walk through the rainforest and to see views like this.


This is the reason that we came here:


To sit very quietly beside a normally calm creek which is rushing with water following recent flooding rains.


If you sit there long enough

and you are very quiet

and very patient

you will see this


A platypus. In the wild. Feeding in the early evening.

These creatures are notoriously shy and difficult to see in the wild. Every time I have been to Eungella I have seen one, without fail. We sat and watched it for almost two hours. Coming to the surface to breathe, then ducking under the water to feed in the mud at the bottom of the creek. All the while thinking how very lucky we were.



Don’t think for a single moment that I was CAMPING! HA! There is quite a nice mountain lodge within walking distance of the creek. I was sleeping in a queen sized bed, not a tent.


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26 responses to “Eungella

  1. soozadoo

    That platypus was a little happy for my cup.

  2. twolimeleaves

    A platypus is a little happy for EVERYONE’S cups, Suss.
    And I am so pleased to see that you are a Woman of Standards, Tracey. We Women of Standards don’t do camping. Even when a platypus is involved.

  3. I have seen a platypus in the wild once when i was about 9 – i still remember how amazing it was!! You lucky lucky thing!!

  4. M

    How fabulous to see a Platypus in the wild. I’ve only seen them in captivity.

    I remember only recently Dad coming over east and on seeing one at the zoo saying how he was surprised at how small it was. I guess they are so much a part of our folklore that we assign a larger size to them than they really are.

    Or perhaps its just us ex-pat West Aussies that do that…

  5. awesome. I’m green. I’ve never even seen a koala in the wild (which is stupid given I grew up a bushie!) let alone a platypus.

  6. Peta

    Even I, who hate nature, love a platypus.

    I think when God got to the end of making all the animals He had bits left over and thought, stuff it, I’m God, I’ll just put them together and voila – it’s a platypus.

    Kind of like buying a lot of stuff from IKEA and just shoving together the bits you always have left over.

  7. Ha! I love Peta’s idea. Have they ever decided which animal group the lovely platypus belongs to?

    We don’t have many unusual creatures here. Except perhaps the armadillo. Which is an ugly, grey prehistoric looking walking helmet. And they destroy your yard and eat your plants.

  8. Magnificent! And fie on horrid mountain roads with hairpin curves.

  9. Wow! A platypus in the wild! That sure is something to see. How lucky.

    And camping? It’s the reason hotels were invented.

  10. Beautiful! Such a lovely part of the world, thank you for giving me a little peek and tossing in a platypus to boot!!very very special!

  11. I’m very jealous! The only Australian animals I haven’t seen in the wild are Platypus and Koala!

    I figure that one day, in this urban sprawl I live in, a Koala will make a home for itself in the gumtree in my front yard (yeah, right!) but a Platypus? Less likely. At least in the tree that is…

  12. A platypus is an egg-laying, milk producing monotreme. One of only two monotremes in the world.

  13. I would love to see a platypus in the wild.

    I recalll going to Eungella years ago when I was visiting my aunt in Mackay. I loved it. I must go back.

    The photos are beautiful Tracey.

  14. I’ve never seen a platypus or a koala in the wild either. How very special. Great photos.

    I used to drive from Wollongong to Canberra every weekend over the Macquarie Pass and I still never got used to the hairpin bends.

  15. Aunty Evil, you might regret having a koala move in – they’re noisy buggers at times, and you STILL might not see one. I used to stay in a van at my folks’ place, parked right under a tree inhabited by at least one (apparently invisible) koala. The first time I heard one of the bloody things give its mating call right overhead I just about needed the brown undies, and there was no way in hell I was going outside to find out what it was. I had *no idea* they made that noise, it’s like there’s a very irate feral pig suspended overhead.

  16. I’ve never seen a platypus and maybe have seen a koala bear, but that’s a real maybe.

    The photos are lovely! Glad to hear that you have remained true to yourself and determined to have access to a proper bed for a proper sleep despite visiting the wild!

  17. Oh my goodness. That (honestly) took my breath away. How fabulous, especially with Melodie being able to spot one in the wild too. Not very many people can say they’ve seen a real living platypus in the wild!!! Amamzing.

    I don’t camp either. Uh-uh.

  18. Tracey what a beautiful place! I have always wanted to see this beautiful part of our country! Something always happens and hence I have not yet made it. Thanks for stopping by and noticing my sweet daughters quilt. I have lurked here in the last couple of days – coming over from Kirsten. I hope your family are doing well. Nice to ‘meet’ you.

  19. h&b

    WOW !

    That is *awesome* !!

    What great experiences you’re providing for the exchange student !


  20. soozadoo

    Koalas smell bad too. Like an old carpet that is mouldy and pissy.

  21. Wow! A real life Playpus.
    Best of all, a real life Queen size Bed!!
    I hate camping.

  22. Wow! I feel as though I have almost seen a Platypus in the wild. Thank you!
    (And I am with you about camping.

  23. ashyinfrance

    The French love koalas. I arrived and straight away it was oh wow they’re so cute. The stink so bad and scratch. Looks don’t account for all.

    Wait you mean you didn’t camp? What that’s everytime we’ve ever gone anywhere and you didn’t camp?

  24. So gorgeous, Tracey! What a beautiful part of the world you live in!

  25. Pingback: Playing Favourites « Peppermint Patcher

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