Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Goin’ troppo (november 08)

If you were wondering... m polichay's gone troppo this past month.

Cooktown in far north queensland, is the northernmost town on the australian mainland. It is just under 2000km from brisbane. Work requires that i deliver up there so i've gone troppo.

On monday the 11th i hied off to FNQ. Took a 2-hour flight to Cairns, then picked up a 4WD hire hilux for a 4-hour drive north to cooktown.
photo on left is a view of Smithfield north of Cairns from a lookout point under the controversial skyrail, going up to Kuranda in the rainforests of the great dividing range.

After kuranda, along a 250km trip we go past mareeba, palmer river, annan gorge and finally cooktown. Rainforests surround the areas around kuranda NW of cairns. Heading westerly towards mareeba on the tablelands the landscape evolves constantly from typical tropical vegetation to also typical open eucalypt forests. From mareeeba northwards is typical open scrubland, very flat and often desolate. The great dividing range runs parallel to the highway on the east and its hills and mountains keep looming but never seem to be reached. A strange sight greets the first-time visitor at lake Mitchell. This body of water seems so incongruous in the midst of often straight long grey tarred roads, brown grass, brown earth and the pale green tops of singed dark-trunked eucalypts. Again the vegetation changes hue on the descent to the coast from the tablelands. Now there are patches of tropical trees and shrubs, which soon become thicker and greener along the low lying coastal plains. The eucalypt forests still predominate until annan gorge on the south of cooktown. Pockets of scrub vegetation intersperse amongst black rocky hills, the biggest of which is black mountain. (was too busy sightseeing that i was near the end of the trip when i thought ofthe camera)

This is Black Mountain south of Cooktown. The hardy scrub vegetation are either reclaiming their original habitat or are still receding and ceding their places to the huge boulders fired and turned black by millennia of volcanic activity.

On the southern outskirts approach to cooktown, the vegetation is now dense tropical rainforests hugging all the landforms from the plains to the hills and to the rivers, coasts and bays. Many of these areas are national park reserves which should stay in their original state for ages to come.

Mt Cook (after the explorer James), is a prime example of a well- preserved natural environment.

So write to your legislators and local officials. Lobby them for more heritage protection especially the ecosystems. World heritage protection areas now serve as major tourist attractions.

let us not wait for them to become museum pieces before we act.

they saved paradise put off a parking lot...
how does joni sing it?
it does always seem to go
you do know what you got and it's gone


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