‘Salties’ in the Proserpine River
We took a day trip to see crocodiles living wild along the Proserpine River with Whitsunday Crocodile Safari. The tour bus picked us up outside our resort and took us to the Goorganga Wetlands near Proserpine where Steve Watson and his team met us at their campsite base situated close to the banks of the river.
For the first part of the tour we boarded a viewing boat for a cruise along the river to spot some of the estuarine crocodiles or ‘salties’ that live and laze on the muddy banks amongst the mangrove trees. It wasn’t long before the first one came in to view and Steve slowly manoeuvred the boat close in so we could all have a clear view of him lying peacefully along the bank watching us watching him!
We cruised further along the river and saw around 15 more crocodiles, some just stayed watching us while others slid gracefully into the water and disappeared out of sight. Sitting on a branch just above the water we saw 2 young crocodiles measuring about 25cms long that were this years hatchlings.
There are around 150 crocodiles living along the Proserpine River so not the place to go for a cool dip! As well as crocodiles we saw brahminy kites, striated herons, kingfishers and a young sea eagle hunting for food along the river.
On returning to the campsite we enjoyed a delicious BBQ lunch then boarded a tractor-drawn wagon train for a tour of the Goorganga Wetlands. Steve told us how the wetlands were created and described the many trees and plants we passed. He spotted a common tree snake lying on a branch close to us, then noticed 2 more close by, he caught all 3 and put them in a bag so we could all have a good look at them at the end of the tour. We saw many water birds feeding in the pools, black kites flying overhead and a pair of masked lapwings with their young fluffy chicks.
We ended the tour with a cup of bushman’s billy tea and some freshly cooked damper, still warm from the cooking pot, and had the opportunity to hold and examine the colourful tree snakes that Steve had caught. We were slightly nervous about holding them, but we did it and along with others we enjoyed the experience, before Steve released them back into the wild.
It was an excellent day and we thoroughly recommend it.