I’ve been to Queensland in northeastern Australia on at least three separate occasions and spent a great deal of time there. On our last trip to this region, my wife and I flew into Brisbane and drove the entire length of the Queensland coast ending up in Daintree National Park. Queensland’s tropical rainforests and nearby marine habitats harbor an amazing array of wildlife and plants found nowhere else on the planet. You can truly step into another world and it is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. That being said, when it comes to wildlife travel, knowledge is power, and when traveling Down Under, or anywhere else for that matter, it is a good idea to have a working knowledge of the local fauna and flora, or better yet, have someone with you who does. Indeed, there are many types of dangerous wildlife and plants in Australia, which are best to avoid, or if you do encounter them–which I have on many occasions–it is best to know what to do and what not to do.
For example, one of the first things you learn while hiking in the tropical north is to recognize the heart-shaped leaves of the stinging tree, a plant commonly seen in disturbed areas, such as along the sides of trails. North America has its poison ivy and poison oak, but brushing up against a stringing tree could send you to the hospital in excruciating pain. Every part of this plant is covered with small stinging hairs that when they come into contact with the skin introduce a powerful neurotoxin. Once you recognize the plant, it can easily be avoided by staying on the trails, so it does not have to inhibit your sense of adventure. However, awareness is key. Safety is of utmost importance to World Safaris and our knowledgeable guides know the country and the fauna and flora well.
Photo by Michael Hutchins