Australia: The Land Where Time Began
Clump Mountain National Park
What's special?One of the few remaining patches of undisturbed tropical lowland rainforest can be seen in Clump Mountain National Park. Rainforest once grew throughout these coastal lowlands but little remains. These remnants are important habitat for the southern cassowary, a large flightless bird found only in the tropical rainforests of Queensland and New Guinea.
Swamp mahogany and brush box dominate the rainforest canopy and Alexander palms, epiphytes and buttressed tress grow in the rainforest. The migratory buff-breasted paradise-kingfisher nests in termite mounds here in summer and the endangered southern cassowary lives and feeds in the forest. The arenga palm and palm cycad grow towards the summit of Bicton Hill.
This is the traditional land of the Dyiru Aboriginal people. Nearby Bingil Bay was a favourite camping spot and rainforest plants were used to make fish nets, shelters, tools, weapons and medicines.
Bicton Hill, overlooking the mainland and offshore islands, was a ship lookout for the first European settlers, the Cutten Brothers, who grew tropical fruits and other crops around Bingil Bay. They named their property “Bicton” after Bicton Hills in Devonshire, England.
Exploring Clump MountainSee the tropical rainforest at Bicton Hill.
This is a great place for wildlife watching. See echidnas, rainforest skinks and lace monitors (lizards) along the track. Giant white-tailed rats feed on the red seeds of the palm cycad at night from May to June.
Go birdwatching. You might be lucky enough to see a buff-breasted paradise-kingfisher or a cassowary. Cassowaries can be aggressive towards people. Stay well back. Back away slowly holding your backpack in front of you if you feel threatened.
Go spotlighting at night to see the striped possum feeding on beetle larvae, flowers, fruit or the honey of native bees.
Camping is not allowed but there is plenty of accommodation in the Mission Beach area.
WalkingWalk uphill to lookouts over Mission Beach and the offshore islands. Wear a hat and sunscreen. Take drinking water.
Getting thereClump Mountain is on the Bingil Bay Road north of Mission Beach.
|Author: M.H.Monroe Email: email@example.com Sources & Further reading|