Australia, Musings, Travel

Custodians of Regional Stories

Queensland Roadtrip Part 7

This is not about a particular section of Far North Queensland; it’s about a small square footage which is situated in strategic places from small towns in the outback to cities.  It’s about local people sharing local highlights. Who with vast amounts of enthusiasm will find out what you are interested in then will send you off in the right direction to learn more about what drives their passion.

These places are called Information Centres.

We frequented every single one of our last trip to Australia.  On the odd occasion, there was a small tendency to misrepresent what was actually in some places.  Though this was differently not the norm as what most sites advertised was really worth the time and effort to explore.

So, which ones stood out the most?  For us, the experiences where we had the opportunity to have the most conversations with local folk.

Take, for example, our desire to “meet” a crocodile.  Okay, not on the wishlist of most, it was on ours.  We shared this information with one of those enthusiastic people at the Information centre who in turn told us about a chap and his relationship with a local “character” who lives not far from his house by the river which he shares with his wife.  We never met his wife, though we did meet him and unfortunately not the crocodile.

What we received were a few good stories and a photograph.

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The Gentleman and a resident Crocodile

This respect for a native reptile started way back when he was a young lad, around 18.  He worked as a cane cutter in the local cane industry.  This clearance was achieved by a very long stick and walking between the cane stalks.  A dangerous job on many levels as you can imagine.  The dust from the rat faeces was to put a stop to that line of work, and he then discovered another position within the sugar industry that was more suitable and healthier.

Over the last few years, this gentleman developed a fascination and respect for all wildlife and more so with one particular crocodile who has decided that a spot right by the house by the river would just suit him right down to those muddy waters.

One week, road workers were working right above the river’s edge.  This croc soon learnt of their daily activities and would place himself right below where they were working.  Was this lazy calculating reptile waiting for one worker to lose his grip on that piece of terra firma?  Who knows?

To read more stories of our FNQ roadtrip, click happily on the links below:

Queensland Roadtrip Pt 1 – Cairns to Port Douglas

Queensland Roadtrip Pt 2 – The Daintree Rainforest

Queensland Roadtrip Pt 3 – Cooktown

Have you been to Yungaburra?

Hiking in Porcupine Gorge National Park

Blissful days in Ball Bay

40 thoughts on “Custodians of Regional Stories”

  1. Love the story about the cunning Croc 🙂 Although I’m a lover of all earths creatures, I’d say crocs and Gators aren’t on my favourite list! I’ve seen a few Gators while I lived in Florida for a few years, came across one while playing golf once, it popped up out of one of the lakes on the course, that was a scary afternoon I can tell ya! Crocs are much bigger I believe. Information Centres are very useful places 🙂

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  2. So the crocs have more intelligence than they are given credit for? Interesting about the canecutters and the faecal dust. – I assume it was a health concern for the worker’s lungs? I had an old relative who did this line of work and he died relatively young, so that sparked my interest.
    I concur with you about the information centres. Great way to find out local knowledge.

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    1. The good old crocodile is calculating which it needs to be due to its laziness. Most animals are more intelligent than us humans think they are. Yes, the men had trouble with their lungs and the gentleman concerned was hospitalised for a few weeks when he was younger due to inhalation of the dust.

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  3. My husband and I love Visitor Information Centers! They are usually staffed by friendly, knowledgeable, welcoming people who are eager to share their information. One center we visited as we entered the state of Missouri even served us freshly baked cookies… it doesn’t get better than that! I’m sorry you missed your crocodile.

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  4. Thanks, Suzanne, for the delightful story about the Crocodile guy. It reminds me that I should try my best to visit the visitor centers as I travel, they certainly enhance my experience!

    ~Allison

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    1. He was a very interesting character and what better way to learn the history of the area via a 80+ person who has seen so many changes. Not to mention his knowledge on reptiles.

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  5. I’m not sure I’d be in any hurry to meet a crocodile Suzanne – they seem to be one of those creatures (like cockroaches) that have survived through thick and thin – by cunning and resilience (and eating the occasional unwary tourist!) Nice that you got to meet an interesting bloke instead 🙂
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM ☺️

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    1. Agreed Leanne I do think the crocodile is very much like the cockroaches. Unfortunately, us humans don’t treat them with respect and head into their terriority thinking that it is alright to do so. Most deaths associated with crocs are due to stupidity and not abiding by local rules. Swimming at dawn/dusk or at nightime and even perhaps trying to provoke one with a stick for a better selfie. Yes, that actually happensed so we are told. Just like that crocodile will no doubt be put down after one or more stupid actions by humans such as fishing right by the water after being told that there was a resident crocodile. When we were leaving a group of drunk revellers came and started throwing sticks down at the water.
      Sad to see such disregard for wildlife. Those incidences saddened the gentleman who shared his stories with us.

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  6. Good ‘ol Information Centres – always worth popping in to. I’m glad you’re enjoying your trip around Far North Queensland. I live in South East Queensland (Brisbane) but have been to FNQ many times and I’ve seen many crocodiles. There’s a really great river train trip you can do at Mossman called Daintree Rainforest Rivertrains. You’ll see plenty of crocs on that and it’s a fabulous outing. it’s been a long time since I’ve done it though so it’s probably changed a bit but I remember loving it! xo

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    1. Couldn’t agree more, Eilene. What we loved is that the gentleman had a collection of photos of which we given one. Very novel and one that I will keep. It was so interesting chatting to him about the development of the area and his old mate, Mr C.

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          1. No, don’t do that Anabel as you aren’t alone in making mistakes via the phone. I ignore mistakes now as I can usually tell if the sender is doing it via their phone 🙂

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            1. Indeed! I can make typos everywhere, or fail to notice incorrect auto “correction”. The mistake unique to the phone, because the screen is so small to navigate, is making comments in the wrong place, ie not in the general reply box but as a reply to some other commenter who probably wonders what on earth my comment has to do with theirs!

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    1. We thought it would be a bit of adventure to view a local resident crocodile from a distance. The gentleman concerned spoke very fondly of it though still had a healthy respect for it, thank goodness.

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