Saturday, 3 March 2012

Myall Lakes & river trip

Not too far from us is NSW's largest coastal fresh/brackish water lake system encompassed within the Myall Lakes national park. Covering over 10000 hectares and listed as a wetland of international significance it is one of the wonderful natural assets within our region. Last weekend a number of members of our local aquatic club went on our 4th annual trip from the top of the system at the tip of Myall Lake through the other lakes and into the Myall river travelling down to the town near where the river flows into Port Stephens. Our group consisted of some kayakers, sail/motor and motor boats even one steam powered boat travelling at a leisurely speed so the scenery along the way can be enjoyed. The total distance is some 60+km and we incorporate two overnight camps along the way where you can get close to the wildlife, savour campfire cooking and take in the sunsets. 

Kookaburra hoping to get BBQ dinner

The steamboat gets underway
A patch of waterlilies calls for a photo stop

Paddling on the way down didn't give me much of a chance to take photos particularly when we were heading down the river all the recent rain had added a reasonable flow downstream (made for good paddling). Arriving at Tea Gardens we get to have a hot shower, great fish and chips for dinner and a comfortable bed ready for the return trip. This is the easy part as the kayak is towed behind for the journey up river and I get a chance to get photos of the bird life along the way. 

A pair of White-breasted sea eagles greet us as we enter the river; sighted 7 on the way back.  
A Darter or Snake-bird soaks up the sun
one of the many pair of swans along the river's edge or feeding in the shallow lakes.
Whistling Kites were numerous but difficult to get a decent photo.
At our final campsite and the Black Ducks are used to getting fed or picking up scraps; so wandering around your feet when dinner is being prepared.
 Our last morning and awoken by a Dingo howling, right in the midst of our camp site, not an unusual occurrence, as irresponsible campers are prone to feed them or leave food out for them to scavenge.
Unlike the ones that I see at home this one did not move far away and just trotted ahead as I move to get a photo. Content to move along and spray his territory as he went, then lie down; get up and move on as I got closer.( DNA testing of dingos in this area place them at 70 to80% pure, domestic dog; the balance)

A male Orchard Butterfly at the spot where I photographed the Dingo
A large Lace Monitor knows where it is safe to sleep out of danger from the Dingoes


  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip. Some great photos too - nice to get so close to wildlife. The Orchard butterfly is beautiful.

  2. yes, really enjoyed ourselves and the wildlife is something special. The orchard butterflies are quite numerous probably due to the citrus in backyards and farms and one of the most common seen in our area. They are one of the larger butterflies so are very noticable in flight or at rest.