Cape Hillsborough: A Walk with Butterflies

posted in: Queensland

The morning we went to Cape Hillsborough to watch the sunrise we also stopped at the Diversity Boardwalk.  I had read it was a short walk and worth doing, but we might not have stopped if it weren’t for the butterflies.  We were sleepily happily driving along, wondering about all the mangroves we were seeing,  and suddenly there were butterflies everywhere.  This was an easy walk, about 1.2km, a forty-minute loop through woodland, mangroves, and eucalypts.  The first section had a lovely boardwalk. Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Many wonderful things to see… Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes?Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? And then there were butterflies!  There’s just something special in being surrounded by so many wild butterflies.  It’s one thing to see them in a butterfly sanctuary, quite another to see them in the wild.  Pictures don’t portray the number of them, they only come out as dark specks in the photo. Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Then we came across something we hadn’t seen before: shell midden from the Yuibera people that had once inhabited the land.  We paused and discussed and have mentioned it a few times since then. Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Honestly, if there hadn’t been a sign there I would have been wondering what all these shells were doing there!  (An archaeologist I am not.) Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? C’mon, mum.  You should pick me up now.  I’m done with this nature walk in the morning thing. Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? We were fascinated by these spider webs.  See that rolled up leaf?  The spider was in the leaf, if you look carefully you can see him poking out the end in this picture.  It’s called a leaf-curling spider.  He pokes his legs out to touch the web so he can feel any vibrations, but the leaf protects him from any prey.  We were trying to imagine the process of the spider getting the leaf into his web.  Imagine him dragging it into place and using his silk to curl it up just right.  So amazing.  These spiders are common in eastern Australia and were in abundance on this walk. Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? More butterflies.  So many fluttering around but it was actually hard to get a picture.  We found this one sunning himself. Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? I believe it’s a blue tiger.  What an awesome name for a butterfly! Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? One of us may have moved this fallen cattail further along the trail than we should have.  It ended up in a part of the trail where it obviously didn’t belong. Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? We were lucky to find this butterfly wing on the trail.  With so many around you’d think we would have seen more, but they are so very delicate. Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes?Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? They think they look like they are holding the sign up.  This is a new thing they’ve been doing.  We’ll have to work on it. 😉 Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? More pretty things to see. Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes?Cape Hillsborough NP | How Many More Minutes? In the end we survived this 40-minute or so walk, even after our already eventful morning.  We’d set out thinking we’d just do the boardwalk section at the beginning since we’d gotten up so early but ended up doing the whole thing.  It was quite fascinating, the landscape changed so much along the trail, and I’ll never forget some of the sights we saw on this walk!

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