Sunday, December 6, 2009

Animals We Encountered in Innes and Yorke Peninsula

On our trip around Yorke Peninsula we encountered a lot more animals than we expected to... or, we forgot that we would, being silly city people.

1. Dolphins.
(The beach where we saw the dolphins)
We saw dolphins while on the beach where the Ethel Wreck is, in the Innes National Park at the foot of the leg of the Yorke Peninsula (see the map in my previous entry). There was a beautiful beach with only a few footprints on it on part of the beach, a rusting skeleton of an Edwardian wrecked ship, waves crashing onto the beach, high cliffs that we were about to go down via a very steep staircase, and then we saw the fins near the shoreline. My boyfriend later saw them jumping. We believe there were four out there.

2. Kangaroos
We saw kangaroos when we were out walking. They'd usually stand and stare at us. We were going home from trying to call my parents on the solar powered Telstra public phone in Pondalowie campground in Innes (all other phone lines were dead. And this one wasn't good! It cut out.). It was dark, and only the light of the moon was available. I had forgotten how bright the moon can be at night! I am a bit too used to light pollution I believe. We'd just been talking about how we're the only ones in the campsite (a huge one built for 50 camp sites) and how there was no way to get help since all the phones were down, if there was a problem. We then saw a big shadowy figure by the path and thought that our fears were becoming reality! My boyfriend shone the torch, after stopping me from walking on and freaking me out in the process. It was a HUGE male kangaroo. We turned the light off and hurried past so we wouldn't annoy it. There were two female kangaroos in the campsite near to us too that night.

3. Tammar Wallaby
(picture from OzAnimals)

Tammar wallabies were extinct in Australia, until strangely they found some in New Zealand. New Zealand has no kangaroos naturally (or other mammals), but someone had taken some of these wallabies over in the past and they'd been living quite happily there. They're being reintroduced into Australia, starting with Innes National Park. I only saw a flash of it in the scrub but my boyfriend insisted that it was one. It was certainly a wallaby with similar colouring.

4. Big Black Snake
Strangely enough, we didn't get a photo of this one.

This one is the hugely scary one. My heart still beats thinking about it!
The stories are true folks, there are big black scary snakes in Australia!
We were walking along a path in the abandoned town of Inneston in Innes National Park. Actually just out of it, on another walk that went up the old railway tracks (an official walk). We were carrying sticks waving them around to get rid of the horrible flies, and to ward off spider webs in front of us as it was a narrow path. Suddenly my boyfriend grabs me and says stop. In front of us, only 2 metres away, was a big black snake that was rising up ready to strike. My first instinct was to grip my stick tighter to defend myself, but then fear kicked in and we both ran like hell the other way. We needed lots of hugs after that! We managed to get through a scrubless area to the dirt road just about 5 metres away that is for cars, and then we stomped our way through the next two kilometres to get back to our car, and made as many vibrations as possible.

My heart was still beating hard hours later. But we were joking that the snake was probably all 'yeah, I scared them off! I didn't even have to bite them, they ran away, they were so scared of me! Scary stupid humans!!'

5. Ticks

(This Is Actual Size)
We noticed these weird flat bodied spiders almost as soon as we were setting up our tent. There were thousands of them all over the bush. I looked a bit closer and suspected they were ticks. We kept finding them on us when we slept, or crawling up our pant legs. They were like little contortionists. You'd squish them and their body would just contract and not squish! Neither of us were bitten, but the very fact that they were everywhere was disturbing and shudder worthy. We looked it up when we had the internet again and confirmed yes, they were ticks. BIG ticks. And some came back home with us in our tent! According to Dad they're there all year round in Innes.

6. Flies

Every. Where. (In Innes. It wasn't bad in Port Vincent and surrounding area because of the crazy wind on those days, or in the Copper Triangle area for some reason... sea breezes?)
We'd have about 10 seconds outside before they'd find us. I'm incredibly thankful that there aren't many flies in Adelaide. I really REALLY wanted one of those cork hats, or to cover myself in a veil made of tulle to keep them off me.

7. Seagulls and Pigeons and other birds

We found these pretty hilarious! We made 'friends' with two of them in Innes. (This photo is of 'Not Gimpy'. And we laughed at the pigeons living in the old buildings in the copper triangle.
We saw parrots, tiny finches, all sorts of others as well.

8. Lizard
In Innes we saw a lizard. I love lizards. Its head is behind that stick a bit.

9. Emu and Chicks
We saw a Dad emu (the Dads are the ones that raise the chicks) and three teenage looking emu chicks about half his size.

This confirms to me that yes, Australia is as dangerous and wonderful as 'they' say it is. So, bring your repellent, crash around in the bush, watch out on oceans and bush, and bring a camera!

Is it better to crash around in the bush and scare off snakes, or walk quietly and see cuter animals?


  1. Where I live we get ticks too. Other than the ticks and really huge snake it seems almost magical.

  2. great pics! and yep, ticks in Austrailia look the same as here. lol. that lizard looks pretty great though.


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