McElholum road trip - up the Centre 2012 travel blog

Cathedral termite mounds

 

Magnetic termite mounds,

'Lost City"

Florence Falls


Started the day with a talk by the park ranger on "Termites", another feature on which Litchfield is reknowned. 'Magnetic termite" mounds, approx. 1.5 mts high and 1 mt wide but all oriented to the magnetic poles. Different theories on why...possible for thermal regulation or alignment in the flood plain. 'Catherdral termite" mounds, many over 3mts high. The queen of the cathedrals is the longest living insect, known to live for 80years! Both types grass eaters. Wood termites all present, mounds around trees. Hayden was chosen to be 'victim' of termite attack and bravely poked his finger into a mound....Bites not felt but scent left on finger was like a 'musk perfume'...'eau du termite' which does not wash off!! We could go on with more termite facts but.....

Swim at Florence falls, another beautiful rock pool and falls but quite crowded being the weekend. Explored the 'Lost City" for some geology lessons of sandstone faults. The area looks like a ruined civilisation. Then braved the Reynolds track. Advised 4wd only and with snorkel. Guy very keen, Michelle rather reluctant. If get stuck in one of the many river crossings we are equipped to get ourselves out of trouble but we are not supposed to get out of the car because of salt water crocodile infested waters..... Both keen to visit 'Surprise Falls 35km down the corrugated track. Thousands of termite mounds. 3river crossings, 3 creek crossings ....Reynolds River, 50mts wide, 700mm deep, very steep, rutted banks. Made it... Surprise falls, cascading plunge pools, would be lovely to spend a week. But sunset looming.....return drive ahead. Made it back, Michelle, closing eyes and gritting teeth...

Had left camp at 9am, back at 7pm , started dinner.



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