Cracow, social capital of Queensland

Last December I assisted someone with a venomous snake handling course for the Cracow Gold Mine. We stayed at the Cracow Pub, owned by Fred Brophy.

Green tree frog (Litoria caerulea)
A green tree frog (Litoria caerulea) found in a post out the back of the Cracow Pub.

The first night we went out driving was quite unproductive. We drove about 120km in the first night, only managing to find one spotted python (Antaresia maculosa) about 1km out of town.

Spotted python (Antaresia maculosa)
A spotted python (Antaresia maculosa) that was spotted on the road.

As there was nothing much on the road we went to the local tip to have a poke around. We found a Bynoe’s gecko (Heteronotia binoei) and some frogs.

Stoney creek frog (Litoria wilcoxi)
Stoney creek frog (Litoria wilcoxi) found near a creek.

Spotted marsh frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis)
Spotted marsh frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) found at the local dump.

We went back to the pub, where we found a Burton’s legless lizard (Lialis burtonis) at the back stairs.

Burton's legless lizard (Lialis burtonis)
Burton’s legless lizard (Lialis burtonis) found at the back stairs of the Cracow Pub.

Burton's legless lizard (Lialis burtonis)
Close up of a Burton’s legless lizard’s head.

We conducted the course during the day, and went critter hunting at night. We both wanted to find rough-throated leaf-tailed geckos (Saltuarius salebrosus), so we were keeping our eyes out for suitable habitat.

Rocky outcrop
We saw a rocky outcrop just over the road from the mine site. We thought it looked like good gecko habitat. We were right.

Rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius salebrosus)
Rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius salebrosus). Their very effective camouflage makes photographing them quite difficult.

Rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius salebrosus)
Rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius salebrosus). They wave their tails when they feel threatened. Like all geckos, they can drop, and subsequently regrow, their tail.

Rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius salebrosus)
Rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius salebrosus). He’s licking the eye on the other side of his head.

Rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius salebrosus)
Front view of a rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius salebrosus).

The effective camouflage of leaf-tailed geckos (Saltuarius spp.) makes photographing them quite difficult. It also makes seeing them quite difficult, but it’s possible to do so once you get your eye in. We ended up finding five leaf tails on a single rock face.

Thick-tailed gecko (Underwoodisaurus milii)
A thick-tailed gecko (Underwoodisaurus milii) found on a rocky outcrop.

On our last night we went out driving again.

Pink-tongued skink (Cyclodomorphus gerrardii)
A pink-tongued skink (Cyclodomorphus gerrardii) we found in a very dry area. Pink tongues are normally found in moist environments. Obviously no one told this guy that…

We then stopped at a bridge to have a look on the wooden structure. We found a couple of geckos.

Dubious dtella (Gehyra dubia)
Dubious dtella (Gehyra dubia)

Dubious dtella (Gehyra dubia)
Dubious dtella (Gehyra dubia) found on a wooden bridge.

Southern spotted velvet gecko (Oedura tryoni)
Southern spotted velvet gecko (Oedura tryoni) found running around on a wooden bridge.

We packed up on Saturday and drove back to Brisbane. I’ve decided that I’m going to get a job in a mine. Workers get free, unlimited food. Including ice cream. Unlimited ice cream. I was in heaven.

About Stewart Macdonald

I'm a wildlife ecologist living and working in Queensland, Australia. I spend most of my time in the bush finding and photographing wildlife.
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5 Responses to Cracow, social capital of Queensland

  1. Warren says:

    I believe this is not your first comment about unlimited ice cream!

  2. Stewart says:

    Hi Warren,

    I like ice cream. A lot.

    Stewart

  3. DenisWilson says:

    Great Geckoes and other creatures.
    Some people can just “spot” Snakes and Lizards. Its a great talent.
    Excellent photos. Your point about difficulty focusing on a perfectly camouflaged animal is dead right.
    Denis

  4. This is more like the green tree frog of Northern QLD Australia.

  5. Stewart says:

    Hi Schmicael,

    Are you thinking of the white-lipped tree frog (Litoria infrafrenata) of north Queensland?

    Stewart