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Cassowary Coast OverviewUpdated: 28-Jun-2013
The Cassowary Coast is an amazingly green Australian region, situated south of Cairns, extending to Cardwell. This stretch of the north Queensland coastline is an environmental showcase featuring lush rainforests, thunderous rivers and spectacular beaches.
The Cassowary Coast is surrounded by state forest that is one of the last habitats of the Cassowary, a large, colourful, flightless bird that is the icon of this region. The cassowary is an essential aspect in spreading the seeds of certain rainforest trees, via their fruit, thus ensuring the tropics stay the same way they have for millions of years.
The Cassowary Coast is a must-see for nature lovers, with rivers and streams providing fantastic fishing, amazing birdlife for birdwatchers and pristine wilderness for bushwalkers.
One of the most prominent natural wonders, visible from most places in the area, are Queensland's highest mountains. The peak of Mount Bartle Frere extends to 1622m. Mt Bellenden Ker is the second highest mountain in Queensland, reaching 1592m and between the two mountains rests a valley full of amazing walks. It's here that you'll encounter many of the region's impressive flora and fauna.
Other attractions of the Cassowary Coast include the amazing beaches. Dotted along the Cassowary Coast are your traditional palm-tree lined areas, to beaches that offer rainforest canopy just beyond the sandline.
The ‘Jewel’ of the Cassowary Coast is Mission Beach, a little hideaway off the main road and enveloped in tropical rainforest. Offshore is the amazing group of islands incorporating the very popular "Dunk Island".
The Cassowary Coast stretches from Cairns to Cardwell, taking in some amazing scenery along the coast including beaches, rainforests, wet tropics, national parks, waterfalls and islands.
This area alone has over 25 tropical islands off its coast, over 12 mainland National Parks, and it is the closest mainland access in Queensland to the Outer Barrier Reef. It encompasses the four shires of Cairns City, Johnstone, Cardwell & Hinchinbrook.
On the Cassowary Coast you will pass through many small townships surrounded by banana and sugarcane farms. Nestled in away from the main highway are golden stretches of beach and quaint holiday villages. Inland from the coast are rainforests, mountains and fresh water swimming holes that are very popular swimming areas and picnic stops.
The natural attractions are easily accessible, just off the highway are places such as the Mulgrave Valley, the Boulders, Josephine Falls, Mt. Bartle Frere, the Palmerston National Park, Mission Beach, the Tully River and Cardwell's Forest Drive.
Etty Bay is home to some Cassowary's. It is a pristine perfect tropical beach. Make sure you pop in and have a look at this tropical paradise. Be very wary when driving around here as Cassowary's are endangered and naturally have no road sense.
The University of Queensland, Australia Eco-Lab is working on a Cassowary-tagging project. http://www.uq.edu.au/eco-lab/cassowary-tagging
In March 2010, the Project Cassowary team (formed by members from UQ, QPWS, CSIRO, Tully Veterinary Surgery, Cairns Airport Veterinary Surgery) attached GPS dataloggers with VHF transmitters to five cassowaries. The birds were firstly anaethetised and the GPS unit attached around the tibia and fibula of the right leg. The whole process took less than 30 minutes. The units were attached by a canvas cuff with a 6mm neoprene inner sheath, providing a secure attachment with no irritation or harm to the cassowary. The dataloggers will record the location of each bird every 30 minutes and provide vital information into how cassowaries utilise different habitats within their home range.
These cassowaries inhabit the area around Etty Bay Road Conservation Park and Moresbay Range National Park, and were named by local residents. This website will soon feature detailed images of their movement patterns.
Please help us to record cassowary sightings throughout their geographcial range.
Log a cassowary sighting into our database by clicking here.
The published findings from this research can be downloaded from here