Fantastic Beasts

Sometimes you see them

Bronwen Scott
3 min readJul 9, 2022
Warning sign at Lake Eacham, Atherton Tablelands, FNQ. © Bronwen Scott.

Some time ago — I’m not sure when because the years roll into each other — a Freshwater Crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni) appeared in Lake Eacham (yidyam) on the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland. It probably didn’t make its own way there. Although Freshies are found all across tropical Australia, they are not common in upland areas where the temperature gets quite low mid-year. Look, no one is pointing fingers, but it is likely that one minute that croc was snoozing in a warm billabong surrounded by waterlilies, and the next…splash! This water is bloody nippy.

In all my years of visiting Lake Eacham*, I had never seen the croc. I was suspicious of the story. It’s the sort of thing that people say along with claims that the lake is bottomless** or that it is connected to the diatreme at Mount Hypipamee by a submerged tunnel***.

Another view from the turtle platform, Lake Eacham. © Bronwen Scott

Last Saturday, I was at the lake with a group of bird-watchers and nature-lovers. The sky was overcast, but at least the rain had paused for a few hours. We were standing on the viewing platform, where people and turtles gather to stare at each other — one party in wonder and the other in hope of dropped food. I was holding…

--

--

Bronwen Scott

Zoologist, writer, artist, museum fan, enjoying life in the tropical rainforest of Far North Queensland. She/her. Website: bronwenscott.com