I grew up in Sydney but fell in love with North Queensland and moved here over 20 years ago. I have been working on the Daintree River for 15 years and I’m fortunate to have had many opportunities to photograph Daintree Rainforest animals over the years.
When I first came up here, I worked on larger petrol driven boats but wanted a more eco friendly personal experience. Now I own Solar Whisper, a solar electric boat purposely designed to be low impact and maneuverable.
I have had my own boat for 13 year now. I originally worked seven days a week but now days I have two days off to explore the river.
I am passionate about wildlife and the environment and have a deep respect for this country and its inhabitants and believe we need to preserve it for the future generations.
Working with tourists every day offers me the opportunity to pass on this passion. Many of the animals that we share our country with are very misunderstood and my goal is to help others respect and admire these creatures and the habitat in which they reside.
Most people want to see crocodiles and I am fortunate that due to the time I’ve spent on the river I can recognise many of the regulars and have watched them grow up. I am familiar with their habits and have a deep understanding of some of their antics.
I have the best office and love taking photos of my “office” to share with the rest of the world. I have an interest in art and as well as photography and I create art pieces form rubbish that I collect from the beach. Here are some photos of my “office” in north Queensland.
1-Green Tree Snake with lunch
A green snake ate this very large white-lipped green tree frog. This is the favourite food of this snake and it takes some time for the frog to be eaten due to the large size of the frog and small size of the snake.
Though we often feel sorry for the frog, this is nature in the raw. Yes, sometimes it can be difficult to watch.
2-White Lipped Green Tree Frog
This is the largest of the tree frogs and can live for 13 years. These frogs are so very green but I have also seen them grey and brown.
I pride myself in being able to find a camouflaged green tree frog in a mass of green foliage.
Over the years I think I have mastered the technique of spotting them (and photographing them), though there’s all the ones I don’t see and never know I missed but I won’t talk about that.
This is one of the regular crocodiles we see, I have watched him grow up over the last 13 years. His name is Scuter on account of him missing some Scutes.
He climbed up on the bank one day during the last cruise and the light was such that he made this stunning silhouette.
4-Elizabeth with baby
Elisabeth or Lizzie is one of my favourite crocodiles, she’s the pin up girl for the Days of the Daintree and is Scarface’s main lady. You can only see her back here as she gives one of her children a piggy back ride.
5-Portrait of Scarface
Scarface is the main man of the Daintree he is 4.5 m and is very chunky. He is overweight, has no teeth and a face full of scars and the ladies find that irresistible.
He has many lady friends though his main girl is Lizzie. However he is known to be a bit of a player and there are often marital disputes between him and his main girl.
Other large males come and go but Scarface always stays and I’m very fond of him.
6-Fred bubble head
This is a green tree snake with a bubble of water on its head. His name is Fred since I can recognise his kinked tail.
No one pays him much attention other than me, but he is so cute and I often find him watching me.
He lives in a bunch of native Hibiscus in Lizzie’s creek and most of the time people are fixated on the crocodiles and that’s when I often spot Fred being a bit of a joker and pulling some crazy face as he watches me.
7-Striated Heron with breakfast
I was lucky enough to capture this bird in the right light just after it speared a fish. I regularly see these birds foraging on the banks of the river and marvel at their beauty.
They are super patient creatures and remind me that patience is a virtue, especially when you’re a bird catching very fast fish.
One of my favourite birds and why not, looks at the beautiful colours. I designed my uniform colours to match this bird, though it’s hard to find anything that brilliant blue.
The soft pink feathers are only found in the Queensland race of this bird. I can hear their call usually before I see them so have a chance to sneak up.
This is the Amethystine python, caught in the right light, the colours are magnificent. The aboriginal people had a dream time story about the rainbow serpent and it’s easy to picture that in this photo.
The rainbow serpent story is about creation and the mother of all life. She created mountains and rivers and her colours flew to the sky to become the rainbow and rainbow lorikeets.
I believe it’s important to acknowledge the first nations people and to understand their attachment to country.
This little hatchling had the most satisfied persona I have ever seen, he’s totally content and is a reminder to all of us to be happy. He’s like a Zen master in mediation and if you look close you can see his smile.
11-Eric the cannibal
Eric is a regular crocodile that I have been watching for a number of years, one day during a cruise Eric was catching prawns and fish on the edge of the bank then came across his friend or perhaps brother and decided to eat him too. Hence he was forever after called Eric the Cannibal.
The crocodiles have the most magnificent skin, texture and patterns and I will never tire of looking at them. Their eyes are liquid gold and every crocodile has a different unique pattern and colouration. This is one of many close up portraits I have taken. This is Margaret.
Check out this wildlife sanctuary for amazing Australian and world wildlife.