If you go down to the woods today…

So this…

Terrifying spider
..is why I’m never going to live in Australia.

This monster is an orb spider. It usually hangs out in banana plants but today it decided to chillax above the path I was merrily tromping along halfway down Bicton Hill in Clump Mountain National Park.

We’d driven about half an hour from Innisfail to the park, which sits alongside the incredibly picturesque Bingil Bay. Thanks to the warm, wet climate, there’s plenty of rainforest around here to wander through.

Like much of the farmland in the region, many parts of the park’s forest were pretty much destroyed by Cyclone Larry in 2006 (the winds of which were apparently as forceful as Hurricane Katrina). The trees and plants are regrowing though, and there are some interesting things to be found in there:

The forests are also home to something called cassowaries. A cassowary, in case you’ve never heard of them, is a whacking-great, flightless bird that looks a little like an emu, but has a kind of crest on its head. The birds are pretty rare, so we were incredibly lucky to see one wandering through the trees as we were walking. Sadly, being a wild animal and not too fussed about posing for my camera, I didn’t manage to get a snap of it, so you’ll have to be content with a photo I nicked from Google:


Anyway, on the way down from the top of Bicton Hill, thinking Marty had found another cassowary, I happily followed him as he stood grinning and pointing into the leaves.

I never, ever thought I’d have cause to swear at Marty, but being confronted by that spider elicited a rather naughty word. I’m sure I’ll stop shaking at some point tonight…

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