Plants and Wildlife
The mountains, valleys and gorges of El Questro are the product of Mother Nature at her most forceful and dramatic. Volcanic activity, the build-up of sediment and millions of years of erosion have created a geology that sets The Kimberley apart from the rest of Australia.
Here, there are birds, mammals, reptiles and fish as well as rainforests, ancient boab trees and palms that have had to adapt in order to survive life in The Kimberley. Many of the plants here are specifically adapted to life in the ranges. The rock fig has long roots that seek moisture in the crevices. The kapok bush has adapted to life on the hill sides by losing its leaves in the dry season to reduce moisture loss. The boab and the red-flowered sticky kurrajong are two other distinctive plants of the ranges that employ the same adaptation to The Kimberley's contrasting seasons. The hardy spinifex has the ability to grow on the thinnest of soils on the rocky ranges. Its cylindrical spine-like leaves reduce water loss from transpiration, and the hummock growth forms and mulches the ground surface.
The fires that frequently ravage the grasslands of The Kimberley are often constrained by the ranges where there is less vegetation to provide fuel. Most Australian and Kimberley plants have adapted to fire, regenerating from insulated trunks, underground tubers and woody seeds that germinate after fire.
Life on earth is at its most diverse in the tropics, and the Kimberley region is no exception. Birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and invertebrates are abundant. From fruit bats, crocodiles, pythons and frilled neck lizards to archerfish, barramundi and termite colonies, the Kimberley is bursting with an array of exotic wildlife.
Seeing this kind of wildlife in their native habitat is an unforgettable experience and to share it with others on a guided tour, perhaps even more so. However, due to the heat, many of the wild animals move from their shelters after sundown and are not easily seen during the day.
Wallabies and termites in the Kimberley are the equivalent of the hoofed herbivores of Africa. Termites feed on plant fibre and build their mounds from excreta, soil and saliva. The diversity of invertebrates, such as the termites and other ants, attracts specialist predators like the echidna and an abundance of skinks and other lizards.
The mountains, valleys and gorges of El Questro are the product of Mother Nature at her most forceful and dramatic. Volcanic activity, the build-up of sediment and millions of years of erosion have created a geology that sets the Kimberley apart from the rest of Australia.