Where to See a Cassowary in the Wild
Where To See a Cassowary in the Wild
When we embarked on our Queensland road trip we set out to explore one of Australia’s most beautiful landscapes and because we’re huge animal lovers we wanted to track down some of Australia’s most fascinating creatures in the wild. Creatures like the tree kangaroo, platypus and the living dinosaur that is the cassowary bird!
Where to see a cassowary in the wild?
What is a Cassowary?
Cassowaries are fascinating creatures, so unique that they could’ve only evolved and thrived on an island with no natural predators like Australia (and New Guinea).
Here are some fun facts about cassowaries:
- They are flightless birds who primarily feed on plants and fruit (especially plums) although they are technically omnivores and sometimes feed on small vertebrates
- They are huge – females, who are the larger of the two sexes, reach heights of 6.6 ft (2 m)
- They have a 5 inch razor sharp talon on their middle toe that could easily kill a human (and have!)
- Once the females give birth, it’s the males that protect, raise and care for the baby until it is old enough to be on its own
- They can run up to 50 km/h (31 mph), jump up to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) high and are exceptional swimmers
The Best Place to Spot a Cassowary in the Wild
Northern Queensland, Australia
Along with New Guinea, the hot and humid Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia is the primary habitat of the cassowary. The Daintree is the largest continuous tropical rainforest in Australia, an ideal habitat for this big colourful bird with an abundance of plants and fruits to feed on and dense vegetation for hiding.
Check out the latest cassowary sightings at Daintree Discovery. When you go to the site you’ll see a map like the one below, which shows you locations of the latest spotting and where you have the best opportunity to spot one.
Latest cassowary sightings
Where We Spotted a Cassowary
We arrived at our campsite, Lync-Haven Rainforest Retreat, a few hours before sunset. I grabbed a change of clothes and shampoo and started walking toward the showers, in the middle of the small campground. As I walked toward the showers I caught a glimpse of something big moving in my periphery…
I couldn’t believe it! No more then ten feet from me was a huge brightly coloured bird, looking like a dinosaur/emu hybrid, slowing walking in my direction.
The next morning as we stumbled out of our campervan toward the washroom, toothbrushes in hand, we were again surprised to see two more cassowaries rummaging around in search of fallen tree plums. We stood back and watched for about twenty minutes as a male and its child, who kept very close to his side, wandered around looking for food before eventually disappearing back into the dense forest. Could not believe our luck.
Now you know exactly where to see a cassowary in Australia’s wild!
We highly recommend staying at Lync Haven Rainforest Retreat, where we spotted three cassowaries. Behind the campsite there are some nice forest paths that you can explore further in search of cassowaries and other rainforest critters.
We would love to hear back if you have spotted one or if this post helped you see one on your travels, so please make sure to leave a comment below!
Ross & Alyse
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