Stories in this Theme

What it looks like: Pternandra is a multi-stemmed shrub or tree with smooth, apricot-grey bark. Its glossy green, oval leaves are borne in opposite pairs and have a single distinct vein running along the inside of each margin. Its pale blue to purple flowers are borne in small clusters in the leaf axils, and develop into round yellow-green berries that turn black as they ripen.

What it looks like: Xylopia is an open shrub or erect sapling that can grow to 3 metres high. It holds its primary branches perpendicular to its central stem. The alternating leaves are also held horizontally, and, in some plants, have wavy margins, giving the plant a feathery appearance.

What it looks like: The Australian Painted Snipe is a shorebird that stands about 20 cm high and wears a distinctive black and white, rugby jumper V on its chest and a bold white stripe through its eye. Otherwise its plumage on its upper body is mostly chestnut-bronze to dark olive-green, with fine black barring and chestnuts spots, contrasting with its clean white legs and belly.

More information on the dry season in Cape York Peninsula.

Life is tough for plants living in the seasonally dry tropics. Soils are poor and for half the year the land is parched and prone to fires while for the other half it is inundated with water.Only plants which have been able to adapt to this punishing regime can grow here, having developed certain characteristics to make this possible.

CAPE YORK PENINSULA LAND USE STRATEGY  (CYPLUS) - Natural Resources Analysis Program


Golden-shouldered Parrots behaviour in the wet season.

Original copy of a report on Cape York Peninsula,  written in 1959.

Lewis Roberts is a highly regarded self-taught naturalist and botanical illustrator. He has an Order of Australia, and last year quietly received the Queensland Natural History award. Scientists from all over the world visit Lewis and his brother Charlie at Shiptons Flat – a property which has been in their family for well over one hundred years. Lewis has had several species named after him, yet is incredibly modest. His kind and gentle nature, and in depth knowledge of his environment, shines through in this interview - on the banks of Parrot Creek at Shiptons Flat.