As we travel, we search out opportunities (at no cost) where we might learn a little more about the new place we’re visiting. One such opportunity in Cairns was a 2-hour guided bird walk (free) at the Botanical Gardens (also free). This walk met our criteria for a perfect day: walk through a beautiful tropical garden, learn about birds and their home in the garden, and meet new people.
John, our bird watching guide, introduced us to many of the garden’s birds as we strolled by lakes, through the woods, across boardwalks in the wetlands.
John showed us an ant plant, affixed to a tree. Ants do live in the plant. The plant feeds off the ants’ waste material. We read later that the ants actively guard the plant from other insect or fungi invaders. It’s a relationship that benefits both plant and ant.
After the tour ended, six of us went to a café in the garden for a refreshing drink. A laughing kookaburra flew to the tree next to us and joined our group.
You might wonder – how good was the free bird walk at the free Botanical Gardens? Priceless!