She cocks her head, flutters her eyelashes and struts towards me. But at 1.5m tall, with the girth of two humans, her terrifying dagger claws remind me of her reputation as “the world’s most dangerous bird”. I step back slowly and scramble up my treehouse.
A sighting of the cassowary, a modern-day dinosaur, is rare. To have one show up at your doorstep at breakfast is like meeting a movie star. This is a modern-day Jurassic Park – but more of this big bird later.
In wild North Queensland over a two-week road trip, my animal encounters go beyond a cuddly koala or skippy kangaroo. I ride a horse on the beach near menacing crocodiles, watch a cute duck-billed platypus stealthily attack its prey, and get brushed by a 50kg Napoleon wrasse while diving at the Great Barrier Reef.
In Queensland, the world’s oldest rainforest and pristine beaches are launch pads for pure adventure.
I raft down white-knuckle river rapids. I somersault out of a plane and land on a beach. I rekindle my childhood fantasy of staying in glamorous treehouses tucked deep in forests.
This is a vacation with Mother Nature, laced with chance encounters with weird and wonderful creatures, big and small.
Here are some reasons to disconnect from Singapore’s city lights and reconnect with starry nights.