They may give you a bite that may get badly infected and take time to
heal, but unlike poisonous snakes, pythons
inject no venom into their bites.
Below are the species we have in Cape York.
This is the most common of all Australian pythons, and probably the
only one you will see on
your Cape York trip, unless you go spotlighting night time.
It has a
distinctive black head, and it is often active, crossing tracks and
roads during the day time.
A less common of Australian pythons to see, this is a small snake
with dark brown dots and lines on cream coloured background.
live in wet forests as well as dry woodlands, and it likes to hide in
rocky outcrops, particularly if they have caves and crevices where bats
Larger than the spotted python, this beautiful Australian python is
also nocturnal and not
so common to see.
It is not always associated with water, but it will
flee to water (if the water is available) when threatened. It hides in
vegetation, on river banks and in hollow logs.
There are many species of carpet python, but the one we have in up here
in the tropical north Queensland is the jungle carpet python Morelia spilota cheynei.
They are found in tropical rainforests in the south eastern, and also
in the south of the peninsula including Atherton Tablelands.
This is a large one - the second largest snake in Australia, and it is
only found in western Cape York (it is more common in the Top End of
Northern Territory and the Kimberleys in Western Australia).
olive skin with no pattern and it prefers rocky areas near water.
The largest snake in Australia, amethystine aka scrub python can grow
up to eight metres long.
rainforests and moist habitat, where it is often up in trees but can
also be seen on the ground. It is active during the night time and
possible to see when spotlighting.
The most special one, found only in the eastern rainforests of Cape
York (Iron Range National Park) and Papua New Guinea, the green tree
python is possible to spot about a metre above the ground night
It is not
the green tree snake, which is found elsewhere in Australia.
Python is the second largest snake in Australia.
It is found in the most of
the tropical northern Australia, including the Kimberley
and the Top End of Northern
Territory, but in Cape York it is only found in the very west
and north, in the areas like Kowanyama,
Mapoon, as well as the tip
of Cape York peninsula.
many other pythons, it has a smooth
skin with no particular colour pattern, other than a paler
belly and a darker back.
It can look similar to the highly poisonous king
brown and is
for it, although it is a
largest after amethystine
python, olive python grows up to four
metres long but is more often about three.
Like its name indicates, it often has some olive
green shades, although its main colour often ranges from reddish to chocolate brown.
The belly is
pythons it is a non
snake, totally harmless to humans.
Range and Habitat
There are two subspecies of
olive python that are
geographically isolated from each other.
is found in a smaller pocket in Pilbara region in Western Australia,
while the more common Liasis
olivaceus is found all the way from the Kimberley region
west, through the Top End of Northern Territory and western Queensland
in the east.
In Cape York, it is only found along the western coast of the peninsula.
It lives in tropical savannah woodlands, and particularly prefers dry rocky areas, near water courses, like gorges, where it
likes to hunt and
It is mostly nocturnal and often shelters
during the day time in rock
crevices, caves, burrows, hollow logs and termite
Diet and Breeding
pythons generally eat
small mammals, birds, and other reptiles, but are also known to take prey as large as rock
At gorges and waterholes
can use the hunting technique of a crocodile,
animals coming for a drink and then striking from under the water.
Like other pythons,
they do not
and they kill their prey
occurs during the cooler
Dry Season months from May to July.
About 20 eggs are laid 2-3 months after mating.
After almost two months of incubation, the eggs hatch and the
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contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
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to stay (general info), what
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and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
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background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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