Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Shady Shangri-laShady Shangri-la

Exquisite beauty and boys-own adventure are butted side-by-side in the Top End, where the lily-clad Shady Camp Billabong meets the murky undercurrent of Sampan Creek.

Story and photos Don Fuchs

Half past six in the morning and the sky is pastel with opaque hues of pink and watery blue. The air is filled with noise - a flock of white egrets, determined to greet the morning and wake everyone up; a blue-winged kookaburra, trying to laugh but ending up in hysterics. In the billabong crocodiles are floating in the water like logs in a rain-swollen river. A jabiru struts along the banks, looking for fish, frogs: breakfast. Two juvenile jabirus, dirty-looking and not yet displaying the vivid colours of the adults, are getting involved in a dispute with a large, dancing pelican. Fish are jumping. It is a scene out of an Attenborough documentary, one of those sequences where you think, 'how on earth did they manage to get that?'. Only it is not television; not edited, cut, presented and put together for dramatic proposes - this is real life. And it's a typical morning at Shady Camp Billabong. Story end

Full story Issue 32 Dec 2003/Jan 2004

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