Sharing The Peapod's Travel Adventures...

Adventures at "On the Inlet" in Pt. Douglas

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This entry was posted on 3/16/2007 4:01 AM and is filed under Australia.

We were advised by our friends Jackie and Danae to go to "On the Inlet" in Pt. Douglas and eat mud crab.  So we went.

Everyday at 5:30pm a wonderful event takes place.  They take the tuna carcasses, or frames, from this fish restaurant, tie them to a rope and drop them into the bay right in front of the restaurant.  A fairly sizeable crowd always gathers for this experience.  Underneath the pontoon live 1 to 5 giant gropers.  When we saw giant, we mean GIGANTIC!  They've been there for at least 7 years and weigh over 250kilos each.  That's over 550 pounds!!!  They were mammoth fish and the feeding of them was exciting.  In a nanosecond they had devoured the fish and the process was repeated until nothing was left but the rope.

Here's a shot of George...

The photos and the movie don't really capture the enormity of these fish, but we wanted to share it with you anyway.

George has dinner movie

Here's more information about George and his friends who live under the pontoon...

George, the groper (or grouper in the United States) is a MOSTLY permanent resident beneath the pontoon of the restaurant.  The groper/grouper is one of the largest fish inhabiting Australian waters.  The Dickson Inlet is all saltwater, therefore it is home to a rich biodiversity of marine life. Pelagic species, like George, use the Inlet for access to the large schools of bait fish and prawns that inhabit the protected waters of this saltwater system. The groper has a constant supply of fresh food, and therefore can live quite happily under the pontoon at "On The Inlet".

The species name of George the Queensland groper is Epinephelus lanceolatus. The Queensland groper can attain sizes of up to 633 pounds (288 kilograms) and reach lengths of 9.8 feet (3 meters) or more. Its favorite food, when living in estuaries, is mud crabs!  Local fishermen often complain of crab traps being crushed by these big hungry fish. The Queensland groper moves in and out of the inlet in order to breed in late October and early November. That is why sometimes there are no fish around and on other occasions there may be as many as 5 groper beneath the pontoon at "On The Inlet".

They served delicious seafood here.  Our favorite dish were the Moreton Bugs which are really a cross between crayfish and lobster.  They came with Jasmine rice and vegetables and a fantastic lemon sauce for the bugs.  They're also famous for their mud crabs - expensive and a lot of work to get the crab meat out of them.  We preferred the Bugs...

Here's another beautiful platter of seafood they make...

Here's a view of the harbour from the restaurant.

There were swarms of starlings, although different from ours, that swooped over the restaurant and all seemed to settle in 2 trees on the main drag of Pt. Douglas at night.  There they make an intense noise and drive the storekeepers crazy with their droppings and screeching.  It surprised us to hear these nocturnal birds so loud.  But we were reminded by our naturalist friend Hans that these birds were here in Pt. Douglas long before the shop merchants were, so if anyone should leave, it shouldn't have to be the birds.

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