A friend of mine decided to visit whilst I was living in Papua New Guinea and he had heard about the security issues, so I gave him the promise that I would look after him with the same attention to security that I awarded myself, and that I had a killer program waiting for his 2 week holiday. I promised Smoking Volcanos, the Greatest Sing-Sing Show on the planet, and a wetland where all of the people had been removed and replaced with only animals. He came armed with Camera and Lenses and we filled memory card after memory card after memory card.
We started our journey at Bensbach River, a tiny wandering river on the border of PNG and Indonesia, and in the mighty Western Province. The massive Fly River starts up high in the Star Mountains full of gold and empties into a flat grassland with the occasional pocket of paperbark forest. A PNGean once said to me that God removed the people from Bensbach and left only the animals. He was right, apart from the small family of people at the very isolated villages, it felt like we were the last few people on the planet.
Cruising along in a little flat bottomed Barra boat, we were able to surprise a few creatures that were feeding, dancing, or simply mating on the shore. Here we see a male and female Grus rubicudis or Brolga. They make a great honking sound and perform quite an animated dance. Experts now believe that the dance is not a courtship display but more of something of enjoyment and a display of emotion.