The species we work with

Thanks to Garry Ogston, Gemma Bauld and Grace McNicholas and Morna McGuire for writing the summaries!

Freshwater (or largetooth) sawfish Pristis pristis

by Gary Ogston

The largetooth sawfish (Pristis pristis) can be found across the globe, and consists of four separate sub populations; the Western Atlantic, Eastern Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Indo-West Pacific (including northern Australia – spanning the Kimberley to Cape York Peninsula). The species was once considered common across many of these sub populations but has unfortunately undergone drastic population reductions. The largetooth sawfish is now thought to be locally extinct in many regions, and as such is listed as Critically Endangered under the IUCN Red List. The Kimberley region in north-western Australia represents one of the last intact nurseries for the largetooth sawfish, however even within Australia the species is threatened and listed as Vulnerable under Australia’s EPBC Act.

The species is biologically fascinating, both in appearance, due to its large rostrum (averaging between 17 and 24 teeth per side) which is used for predation and defence, and also in its ability to tolerate a wide range of salinities, from freshwater to saltwater. The largetooth sawfish will spend the first three to four years of its life within freshwater systems growing to a length of approximately 3–4 m, before then migrating into the estuarine and marine environments where they reach over 6m in length as an adult. Within the freshwater systems, the diet of the largetooth sawfish consists primarily of species found in the lower water column or benthic environment, such as the blue-catfish (Neoarius graeffei), and detritus.

Fun Facts!

  • Did you know? Largetooth sawfish are ovoviviparous; meaning the young develop inside an egg case but remain within the body of the mother until they are ready to hatch, before then being born as live young!
  • Did you know? Unlike bony fish, sawfish have no swim bladders and instead rely on large oil-filled livers to help with buoyancy!

Dwarf sawfish Pristis clavata

by Gemma Bauld

The Dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata) is a species of sawfish that can reach at least 3.2 m in length. It is greenish-brown above and white underneath with gill opening on its underside. Like other sawfish species it has a toothed rostrum. The Dwarf sawfish is found within sand and mud flats associated with close proximity to mangroves in shallow coastal and estuarine waters of northern Australia in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. Dwarf sawfish are viviparous (giving birth to live young), with litter sizes unknown but are assumed to be similar to other Pristis species with an average of approximately seven pups per litter. Juveniles are estimated to be between 60–81 cm at the time of birth, and males of the species reaching maturity at eight years old, and a length of 2.5–2.6 m. It is estimated that the Dwarf sawfish have longevity of up to 34 years. Dwarf sawfish in Western Australian waters have been found to occupy restricted areas of habitat. They move up to 10 km during each tide cycle, staying within inundated mangrove forests during high tide and moving out a few kilometres on the low tide. Individuals were found to return to within 100 m of their previous high tide resting sites demonstrating repeated use of habitat. Even large animals frequently occupy habitats less than 2m deep. Current major threats to the Dwarf sawfish include getting their toothed rostra stuck in fishing nets in shallow waters in which they inhabit. Historically their rostra were also collected and traded. However, from 2009, this species was protected from all commercial and recreational use and trade in Australia. The Dwarf sawfish is currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Fishes of Australia

Green sawfish Pristis zijsron

by Gemma Bauld

The Green sawfish (Pristis zijsron) is a species that can grow to 5–7 m in length and is possibly the largest sawfish. They are greenish-brown or olive above and pale to white underneath, with gill openings on its underside. Like other sawfish species it has a flattened head and an elongated snout with uneven-spaced teeth along each side. The Green sawfish in Australia used to be found as far south as Sydney, however its range is now limited to northern Australia (Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia). The Green sawfish is also found in the Indo-West Pacific from southern Africa to the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, southern Asia, Indo-Australian archipelago, east Asia and as far north as Taiwan and southern China. They generally inhabit shallow water in coastal and estuarine areas in close proximity to mangrove shorelines. Green sawfish are viviparous (giving birth to live young), with litters being approximately 12 pups. Juveniles are estimated to be approximately 76 cm at the time of birth, and reaching 3.4–3.8 m at maturity at nine years of age. A maximum age for this species is greater than 50 years. Current major threats to the Green sawfish include getting their toothed rostra stuck in fishing nets in shallow waters in which they inhabit. Historically their rostra, fins and meat were also collected and traded locally and internationally, however, this species is now protected from all commercial and recreational use and trade, although difficult to enforce in some countries. The Green sawfish is currently listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.


Simpfendorfer, C. 2013. Pristis zijsron. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T39393A18620401. link

Department of the Environment (2017) Pristis zijsronin Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. link

Narrow sawfish Anoxypristis cuspidata

by Barbara Wueringer

The Narrow sawfish Anoxypristis cuspidata is the only species in its genus. Amongst commercial fishers the species is often known as ‘Slimys’, as juveniles do not develop dermal denticles until about 1.1 m long. The dermal denticles or skin teeth are what gives the skin of sahrks and rays its sandpaper like appearance. Narrow sawfish are the species of sawfish found most offshore, in clearer waters. They have very large eyes and have been found to feed on fast moving species such as squid.

Narrow sawfish are the fastest reproducing species of sawfish, as they reach sexual maturity at about 2–3 years of age. Because of this, Narrow sawfish are still the most common species of sawfish in Australia, and appear to be still abundant on the east coast of Queensland as well as in the Northern Territory, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Western Australia. They are easily distinguished form the three Pristis species, as Narrow sawfish have flat rostral teeth. It is important to mention that Narrow sawfish do not deal well with being caught and handled so if you catch one be sure to release it as quickly as possible.

Narrow sawfish are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, and in Australia they are listed as Migratory under the EPBC Act and also protected under various state legislations.


D’Anastasi, B., Simpfendorfer, C. & van Herwerden, L. 2013. Anoxypristis cuspidata (errata version published in 2019). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T39389A141789456. Downloaded on 19 February 2020.

Freshwater whipray Urogymnus dalyensis

by Morna McGuire

The freshwater whipray is the only species of Australian stingray to live exclusively in fresh and estuarine waters. It was first discovered in the Daly River, Northern Territory, giving rise to its epithet: dalyensis. Since then, freshwater whiprays have been documented in at least 10 northern Australian rivers, suggesting they are endemic to the region. As bottom-dwelling species, feeding on small fish and shrimps, they are usually distributed at depths of 1–4 m.

What do they look like?

The main body (pectoral fin disc) of freshwater whipray is distinctively apple-shaped, being as wide as it is long. Projecting from this disc is an obtuse snout, which tapers to a pointed tip. The colouration of its dorsal surface is grey-brownish, though darkens towards the tail. Contrastingly, its ventral colouration is banded: brown spots separate the white centre from the brown margins. Its tail is whip-like (long and thin), often measuring double the disc length. The tail bares a single serrated venomous spine, likely used for defence.

Freshwater whiprays are easily confused with two other ray species: giant freshwater stingray (Himantura chaophyraya) of South-East Asia and estuary stingray (Dasyatis fluviorum) of eastern Australia. However, both molecular and morphological comparisons confirm that they are separate species. For example, the tail of freshwater whipray lacks the ventral skin-fold typical of other ray species.

Although freshwater whiprays are regarded of Least Concern (IUCN Red List), very little is actually known about their ecology. How large is the population? At what age are they sexually mature? SARA’s research on this species is therefore integral to its survival, by informing fishing management practices and conservation efforts.

Fun fact!

Freshwater whiprays are fully committed to catching their prey; they may charge up riverbanks so fast that they breach themselves!


Last, P. R., Stevens, J. D. (2009). Sharks and Rays of Australia. Edition 2. CSIRO Publishing.

Last, P. R., & Manjaji-Matsumoto, B. M. (2008). ‘Himantura dalyensissp. nov., a new estuarine whipray (Myliobatoidei: Dasyatidae) from northern Australia’. Descriptions of new Australian Chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, 22, 283-291.

Bull shark Carcharinus leucas

by Garry Ogston

The bullshark (Carcharhinus leucas) is found in warm temperate and tropical waters around the globe, including countries such as Australia, India, Ecuador and the United States of America. The species is listed as Near-Threatened under the IUCN Red List and faces several threats including recreational and commercial fisheries with commercial fisheries globally being driven by the demand for shark fins, liver oil and meat, however it is also regularly caught as by-catch. The species is also threatened by habitat modification, particularly of nursery grounds e.g. estuarine and freshwater systems. Within Australia the bullshark is not protected and is able to be caught for both recreational and commercial fisheries. Several regions of Australia however, have imposed size limits to reduce the threat of overfishing mature specimens.

Although common in marine and estuarine waters, it is only one of a few species of shark that can tolerate long periods in freshwater (e.g. also see river sharks Glyphis spp.), allowing it to penetrate large distances upstream. Pregnant females migrate to the estuarine, freshwater regions to give birth, with the juveniles utilising these areas as nursery grounds. When born, the bull sharks measure between 0.5 m and 0.8 m, before maturing at approximately 1.5–2.2 m for males and 1.8–2.3 m for females. A full grown adult bull shark can reach over 3 m in length. As the bull shark matures it also diversifies its diet, consuming a range of prey species from turtles to birds, teleost fishes and elasmobranchs, and even crustaceans.

Fun Facts!

  • Did you know? Bull sharks possess organs known as the ampullae of Lorenzini which act as electroreceptors. These organs are “jelly” filled pores that help detect electrical fields within the water
  • Did you know? Bull sharks are not always at the top of the food chain and get predated on by other bull sharks, Orca’s, and even crocodiles!

Winghead shark Eusphyrna blochii

by Grace McNicholas

The Winghead Shark (Eusphyra blochii) is found around the Indo-West Pacific continental shelf. Found in shallow coastal waters, wingheads feed on/near the bottom, with a diet consisting of crustaceans, cephalopods and small fish. Growing to a maximum total length of just 186 cm, they are smallest of all hammerhead species. Being the smallest species, their characteristic elongated head or ‘cephalofoil’ also has the highest width to body length ratio of all hammerheads. It can reach nearly 50% of their total body length. Males and females reach maturity at around 108 cm and 120 cm respectively, and both sexes have a distinct seasonal reproductive cycle, breeding once a year. Females give birth to live young in February/March in litters of 6–25 pups, with new-borns measuring approximately 45 cm.

Unfortunately, winghead sharks are impacted by coastal gillnet fisheries, as their slender elongated heads are easily caught in a range of gillnet mesh sizes. They have also been heavily exploited for their fins and meat. Over the last three generations it is estimated the global population has declined by at least 50%. These declines are most pronounced in areas with intense coastal fishing such as Indonesia and other Asian countries, where reports of wingheads in landing surveys have become less and less common. As a result, Eusphyra blochii are now listed as globally Endangered on the IUCN Red List. However, in Australia, winghead populations are still thought to be relatively healthy due to much lower bycatch levels in the better managed Australian gillnet and trawl fisheries. Although the Australian population is currently only listed as Least Concern, they may still be at risk due to their patchy distribution.


Chin, A, et al. (2017). Crossing lines: a multidisciplinary framework for assessing connectivity of hammerhead sharks across jurisdictional boundaries. Nature Publishing Group, (April), Nature Publishing Group., pp.1–14. [Online] Available at: doi:10.1038/srep46061.

Compagno, LJ. (1984). FAO species catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Volume 4, Part 1.

Sainsbury, KJ, Kailola, PJ, and Leyland, GG. (1984). Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-western Australia, an Illustrated Guide. (Clouston and Hall: Canberra.)

Smart, JJ.and Simpfendorfer, CA. (2016). Eusphyra blochii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. [Online]. Available at: doi:org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016- 1.RLTS.T41810A68623209.en.

Stevens, JD and Lyle, JM. (1989). Biology of three hammerhead sharks (Eusphyra blochii, Sphyrna mokarran and S. lewini) from Northern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 40, pp.129–146. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1071/MF9890129.

Delta Downs Expedition (Part Two) by Liz Xanthopoulos

Delta Downs Expedition (Part Two) by Liz Xanthopoulos

by Liz Xanthopolous, A visitor to this time


Home became the banks of the river, which had a 3 metre steep elevation from the water, so we were completely safe from said Jurassic creatures creeping up and snatching one of us while we slept. We found a large patch of dirt to set up camp next to a little pond, surrounded by long green grass, tall brown termite mounds as far as the eye could see, and some trees and bushes. To add to the ambiance were dried up piles of cow poop all over the place that we shoveled out of the way. Our new little home was known as Snake Creek, which lived up to its name when Barbara nearly stepped on a Brown Snake one night while checking the tide, and after we came across a few more around camp I was very quickly forced to overcome my fear of snakes. The scenery around us was vast, open and never-ending. It was nature in all its glory. Wild and beautiful, and so silent. Every sunrise and every sunset we were treated to the most beautiful shades of pink and orange in our sky, and every night the brightest stars I’ve ever seen would come out and put on a show.

         Our tagging shifts were twice a day, in three person teams. The morning shift, my shift, usually started at about 5 am, until about 11 am. It was still dark when we’d get out on the water, so we had to use our headlamps and the boat’s spotlight to get our work done. Crocs are most active at night, it’s their favourite time to hunt so they’re out and about. We made sure we used the boats spotlight to scan the banks of the river, for navigating of course but also to make sure we were constantly monitoring our surroundings. Their eyes reflect light so we would often see tiny little red eyes looking at us in the dark. To be honest, even though croc safety was emphasised and mentioned in all the paperwork, I had no idea how big a factor they would actually be, but after arriving at Snake Creek, talking to the rangers and taking into account of course Barbara’s previous experiences in these areas, I knew we would have to take procedure seriously and stay focused to make sure everyone on board was as safe as possible at all times.

We would begin our sessions by setting up four drum lines and two gill nets, and routinely checked and moved them to different spots along the river to better our chances of catching something. It did get easier to work after the sun came up and we had more light, and it was still early enough so the heat wasn’t as scorching as it would be later in the day, but nevertheless the shifts were still physically demanding. Lifting and throwing anchors, reeling in and then releasing the nets, pulling out and releasing any bycatch over and over and over again, all the while making sure we weren’t hanging over the side of the boat or sticking our hands in the water to avoid tempting the crocs stalking us from beneath the surface. I think even Barbara was surprised at the huge number of jellyfish that were in the river system. Pulling up these 50-metre-long nets that essentially became a wall of jellyfish because there were so many were drifting into the nets became really challenging. I’ve been stung by jellyfish a couple times before while up on the Gold Coast, so their sting wasn’t anything new to me, but it just meant that we had one more thing that we had to be cautious of.

After getting back to camp once our sessions were over, I would usually run straight to our kitchen and shovel down as much food in me as I could to replenish all the energy we’d lost in the morning. I also had a couple of Hydralyte’s a day to make sure I was properly hydrated. After breakfast/lunch we would wash as much mud/sunscreen/fish guts (from the bait) and sweat off us as we could – using nothing more than a quarter bucket of water and a washcloth (hey, it did the job!), change our clothes, and try to stay in the shade to conserve our energy. Walking from our “shower tent” to my swag was an adventure of its own if I dared make the trip barefoot. The path to get to there forced me to walk past the biggest termite mound, and if the ants around there were quick enough to jump on my feet as I crossed through I was in for a hell of a sting.

We would spend the rest of the day listening to music, or the ‘Serial’ podcast one of the marine biologists brought and then discuss it, we’d talk about life or different birds that we’d spot, and collect wood for our fire. After getting dinner ready, having a chat around campfire while eating, and washing up, the evening shift would head out just before sunset for their session, and usually wouldn’t make it back until after midnight. Those of us on the morning shift would try to get to bed early and get a good night’s sleep to be fresh for the morning after. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention – late in the evening it was crucial to put on long sleeves and spray heaps of insect repellent on. I’m not a person that ever gets bit by mosquitoes, but out there, I got mauled. Mozzies and midges everywhere. You could never escape it, and it was bloody frustrating as hell.

I’ll never forget the ray we caught on one of our drum lines. While I was pulling the line up I could feel it getting heavy and I knew we had something, and suddenly a long black slimy tail broke the surface of the water. The first thing I thought was (don’t laugh at me) “oh my god, it’s a snake!” but once I saw the rest of its body I realised it was actually a big ray. We kept the line in its mouth and towed it to the little bank in front of our camp because it was too big and too heavy to lift onto the boat like we normally would’ve. There we checked the gender (it’s a boy!), measured him, took some photos and tagged him. His body was about 1.5 metres wide, so he was a big boy. I had to put my hands in his gills to lift him up so Barbara could get the hook out of his mouth, so I ended up with essentially ray snot on my gloves. I even found myself patting him like a dog, I guess I thought that if he felt my hand he might feel comfort, and he’d know that he’d be OK, because I can only imagine how scared he was. Barbara later identified him as a Freshwater Whip Ray. We caught another one a few days later but he was much smaller.

Despite all our hard work, planning, and best efforts, it wasn’t in our fate to encounter the incredible sawfish. All the data we collected will still contribute to SARA’s research, maybe not in the way we hoped but I’m sure we collected more pieces to the puzzle. I remember Barbara telling me that most people become completely captivated by sawfish when they first set their eyes on them because of their strange appearance, and although I missed out on that moment, I did not feel disappointed with my experiences during the expedition. Having the privilege of witnessing the beauty of one of the most untouched locations in the country that only a handful of people have visited, and having the opportunity to participate in an important scientific research expedition with a great group of people far exceeded any expectations I had. And so, after the most amazing 10 days at Snake Creek, it was time to pack up camp and start the two-day trek back to Cairns. We made it all the way to Croydon when we decided to stop for the night at a caravan park and treat ourselves to dinner and a couple of drinks at the local pub. We all walked in and stopped in our tracks when something caught our eye on the wall behind the bar. Two sawfish rostra. Two sawfish rostra hanging on the wall in a pub. Yeah, heartbreaking. But it did bring us back to reality and confirmed to us that everything we just went through won’t be for nothing. There’s still a lot of hard work that needs to be done and the biggest challenge will be changing people’s perceptions and attitudes toward animals, but it can and will be done.

Just like that, after all that time in the middle of nowhere, with no communication with the rest of the world and only the six of us for company, just us vs the wild, we were back in Cairns. It just seemed so loud to me. So loud and so busy, and it took me a couple of days to get used to being surrounded by so many people. I spent a few more days in Cairns exploring, drove down to Mission Beach and Etty Bay to find some Cassowaries, and went over to my beloved Great Barrier Reef for a few dives (I will talk about my love for the Reef in many posts to come), and then it was time to head home. Actual home. Melbourne home. The same night I arrived I was sitting on the couch watching TV when my mum asked me how it felt being home. It felt strange. I caught myself looking over my shoulder and looking around me to make sure nothing was trying to sting me or bite me. It felt strange feeling safe. The Delta Downs expedition was my first real call of the wild, and I’ll hold onto the experiences I had there forever. Without a doubt, there will always be a part of me that’s constantly seeking it out. Even when walking my dog, certain smells or sensations make me feel like if I close my eyes I’m back in Snake Creek sitting around the campfire having a laugh over dinner watching the sun set. Whenever life starts getting a little overwhelming and I get that urge to run away, my mind drifts back to the simpler times of Snake Creek where the only thing I really had to worry about was eating and not being eaten! Just the way nature intended.


Delta Downs Expedition 2016 (Part One) by Liz Xanthopoulos

Delta Downs Expedition 2016 (Part One) by Liz Xanthopoulos

by Liz Xanthopoulos, A visitor to this time 


“Don’t think about, just go!” was the last thing Hannah said to me before I took a deep breath and flung myself over the side of the boat landing in shin deep, crocodile infested waters. What happened next is kind of a blur. I ran as fast as I could to get to our anchor which was now buried about half a metre deep in mud on the river bank and all I could hear was Hannah’s voice shouting at me “it’s ok, there’s nothing there, just grab the anchor and run back!”. I was watching the long grass a few metres away from me to make sure there was nothing lurking in there waiting for the perfect moment to run out and maul me, when I finally got the anchor free and bolted back to the boat, anchor in hand. I jumped back onto the boat and started shaking with adrenaline! 


Even though we finally got our anchor free and back on the boat, we were still heavily stuck in the mud. After an hour of trying everything we could to get out, there was only one solution. Get back in that bloody water and push. We had already been revving our engine for a while so once we rechecked the depth of the water around the boat and made sure we had a clear coastline, Barbara – our expedition leader, and I hopped back in the water and pushed our boat as far away from the bank and out of the mud as possible. If you don’t know the “urban rule” about crocs, it goes something like this: For every croc you can see, there are about 10 under the water that you can’t see. I call it an “urban rule” because the number seems to change from region to region. In Darwin they say 10 crocs, in Queensland they say 20. Either way, out here, in the middle of nowhere, I wasn’t in any way willing to test the rule.

This act of stupid bravery, however, did earn me the nickname “Jesus” back at camp, since I ran through the water so fast it was like I ran on the water. And being among a group of biologists on a scientific tagging expedition when you’re just a business school drop-out…well let’s just say it gave me some “street cred”. The reality of the situation was that if we hadn’t gotten our boat free when we did, we would have had a veeeeery loooong day and night ahead of us, waiting for the pretty unpredictable tide to flood back in and free us. And this was only session one, of a ten-day expedition!

We started the two-day drive to Normanton, Queensland on the 19th of June, last year, starting from Cairns, where Sharks and Rays Australia (SARA) is based. SARA was founded by Dr Barbara Wueringer, to “conduct scientific research to contribute to conservation efforts of endangered species”. Barbara has spent the last 12 years of her career capturing, tagging, and releasing lemon sharks, tiger sharks, and her favourite – sawfish, all over the world. She has had her research featured in publications including National Geographic, New York Times, Science Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. In 2015 SARA started measuring the “current distributions and abundance patterns of four species of sawfishes in Far North Queensland and the Cape York Peninsula”.

Sawfish are a family of Rays, and have a characteristic long, flat, and narrow rostrum, lined with sharp teeth in a way that resembles a saw. They’re a pretty fascinating animal! Their rostra are covered with electrosensitive pores that they use to detect even the slightest movements of prey hiding in the muddy sea floors. They also use their rostra as a digging tool, and to slash prey as it swims by. If you haven’t already, make sure you YouTube a video of it – it’s amazing. Unfortunately, it’s because of their incredibly distinctive feature that they are now listed as critically endangered and at risk of extinction.

It’s estimated that their population numbers are at less than 5% (to maybe as low as 1%) of their historic levels. Not only are they caught as bycatch in fishing nets because their rostra are easily entangled, they are also exploited for it, with fishermen butchering it off as a prize or to sell in some markets. Their fins are also taken to supply the distorted, delusional, and dangerous Asian market. Northern Australia is the last global stronghold for the four species of sawfish, as stated in on the SARA website. It’s believed that the coastline and river systems of the Cape York Peninsula most likely hold the highest densities of sawfish. In Queensland waters, sawfish have been declared a no-take species, but since the last assessment of their numbers ended in 2008, it’s unclear if the ban has had an effect on population numbers. And so… here we are.

Our small team consisted of three marine biologists including Barbara, an animal scientist, our hilarious camp supervisor Andrew – who was essentially our very own Bear Grylls, and me – with my passion for marine conservation and my superhuman ability to run on water when I’m scared of being eaten alive by Jurassic creatures. Since my marine biology degree is non-existent, I have to do the best I can with what I’ve got.

We set up camp for most of the duration of the expedition at a place called Delta Downs, which is an Aboriginal-owned cattle station about 70km outside of Normanton. Normanton itself is a very small cattle town in the Shire of Carpentaria, with a population of about 1,400. Getting to Delta Downs literally means 4×4 driving down a dirt track for most of that 70km, but you understand why when you realise that its one million acres makes it one of the largest Aboriginal-owned cattle properties in Australia. Delta Downs is also known as Morr Morr, and is operated by the Kurtijar People. Up until recently, Delta Downs completely forbid entry to the public, but in going back and researching for this post, I’ve seen that they now have a website where you can apply for permits to camp there. For our expedition, we had to get permission from the traditional owners to stay and conduct our research, which wasn’t a big issue since Barbara had put in the work to build a good relationship with them before we even got there. So, once we had their final ok, we went off to set up our camp on the Gilbert River, only a few kilometres away from the Gulf of Carpentaria, and got ready to do some work…