Will Kemp has been the driver on The Savannahlander for the last 9 years and just like many other North Queenslanders, Will found out that his job would stop due to social distancing rules and non-essential travel last month.
Before working on The Savannahlander, Will worked at four different zoos across Queensland as an animal keeper and handler. He lost his job when at the Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve when it closed down in 2011
Will’s career has now come full circle with Will now giving talks about animals you may find on The Savannahlander route via social media.
Will said due to The Savannahlander not running he had to adapt his job and wanted to keep posting on social media
“I don’t want people to forget that we will be operating again soon and who we are,” he said
“I wanted to keep posting on social media as it’s more important now than ever, not just to keep us top of mind but also to keep people at home entertained.”
Will said over the next few months he will be doing some Q&A sessions and interviews with iconic figures from the Savannah country as well as introducing some of the animals you may see on the train.
“I always try and stop the train to pick up and move the wildlife that is on the track,’ he said
“Some of the snakes I’ve handled include Black-headed pythons, Whip snakes, Eastern browns, Taipans and goannas.
“I’ve also found curlew’s nesting on the track and I’ve had to move echidnas and giant burrowing cockroaches.”
Will has been working with snakes for over 20 years and has a permit to relocate reptiles.
The Savannahlander is an outback train journey which begins in Cairns and has been voted one of the great rail experiences of the world.
It winds its way up from the Cairns via the Kuranda Range with stops at Barron Falls and Stoney Creek and Kuranda.
It then continues through the Atherton Tablelands and into the Gulf Savannah region ending at Forsayth.
Will’s first talk about snakes was on April 13 and attracted over 11,000 views. His next talk is a Q&A and a walk through of The Savannahlander.
Go to https://www.facebook.com/Savannahlander/ for more information.