WATCH: How you can spot platypus at Eungella
FIRST the bubbles rise to the surface in the still water.
Then, through the muddy cloud beneath the sheer veneer, they wiggle up to take a breath.
After sitting flat on the surface for anywhere from a few seconds to half a minute, the platypus scoots back down.
The cloud continues to grow as the platypus scurries along the bottom for food.
And before you know it, the bubbles rise and mammal emerges to take another breath.
The joy every time they rise is felt among the patient onlookers.
It's the kind of happiness and stress relief we all need right now.
But last weekend at Broken River in Eungella National Park - there were tourists not only yelling and talking loudly at one of the most peaceful spots for platypus viewing but they were throwing rocks where these graceful creatures normally play.
It was an ugly sight and one that was hard to comprehend.
Oskar Krobath, from Broken River Information Centre, said it was important to have silence when viewing platypus and throwing rocks into their habitat was not on.
"People shouldn't skip rocks down there," he said.
"If people throw rocks in there, they won't come up.
"It doesn't make sense if they want to see platypus. It will scare them away."
Mr Krobath said during the past two weeks of school holidays, he had seen more people than he had in his 15 years up the range.
"I'm pretty sure most of them are locals," he said.
"There's no festivals, no sport so people make the effort to come up for a day trip.
"It's blown my mind how many people have lived here for years and didn't know about it.
"Each day I open the cafe and, regardless of rain, it's as busy as the previous day.
"I'm not sure if COVID had something to do with it but people are out enjoying more nature and realising what they have in their backyard."
TOP TIPS FOR SPOTTING PLATYPUS
- Be silent
- Don't move around too much
- Watch for bubbles just before the platypus rise to the surface
- Best times are around dawn (4-8am) and dusk (3-7pm)
- Mating season runs from July to September so they are now active throughout the day (80 per cent change you'll see them now)
- During mating season, Oskar says often you'll see two of them chasing each other or mating
- Rain can mean water clarity drops but reduced sun reflection can help with spotting
- Watch for schools of little fish that follow platypus around
- Watch for kingfishers and other birds waiting for platypus to let food go when they rise