WE ALL know that Coolum is prime real estate but for water dragons who call the region home, the prime place to live is at ‘Dragontopia’ – the luxurious and impressive digs made by local photographer Mike Drinkwater.
A regular each afternoon at Point Arkwright with other keen photographers, Mike has been photographing the local wildlife for years and happened to notice a water dragon at his home frolicking in water that was left out for the birds.
“Really, this all started because I think it’s important to keep all our wild creatures hydrated,” Mike said.
“I had a little bowl from a pot plant and saw dragons using it and bathing and realised that I needed something bigger… I was given a kiddie pond but then that wasn’t big enough and then I was lucky to get a proper fibreglass pool and that really made Dragontopia come to life.”
Dragontopia features a one-metre square pond, rocks, lush gardens, water fountains, solar lights for night viewing and its very own sign that was inspired by the iconic ‘Hollywood’ sign.
“I discovered at least 10 resident wild water dragons here about three years ago,” Mike said.
“One caught my attention and from observing her I learnt a lot about dragons. Her name is Beelzie and on a hot day in summer, she likes to be showered with the garden hose before swimming in the pool at Dragontopia.
“What the water dragons also love is to be up high, and rocks. Because they are cold-blooded, the sun-warmed rocks make it a utopia of sorts, but I prefer to call it Dragontopia,” Mike said.
Mike spent the last few months building and tweaking Dragontopia which is positioned in the front garden of his house which is along the David Low Way at Point Arkwright.
“I tried to make a natural environment that they would enjoy – it was all about the dragons, but then I realised how much I enjoy photographing them so the pond for dragons turned into a playground for both of us.”
“Knowing dragons love rocks to climb and warm their bellies on, a bunch of mates and I moved a boulder almost the size of Mt Coolum into the dragon zone here at home and from there, Dragontopia snowballed and took on a venture of its own.
“I don’t know if I am eccentric or completely mad! What I do know, is that the dragons are happy.”
With the word getting out, we expect that Mike just may be commissioned for landscaping works in the near future!
Mike’s photography which includes many shots from Dragontopia can be viewed at www.drinky.weebly.com