Cape Tribulation and Daintree - where the reef meets the rainforest

Cape Tribulation Travel Blog

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Me on the croc boat

I left the room around 7am before any of my dorm mates were up and waited outside the hostel for my excursion pick-up. The driver Brett was a real card and entertained us all well. After picking up all up we drove along the coastal road for about an hour until we finally reached the 'Croc Ferry' across the Daintree river. We searched up and down for about half an hour but sadly did not see any crocodiles, though we saw and heard much about mangroves and fruit bats that hung from the trees. We also heard lots of stories about people who had been killed or attacked by crocodiles in the area because of ignorance or stupidity. Cape Tribulation is where the reef meets the rainforest and it is well publicised how far the freshwater crocodiles extend towards the sea. Many people diving in the river for drunken dares, or trying to obtain photos with crocodiles hit the headlines with their fate!

Back on land we drove through rainforest searching for Cassowarys, large black birds with blue necks like ostrichs.

Famous cassowary warning
There are only a 1000 in the area so they are fairly elusive - today was not going to be a good wildlife spotting day. We first went to the Jindalba Botanical boardwalk where Brett showed us all the spiny plants that could barb the skin or were used for fishing. We walked through the mangroves at half tide when the sand flies are not yet at their most vicious, and spotted sparring crabs and fish. At high tide the crocodiles would have been slinking around... Brett also showed us mounds of earth pushed up against the base of the trees where the moorhens scratch up the dirt in order to fool the predators that would eat their eggs, and bury their eggs somewhere else entirely. Turkeys in fact do the precise same thing, though still they hunt through the moorhen mounds for lunch!

We then went to PK's Jungle Village, a hostel in the centre of C.

The boardwalk through the rainforest
T. for a bit of lunch and to drop off the over-nighters. From here it was a short walk to the beach but since I didn't fancy getting wet I just lay in the sand and tried to doze until I felt prickly things round my legs...

Brett then took us to another better beach that was not on the itinerary and here I decided to get in afterall. The water was warm like bath water and I felt none of the usual reluctance to get wet further than my legs! It was here that I started feeling the soreness of a bite and was perturbed to find that it had 2 puncture holes, not one, which is supposedly the sign of a spider bite rather than another insect bite. I showed Brett and he seemed unconcerned, explaining that it was probably a march fly, but I was slightly more worried knowing we were miles into the rainforest with no phone signal and at least 2 hours from Cairns.
Annoying the green ants in their sticky leaf houses
I started counting down the minutes and drafting my goodbyes to friends and family just in case, but when an hour and a half had passed and I was still fine I relaxed! Still, it seems I'm likely to get bitten by everything and anything if all my bites so far are anything to go by!

We then headed to the Daintree Natural Ice Cream company which makes ice cream made daily from the latest ripe fruits of the harvest. Today it was a mixture of wattleseed, mango, black sapote and coconut. I didn't like the coconut or black sapote, which looks like a giant cooking apple, but the others were lovely.

We then went to the Mossman Gorge where again lots of people got in for a dip in the cooler water that trickled over the stones. By now I was getting tired from all the fresh air so I didn't get in and soon after we left supposedly for home.

Beach
By now it was already 4pm and we should have been heading back to Cairns, but Brett insisted he'd never got back to Cairns before 7pm and drove us all to Port Douglas, a beautiful and idyllic town and harbour which is a favourite with film stars and sportsmen. We had a bottle of wine overlooking the sunset at the Court House before finally heading back after nightfall, Brett making excuses to his boss about 'fallen trees on the road' and other nonsense!

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Me on the croc boat
Me on the croc boat
Famous cassowary warning
Famous cassowary warning
The boardwalk through the rainfore…
The boardwalk through the rainfor…
Annoying the green ants in their s…
Annoying the green ants in their …
Beach
Beach
Tropical Queensland, the view from…
Tropical Queensland, the view fro…
Predatory plants
Predatory plants
Mossman gorge
Mossman gorge
Tropical Queensland
Tropical Queensland
Wine and sunset at Port Douglas
Wine and sunset at Port Douglas
Cape Tribulation
photo by: Ils1976