Croc Country

Port Douglas Travel Blog

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that sign is a warning for crocodiles in the area

Today was the day, that I was looking forward to the most on our trip to Port Douglas. We would be venturing out to crocodile country in Northern Queensland. I have a great fascination for these animals, since I was in my early teens watching the late Steve Irwin risk his limbs and life , while trying to catch these dangerous creatures.

We went down to the lobby to wait for our bus, we waited and waited but no bus came. I was getting worried so I asked the receptionist what time it was and her response took me by suprise, when she said 7 o'clock, i asked her again to make sure that I had heard her correctly and again the same response. We were supposed to be picked up at 8 o'clock, any wonder the bus had not come and it had been a lot darker in the room, when we woke up.

fruit bats
My wife must of accidently changed the time while setting the alarm. We went back to our room to wait.

At 8 O'clock we went down to the lobby to board the bus, and we were on our way. The first town that we drove through was Mossman, the town produces a huge amount of sugar and is surrounded by sugar cane. We would be stopping here on our way back to Port Douglas to visit the beautiful Mossman Gorge.

As we drove further north and getting closer to the Daintree River, the bus driver started to tell us some crocodile stories. The last recorded death in the Daintree area by a crocodile was recorded about 50 years ago but there was a case with an Englishman that disapeared near a river in the 80's that no one has ever seen or heard of since that we could assume that a croc gotten hold of him.

A croc enjoying the sun what a life
Crocodiles at one stage in Australia,  were hunted to near extinction until the government made a law that prohibits the sleying of crocodiles.

The bus stopped  and we got out to wait in a waiting room for the cruise to commence, while we were waiting we were served coffee and some homemade ANZAC biscuits, real yummy.The boat was ready for us to board, I was hoping to see lots of crocodilesbut the guide, who was driving the boat warned us that it is now nesting season, so a lot of the crocodiles were in dens so it might be difficult to see them.

We set off slowly, everybody concentrating on the water but so far no luck, when all of a sudden the boat stops and the driver tells us to look in the trees. In the trees I thought why would a crocodile be in the trees, but the quide was showing us a colony of fruit bats.

cape tribulation
I had seen them yesterday in Port Douglas but it was still nice to see some wildlife while on the river. The engine of the boat started up again and everybodies eyes were scanning the water, it was rather funny the amount of times people thought they had seen a crocodile only to be told that they had seen a logodile. (A log in the water)

We weren't having much luck, so the guide got on his 2 way radio to talk to the other boat and asked if they had seen any. After they had finished talking, the guide told us that the other boat had just seen a 4.5 metre crocodile, so we went over to where it had been seen and there on the bank was this crocodile all in its glory bathing itself in the sun. I was happy I had finally seen a crocodile in the wild. Someone asked if we could go closer but the guidetold us by law he was not allowed to get within 10 metres of the crocodile.

enjoying mossman gorge

With only 20 minutes left of the cruise and seeing 1 crocodile to about 100 logodiles, I was feeling a little disappointed. We turned the boat around and headed back towards the boat ramp, as we were nearing it the boat suddenly stopped and the guide told everyone to look towards the bankof the river in the shallow water, you could just make out two beady eyes and the top of its nose peaking out. OK now I felt a little better, I had seen two crocodiles

Next was the Daintree Rainforest Discovery Centre, where we were guided on a boardwalk into the rainforest. We didn't see any birds or animals but the  guide was very informative telling us about the plants that grew in the forest and what their purpose was for the growth of the forest. The boardwalk led up into a tower which, overlooked the forest canopy.

mossman gorge
While we were in the tower, the guide told us about the casowary that was unique to Australia, that lived in this part of Northern Queensland. He also showed the seeds that the cassowary eats, they were the largest seeds that I had ever seen.

We were all getting hugary and soon it would be lunch at the Cape Tribulation resort. we could choose either steak, sausages or grilled barramundi, a large river fish found in northern Australia. I chose to have barramundi which was very nice. We were then back on the bus heading towards Cape Tribulation.

On our way to Cape Tribulation there were signs on the road that had a picture of a cassowary and a speed limit of 60 kilometres, we were now in the heart of the cassowary's home.

from the swing bridge
The bus driver told us they were endangered and he drives this route nearly everyday and he hasn't seen a cassowary for about 6 weeks. We drove for about another 5 minutes, when on the side of a road we saw a cassowary. I thought how cool was this, everybody had their camera's pointing at it taking pictures while my wife was fiddling around trying to put the battery into the camera, by the time she got it in the cassowary had moved back into the forest and we were the only ones not to get a shot.

We continued driving for about half an hour until we came to Cape Tribulation, this would be the furtherest point of our tour as the road  from here is no longer sealed and only 4wd's are able to make the drive to Cooktown. Cape Tribulation has a beach that goes as far as the eye could see, but once again unable to swim because of the jellyfish.

from the swing bridge of mossman gorge
Here they also have a boardwalk out into the forest, that leads to a lookout that looks over the cape, very beautiful indeed.

For an historical point of interest, Cape Tribulation is where a 15 year old girl (sorry I can't remember her name ), around 1777 eloped with a captain of a ship that left England to sail to Australia. This ship crashed into the rocks off the cape with  most of the crew dieing , but the people who survived were washed up onto the rocks and survived about  6 days, they were discovered by native Australians, that happened to be canibals and they took the sailors and killed them to eat, fortunately for the girl  thenative Australians did not eat women. The girl lived with the tribe for 7 years living the same way as them.

About 7 years later another ship came and somehow the women got aboard the ship, when the captain asked her some questions , the young women was unable to to answer in English and over the years the Australian sun had darkened her skin and she now resembled a native Australian.

mossman gorge
 Over a few days, the women slowly regained her English and she told the captain her terrible ordeal. She was reunited with her parents and she went on to live to live a long life, dying at the ripe old age of 84.

As we headed back towards Port Douglas, everybody was quiet and tired from the long trip. I was still looking out the window, when I spotted  a cassowary. I yelled out CASSOWARY but the driver was going to fast and couldn't stop. I was the only one to see it.

Our last stop for the day was Mossman Gorge. This place is so beautiful and you should not miss it if you come to Port Douglas. We got to have a swim in the gorge, but it was very cold in. You do have to be aware of the curent , as it flows very fast and might be able to sweep a small child away.

Is that a baby cassowary no its a bush turkey

On the way back walking towards the bus, we saw a bird in the forest that we could not identify , which we thought might be a baby cassowary but we found out later that it was a bush turkey. The bus took us back to our hotel in Port Douglas.

  That night we had dinner at Jade Inn, a chinese restraunt which was by far the best dinner we had on our trip. We had chicken cashew, mabo tofu, rice and spring rolls. This restraunt has had the likes of President Clinton, Jackie Chan and Kiefer Sutherland dine here.

thenewextrememimi says:
Crocs are cute. Sounds like a fun trip!
Posted on: Jan 22, 2008
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that sign is a warning for crocodi…
that sign is a warning for crocod…
fruit bats
fruit bats
A croc enjoying the sun what a life
A croc enjoying the sun what a life
cape tribulation
cape tribulation
enjoying mossman gorge
enjoying mossman gorge
mossman gorge
mossman gorge
from the swing bridge
from the swing bridge
from the swing bridge of mossman g…
from the swing bridge of mossman …
mossman gorge
mossman gorge
Is that a baby cassowary no its a …
Is that a baby cassowary no its a…
mossman gorge
mossman gorge
A bush turkey in its natural surro…
A bush turkey in its natural surr…
A 4.5 metre croc in the Daintree r…
A 4.5 metre croc in the Daintree …
looking out over Cape Tribulation
looking out over Cape Tribulation
further up the mossman gorge
further up the mossman gorge
morseman gorge
morseman gorge
rei having a splash around in the …
rei having a splash around in the…
Port Douglas
photo by: sweettangerine