Daintree Rain Forest National Park

Trip Start Jun 16, 2012
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Trip End Oct 14, 2012


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, September 7, 2012

Our plan today was to drive up to the Daintree Rain Forest National Park and visit a few of the sights on the way.

We packed a cooler box and costumes and towels and got going nice and early. Our first stop was Mossman Gorge, a magnificent gorge just outside the one horse town of Mossman, a town that reminded us of Sabie in the Eastern Transvaal. Very organised - we parked, paid our entrance fee and were taken to the start of the gorge in a small bus. There is a raised aluminium walkway with plastic decking for about 750m through the rain forest to the river with view point every now and then so that us older people can get to some of the sights. From there we had the option of a few different short walks and chose the longest, a 2km 45 minute circular walk through the forest.

The walk was great. The trees are not nearly as big or as tall as the forests in Cambodia or Thailand that we visited, but were still high and the rain forest lovely. The rainy season here starts in October so it is relatively dry at the moment with a few dry river beds, but the Mossman River is flowing well. The trees get up to 40% of their water from skimming moisture from the low clouds in the dry season, and in the rainy season the sheer quantity of rain leaves the ground waterlogged, unstable and low in oxygen. Some trees grow buttress roots to stabilise themselves as the wider their base the less likely they are to fall. These roots are also partially above ground to absorb oxygen better and fascinating to see.

The birdlife and sounds was fantastic, but we were not able to see much of it as the birds were in the canopy high above us. We were looking for a Cassowarie, a common Daintree rainforest resident but hard to spot & thought we had found one until some Aussies came along and told us we were looking at a Brush Turkey. The Cassowarie stands shoulder high, is like a small ostrich and is quite dangerous.

From Mossman gorge we drove on and crossed Daintree River on a pont and drove into what is claimed to be the world's oldest rainforest. The road wound through the forest towards Cape Tribulation. We turned off the Cape Tribulation road a few times to explore and about a third or the way up took a road to the coast to see Cow Bay. This was a lovely beach with big trees that was similar to the one that Mike & Sue stayed at on Koh Phangan. Only difference was that we only saw boys there which led us to the conclusion that it was a happy and gay beach.

We were hoping to find somewhere for lunch, but no luck, unless plastic pre-packed sandwiches were to be eaten, so we stopped at the Daintree Ice-cream Company for some biodynamic organic ice-cream.

We took a slow drive the 100km or so to back to Port Douglas and lay at the pool and caught up with our emails and re-booked at Green Island Lodge which we had cancelled a week or two ago. The locals were having a dinner party at the pool so we decided to cook in our flat and had an early night.
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