My (free) Daintree Aboriginal Tour
Trip Start Nov 16, 2008
28Trip End Dec 31, 2008
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i was picked up in an oversized 4x4 safari tour van from my accomodation in Cairns at about 7 am and we headed to one of the northern beaches to pick up the other 6 people, a family, who were also joining the tour
the highlight of the day, for me, was our first activity which involved wading through the shallows of the mudflats and using a traditional aboriginal spear to catch mudcrab. our guide (or uh, my guide) was a man from the kuku-yalanji (sp?) tribe in what is now Mossman, and began by teaching me how to throw the spear properly and how to tell a female from a male mudcrab. i was a bit timid at first...spearing things isn't exactly my style, but i went with it and by the end of the hour i was throwing at anything that moved in the water. sadly, though not surprizingly, i didn't catch anything. my aboriginal guide and my tour guide both caught two large crabs though so we decided to move on into the mangroves that lined the flats and search for mussels and periwinkles. since it was low tide the mangroves were completely drained and we could walk right through the "forest"....although you still had to beware of sinking in the thick mud and stepping over the high mangrove roots
after we had our fill we headed over to the daintree river to take a cruise in search of crocodiles. i had already done the cruise on my day trip through the daintree but it was pouring that day and today was sunny, so i was looking forward to seeing the rainforest in the sunshine. we did spot a good sized croc, a rusty kite, and lots of tree snakes so it was well-worth it.
lastly we went to a private property just north of the Daintree Village and hiked through what could possibly be my favorite part of the rainforest yet. it was magical! beautiful sunshine rays coming through the canopy...a peaceful river meandering through the woods down to the ocean....all culminating in a huge waterfall. Niau Falls as it's called, is named after the french couple that originally owned the land and is still privately owned to this day.
like i said before, it was an awesome day. not only had i basically had a private tour, but because i was seeing more than just your pretty tourist beaches and postcard-lined shops. i was seeing the real Australia, through the eyes of the true owners.