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Monday, May 30, 2016

From Biggest Reef to Oldest Rain Forest

The Daintree Rain Forest is, purportedly, the oldest rain forest on the planet. Parts of it abut the waters of the Great Barrier Reef, so it is truly a unique place to visit. When you step into the greenery you feel like you've slipped back in history to a time when humans had yet to exist and our ancient ancestors hadn't walked upright. This sensation is often interrupted by signs of development, but when you step away from the road and traverse the walkways into the forest the feeling is transformative.

He's lost his hookah, but it's okay.
Big spider, not tarantula big...but big enough
Katydid (or did she??)
Tribulation Bay - the meeting of the rain forest and reef

The Daintree is home to the elusive cassowary (trust me...I did everything I could to try and spot one - perhaps they were offended by my calling them by the name"Kevin" and offering them chocolate...a reference to the movie "Up", if you were living under a rock in 2009), It's also home to the platypus and fearsome salt water crocodile. The beaches are lined with signs warning you not to get too close to the surf, as a croc might make a surprise meal of you. The flora is diverse and stunning and well worth the extra effort to go see it. I'd recommend planning to stay, at least, overnight so that you can take in everything the area has to offer.

Can't see a croc? That's the point.
It was a fungi hotbed and I enjoyed taking photos of such subtly beautiful and diverse things.

While we didn't get to see the cassowary, we did go on a river cruise that offered the opportunity to see both a large crocodile and one of her babies. The downside was that the croc was so well camouflaged that we couldn't get a good picture of her and the other croc known to the area was scared off by a small fishing boat, just as we were ready to snap photos, but such are the vagaries of travel. The baby had climbed onto a fresh stump at high tide and he found himself in a pickle as the water lowered.

Find the baby croc...hint he's on the stump.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but we had two incredible days traveling the Tablelands to the south of Cairns and to the Daintree the day after. 
The final set of photos are a bit of a mix, but mostly from the Atherton Tablelands, north of Cairns, but a couple from Mossman Gorge near the Daintree river. Next time...really, really...Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Not to be missed!
The Atherton Tablelands
A bear in his natural environment
Nope, not a cassowary, but a brush turkey

Mossman Gorge
"The Boulders" - that's what the area is called
Tree at Mossman Gorge - aptly named

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures, definitely a place I would like to see. We saw a rain forest in Puerto Rico, it didn't even have great travel reviews, but was terrific to see, and of course crocodiles are my favourite animals.