Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation

After the Great Barrier Reef, we headed up to north to stay in Port Douglas for a few nights. We rented 2 apartments between us, right by the beach and with an outdoor pool which we got good use out of.

The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world (135 million years!), and we were keen to explore it. After enjoying the tour we did at Uluru earlier in the year, and having had some recommendation from others we booked onto a day tour with Billy Tea Safaris. See here. We got picked up from our apartment, and drove for about an hour, hearing stories about the local area, the sugar cane plantations and flooding from our knowledgeable guide, ‘Uncle’ Nev.

Our first stop was to have some local Daintree tea, and hop on a cruise along the Daintree River for an hour, trying to spot crocodiles. Unfortunately because of the hot weather they all seemed to be hiding, so the only one we saw was the one the guide was handling at the start. Still it was nice being on the river, having a close up look at the mangroves and learning about the area.

After that we stopped at a very scenic lookout with views down the valley, and went on for a short walk in the rainforest, looking at some cycads (tall ferms) which were hundreds of years old. From there we went on to an animal rescue centre where we got to hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies. Nev cooked us up a very tasty BBQ with some locally reared, grass-fed steaks.

Me feeding the rescue kangaroo

Me feeding the rescue kangaroo

 

Next up we drove along the 4WD Bloomfield Track, which goes up north to Cape York. It takes days to drive up there and there are basically no shops or other towns on the way. It really have us a good feeling for how remote that bit of Australia is. After a while we stopped and took a refreshing swim in a pool with some fish. Just downstream was a warning sign about crocodiles, but apparently they don’t come up as far as where we were swimming. I kept my eyes peeled just in case!

CrocSign

Beware, Crocodiles!

After surviving the swim, we had some more tea, fruit damper bread with golden syrup from the local sugar cane and a selection of about 7 different local tropical fruits. I can’t remember the names of all of them, but it included jackfruit, soursop (like a lemon), black sapote and chocolate pudding fruit – which really did taste like chocolate pudding.

Bushfruit

Rainforest fruit

After heading back down the 4WD track we stopped for a walk at Cape Tribulation, the beach where ‘the rainforest meets the reef’. It was really very pretty, but you’re advised not to go in the sea because sometimes there are crocodiles. We took a walk along the beach, keeping a respectable distance from the water! On the beach there were loads of tiny balls of sand, made by little crabs. You couldn’t help treading on the balls, which made me feel bad. I have no idea why the crabs make them, but they were all over the beach in Port Douglas too. For the last stop we went to the Daintree Ice Cream Co, for ice creams made of local tropical fruits – yum!

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

The next day we went for a hot and humid walk around Mossman Gorge and the surrounding rainforest. The gorge is pretty big, with lots of large boulders. The water was quite low as it was summer time, but in the wet season it must be pretty powerful. We spotted a water dragon hanging about on a tree, and lots of bright orange butterflies.

Water Dragon in Mossman Gorge

Water Dragon in Mossman Gorge

After the hot rainforest we went to chill out on the beach. While James, Laura and Tom dug a big deep hole (because that’s what you do on the beach), Matt, Monika and I went for a swim in the sea. We went for the part where the net was – to avoid the jellyfish and possible crocodiles! We checked the sign, and in the sea it was 29 degrees! Getting in, it was the only time very I haven’t even felt a tiny bit cold in the sea. It actually felt like it had been warmed up, which was very very strange – but nice!

PortDouglas

 

The next day we had to go back to Sydney and leave all our Horsham friends behind 🙁 It was an excellent trip, and lots of fun. Come back soon guys!

 

 

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