Posts Tagged ‘Daintree’

As many of you may or may not know I do not contribute a great deal to this blog and this fault is mine alone. Of course I am part of this amazing journey with the best partner anyone could ever wish for but I do feel like I can’t live up to her amazing blogging abilities. This wont keep me from giving it a go every once in a while so let me take you on a journey deep into the world’s oldest rainforest.

Laura and I spent 4 hours in the rainforest and were informed by our guide that we were 1 in a handful of couples a year that journey that deep into the rainforest ever year. To put this in perspective we were 2 of like a dozen people that year that got to experience the awesomeness of the Daintree World Heritage Rain Forest. Yes I am bragging because this is a chance for us to say that we have done something that very little people do.

We experienced cassowaries, dinosaurs, snakes, spiders the size of my hand or others that were completely unseen until our guide nearly poked them due to their amazing camouflage capabilities and a multitude of fauna species.

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Walking through the forest with our guide, Neil, we were not only stimulated by everything the forest had to offer visually but also through sounds and Neil’s amazing intellect.

He spoke of how everything was tied together in one big chain. Everything had a purpose, minus the cane toads and wild pigs because they either were food for something else, helped pollinate the plants, or simply added to the constant recycling of the organic material that kept the forest growing.

The plants and trees in the rainforest have very shallow roots and this is due to the fact that all of the nutrient rich material is coming from the living animals and plants above ground. The trees are not strengthened by deep roots but by being interconnected by massive vines that intertwine the canopy into a giant rug of green. The plants below the massive canopy have developed over the many years to live in a low light environment and although they are small they could have been around for several 100s of years.

Like I said everything in the rainforest had a purpose; case in point, the plant below if touched by an animal would cause the animal stinging pains for 3-4 months and that is only if you were dumb enough to ignore its strong chemical signals like us humans telling us to stay away this part of the rainforest is under repair. This plant’s purpose is to help heal the canopy above that had been damaged by the most recent hurricane Yasi by keeping animals and insects away allowing the new plants and trees to grow and fill the space.

Laura and I have both agreed that this was by far our favorite part of the trip and I could go on for several more pages but alas this is a blog and is meant for short stories and not novels, so Laura tells me. 🙂  I hope you have enjoyed my rambling, our amazing photos and that this whets your appetites for adventure and exploring the unknown / little known about the world around us, only please do it with a knowledgeable guide like Neil!

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Ever read a book or see a movie or have a conversation in which you have so many  ‘A HA’ moments that your worldview has changed forever?  It’s happened to us a lot lately…chalk it up to nearing our (gulp) thirties.  Whatever the experience is, I know I could never go on pretending that I didn’t know what I know now.  These experiences make us face our lives in a whole new light; either armed with more information or more questions and often times both at the same time.  Game Changers.  Know what I mean?

This is the perhaps the best way to describe our 4-hour long adventure with Neil from Cooper Creek Wilderness tours in the Daintree Rainforest.  Neil and his family have lived in the Cooper Valley part of the rainforest for over 20 years.  He knows his stuff and (I imagine) blows the pants off of those guys giving scripted tours at some of the cheaper places doing day trips from Port Douglas or Cairns.

There were too many things that we learned and experienced to capture them all here.  In fact, we spent several hours after the tour frantically writing everything we could remember in my little notebook and I’m still fretting about things we may have forgotten.  The pictures from below aren’t all from the tour but were taken during our time in the Daintree.  Nevertheless, here are a few general highlights:

  • The Daintree or Gondwanan rainforest is the oldest-surviving rainforest in the world having survived over 135 million years.  Neil usually does 2 hour, eco-friendly, tours but we were unique in choosing the Greater Wilderness Tour which lasts half a day.  I think Neil said 20 couples/year choose the longer tour so summarizing his words, we were two of twenty people in the world to trek that deep into the longest surviving rainforest that year!

Fan palms and strangler vines

  • The Daintree is also a World Heritage Area meaning that this place in far North Queensland is one of the only places in the world where two World Heritage Areas meet.  “Where the rainforest meets the reef…”

Noah’s Beach – Daintree

  • EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.  EVERYTHING HAS A PURPOSE.  Rain to plants to insects to animals to humans.

Canopy of Fan Palms

  • Half of what Neil sees on his tours he’ll never see again.  Neil has found wildlife that had not been previously found and as of yet remains unnamed by the scientific community.  Our wildlife pictures will follow in an upcoming post.
  • The rainforest needs our help.  For reasons still unclear to me, the government has done everything in its power to squeeze tourism out of the Daintree and before you think there might be some noble cause behind it, I assure you it has loads to do with money.  But without going to far into negative town, let me just say, VISIT the Daintree.  If you’re going to Australia, make it a priority.  It should be on the top list of places to visit in Australia alongside the the Reef and Red Centre/Uluru (which we’ve yet to visit).

Ryan and I were both so deeply affected by the rainforest that he’s written his own reflection HERE.

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