Not far up north from Cairns is the Daintree National Park. It’s basically a rain forest. Nothing special to me. I have seen lots of rain forests. They kinda all look the same to me.
I went anyway to check out that one. Why? Because it is the world’s oldest rain forest. 140 millions of years old. The Amazon area is only 40 million years old. At least that’s what that dude told me (I should be more critical in regards of my sources 🙂 )
The morning after the snorkeling trip in the Great Barrier Reef I went for a lovely (=exhausting and hot) beach run. Then I drove up north.
I stopped at Mossman gorge, a nice waterhole filled with lots of aussie teens (school holidays have started) and a rain forest walk with super cool, big fig trees. Then I took the ferry over the Daintree river to enter the national park.
I drove along really narrow, curvy roads right through the forest until I saw a sign “River Croc Cruises – 2 PM”. It was 1:50. I stopped the car, got out and joined the group without really knowing what was going on. Yeah, its not crocodile watching season (that’s in winter, when the water is cold and they sunbathe on the shores). But I thought its nice to see the mangroves and maybe the occasional bird.
It was a fun crowd, the guide – who has been doing that job half his life – gave us cool info about the biotope and crocodiles.. Including stories about that lady, that got killed by one 5 months ago and he had found her remains…..
Then he shouted: “TO YOUR RIGHT!!!” And there it was. Along swam a 3-4 meter long crocodile, apparently looking out for girls. WE got lucky to be able to see one and followed him for a while. The animal being quite unimpressed by our boat.
The night I spent a jungle bungalow next to a tropical beach. They offered a free tour and explained more about crocodiles, marine stingers (jellyfish), spiders and tropical plants. He pointed out some really big spiders and also a teeny weenie shark swimming around right at the shore. Not harmful for humans. Unlike crocodiles and those jellyfish, who can kill you withing minutes if you’re unlucky.
Those two are basically the reason why there are all those gorgeous, amazing, but empty tropical beaches. Surrounded by palm trees and white sand. But you can’t go into the water and I also wouldn’t recommend nightly beach walks. What a shame, but those pretty places there don’t belong to us humans.