And Billy Tea there was...the old fashioneed variety. The fire even looked real but regulations meant it was really gas. but what a gorgeous spot for this highlight of the tour (but not the only highlight). Fresh fruit on a platter, wine if you felt so inclined , and of course Billy Tea and Damper. We had to scuttle out of the way while the billy full of hot tea was given the traditional swing through the air.
The reason for doing this is that it drives practically all of the tea-leaves to the bottom of the billy so you can pour a drink without filling the cup with tea leaves.
Then this was a place where you could swin in safety and some did. Apparently the water is too clear and sparkly for the crocs. (It is up to us to keep safe...do not blame the crocodiles)
There was just so much included in our tour. John, our guide, just looked the part as you will see from the photos. But he also gave us "the low down" on all aspects of our journey. And he found us a cassowary and two chicks which we were able to photograph ...a rare treat .
We enjoyed a river cruise on the Daintree, a drive along the 4WD Bloomfield track, a barbecue lunch, and more.
I better leave some surprises. So go along and discover for yourself.
And there is also opportunity to arrange a Billy Tea tour to Chillagoe Caves and Outback so be sure to check all this out as soon as you arrive in North Queensland.
How to make Billy Tea
To see a cassowary chick in the wild is a very rare delight. Apparently the Mum leaves the minding to Daddy Cassowary so what we saw was Daddy and joy oh joy two babies.
When our guide first spotted the Cassowary it was a big "SHUSH" and we tiptoed back along the pathway hoping we would be lucky. And lucky we were and we were told this was a rare sighting...
Cape Tribualtion is assume, it's an amazing place to visit. It's one of Australia's wonders, as there are many in this land. But you can't give Cape Tribulation a miss if you are in the area.
You can do here some nice walks in the rainforest and it has a nice big beach where you can spend a wonderful time together with your friends.
And there are great parties at PK's Jungle Village.
I know now why many people are visiting Mossman Gorge, it seems to be one of the most visited spots in the Wet Tropics.
Mossman Gorge is located in the Daintree National park, and is the traditional home of the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people. The Mossman River runs here between huge granite boulders and they create here and there some nice clear freshwater swimming pools.
There are nice areas to swim, and it's a relaxing walk or you can walk over a suspension bridge that runs over the river.
There is a also 2.4 km self-guided walk.
Daintree Discovery Centre is an educational nature park with focus on the lowland rainforest in Far North Queensland. There are 400 metres of elevated, timber boardwalk that you can follow through an enclosed rainforest environment. We followed the track and had a closer look at the flora and fauna, especially many birds and butterflies - but unfortunately not the huge and colourful Cassowary, which lives in the area.
IMO, the highlight was the 23 meter high observation tower (Canopy Tower) from where you can have a look at the rainforest from above. Daintree Discovery Centre also had an information centre with a small aquarium area, and many exhibitions of the local flora and fauna.
The visit to the centre was a really good experience, but if you don’t want to pay for a walk through the rainforest you could consider the Jindalba Boardwalk instead.
Jindalba is a 700 meter boardwalk circuit through the rainforest. The circuit takes about 30 minutes, and is a really nice walk where you can see and learn about the rainforest environment. There were a small creek, and many plants, flowers, and trees – for instance king ferns, palms, and fig trees. At least that’s what I read from the many information signs, which were posted along the track, explaining about the flora and fauna of the rainforest.
Jindalba is home of the big and colourful Cassowary bird, but we didn’t see any on our walk…
When we drove north from Daintree Village and the Daintree Ferry we passed a few view points with spectacular view of the Daintree area.
We stopped at the Alexandra Range Lookout (Walu Wugirriga) and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Daintree River mouth, the coastline, and the surrounding forest. There was a sign with a map of the area, and it explained the things we could see from Alexandra Range Lookout. Nice place for a short break…
On the road from Cairns to Daintree Village we passed a couple of signs for 'Bruce Belcher Daintree River Cruises’, and it looked so interesting that we decided to check it out. We turned right at a small dirt road and drove towards the Daintree River, and there – nearly hidden by the thick forest - we found Belchers small family business.
We booked a river cruise when we arrived, but had to wait half an hour for the next available cruise (there are seven cruises every day - check the time schedule on their webpage). However, it was not a problem because it gave us time to have a closer look at Belchers small exhibition on the wildlife here at Daintree River.
The river cruise was a great experience. One hour on the river with Bruce Belcher, and he told us a lot about the wildlife and the environment. We saw the mangrove forest, many birds, snakes in the trees, and also ‘Big Bertha’. Bertha is a legendary crocodile at the Daintree River, and she also was a very impressive specimen…
OK for a short stop.
The lowlands rainforest of the Daintree contains some of the most endangered type of rainforest in the world. The Mesophyll Vine Forest home of the magnificent Fan Palm is one of them, this type of vegetation occurs on poorly drained soils inundated during the summer wet season. This forest is also home place for the Southern Cassowary.
This magnificent animal is the largest of all living reptiles. The legnth of an adult male is from 4 to 6 mts and the weight if from 600 to 1,000 kilograms. An opportunistic predator, they are also known to attack humans who enter their territory. Very common in the northern Australia rivers, we saw a medium size crocodile and some babies in the shores of the Daintree river.
A beautiful and interesting trek through a 800 mts boardwalk constructed over a mangrove ecosystem, very well signed with explanations of the evolution of plants and trees, at the end there´s a beautiful turquoise pond. I´ve visited several mangroves but never walk over them. A wonderful experience.
After our visit to the Daintree river, our next stop was in this lookout wich offered great views of the Daintree River estuary, Snapper Island and beyond to the Coral Sea. We also saw here the magnificent Ulisses butterfly.
The river is surrounded by mountains and finished on a giant sandbar, it winds through mangroves and lush tropical vegetation. It´s a good spot to see salt and freshwater marine life. Most of the tours to the Park included a nice cruise through the river and channels around.
A scenic section of the Diantree national Park, Mosman Gorge is located in the southern part of the park (80 kms from Cairns) . A good introduction to the rainforest, two walking tracks with viewing platforms lead you down to the Mosman River passing through a dense rainforest. I visited the place at the end of the raining season so the river ran very strong, so swiming wasn´t an option. Great place to see native birds like the Australian Brush Turkeys and different kinds of Kingfisher.
Like most of tropical Queensland, the Daintree area offers some outstanding birding opportunities. Honeyeaters move conspicuously from flower to flower, kingfishers zip up and down the waterways, fairy wrens move about the forest margins in noisy flocks, and numerous other species thrive in the various ecosystems that constitute this remarkable area.