Daintree RainforestAugust 10 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 82 °F
Yesterday we flew to the coast, and as soon as we got out of the plane, felt like our skin must be soaking up all the moisture in the air after a week in the desert. It’s not overly humid or warm at this time of year, though. Cairns is the launching point for many Great Barrier Reef tours, but for us, it was our meeting point with Nance and Sande for our next few weeks. We set off for a stay in the Daintree Rainforest for a few days.
The Daintree is the world’s oldest rainforest—older than the Amazon by 50 million years. It is also considered the most diverse in plant and animal life. We are lodging at Lync-Haven, a campground and motel with animal sanctuary. In the morning, we saw wallabies hopping about on the grass, and in the reception/cafe/shop we watched a python and other reptiles in boxes. Outdoors on the dining patio were a couple of red cockatoos that would squawk obnoxiously whenever a server went by with food.
Our first destination for the day was to the Daintree Discovery Centre, where we walked on aerial walkways in the forest canopy. They had a good audio tour to point out some of the plants and help us understand the rainforest. We saw blue Ulysses butterflies (photo courtesy of the signs in the center), a few birds and lots of stag-horn ferns and similar ferns attached to the high branches.
In the afternoon, we went zip lining in the rainforest with Jungle Surfing. They have a great setup — we sailed in pairs, relatively gently from platform to platform. At each stop, the guide would give us some information about the rainforest. We learned that the reason we aren’t seeing many flowers is because many of the trees and plants developed in the age before flowers developed, and don’t need flowers to reproduce.
On our drive back to Lync-Haven near dusk, we rode alongside a cassowary who came out of the woods and was just trotting down the road. Cassowary sightings are hit or miss, so we were thrilled to see them on our first day!Read more