“Asia is all about culture & history, Australia is more about nature and beauty”. These were the words of a fellow traveller I met in Indonesia and in my first week in Australia I was able to witness the beauty of nature myself.
Daintree Rainforest is the oldest known rainforest in the world and the edge of the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef, so whilst standing on the golden sandy beaches of Cape Tribulation I was able to marvel at 2 of the worlds natural wonders at the same time. Pretty amazing.
I had already snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef and so it was time to explore the rainforest. Our guide led us into the rainforest following a guided path until we came to a stream. We were told we could swim in it as it was perfectly safe but we weren’t warned about the strong current! I got into the cold but refreshing water and started swimming about, then I spotted a big rock which the sun was shining on so thought I woud swim over to it to warm up. As I put my hand on the rock the strong current suddenly pushed me away and was pulling me along down stream. I was really struggling to fight against the current but finally found a calm spot and used all my strength to swim and pull myself out. I was pretty worried for a while but now all I can do is laugh at the thought of me bobbing down stream in the worlds oldest rainforest! That’s not something that happens every day!
After our swim we were ushered back to the minivan after what was about just a 10 minute walk in the rainforest! I was not impressed. Luckily, the tour we was on could be done in one day or split over 2 days so you could spend the night in the rainforest. We opted for staying over and so we had the opportunity of experiencing more of the rainforest. We stayed in a hostel which was made up of little huts in the forrest and we had booked a night walk. Although the night walk cost us an extra 40AUD (about £22) it was worth it. Our guide took us into the forrest following only natural paths, once we were deep in the forrest he asked us all to turn off our torches. I was waiting for my eyes to adjust to the dark so I could start to see objects but it was so extremely dark it was impossible to see anything and because the trees tower higher than the eye can see I couldn’t even see the stars! We stood in the rainforest in pitch black for about 5 minutes just listening to all the different sounds. At first I was really scared but then I was just mesmorised. After a few minutes I began to see fire flies flitting about and then I noticed the luminous fungi! It was all around us, sparkling. It reminded me of the sea plankton in Cambodia. It was quite a magical sight. When the torches went back on we continued our walk and along the way we spotted a Forrest Dragon, (only found in the Daintree Rainforest), a yellow and red frog, many Huntsman spiders, a huge Brown Tree Snake and lots of other weird and wonderful creatures.
The following day we cruised along the Daintree River and was fortunate enough to spot a few crocodiles along the riverbank. It really was amazing seeing all these animals in their natural habitats and not behind a glass at the zoo.
I spent a week in total in Cairns, I met some lovely girls from England and Canada and had a great last night at the Woolshed which is a popular backpackers club.
After more goodbyes I set off on my own again for the next part of my trip.