Rainforrest meets Reef...

Trip Start Apr 17, 2012
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, May 25, 2012

Next stop Mossman Gorge, and into the Daintree National Park, one of the few 'must-see' places on our itinerary. Again, we encountered simply beautiful rainforests on the 2.4km river and gorge walks, which have been made so accessible to the public. Will has amazed us with his hiking endurance and enthusiasm, with him walking most of the tracks on our trip independently. All bar very few are suitable for prams and in most instances he insists on walking himself anyway. So off we go, with Will eagerly leading the way, in search of the next ‘bidg’ (bridge) or ‘tets’ (steps), both of which he has become very fond of, often wanting to go up and down and over several times! He completely surprised us when we reached a secluded and stunning little water hole on the Mossman walk, when he wanted to get in. He hasn’t been overly fond of running or natural water on this trip, much preferring pools, but he absolutely insisted on getting his feet in. So, off with the shoes and socks and in dangled his feet!

We camped the night in the village of Daintree where we also went on a Daintree River cruise and caught sight of our first ‘crocas’ in the wild. The three we saw were all laid up on sand banks along the river soaking up the last of the sun before retreating back into the river for the night. The cruise was a wildlife treat, seeing an array of birds including the vibrant blue kingfishers, a tree snake and a tree frog. And then deeper into the Daintree National Park, crossing the river, headed for Cape Tribulation was the next and northern most point of our journey. We did some more rainforests walks, saw another couple of Cassowaries and our first tree kangaroo and went to a local IceCream Factory before landing at our beach side Cape Trib camp spot, where we thought we would spend a few of our final travelling days. That was until the torrential rain hit and we thought we best cross back over the river in case we got flooded in! Cape Trib had 120mm over night, which for the area wasn’t so bad- they do get an average of 4m, but anywhere up to 7m, annual rain fall up here! But as we travelled back south we heard that they weren’t the worst hit, with Port Douglas getting 300mm in the same night! Thats alotta rain!! Despite the rain and subsequently, some forced rainy-day timetables for Will, it was an amazing place- literally the meeting of the rainforest and the water- quite spectacular. The humidity was a killer though and our first real experience of what the wet hot tropics is like in summer, which is quite unseasonal for this time of year.  Still, we did a walk to the Cape and some other rainforest walks in the area, did plenty of dig-dig-digging in the sand and Chris even tried his hand at cracking into a fresh coconut on the beach. Success after some effort!

After a few nights at Cape Trib we crossed back over the river and headed south back to Port Douglas to try and catch the last days of Carnivale. On the way, we did another river cruise- this time in the pouring rain, and wildlife poor. The highlight of this leg was definitely stopping at a local Barramundi fish farm and Chris catching us some dinner for a few nights! You might be forgiven for thinking fish farm- easy fishing. Not so. It still took a lot of patience and at least an hour to haul in the two barra that became dinner. The first at 1.4kg and the second at 2.1kg. It was a special Friday night fish ‘n chips that night with a whole cooked barra in the oven!! Yummo!

Saturday in Port was Family Beach Day- which was a full day of activities on the beach for kids. It was a great atmosphere, with people getting involved in beach cricket, tennis, sandcastle competitions and the highlight for Will was getting to sit in the cockpit of a ‘copta’ (helicopter) which was on the beach for sky diving demonstrations. He loved it as he sat there ‘drive, drive drive’. We spent a good few hours hanging out on the beach- Will making friends and getting grubby! We also took a ride on the local Bally Hooley Steam train, made extra special by Will getting to wear the train driver’s hat! Whilst he didn’t seem overly excited about the train ride at the time, it did have him talking about trains for the next few days!

We left Port headed for Palm Cove- our final stopover and a little bit of a treat at the end of our 6 weeks on the road...
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