Green, green, green... but it looks like NZ?

Trip Start Aug 22, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Only just made it to breakfast this morning after having a bit of a sleep in. The bed was very comfortable and being able to hear the ocean was tres' calming and relaxing.  Lots of zzzzzz.

The sides of the main Thala lodge building containing the reception area, bar, lounge and dining area are all open to the elements.  Great for bird watching while munching away on the assorted yummies from the breakfast buffet.  One of the trees had a water dripper set-up into a hollow in the branch, making a natural bird bath.  At one stage there must have been about 30 of these small, noisy blackbirds in there having baths and drinks.  Very cool to watch.  Also lots of lorikeets hanging around.  Very pretty to look at but man can they screech!

Made some tour bookings (outer reef & hot air ballooning), then hopped in our trusty hire car and headed up to Mossman gorge.  Mossman is a very pretty gorge… in fact you could say its "gorge-ous" (groaaaan).  There were lots of people swimming in the river and cooling off on the banks.  It wasn’t that hot a day but as soon as you go into the rainforest it gets really humid and sticky – so no wonder everyone was diving in!  Saw some more Ulysees butterflies here – common as muck really!  But just try taking a photo of one and the buggers take off.

Next we fanged it further north trying to make it in time for a Daintree river cruise, but missed it by about 10 minutes so drove into the town of Daintree Village for some lunch and a looksee.  The name Daintree evokes pristine rainforest, teeming greenery and lush wet tropical plants. Hmmm, maybe the actual forest is like that but the town itself is a bit of a hole!  The main street has about 10 buildings on either side and that’s about it.  Worst toasted sandwiches in the world!  For some reason the cheese was on the outside of the toasties, but whether out or in it still tasted crap.

So sad we didn’t have time to force down the rest of our sandwiches before heading back for another crack at the river cruise.  We made it this time and were soon floating down the very green Daintree River with about 20 other people.  The tide was a bit high so not much in the way of croc activity, but we did still see two baby crocs amongst the mangrove roots and 2 snakes in the trees.

After this we headed back into Daintree village to try out some of the scenic routes.  Again, silly us though as we were expecting lush rainforest.  In reality these turned out to be scenic “grazing land” routes.  Still, along one of the roads we came across a view that was pure NZ countryside.  Quite speccy and not disappointing at all.  Also saw a few forest kingfishers along the road but they were too quick for us to catch on film.

Had Mexican for dinner in Port Douglas, where oddly, we decided not to try the “Anal Angst” and “Rectum Ripper” hot sauces on our nachos!

After this we wandered around Port Douglas for awhile, strolling down the main street and along near the beach (mud flat).  Bit wary of crocs lurking in the shadows as the beach is right next to a river estuary full of mangroves – a croc’s favourite place to lurk.
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