Golden Anniversary Tour - Tropical North Queensland

Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge

Wednesday 1st August, 2018

Wednesday 1st August, 2018

Off to the Daintree Rainforest

Drop Cap p again at 0600! Relaxing this break is not! However it was a lovely day, sunny and bright but not hot or humid. Always pleasant in the tropics.

Drop Cap e were collected on time (after a more truncated, but perfectly adequate, breakfast) by Driver/guide Wylie in a small bus to take us and another fifteen or so to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest.

Mossman River photograph

Mossman River, en route to Daintree

Drop Cap e headed up the highway, which was getting more familiar with each tour, and our first stop, (after checking all the vouchers etc with the boss on the side of the road) was just outside the town of Mossman. We had a rest stop by the Mossman River, and it was very pleasant. The river was shallow, and picturesque with fallen logs looking like crocodiles (an omen of things to come!) and the lovely jungle on the far bank. It was cool and green and placid. Later this afternoon we were to see the Mossman River in another guise, rushing through Mossman Gorge, but that was still to come.

Daintree Lookout photograph

Daintree Lookout

Drop Cap oving right along we arrived at the Daintree Rainforest National Park where we walked for about 45 minutes on an easy boardwalked trail to see the lovely rainforest. There were a couple of lookout points where one could see right over the forest to the sea at Cape Tribulation. Wylie, our driver/guide, was a fervent conservationist and gave us several interesting and entertaining interludes on the trail.

Guide Wylie photograph

Wylie, our Driver/Guide

Boyd's Dragon photograph

Boyd's Jungle Dragon

Drop Cap e saw no cassowaries, unfortunately, we were all looking out for them, but we did see a little Boyd's Jungle Dragon, hanging on a tree. The forest was lovely, shadowed and green with huge trees with high buttressed roots protecting them and lianas swinging, just waiting for Tarzan.

Rainforest photograph

Daintree Rainforest

(Although Wylie disabused us of this notion by pointing out that the lianas grew from the ground, and didn't dangle from the trees. If Tarzan had grabbed one he would have fallen to the ground unless Jane went through the jungle tying them up for him.

Picnic at Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation photograph

Cape Tribulation Beach

Drop Cap e drove through some very forested areas on the way to Cape Tribulation, where Wylie provided us with a very acceptable picnic lunch which we could eat on the beach or at a picnic table. We and another couple of older guys opted for the picnic table, but the younger ones chose the beach.

Drop Cap e had chicken legs, ham and salads, bread rolls and fruit which we ate while being monstered by scrub turkeys in the tree above us.

Cape Tribulation photograph

Cape Tribulation Sign

Drop Cap ape Tribulation is lovely, but not swimmable due to marine stingers, (box Jellyfish) although the authorities provide a supply of vinegar for treating stings if you take the chance. To add to the thrill-seeking, a three metre crocodile apparently patrols the beach. We walked up and down the beach after lunch, even penetrating some bushy areas where the rainforest meets the sea, but saw none of the above. (Thank Goodness)

Mangroves and Crocodiles

Mangroves photograph

Mangroves, Daintree River

Drop Cap fter lunch came the main highlight of the day, the cruise along the Daintree River. This was awesome, (to coin a phrase). The driver, Mick, looked like a hillbilly but his knowledge of the ecology of the river was amazing. It was not just a crocodile hunt, he told us a great deal of the importance of the mangrove swamps to the river and the forest. However, we were lucky.

Crocodile photograph

Crocodile, Daintree River

Crocodile photograph

Crocodile, Daintree River

Drop Cap e saw several crocodiles (salties) from an old bull named Scarface through two large females and an adolescent male to a year old baby. They really do look like throwbacks to the dinosaur age and despite the appearance of sleepiness, they seem to have a lot in common with cats, who sleep with their radar on all the time.

Daintree River photograph

Daintree River

Drop Cap he background of the river was lovely, all pristine mangroves and big forest trees. It was a lovely afternoon's cruise, and would have been just as enjoyable if we had not seen any crocs. But that was a bonus. It would have been beautifully relaxing if not for the sharp continual warnings to keep your hands and arms inside the boat!

Mossman Gorge

Drop Cap ack on the bus and heading for Mossman Gorge, we had a lovely ice cream stop along the way at a local business which grows tropical fruit of all kinds, some of which I had never seen before, to turn into ice cream. They sold four scoop tubs for $7-50 and Mac and I shared one: passionfruit, coconut, wattle seed and coffee, and soursop. All delicious.

Drop Cap ur next stop was Mossman Gorge, a very pretty place, accessed by a gallery and shuttle bus which took us up the river to a suspension bridge, rocking and rolling as carefree young people jumped up and down on it.

Mossman Gorge photograph

Mossman Gorge

Drop Cap here was a swimming hole along the way and many of our passengers had a swim before rejoining the bus. The tour, which we found on line ourselves, was much more geared to backpackers than to the deluxe excursions arranged by Deanna. Most of the passengers were young travellers from all over the world, so happy to have a swim and sit damply in the bus on the way home. Us oldies, Mac and me and the other two older guys, kept dry.

Mossman Gorge photograph

Mossman Gorge

Drop Cap hen we walked down beside the rocky, rapid-filled Mossman River, a spectacular walk. The river in the gorge seemed to have no relation to the sleepy stream we had stopped by on the way up, but the narrow gorge would have constricted the flow and the boulders made it jump.

Drop Cap walked back to the gallery, thinking I might find something pretty for Lorraine here but I was a bit disgusted by high prices of the "native" artwork being made in India and China. I know why, of course, just don't see why we can't make the things here!


Drop Cap e came home by 1830, certainly a long day as warned by the Company's brochure, but not too hard and very enjoyable.

Drop Cap e reconfirmed our train for Friday and then went off to dinner at Marina Paradiso, an Italian restaurant in easy walking distance. Lovely meal! Mac had linguini with a creamy ragu sauce and I had chargrilled lamb cutlets. Best thing I have had all year! We drank the bottle of champers the hotel left us and are now somewhat squiffy (again!) Shower soon, then bed.

Tomorrow, Kuranda Rail.

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