The cassowary is a large flight-less bird
found in Papua New Guinea and North Eastern
Australia. It has a stunning blue neck and unusual 'crown'.
It has adapted to the dense forests and is
rarely seen by humans.
The Ryparosa (tree plum) is a near threatened
rare tree restricted to the rainforest from
Daintree River to Cape Tribulation. Its survival
is reliant upon the survival of the endangered
Cassowary. Seeds of the Ryparosa that pass
through the gut of the cassowaries have a
92% chance of germination. Seeds that don’t,
have only a 4% chance.
Ryparosa 'plum' fruit, cassowary
droppings resulting in new tree saplings.
Daintree National Park is the only place
in the world where two World Heritage listed
sites meet, the Daintree Rainforest and Great
Barrier Reef. The crystal-clear waters of
the Mossman River cascade over granite boulders
in Mossman Gorge while Cape Tribulation features
rainforest-clad mountains that sweep down
to long sandy beaches.
Consisting of nearly 900 000 hectares, vegetation
is primarily tropical rainforest, but also
includes open eucalyptus forest, wetlands
and mangrove forests.
The Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people
are the traditional owners of Daintree National
Park. Europeans first settled in the area
in the 1870’s.
The Port Douglas and Daintree region was
home to only the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal
people until it was settled by the Europeans
in the 1870's. It was gripped by gold
fever in the early years but as the gold
mines declined so too did the town. It is
now favoured by a list of celebrities as
the place to get away. The avenue into the
town is flanked by palm trees, exclusive
spa resorts and golf courses. Port Douglas
is famed for its Four Mile Beach.
We visited the Wildlife Habitat
which is an open and interactive environment
where you wander along paths and elevated
boardwarks as birds fly and animals roam
freely around you.
The coast road from Cairns to Daintree, passes
through vast areas of sugar cane farming
that has its own Cane Train on a narrow gauge
track, although most of the cane is now moved
in large containers by road.
Tropical fruits, tea, vanilla, cocoa, cattle
and barramundi fish are also farmed in this
Much of the coast is long, empty sandy beaches
but there are some populated towns with beautiful
sandy beaches that have swimming enclosures
which protect against the ‘stingers’.
Such beach resorts are Trinity Beach, Palm
Cove and the popular Port Douglas.
The Daintree is one of the longest rivers
on the East coast (140kms) and contains 31
mangrove species and many crocodiles. The
only access to the land on the north of the
river is by ferry.
There is a tarmac road (and very old battered
road bridge) up to Cape Tribulation but if
you wish to venture further north to explore
the rugged rainforest territory and experience
places of special significance to the native
Aboriginal people then you must have a 4WD
Cow Bay to Cape tribulation