Daintree National Park

by Petra Bucheli

Monday 15th until Wednesday 17th July, 2019

In the morning we packed again our car and continued northwards. Before lunch we made a boat tour on the Daintree River to see wild saltwater crocodiles.

And we met some, the first immediately after departure, only about 20 m from the landing. Two were still small, two were grown up females (2 m) and one huge male (nearly 5 m). I only want to meet them here with some safety distance. We saw some tree snakes and of course also birds. Twice we observed two frogmouth which are rather rare here. The guide was great, he explained a lot and had an eye for the many animals on the banks.

Next we looked for a place to picnic in the Daintree village where we also found a small playground. The kids liked it a lot.

After playing we went back to the river. To get to the Daintree National Park we had to take a car ferry. There were many others with the same idea, so we had to wait for an hour before we could set over.

As it was already mid afternoon and we had to drive a few more kilometre we did not stop in between. After we checked in to our cabin at the Lync Heaven Rainforest Retreat we drove a bit back to the Daintree Ice Cream Factory to get and icecream. We could choose between a cup with four different tastes or blocks. We decided for the cup which is predefined according to the day and what is seasonally available. We got: sourop, jackfruit, wattleseed and coco nut. The icecream is made with home grown fruits. There is also an orchard with many trees, some of the fruits are totally unknown to us. And despite winter we could see one or another fruit.

Back at the retreat Konrad tried to participate on a job interview as interviewer with bad to very bad internet connectivity. In the mean time I was with the children on the playground. There are many different animals in the retreat, for example there are wallaby orphans grown out of the pouch which are prepared to be released to the wild. Some stay forever, e. g. because they are handicapped. In the mean time Jann and Kiara dare to feed the small jumpers, Larina dares to go a bit closer. As there was no kitchen in the cabin we went to the restaurant for dinner. While eating the owner of the site took a snake from a tree. It turned out that he has two of them which stay on the trees during the day and go inside for the night. During breakfast we could see how he put the snakes into the grass and they then slowly climbed up the tree.

That morning we drove with the car up to Cape Tribulation. Beside some nice hikes which we wanted to do here I had a big wish. Here live endangered southern cassowaries and it is rare to see them in the wild. It is the fourth biggest bird of the world. And we were lucky to see one on the side of the road!

There ware a few short tracks through the rainforest, some lead to the beach. The girls slept on the first stop, so I went to the lookout on my own. Konrad and Jann will to the same after. But on the half way my family came towards me as now all were awake. The kids liked Cape Tribulation Beach for playing. Larina was full of wet sand, but that dried again. Here we had rainforest down until the sea.

The next hike was with 1.2 km the longest loop. There were sporadically information panels which Konrad read and then told the kids something about. On one of those was a peppermint stick insect mentioned. They spit a secretion smelling a bit like peppermint to attackers. When we walked back from Myall Beach to the rainforest I heard someone telling that there is such an insect in the leafs. A women got too close and got spit at. Then I did also see it.

In the afternoon we did a short hike and then drove to the Angels Ice Cream Factory. Here the icecream is sold in already prepared portions. We ate the varieties pistachio, mocha-vanilla, ironbark honey and dragonfruit. Larina got a green icecream with an very interesting taste named Daintree Rainforest.

Back at the accommodation we saw how wallabies went below fence in and out the compound. At the feeding the owner participated and told us that is fine. He told a lot about the animals. For the kids this was so far the most interesting accommodation because of the many animals here.

After another night at Lync Heaven Rainforest Retreat we left the Daintree National Park. But before taking the ferry we stopped at the Discovery Centre. There was a high tower and a few tracks which tell with the help of audio guides a lot of information about the rainforest. As we could select German also the two big ones listened interested. Larina took my device to listen. But I also got my information as Jann often told what he just heard.

At the ferry we today could immediately board. The kids slept during the drive to the Atherton Tableland, so I drove 1.5 hours in one piece. We only had our lunch picnic at 2 o'clock.