Over the past few weeks we’ve been focused on the far north of Australia, especially the Northern Territory and the Kimberley in Western Australia. This part of the country experiences heavy rains during the summer months (usually December-March) and almost completely dry weather in the Dry (May-August).
For the Wet months of the year the country looks fresh and green and lush, but come the drier months, it quickly becomes steadily browner. For all the rain, you aren’t seeing tropical rainforest, rather tropical savannahs.
Over on the eastern coast in far north Queensland (FNQ), the story is different, especially north of Cairns where we’ll be heading today. This is tropical rainforest, lush, green and thick vegetation, one of 200 globally important eco-regions. The Daintree is a world-renowned touring location for Wet Tropics and with fewer and fewer rainforests world-wide is extremely important.
What this means for the tourist is a completely different experience of scenery, flora and fauna. While many world travellers come to see the Barrier Reef, the tropical rainforests are a great complement to that adventure.
The green of the jungle runs down to the water’s edge merging with shades of blue and turquoise, interspersed only by sandy beaches. You don’t really need to do a tour of the area, unless you feel you really want to. A normal hire car will get you to most of the important places, but do make sure not to wander into the 4WD area only! There are lots of places you can explore without the 4WD vehicle.
The Daintree Discovery Centre with its aerial walkways and boardwalks is amazing, with a wealth of information about the wildlife which live in the rainforest and the plants that grow there. If you’re into nature you will inevitably need more time than you think. Check out the web link just to get a preliminary insight.
Cape Tribulation is a tranquil spot where the rainforest really does meet the sea. While you’re nearby a trip to the tropical fruit farm is an eye-opener. If you get a chance do try an ice cream made from the unusual tropical fruits. Or spend a night or two just relaxing in the area and communing with nature. There are some very glamorous places to stay.
We visited Mossman Gorge quite a number of years ago and just loved the sight of the river running over the huge boulders. We had afternoon tea overlooking the river –just delightful.
This area has a strong Aboriginal heritage too and there’s quite a lot of opportunities for travellers to learn more about Indigenous culture.
Why visit: to see one of the world’s great rainforest areas, to experience nature and see the flora and fauna. Enjoy the contrast between the sea, the sky and the sand.
Tinnie: this can be a beer can or a small aluminium boat for fishing.
Tong Master: the bloke in charge of the BBQ -usually the man in the house. In this context it’s almost 100% likely to be a man, surrounded by other blokes, beers in hand. Thanks Kellie for reminding me of this one 🙂
Ticker: another dual meaning. It can mean heart as in “my ticker’s playing up” or courage in “he’s got a lot of ticker”
Too easy: Another new one which is in common use by Territory tradies. It’s the equivalent of “no worries” or “no problems”.
Togs: this is the Queensland name for a swimsuit –one of the words which differentiates people from different states.
Trackie daks: tracksuit pants
Technicolour yawn: to vomit
Thongs: rubber scuffs for your feet, as well as more recently the rather brief ladies’ underwear.