Tuesday – Daintree & Mossman

April 14, 2006 at 11:48 pm (Australia)

Finally, Samantha got to visit the pool again, with a pre- breakfast swim. She’s definitely getting more confident in the water.

We decided to keep the car for a day longer to go up to Mossman and Daintree rainforest. We originally were going to take a tour for this, but the cost of tour of $650 or the car for the day at $60 made the decision easy.

First stop was Mossman gorge, to see the only accessible bit of the rainforest National Park. A short trek through the trees brought us to the gorge, with more of the boardwalk making a decent lookout. Upstream was a cable suspension bridge – rather like the kind of rope bridge you would expect in a Tarzan movie. It actually seemed to be made of metal poles a little like scaffolding poles back home, but it moved around a fair amount as you walked down to the middle. I can understand why there is a limit of 20 people on there.

At this point, the day was pretty wet, and this meant that there weren’t that many people there. Fine by us – it meant a pretty quiet spot as we looked around.

We also stopped for lunch in the small town of Mossman – probably our first stop in a more rural location, where all the shops are aimed at locals and agriculture rather than tourists. It fitted with my image of an outback/rural location, with most of the shops lining the main street being the mish- mash design of privately owned shops rather than the national branded shops we seem to get nowadays in the UK. The street itself has angled parking on either side, plus parking across the middle – very much like the market towns I remember back when I was much younger.

We then drove up towards Daintree village itself – we didn’t have enough time to take the ferry across the river, and tour up to Cape Tribulation (shame – while writing this, I’ve seen some adverts for an interesting-looking discovery centre just 10km north of the ferry). There’s nothing much in the village itself, but between the village and the ferry are a couple of places that run boat trips down the Daintree river.

We shot past the sign for the first before we realised what it was, and stopped at the second. However, they were unsure whether they would ran a tour later, as they were waiting tor a bus that was delayed, and their current boatload had been delayed by the rains earlier in the day. Very nicely, they phoned back to the first to see if they had another tour that day.

So we ended up on Bruce Belcher’s last tour of the day, with an hour-long boat- trip, hunting for wildlife. Of course, most people wanted to see crocs. Preferably engaged in a frantic death- roll with some hapless prey. And of course, this is not what we got to see…

We did get to see a mother, with the remaining few of her brood, sunning themselves on a mudbank – the rest of the brood got washed away by a flood a few days after they hatched. We also saw a tree-snake (harmless), but while manouvering the boat, also found another croc sitting on the mud by my elbow – but I think he was more shocked than I was.

The trip back to Douglas was only eventful by my avoiding the speed-trap in Mossman – probably by my experimenting with the cruise-control!

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