Mysterious Daintree

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Third time I went to the Daintree, still captivated

If you want to enter the majestic beauty that is the Daintree rainforest, let’s say from Cairns, you will have to drive along the Captain Cook Highway, bordered by a continuous line of beautiful beaches: it’s the Coral Sea.

There is a ferry that you have to take for a only a few minutes, unless, I suppose, you have your own boat to cross the river. A dark brown river that only reflects the image of the trees and the sun, except sometimes when it’s very low and you can see the bottom of it. In the river Daintree live crocodiles and bullsharks. So, obviously I wouldn’t advise to go for a swim.

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The crocodile peacefully crossing the shallow river (Picture by my friend Lina because I forgot my camera)

Observing the crocodiles is one of the activities you can take part in. However I found that the boats were very loud and although the crocodiles seem used to it, it appears to bother them. However the man who was owned the boat knew many of the crocodiles and even some of the babies, he seemed to respect them. It is incredible to see them in their natural habitat and not in one of those Australian attraction parks that feed them for tourists to take pictures. I resent those kind of places. You can see crocodiles outside of the water when they need the heat of the sun to digest. So you don’t always get to see them. They are free, after all.

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Spot the juvenile croc and his golden eye

Crocodiles are powerful and while I was in Queensland, a Kiwi tourist got eaten. Unfortunately these irresponsible decisions people make to swim in water with the risk of being attacked, leads to crocodiles getting killed for retaliation. Seeing them was very peaceful and I respect those modern dinosaurs greatly. And they have predators too, young crocodiles can be eaten by bullsharks, because the Daintree river is also sea-salted.

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Mamma croc resting and keeping an eye on her baby who was sunbathing on a branch

The Daintree rainforest is home to many species of animals. The cassowaries are an endemic species of birds that people try to spot, they are a little similar to emus but their face is bright blue and they have a crest.

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Golden Orb
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Can you spot the dragon lizard on the tree?
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Birdwing Butterfly
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Glimpse of a bird
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Cruiser butterfly

As you can see there is plenty to see in the rainforest. I don’t have a picture of a Ulysses butterfly but they are around and I have never seen such beautiful ones before. It’s quite a sight to see their blue wings shimmering when they are playing above a creek and disappear as instantly as they came.

You can hear a lot of birds and observe many different trees. There are vines everywhere and it usually reminds people of Tarzan, I wouldn’t jumping holding onto one as it might fall and kill you. Some plants are very hostile and might scratch you badly, which happened to me more than once. Overall it’s not dangerous though. The Daintree rainforest has a road right in the middle of it and paths everyone with signs so you won’t get lost or anything. I loved observing huge insects like the Golden Orb spider, which can eat birds. I had a chuckle when I asked the guide why the spider carried her little baby on top of her abdomen and he replied that it was her husband. Very interesting habits!

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Pretty specimen of praying mantis

It was the first time I saw the mangrove, which is there in the rainforest too. Trees are basically coming out of the water and it looked like nothing I had seen before.

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