As our last and final hoorah in Cairns we were given the opportunity to go to the oldest rainforest in the world – The Daintree. Just 3 hours North of Cairns, it’s one of those places that everyone here talks about and a top reason Cairns is a must-see in Oz. I now understand why. Miles of untouched beaches, dripping in mountainous rainforest. Endless hiking trails through mangroves, under fan trees that make everything glow green. I suppose the easiest way I could describe the experience would be as if you were entering Fern Gully. Absolutely breathtaking.
Calypso was generous enough to offer us a comp overnight trip through Jungle Tours (yippee!). We were not only going to be sleeping in the rainforest, but we’d get to stop at a wildlife refuge, feed wallabies again (which are quickly becoming my favorite animal), hold a koala and go on a crocodile river cruise… for FREE!!!! Did I mention that we scored the coolest jobs ever?!
What makes the Daintree so special is its aboriginal history and prehistoric ferns & animals. It’s one of the few remaining places that is home to the beautiful Cassowary, a giant blue faced bird that is a keystone species of the rainforest, but extremely endangered. Once they go, the diversity of the rainforest will be changed forever. We were fortunate enough to see one crossing the road, which is very rare and unfortunately how most of them die. Lucky for us, the guide didn’t hit her. The Daintree is also unique in that you can stand on white sand beaches overlooking the sea, while being surrounded by mountains of the thickest and greenest jungle you’ve ever seen. For Matt and I, this was an emotional experience. Walking along Cape Tribulation beach we were absolutely buzzing on pure happiness. Hands down our favorite place of this trip, and maybe ever.
A great way to end our first 4 months in Australia. Now for part 2 – Van living for the next 7 weeks.