19.10.2015 - 27.10.2015 30 °C
The furthest point north on my travels up the east coast led me to Daintree National Park, north of Port Douglas.
Crossing the Daintree River by ferry, it was an exciting way to enter this beautiful area
It covers an area more than 76,000 ha (188,000 acres).
The Cape Tribulation section of the park is a place of great beauty and one of a few places where the rainforest meets the sea.
Captain Cook named Cape Tribulation in rue of the difficulties he was experiencing navigating the Great Barrier Reef.
"here began all our troubles" after he damaged his ship, the Endeavour, on a nearby reef.
Since European settlement gold miners, explorers, timber cutter and farmers have all made their mark on Daintree National Park.
Daintree National Park forms part of the significant Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and is adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Both areas are valued for their exceptional biological diversity.
The Daintree is considered one of the most significant living records of the evolution of Australia's plants and animals. In the past, as the climate changed, much of Australia's rainforest retreated to refuges within the deep valleys and on cloudy mountain tops. Many of these ancitn species survive as living relics throughout Daintree National Park today.
In fact, the rainforest of the Daintree represents one of the world's oldest living rainforests.
The fringing reefs are visible at low tide, exposing flattened boulder-like corals and dull spongy soft corals sometimes covered in mud and sand.
Looks can be deceiving as the diversity of corals on the fringing reefs can rival that of the outer reefs.
The forests have long been important to original inhabitants the Kuku Yalanji. In the 1940-50s the trees were logged for cabinet timbers, before alternative lifestylers took over the logging lease in the 1970s. They built a commune with extensive orchards and gardens.
My home for the week was PKs Travellers Jungle Resort
with a mixture of camping, dorm rooms, cabins and en suite rooms, it was a great village in the rainforest
complete with local inhabitants like this Rhinoceros Beatle
and plenty of Geckos
The pool was great
and the girls had a lot of fun with my underwater camera
Julie was very taken by this May Bug she'd rescued from drowning
On the far side of PK's was a track to the beach
past the boardwalk through the mangroves
and taking note of the warning sign for marine Stingers
[b]Myall Beach is a spot of paradise, where the rainforest meets the sand
at the south end, Myall Creek meets the sea
leading to Coconut Beach
heading north along the beach,
past Mason's Creek
lined with Mud Skippers
at the north end of the beach is Cape Tribulation
climbing the rocks often gave great views down to turtles and sharks
which gave great views back down the beach
Taking a track through the scrub at the north end, led to Cape Tribulation Beach
and up to Kulki Lookout
The beaches were lined with shells and great examples of corals
and also lots and los of cuttle fish skeletons, which we used to use for pet birds to sharpen their beaks - of all sizes
and thousands of ghost crabs,
creating millions of sand balls to massage your feet as you walked along the beach
A popular activity was the horse riding that enjoyed the freedom to run along the beach
Being so close to the beach was great, there was always something going on, like Beach Cricket!
Walking along the beach one afternoon, we met a local that had a talen for making hats, from palm tree leaves!
Something Annelein tried to replicate the next day
One creature I'd never seen before lined the banks of the creeks in this area.
Unlike most fish, mudskippers spend much of their life OUT of water! How do they do it? Mudskippers are fish and so they have gills.
Once out of the water, their gills begin to dry out and stick together, so mudskippers have a special cavity behind their ears where sea water is stored.
As they rotate their eyes, pressure is applied to that cavity and this reoxygenates the stored water, lubricates the gill flaps and restores the gills to their normal function.
However, I didn't see any crocodiles as hoped! just these huge flowers
About a 15minute walk down the road from PKs
was Masons Swimming Hole
It was a great way to cool off!
dodging the fresh water turtles as we jump off the rope swing
and thankfully catching a lift off a colleague to avoid a wet walk home!
albeit a bit cosy in the back with Noah
As always, It was great to get up early and enjoy the sunrise over the beach
usually followed by a run around the headland to Cape Tribulation Beach
and I even persuaded the girls to join me - Julie & Annelien
with Annelein's GoPro
and of course, evenings on the beach with a fire was a great chance to watch the stars
Sometimes, it's the people that make the place, and I'd had a lot of fun, with a lot of people including the girls, Julie, Annelien, Sam & Lisa
Mick Robertson - a jockey in his previous life
I wish them well on their travels!
Leaving Cape Tribulation and flying south to Brisbane gave great views over the Great Barrier Reef