16.05.2015 - 16.05.2015 23 °C
After a couple of days of being blessed with sunny weather in Port Douglas, on Saturday we woke up to grey skies and signs of rain from the previous night. The weather forecast had predicted rain, so we had discussed what to do on a rainy day. We were tossing up between checking out Kuranda or Daintree Rainforest National Park. We decided to go to Daintree as we thought we could check out some of the sights in Kuranda on the way back to Cairns. We plugged Daintree into the GPS on my phone and it said it was a 1.5 hour drive.
The drive to Daintree from Port Douglas is pretty straightforward, and in my opinion, not particularly scenic. It’s mostly through sugar cane fields, but it is nice to look out and see the mountains. The is a novelty part where you have to take a ferry to cross a river, which broke up the drive. After crossing the ferry, the terrain changes and pretty quickly you feel like you’re in a rainforest. The roads are quite windy, and unfortunately Ann got pretty carsick. We stopped Alexandra Range (Walu Wurrigga) lookout to get some fresh air. Although it was pretty cloudy, it was really scenic and peaceful.
View from Alexandra Range Lookout
We drove a bit more, and again the carsickness hit Ann and we stopped shortly after at the Discovery Centre. We asked one of the guys there about how windy the roads ahead would be, and he reassured us that we were through the worst of it and it would be less windy from that point. He made a lot of recommendations on where to stop, and we decided to check out the Jindalba boardwalks. It was an easy 20 minute walk, and it’s what you expect rainforests to be – walking through luscious green ferns and under the canopy of green leaves, with birds chirping and a stream running in the background.
Lost in the rainforest - Jindalba walk
After the quick walk, we continued driving. I’d been quite eager to see a Cassowary, as my friend had warned us of it being ‘dangerous’, and I was skeptical. We passed one on the side of the road, and being my first time seeing one, it was quite exciting! It looks like a cross between a turkey and an emu, and looks out of place with a bright blue head and red gobbly bit.
We stopped for lunch at Lync-Haven Rainforest Retreat. It was a quirky little spot, with a wide range of birds in cages (cockatoos parakeets, cockatiels), reptiles in glass cases, and wallabies fenced in the back. We had sandwiches, which were good but much too big of a portion size.
Cockatoo at Lync-Haven
After lunch we checked out Thornton Beach. It was a really gorgeous beach, despite the dreary weather; and one of the first thing we noticed were the tiny little balls dotting the entire beach.
They seemed to be dug up by little tiny crabs, which would peep in and out of small holes so quickly that you would think it was your imagination.
Can you spot the crab?
We had a look at our map and decided we’d only do one more stop at Marrdja boardwalk. The walk at Marrdja was another easy 20 minute walk, but the environment was quite different to Jindalba. It was pretty at the start – green trees and the rainforest-y feel, and big leaves as a canopy.
But then it got a bit creepy once we started crossing the creek. There were mangrove trees, some of which that have snorkel roots that surface to breathe. And because the creek wasn’t so much of a creek but more mud, the roots popping up looked like pointy bones. I felt like it was the perfect scene for a horror movie. We quickly scurried through and although it was a cool and different experience, I was quite happy to get back in the car and drive back. Perhaps that walk is nicer at a different time of year.
There is so much to see at Daintree Rainforest National Park, but after a 1.5 drive each way and multiple stops, we didn’t have enough time to check everything out. If I ever return, I’d love to start earlier and drive all the way to Cape Tribulation to check that out.