This time we stay for two days and one night in the oldest tropical rainforest in the world: Daintree. We are picked up at our hostel at 07:30 am, at 07:00 I get an apple and a piece of banana bread for the road. Our guide turns out to be a very cheerful, hyperactive Queenslander. I seem to be doing this trip together with the Belgian girl I already know from Sydney! On the way to the rainforest he talks non-stop and tells us that the group on the bus is now family. Driving into the mountains, we stop at a lookout point where we can look over all of Cairns, with the Coral Sea in the background.
After driving for two hours in our strikingly painted van, we arrive at a public camping site. Here we walk over rock formations and along rivers, just like the many kids looking for wallabies to feed from our hands. As soon as we spot one, several will follow. After petting and feeding a few, I decide to look for small turtles, which should live here in the rivers. After a while of searching and climbing I see a number of them swimming. While we as a group are having coffee and tea with some goodies, a man approaches with a small python that he has found. Our guide puts it around his neck and some of the group, including me, want to experience this too. What a beautiful beast! I let another salamander sit on me with sharp claws and spot some beautiful birds.
Before we take the boat on the infamous crocodile river Daintree, we will first sail on this river with a boat. We get a beer for during the boat trip and while I hope we will see one, we already see the first one, about three meters long. The further we sail down the river, the more we spot. Most lie in the sun with their mouths open in the water, to keep their body temperature stable. When we are almost back, we are lucky enough to see ‘Scarface’. A 5 meter male with scratches on his head from many battles in his long life. I’m not trying to imagine what would happen if you fell overboard here.
When we have reached the beginning of the rainforest by ferry with our van, we drive to our overnight place, the music blaring loudly from the speakers. We stop at a place where we look out over the mountains and arrive at our place. To everyone’s surprise, not a tent, but a hostel with bar and restaurant. The advantage of two days of no coverage is that we quickly become close as a group. We go as a group to the beach, where we can see a bit of the sunset. We definitely have to stay at least two meters away from the water because of the crocodiles. After dinner we all get a flashlight and go into the rainforest in search of animals. On the way we come across large and poisonous spiders, which our guide can tell you everything about, mice, rats, a water snake and fish. Tired but satisfied we dive into bed,
Two of the group go horseback riding on the beach for a ridiculous amount of money, we with the group to a place high in the rainforest where we can swim. Safe at the top of the river, the crocodiles are much lower. We walk via a nice path to the river and I am the first, swinging via a rope, in the water. How cool is this, and what an incredible place! Before we pick up the other two of the group to continue driving, the guide agrees with us that we tell them that our morning was ‘okay’, so as not to make them jealous ?
We arrive at a fruit plantation where you can buy fresh ice cream, before going again to a place for a swim. Here we find such long and strong vines that we use them as a swing. I walk barefoot through the jungle for a while, then we prepare for the way back. We stop at a point where we can see mountain island where Steve Irwin died as a result of a stingray sting. Once out of the rainforest, thinking about what we have done and seen in the bus, we stop for another 1.5 hours in the coastal town of Port Douglas. Here is holidaying Australiaclearly visible, full resorts and a full beach, I have never seen them so full in Australia. Together with the Belgian girl I climb a top, to enjoy the view again. Once back in Cairns we say goodbye and wish each other the best of luck on our further journey.