Earlier this year I was lucky enough to travel to Australia. We travelled across the country starting in Perth and ending up in Sydney, via Adelaide, Melbourne and Port Douglas.
One of our stops was the Daintree Rainforest, Queensland where we booked into an Eco Lodge for two days. Our room had a netted off area at the end, a sort of closed in terrace where we could sit, protected from the insects and wildlife but also feel as though we were sitting in the middle of the forest. We sat there for about 20 minutes and realised that nothing much was going to happen! So we headed off out to book a boat trip up the river.
The boat trip was great, such a beautiful place and our guide certainly knew the river. He was able to point out a crocodile which had surfaced. We saw only one because the water was so warm the crocodiles could stay submerged for most of the time. The boat ride was so peaceful, the water was calm and there was hardly a cloud in the sky – so you almost forgot the danger lurking below the surface!
We decided to take a high wire trip through the forest canopy and drove to Cape Tribulation to do so. On the way we stopped off at a centre to find out more information about the forest. We discovered that there was a bird called the Cassawary which has not evolved for over a million years. It remains the only creature that can eat the poisonous fruits produced by some of the trees and plants crucial to their continued survival. An incredible 70% of the rainforest plants rely on this bird to germinate their seeds. This bird is incredible; it stands between 5-6ft high and has a bone cone in its colourful head and neck. They are very shy and rarely seen. Imagine our surprise when on our drive to Cape Tribulation we spotted one. It had just emerged from the jungle into the road, before doing an about turn and heading back. That was such a treat!
We drove back to our resort and had supper at the club house. The noise was tremendous, full of the calls of the jungle. In fact, I thought that the restaurant was playing a tape and it took a while for me to realise that it wasn’t – this was truly the sound of the jungle at night!
After supper we wandered back to our room, stepping over numerous frogs, ducking all sorts of flying creatures. In our room we were greeted by the largest spider I had ever seen – which was chased from the room at my insistence!
We settled down for the night and lay there listening to the noise of the jungle and thought how lucky we were to have this wonderful experience. This feeling lasted for all of 10 minutes until the noise got too much. So closing off the doors to the terrace, all the windows and turning on the aircon we settled down for the night! You can take the girl out of the city. . . . .