March 25th, 2015 - Port Douglas, Australia - Day 221

Today was a huge day, we took a day tour into the Daintree rainforest, which is the oldest rain forrest in the world. The day started around 6:30 we made breakfast and got ready to be mega tourists for a day. We were picked up by our guide, Dave around 7:30. We were introduced to the other people in our group, Dave and Marian a couple from Scotland. We had about a 30 minute drive to our first adventure, a crocodile tour.  

The Crocodile Express 

Right before we got on the boat Dave told us to ask the boat driver, Lex, if we could see his friends. When we asked Lex he told us to come over to the side of the boat, he grabbed a bag of bread and held it out in front of Lea. Instead of tossing the bread over the side of the boat, he just held it there. After about 30 seconds of holding the bread the fish squirted water out of his mouth at Lea. He kept doing it for about a minute, squirting water at Lea, my mom and me. When he was done the Lex told us that they were called archer fish. When we left the bank we were on the look out for crocodiles. We found one laying in the water but only his head was showing, the water was warm enough that the crocs didn't have to come out of the water to raise there body temperature. We found another croc in some bushes that were growing out of the river. When we got back to shore we hadn't seen a lot of crocs, I think I would have been disappointed if we hadn't already seen a bunch of them in Africa.  

The Daintree River

After the tour we had morning coffee on the river. After the coffee we drove to a cable ferry that would take us across the river and into the Daintree rainforest. 

The cable ferry

When we were in the rainforest the scenery changed drastically.  About 80% of the rainforest on the south side of the Daintree river was cut down but only 3% of the rainforest on the north side had been cut down. After about 30 minutes of driving we stopped at a boardwalk. When we stopped walking to take pictures of a creek Lea noticed a bunch of ants climbing over a railing. Dave immediately told us that you cold eat them. I volunteered to do it and he told me to just lick the green part of the ant. I licked the ant but couldn't taste anything, after about 3 tries I finally got one that tasted just like lemon.  

The lemon ants 

We walked around the boardwalk while Dave told us all about how the plants in the rainforest do whatever they can to stay alive which includes building big nice leaves that have defenses. He showed us some of the different ways that plants defend themselves. We explored the mangroves and saw some more fish. 

Large strangler fig 

When we got back to the car we drove for while to Cape Tribulation. It gets this name because when Captain Cook was mapping and naming Australia's east coast he ran into a lot of reefs around the shore of Cape Tribulation, after a couple close encounters he decided to abandon the shore and go out into open ocean, where he thought that he would be safe. There was one thing that he missed, the Great Barrier Reef. He ran into the reef and the boat almost sunk luckily a piece of corral got stuck in his boat when they hit the reef. The coral gave them enough time to throw a sail into the hole to clog it.   

Cape Tribulation beach

The beach was beautiful.  We walked up to a lookout and down the beach, right as we were leaving me and my dad saw what we think was a little shark in the water right near the shore. The water was so clear and shallow that it was possible to see the shark. When we got back in the car we started driving toward lunch. We had barramundi for lunch, which was really good.   After lunch we went for a swim at a swimming hole next to the lodge.   

The swimming hole 

Our lunch spot

Getting ready to jump in 

Checking out the fish

Lea enjoying a dip

Dave showed us a rock that the aborigines used to paint things on their bodies. Lea and I decided to paint each others face....

After we left the lunch spot we headed to our next stop, ice cream! Dave told us that the lady that runs the ice cream shop grows tropical fruit and uses the seeds and the fruit to make ice cream, but you dont get to pick your flavor, she just decides what she is going to serve that day. The ice cream was great, our mix was passionfruit, pineapple, strawberry and something I can't remember.  After we left the ice cream place, we turned a corner and saw a cassowary, there are only about 1000-1500 left in the wild in the entire world, so this was pretty special.

The cassowary 

After we saw the cassowary we headed to a outlook looking over the Daintree river. 

Finally, we drove to the Mossman Gorge where we could swim in a river, the reason that crocs can't get to the swimming area is because the water is too cold, it lowers their body temperature too fast. 

We swam in the swimming hole and after we got out we headed home after a long day in the Daintree rainforest.  It was a fantastic and very informative day.