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The Daintree and Cape Tribulation

"Get out of the water bouncer"

First stop this morning was a trip to Mossman Gorge in the nearby Aboriginal Indian reservation. The highlight here was jumping into a beautiful freshwater river after a short walk through the dense rainforest.

Crocodile hunting is an intense sport. In order to escape any potential attacks you need strength, agility and Paul Hogan. We had none of these things, and Tom was sporting a thong swim suit and collecting water from the edge, so we feared an attack. Thankfully, all the crocodiles were hiding, or so we thought……….We spotted this beast during our crocodile spotting trip along the Daintree river (no not the log, look underneath it):

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Unfortunately neither parents (Elizabeth II & Scarface - now that would make for interesting children) were to be seen (boo)*. However a model next to the office gives you an idea of their size when fully grown:

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After crossing the river (Croc infested apparently) we were finally on our way to the most northernly point of our Australian tour, and the most northernly point you can get to without a 4 wheel drive: Cape Tribulation. The roads were winding and the scenery beautiful. Again it seemed like the rain had been a good thing as everything was lush. We enjoyed several short walks through the rainforest, keeping our eyes peeled for the elusive Cassowary Bird and drinking in the unique coastal views of the rainforest meeting the sea.

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We were really pleased to have made it as far north as we did. Here we are at Cape Trib, end of the road.

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We then made our way back south to our final stop: Cairns. With a day or so left, we nipped back up to the Tablelands to see the butterfly farm of which we had heard great things. Turns out they only had 12 species of butterfly - a bit thin. Apparently the one in Dalkeith next to Dobbie's Garden Centre has more…AND they have pirañas that recently ate a child's arm. Now that's a butterfly farm. Anyway, they did have some huge caterpillars and the largest moth in the world, the size of a newly born elephant (a small one not a big one). This moth pupates in its cocoon for up to two years and when it finally emerges has about 20 minutes to find a mate before it drops dead** - tough deal. It was also memorable for Queensland's famous blue butterfly that likes to lay its eggs on citrus trees. Cue Katie and her body shop orange scented moisturiser - they couldn't resist.

In the afternoon we visited the local Crystal Cascades - a set of waterfalls just outside Cairns. Tom took a final dip with some locals in the murky green swollen river. Katie hid from the rain in the car. Back to JJ's hostel for a movie and a pizza.

Time to say goodbye to Jucy Gary Busey. We rolled into the depot with the dashboard showing 4191km covered. Goodbyes are never easy, but after three weeks of super-sweaty nights we were looking forward to sleeping in a bed! Thankfully the sun came out for us on our final day and we enjoyed it by the pool in Cairns - a similar set up to Airlie Beach with a free swimming area right next to the sea.

We were both sad to leave Australia, feeling like we wanted more time and to visit more of the country. However, it was nice to think that our next stop would be safer, with fewer things that can kill you, but then we realised that our next stop was America and this might not be the case after all….

  • There is some doubt as to the paternity of this years new crocodiles. It is either Scarface or Fat Elvis, but rumour has it Fat Elvis was shot recently by a local farmer. RIP big guy.
  • *Most of this paragraph is a lie. Apart from the piranas.

Posted by tomkat2010 08:20 Archived in Australia

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