04 October 2006

Cape Tribulation - Rainforest meets the Reef

Now we pushed even further north beyond the Daintree river and into the the Cape Tribulation area, which features pristine rainforest and milelong almost deserted sand beaches. The Cape was named by Captain Cook on the voyage where he discovered Australia for the Europeans. Off shore lies the reef that was named after Cook's ship Endavour, which ran aground on it. Cooktown about 100 km north of Cape Tribulation is where the expedition were moored for several months in order to repair the damages to the ship. So, there's quite a bit of history to the place.
We settled into a small B&B called Rainforest Hideway and remained in the place for three nights.

Cape tribulation at dusk.

An excellent way to get a view of the coast is from one of these small sea-kayaks. Besides the view and a good exercise we also spoted several green turtles that live among the corals. It's quite fantastic that there's a coral reef right at the coast, and as we paddled we could peep down and see it.

Here we're on Noah Beach with the Noah Range in the background. Beautiful water, empty beach and a stunning backdrop.

Cape tribulation beach looking absolutely irresistable, but only a few people venture into the waves. The reason is that a crock had been spotted off-shore a few days earlier. Even though crocks have never before attacked on beaches like this one and the crock has not been seen for a couple of days people still chose to remain on land.

Yep, Australia is a dangerous place. Crock warnings are put up when one the fellas is spotted and the stinger (stinging jelly-fish) warnings are there all year round, but fortunately it wasn't season for them when we were there.

This the cabin we stayed in at Rainforest Hideaway B&B. The place featured complete rainforest immersion in the sense that there were no windows in the cabin but only a net to keep insects out. Remarkably there were no mosquitoes and because the cabin is inside the rainforest there was hardly any wind. During the night we could hear all the animal sounds including bandicoots hopping around on the forest floor and shrub-fowl screeching loudly for hours!
The breakfast was served on the large porch and while having yummy fruits and gas toasted bread, birds would come and sit of the fence to have a bit of breadcrumbs or fruitpeels. To our great disappointment the cassowary that regularly comes by the place did not carfe to show up any of the 3 mornings that we stayed.

Here's the rainforest of Cape Trib. We came across this lovely blue swimming hole on a guided rainforest walk. This pool is a sacred 'birth-pool' to the local aboriginals.

On the rainforest walk we also saw several of this flowering Bumpy Satinash. The tree trunk is actually partly hollow in order for it to provide shelter for a collony of ants. The ants take care of the tree which in turn secreets a sweet nectar for the ants to feed on.


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