So before I can tell you about the Daintree the journey actually began in Cairns where we picked up our hire car. Al waited with the luggage while I walked the 2 blocks to pick up the car. I then managed to get completely lost and stuck in traffic and it took me 40 mins to find Al. We then headed up Captain Cook Highway which is apparently the most scenic drive in Oz and it didn't disappoint. The only downside is that it gets dark very early here so after a while we couldn't see much. The highway was mostly dual carriageway and very easy to drive but then we headed off towards the daintree and it was a different story. Firstly we had to get the car ferry across the daintree river.
(Picture of the crossing another day when it wasn't pitch black!)
By this point it was completely black and there are no street lights up in the rainforest. For some reason we had hoped our sat nav would be able to direct us to our accommodation however that was a mistake. After about 5 mins of driving it told us we had reached our destination and we were seriously in the middle of nowhere. So we carried on for about another 10 minutes down windy roads with strange noises coming from the trees surrounding us. We then decided that we must have gone too far so turned round as we had seen a turnoff early on. So bravely we continued until we saw a random house with some lights on. We parked up and started walking towards it. I'm not sure who was more freaked out, them or us! Luckily they had heard of cocktoo hill retreat and it was just much further up in the direction we had been going to back on the road we headed. After about 20 mins we were once again starting to worry but at least by this point we had seen motels and campsites so we weren't completely alone. We found a pub by the side of the road and went to check for directions. I was very happy to find out we were almost there and only had another few minutes to go. All this time we had not seen another vehicle which was rather peculiar. Finally we saw our turning and thought the adventure was over but then we hit another surprise. The road kind of ended and turned into a dirt track and it got so steep I really thought we wouldn't make it. Finally however we did and we were greated by the lovely owner Carmen who gave us a bit of a tour but as it was pitch black we couldn't see much. When she took us to the treehouse however we were so impressed, it was amazing. She took us onto the balcony where the view just streched for miles. Some green bugs then started flying at me which was horrible but I am in the rainforest so I suppose they were here first. Apparently they are in no way dangerous however. I then started asking about other creepies only to be told there's rarely anything nasty about the rooms. As she showed us the bathroom I then saw the hugest spider I have ever seen in real life. It totally freaked me out and even Carmen was surprised to find it in the chalet. As you can imagine Al had to then make a complete perimeter check and our lovely four poster bed doubled as my prison to keep me inside and the crawlies out!
A beautiful owl did visit us as we arrived too and sat on the balcony. Again it surprised Carmen as she had not seen one around before either.
I must confess I didn't have the best nights sleep as I was worried about giant spiders crawling in my ears but it did mean I was awoken by the beautiful sunrise which was amazing. I honestly can't think of anywhere that could have better views than our room.
The next morning we had our first lie in and got up around 9am. Carmen made us a beautiful breakfast consisting of all local fruits followed by toast with local home made jams.
We then packed together a picnic and headed back to the daintree river ferry where we took a small boat trip to hunt for crocodiles.
At first it was a little disappointing because being so warm and high tide they tend to hide out and not make much of an appearance but soon we spotted the local male croc, scarface, he apparently has the name because he's been in so many fights and only has 11 teeth out of 64 left! We then met one of his girlfriends who had climbed out onto the bank and then a little baby croc. Scarface was 4m long so pretty big and I learnt that freshwater crocodiles are completely safe and people actually swim with them but this is a saltwater river so they will have a go at anything especially when they haven't eaten for a while. In the afternoon we then headed out to the ecological centre where we walked inside the rainforest and learnt a lot of interesting facts about the area.
Apparently the famous Ozzie Cassowary lives in here but we didn't see him. Luckily we saw some in the Kuranda nature centre though so at least we've seen them during our visit.
We then took the scenic trip back stopping off and the famous daintree ice cream company where every day they make local flavoured ice cream. We got to try raspberry, macadamia, whittleseed and jakfruit which were very interesting. After that we chilled out in our private pool (since the other 2 guests who are here weren't around) which was very refreshing.
I was just about to get out of the sun lounger and head back to the room when a cane toad popped out of a bush! Eeek I'm not a fan of jumping things.
It didn’t stay long and I made it back to the room in one piece then it was time to find somewhere for dinner.
I survived another night with the creepies and today we went jungle surfing and horse riding. We truly got to experience the "rain" forest and I can say I've never seen so much rain fall so quickly. We were up in the trees when it started, swinging on zip lines, which was great fun and a great way to see the rainforest.
After a spot of lunch we headed off for our 3hr horse ride into the rainforest then onto the beach in cape tripulation. It was the first time Al had ridden a horse and I've not done it in years so it took a bit of getting used to. Soon enough though we were cantering along the beach then in the sea and it was a great day.
The next day we headed out to mossman gorge which was beautiful. It was far too humid to go for a swim and be able to dry off again so we just had a paddle.
We then walked several kms around the rainforest which was rather spooky as we didn't meet another person on the trail.
Afterwards we headed to the seaside resort of port douglas where we had a picnic, did a bit of shopping then headed to four mile beach for some relaxation time. Shortly however the rain set in again so we headed back to the daintree in time for tea.