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Posts Tagged ‘Parks’

Daintree Rain Forest

Daintree Entrance

When you travel north of Cairns to the Daintree Rainforest you will not only go back in time, but you will be seeing flora and fauna you could never imagi

The Wet Tropics of Queensland contain ancient rain forests which have been here for 100 million years.

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Clients often tell me they could save money and just drive to the Daintree Rain Forest and not take a tour. While this may be true there are things to consider before heading out on your own. At certain times of the year the water is too high and the ferry will be closed.

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Daintree Ferry

The Daintree forest is approximately 1,200 square kilometers (approx. 296,526 acres) of breathtaking flora and fauna. Also, some very unusual animals seen nowhere else in Australia. Do you know what a Cassawary bird looks like or even where to find them? Do you know which species of flora and fauna have been growing for a million years?

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Daintree Stairs

The rain forest is best appreciated from the perspective of the local guides. For the experience of a lifetime take the guided tour, it is worth the money!

The fun begins with a trip across the Daintree River in 4WD vehicles. The Daintree Rain Forest awaits.

There are about 150 different types of trees in 2 hectors (about 5 acres). The Daintree is the oldest intact tropical lowland rainforest in the world. It is the host to 13 of the world’s 19 primitive flowering species (could you find these on your own?). It has more diversity of plants and animals than any other place in Australia.

Fig Tree

Fig Tree

 

 

Vines in Daintrees

Vines in Daintrees

 

 

 

 

 

During your tour you might be lucky enough to see the Cassowary. The Cassowary is a large, flightless bird related to the emu and ostrich. The Southern Cassowary (found in the Daintree Rain forest) is probably the single most important animal seed dispenser of the Australian tropical rain forest.

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Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cassowary eats the fruit and seeds of many of the rain forest plants, thus distributing the seeds, in their droppings, across the forest floor. These birds are crucial to the rainforest because they are the only dispersal agents for about 70 plants species, and the main dispersal agent for at least 30 plants. With only 1800 of these birds left, the Australians’ know if these birds disappear, so will the rain forest!

Seeds of the Daintree

Seeds of the Daintree

Among the trees, you will see big piles of leaves and debris. These are actually nests and in these nests you might find the bright green eggs of the Cassowary bird. The eggs are cared for by the male birds.

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Cassowary Eggs

Other animals you may encounter include over 54 species of frogs; both species of Monotremes (egg-laying mammals) the Platypus and the Echidna (spiney anteater). The Marsupials include the Koala, Kangaroos and Wallabies, Possums, Bandicoot, Bats and Rodents. Bird life – over 430 different birds have been recorded in the Daintree rainforest – a birders paradise! Reptiles are abundant and include the crocodile, many varieties of lizards, skinks, and snakes.

The fauna includes Oak trees, gum trees, Quandong trees, 11 different laurels, many kinds of orchids and many varieties of vines. One of my favorite names for a plant is the “wait awhile” araceae rattan palm. The vine has large thorns on it, and if you get entangled, you just have to “wait awhile” for someone to come cut you lose!

Cape Tribulation is one of the few places in the world where the rainforest meets the reef.

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Spend a day at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

When I first visited the Tjapukai  Aboriginal Park, I was fortunate to be told the story of how it began. In 1987, a couple from New York City – Don and Judy Freeman, and their partners David and Cindy Hudson, all with theatre background, took 5 local Tjapukai men and began a dance theatre. Tjapukai’s production has won many international awards.
Over the years, the Aboriginal’s now have ownership of the Park.

Experience the Aboriginal Culture

This venue was the first ever opportunity for tourists or Aussies to really experience and interact with Aboriginal’s culture. It is a fascinating day or evening experience. There are seven separate arenas each displaying an area of the Aboriginal peoples culture. You find out how their ancient culture began (and yes, there was a flood!) during the Dreamtime experience.

Since the Aboriginal tribes vary throughout Australia, most all have had an influence in the park.
Tjapukai not only teaches, but it enlightens. It tells what happened to the Aboriginal’s when the British arrived. It shows what they ate, how they lived, and the weapons they used.
It was fascinating to watch them make fire in a very short time (5 seconds).
The men are the hunters. The women are the gathers. Herbs, seeds, nuts, fruit or roots with names such as Lemon Aspen, Quandong, Rosella, Akudira, Lilly Pilly to name a few. Many of the plants are poisonous, so they had to be carefully collected, then soaked in water for weeks until the poison was removed.

At the parks cultural village, you can learn how to throw a Boomerang and a spear. I failed both! They use a holder for the spear which I had not seen before. You can also learn how to play the Didgeridoo. The Didgeridoo is a big part of their lives. The sound is haunting and according to ritual men only play this instrument. The dances all have a story to tell.

Check out more information at www.tjapukai.com.
Let Journeys Down Under help you plan your Aboriginal experience.

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