Daintree Rainforest Mossman Gorge
Daintree River Cruise
Driving north along the beautiful coast on Captain Cook Highway, we are off to Mossman Gorge in the southern section of the Daintree Rainforest. This pristine area has survived for over 135 million years and contains over 3,000 plant species and more than 430 bird species. More than 100 mammals species, including 13 species found nowhere else in the world, are found in the Daintree Rainforest.
The Kuku Yalanji, are the indigenous people of the rainforest. They share their culture and stories with a Dreamtime walk through the rainforest. Jarrod, our local Kuku Yalanji guide, welcomed us to Mossman Gorge by inviting us to participate in a traditional smoking ceremony. Circling the fire allows the smoke to cleanse away any bad spirits before entering the rainforest. Along the walk, we learned how the rainforest provides bush food, tools, and shelter. Jarrod showed us how to properly hold a boomerang and how a hollow tree trunk is used for communication. We visited a sacred ceremonial spot and learned how to make ochre paint and soap.
Making ochre paint and soap from nature
The proper way to hold the boomerang. Wish I'd known this when I threw one earlier on the trip!
Framework for a shelter
Strangler figs are found throughout the rainforest and can sometimes wind their way into interesting shapes like the hangman's noose above.
These purple plums may look delicious, but they are poisonous.
The Ulysses Butterfly, or the Blue Emporer Swallowtail, and a brush turkey
We finish our walk with bush tea and damper (soda bread) and jam YUM
A delicious lunch stop at the Daintree Teahouse. Learning and discovery never stop - a talk about all the interesting fruit we were served (don't ask me to identify them, but they were very tasty).
After lunch, we are ready to relax on a Daintree River Cruise. Guess what we are going to look for?
Look, there's one now!
What a well fed croc
Mike continued the nature theme and told us about the Aboriginal use of "green ants" for a variety of uses. When their bottom is licked, it tastes citrus-y. I looked out the front window of the bus and said "are these the ants?" They were, and my friend, Jean, gave it the taste test. "Yep," she said as she licked their bottoms, "definitely a citrus taste." We all took her word for it...
(Personally, I preferred the Double Dark Chocolate Infinity Magnum bar I found in the shop!)
Heading back to Palm Cove along the beautiful coastline of Queensland