By Aswathy Kumar
|Cruising along the Daintree River offers some spectacular views of this World's oldest rainforest|
|Experience heaven on earth at Daintree|
To reach our next destination in Daintree, located in the north east coast of Queensland, a destination that could only be best termed as a tropical paradise, we had to fly into Cairns and drive an hour and a half through the picturesque coastline of Port Douglas. It was slowly starting to get dark and we couldn’t see much. But hear...that we did, in plenty, making it certain that we had finally arrived in what was the world’s oldest surviving rainforest. Be it the eerie screeches of the spotted catbird, fluttering noises of the Victoria’s rifle bird, a species only found here, to the croaking of the white lipped tree frogs and the gurgling sounds of the Daintree River close by. I could tell that this forest had only started to come alive in the darkness of the night.
|Daintree Eco lodge|
|At Cassowary Falls|
Following our customized made-to-order breakfast, it was time to explore and find out what more this nature paradise had in store for us. And if for some reason, we had assumed that we had seen and absorbed enough of Daintree's beauty all by sitting in our aerial accommodation, we were instantly proven wrong as we stepped out of the lodge and made way to start our morning cruise across the Daintree River.
Now what can I say about the beauty that had started to unfold in front of us. Despite calling myself a writer, all I can come up with are nothing but a few honest cliches like... ‘If there was a heaven then this must be it or that this was probably the way God intended Earth to be and so on. Crystal waters so clear coincided with the blue skies above. A beauty so unfathomable that if you clicked an image, you would probably not be able to tell if it was the picture of the sky you were looking at or simply its reflection in the cool waters.
Lush rainforest and mangroves surrounded the Daintree River, which is one of the longest rivers on the Australian East Coast (extending upto 140 kms). Here you can see pre-historic crocodiles, view innumerable species of birds like the Macleay's honeyeater, comb-crested Jacana and the Forest Kingfisher amongst many others or simply imbibe the true beauty of this wet tropics. If you are feeling even more adventurous, you can also join one of the fishing boats and try you luck at catching the famous Baramundi, Australia is so famous for.
Having no such desires yet unsatiated with what this magnificent forest had to offer, we chose to head out to the next highly recommended attractions in Daintree, the Cassowary Falls. Located in a private farmland, we had to rent a 4 wheel drive and pay a fee at a local convenience store to reach this scenic location. The drive itself through the bumpy rugged mushy pathway was enough to excite the adrenaline junkie in us not to forget the grand finale, which was the view of the magnificent waterfall. Cassowary Falls was one of the few spots in Daintree where we could jump in. But beware! The water is home to a number of humongous fish, eels and turtles that might just want to get a little more cosy than desired.