We spent 2 days in different parts of the rainforest. Kuranda is a small village with lots of artsy and touristy shops in the middle of the rainforest. We took a “skyrail”, which is something like a 7km long ski lift, to get to it and had great views of the top of the canopy. Only about 10% of sunlight reaches the forest floor, so it’s remarkably cooler at the bottom. We returned to Cairns via the Scenic Train which snakes along the mountain.
The next day we did a “safari” which was a full day in the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation national parks. It rained on and off all day, but I guess that is to be expected given it’s the RAINforest. (Some tourists were grumbling about having to hike in the rain!)
It was a long day, but fantastic. We spotted a Great Heron and an Azul Kingfisher on the banks of the Daintree River. We were also extremely lucky to see a Cassowary. They are very endangered and elusive birds that are about 4 feet tall with a bright blue head. We saw one walking right in the middle of the road through the park, but he was too quick get a photo. In addition to the animals, the plant life and the ecosystems are fascinating. Finally, I have to comment on a few of the more dangerous elements of the rainsforest. We saw Golden Orb spiders everywhere, and while they can grow to the size of dinner plates, the smaller ones are not that poisonous. The same can not be said for the Cane Toads that are not indigenous and have become a pest. Their skin is toxic to the touch, and we encountered a huge one. Finally, this warning sign near the “safe” swimming hole says it all.
And we did see several “freshies” or freshwater crocs along the river too! Our conclusion: The rainforest is amazing and beautiful in its own slightly threatening way.