The first stop was an opportunity to see the rain forest from the river’s edge. And while we didn’t spy any crocs, we saw a roost of maybe 1,000 leathery fox bats hanging in the forest making an enormous racket.We saw the yellow bellied sun catcher in its nest which is made from old leaves and feathers and hangs out over the river’s edge suspended from a tree. And there was a stork known as the Jabiru that was circling above the river.
On our walking tour of the rain forest, we learned about cycads … some of the most primitive trees on the planet. They grow VERY slowly and this Macrozamia cycad is probably nearing 1,000 years old. But it looked like a pup next to some of the Mahogany trees we saw stretching up into the canopy. Near the end of our walk we spied a dragon lizard just hanging out on a tree trunk.
And the sounds … they were at the same time familiar and exotic. The high canopy buzz of cicadas was familiar, but there were screeching birds whose call penetrated the forest like a trumpet … a real contrast to the silence of the outback.
But what we were really looking for was the elusive Cassowary. Emu or ostrich like in its size and shape (over 6 feet), the Cassowary is the gardener of the forest floor. When it eats the fruit on the ground and moves along and excretes the seed elsewhere, it increases the likelihood that the fruit trees will survive in the competitive environment of the rain forest. They estimate that there are about 1,500 of them in Daintree. Their greatest threat now is the automobile and the dog.
At lunchtime I got to meet my first wallaby and my first kangaroo. We visited them at a wildlife rescue center near where we ate our barbeque. The kangaroos remind me of greyhounds. They are graceful and gentle creatures with large padded paws. And the wallaby seemed almost fragile.
After our barbeque lunch we headed deeper into Daintree and took a refreshing dip in a fresh water creek while the tour guides prepared a plate of exotic fruits for us to taste. While not native to
Our final stop was at