Cairns: Rainforest & Reef

On Saturday, with no obligations at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, I booked a tour to the Daintree Rainforest. This rainforest runs right to the shore, leading the locals to observe that this is “where the rainforest meets the reef.”

The tour included stops at various lookouts with great views, time in the rainforest by bus, on foot, and boat. Our tour group also had a great lunch at the Daintree Treehouse. I ordered the Barrimundi, a local fish (it’s hiding under the fries). But the star of the dish was the assortment of 9 or so tropical fruits, some of which I’d never seen before. Tasty!

One of our last stops was to see how a tree can be taken over by another in a process that can take centuries — even a millennium. It starts when a bird drops a seed in the top of an existing tree. On germinating, the new plant starts dropping shoots down, eventually surrounding its host. Then the termites come and, since the new tree is immune, eat away the original tree until all that’s left is a whole new plant, one with a lattice-like structure.

On the way back, shortly after the sun had set, we passed an area that is home to literally hundreds of wallabies. Hundreds! They kept their distance, but you can get a bit of an idea from these photos.

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