Australia

Crocodiles in the Daintree rainforest

About our last Australian adventure, before flying over to New Zealand.

When we arrived in Cairns, we were actually relieved. Not so much because of the driving, but because of the weather. I remember planning our trip over here back in Perth and back then the prognoses were not good. At best, there were going to be thunderstorms instead of cyclones. And this was the prognosis for all of January! So there was simply no way of escaping it… There had already been a zombie cyclone causing a lot of destruction, and we were just not looking forward to that. So for the past two weeks we were constantly checking the weather to see what would be safe (and still fun). But now we were actually here, all of this was hard to imagine. There was no (heavy) rain, no wind, no heatwave; just nice and sunny weather. And the best thing is: the weather report for the Daintree rainforest was good as well! So we hit the internet to make a plan.

Even tough we saw the rare Cassowary a couple of days ago, plenty of kangaroos and even a baby koala, there was still one iconic Australian animal missing on our list:

Yes, the crocodile! No matter how easy mr. Dundee makes it look in the movies, I decided against going on a crocodile hunt by myself. I mean, we all know that crocodiles hate pirates. Look at what happened to captain Hook!

And now to me!

This is actually the croc’s head in front of the Crocodile Express cruises where we went to do a river tour. Yes, another tour, but: not as expensive (in fact: we got 2 for the price of 1), not taking up our whole day and not fully booked (at least the ones we were on, the ones after us were sold out with 40 people a tour). Apparently crocodiles really can smell pirates, because as soon we got in the boat and onto the river, there was crocodile number one right in front of us!

It is a good thing we had our guide with us. Not just because of the amazing amount of information he was bestowing on us (in an extremely enthusiastic manner!), but also because he actually saw the crocodiles. I just saw logs drifting along the water, until two of them suddenly turned into actual saltwater crocs when we came within 5 meter’s distance of them. 

We all know the saying: eat or be eaten. So at after the tour we had crocodile burger for lunch. (That meat does not come from the ones in the Daintree rainforest, but from farms.)

Since this cruise was such a success with encountering both a male and female, we decided to do the second one too. That turned out to be a good choice, because here we met crocodile number 3. And Salty III was a male on land, which means we could take a good look at this giant 4 meter reptile, again from only a couple of meter away. I must admit that I jumped up when I was just looking through the zoom lens to make a picture of his head, and Salty opened his mouth (probably to turn away an annoying insect or something).

After our final crocodile encounter, we drove over to Mossman Gorge to do some hiking. We took the shuttle tour at the information office (which also has a nice shop with Aboriginal art) and took a 2,5 km return walk through the Rainforest. This is actually millions of years old, original rainforest, and it certainly looked the part:

I must say it was very humid, but also nice and cool to be walking around there. And there were cool trees and lianas everywhere. We already felt like Indiana Jones when we flying in that Cessna over the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef, but today was no difference. A good way to end our Australian adventure!

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