First to see the sea and say it! Now back on the coast we had the sounds of the ocean instead of the bush. We arrived at Wonga Beach on Tuesday for a three night stay close to the Daintree area. This time instead of a kangaroos we have three male and three female peacocks who stroll in an out of the caravan areas, never a dull moment!
On Wednesday we went for a walk through a forest up in the Daintree which was recommended by the caravan park operator. We drove from Wonga beach up to the Daintree village and then drove onto a private property called River Home. From there armed with our maps for which we paid $10 each as entry to the property, camera and water (unfortunately, we forgot the Aerogard, oh dear!) we set off. Our trek took us through grazing country with droughtmaster cattle for company and suddenly into the forest. It was absolutely magnificent and we took our time enjoying all the attractions indicated on the map. At the end of the forest we came to a beautiful waterfall complete with fish and tortoises. We had been told we could take bread to feed the fish and they were certainly waiting for us. As soon as Ian threw the crusts in they were jumping out of the water to grab them. The tortoises were a little reticent or frightened of the voracious habits of the fish and waited until they had had their fill before coming out for their share. It was a lovely experience and we reluctantly returned to the car nearly three hours later, again forging (well stumbling across, or in my case falling in!) three little creeks. We could have taken our shoes and socks off but what the heck they dried out later back at the van.
On our return we stopped at the end of the street from the caravan park and watched the harvesting of fish from a large fish farm. We had ordered fresh barramundi at the caravan park and figured that this was where it was coming from. We were fascinated by the process of coaxing the fish with nets attached at each side of the pond by quad bikes which slowly travelled down the length of the ponds. At the end of the pond the nets were anchored across the front and the staff in wet suits scooped the fish into boxes. On Thursday we enjoyed the best fish we have ever tasted!
On Thursday we went up further, crossing over the river by barge and took another self paced tour at The Discovery Centre. This was great too and we took advantage of the personal audio guides which you carry and press to listen to information relevant to the particular place you are standing at. We even remembered the Aerogard which was probably a bit late because all our best bits are covered with mossie bites already! The audio guides also had an indigenous interpretation of each station which was fascinating and we learnt a lot about traditional tucker and medicines and also agricultural practice. We were looking for the cassowary bird but the closest we came was this sign warning us to be careful and to ensure we were “chilled out. not flat out” to preserve this endangered species. Very clever local interpretations of a speed hump sign!
Onward now for a couple of lazy days at Mareeba doing very little as the weather is not expected to be very favourable.