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Previous Blogs: Day 1 Portland & Honolulu | Day 2 Oahu | Day 3+4 Melbourne | Day 5 Williamstown | Day 6 Launceston | Day 7 Cradle Mountain | Day 8 Road to Hobart | Day 9 Port Arthur | Day 10 Apollo Beach | Day 11 Port Fairy | Day12+13 Southern Ports | Day 14 Kangaroo Island | Day 15 Kangaroo Island | Day 16 Kangaroo Island | Day 17 Adelaide | Day 18 Adelaide | Day 19 Adelaide Hills | Day 20+21 Uluru | Day 22+23 Alice Springs | Day 24 Darwin | Day 25 Darwin | Day 26+27 Port Douglas | Day 28 Daintree | Day 29+30 Gold Coast | Day 31+32 Brisbane | Day 33 Brisbane | Day 34-36 Hawaii

Click photos for a larger image...

We are still in the cute little village of Port Douglas.  Home of where Steve Irwin died (The Crocodile Hunter) he was just off Port Douglas on the reef when he was stabbed by a Sting Ray to the heart.

Lesson number one (especially for us from Florida who are well acquainted with sting rays) - DON'T HUG THEM!!  Darwinism at it's finest.

Today went to see Daintree National park. We chose a tour that was small group only (10 people) because that's the way we prefer to roll.

Daintree is the oldest rain forest in the world! It is estimated to be well over 100 million years old. This is millions and millions of years older than the Amazon and Congo rain forests.

Because of this age we can find a lot of critters that are not found anywhere else, because they survived so much longer in this environment that was here before the dinosaurs.

Our tour guide was AMAZING!!!  Originally from New Zealand, he ran resorts in Africa, climbed Kilimanjaro, been to South America, USA, Europe and even done the Inca Trail. You can ask him a question about anything you see (like a bug or a plant) he knows what is is, where it's from and the entire history behind it!  A walking Encyclopedia for us old farts or Wikipedia for you youngin's.


First stop was Mossman Gorge.

There were nice walkways half way up to the canopy which is 100 feet off the ground.

 The gorge was not quite what I was expecting, I tend to think of gorges as being like canyons, but it was very pretty anyway.

Then it was time for a boat ride on the Daintree River to look for critters.

Bats, Bats & more Bats!

And where there are bats, there are pythons - its their favorite food!


Baby crocodile. Because they have so many predators (including their own father) baby crocs have about a 1% chance of survival.

We rode the car ferry across the river.

There were several stops going up the mountain to see the spectacular views:

And we saw many more critters...

This sucker was about 8 inches long.

Below - amazing trees who use (and even kill) other trees all in a rush to get to the sunlight at the canopy...

Then we went to Cape Tribulation where Captain Cook, while mapping Australia, ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, and the beginning of his "troubles".  This is also where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef -  two spectacular World Heritage sites meet.


It took Capt. Cook nearly 2 months repairing the ship before he could leave. Repairs were undertaken at Cooktown, north of here.  Due to his dismay, he named the surrounding areas -  Mount Sorrow, Weary Bay, Endeavor River - you get the gist of how much he hated his life at that point.

The Great Barrier Reef lies about 30 miles offshore, but at this point it swings in much closer, which was Cook's mistake.

And on the way back we stoped off at an ice cream factory for something refreshing and cold.  Today's temp was 31C (94F) with a feels like of 38C (101F).


This is organic fresh, homemade fruit ice cream.  Flavors change daily depending upon what orchard is ready. 

And finally...

And this is a Cassowary an endangered flightless bird native to this area... this bird predates the dinosaurs and can run at 30 miles an hour!

It is the third largest bird in the world. It is also the most dangerous bird on the planet. If threatened it will attack with a swift karate-kick with its powerful legs equipped with dagger-like claws.

After laying the eggs, the mother moves on looking for another mate and the poor Dad (who is half her size) is left to sit on the eggs, hatch them, feed them and then raise the babies on his own!! 

Hmmm... sounds like someone I know!

So here is daddy with his 5 chicks.  He will care for the chicks about 9 months before they take off on their own.  He's a very dutiful and tending daddy.  The chicks will get their beautiful color at about 3 years old.  (Estimated they are about 4 - months old now based on their back striping) I would venture to guess he is probably more fierce than a mama bear!

Then some other gold-digging whore will find him to be her baby daddy as she finds another unsuspecting sap.

And this is the sad, but FUNNY signs they have on the road to make you aware of not killing these critters while driving.