Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day trip to Daintree Forest & Cape Tribulation

It was another bright eye bushy tail morning for us, heading to Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulations today!
The 135-million year old rainforest of the Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree is the most ancient and primitive in the world. Many species originated when Australia was part of Gondwana, more than 120 million years ago.

The 4 wheel drive we had looked kinda lean and mean, and it was really comfortable inside! Simon was our driver and guide for the day and the guys there always has jokes to share that make the long day really enjoyable!!

We didnt have to do any climbing or trekking for the day's activities. All we needed was camera, and a good ear. At the Daintree, we had a seperate guide to lead the way and explain the different parts of flora and fauna. Up to 80% of the rainforest fruits and plants are poisonous or rather unsuitable for consumption for human beings. The Golden Orb Spider here are really huge here! If u noticed, this spider only had 7 legs as I saw it overhanging the steps.

While I was keeping my eyes peeled for the green rainforest frog, Cassowary and some snake action, I didnt get to see any on this trip. Our guide told us that the frog will let out a loud shrieking cry just like a human baby when it is being attacked. I wished I could have a sound recording to know how that sounds like but no such luck.

Then as I boarded my drive, a blue flash caught my eye and it was the blue Ulysses Butterfly! The Ulysses Butterfly is an icon of Tropical Northern Australia. It has spectacular large iridescent metallic-blue wings that can be seen from a great distance. It was magnificent to see it fluttering in action rather than pinned to a board preserved. I tried to take a picture but all i could get was a blue dot above the end of the red car to remember by.

Apparently it rains 220 days in a year down in daintree area and I am glad my trip fallen within the 145 days of bright dry day. At some point it spit a little while we were on way to BBQ lunch but it was over before we knew it.

At Cape Tribulation, the mangrove side on the left was bright and sunny, while the right side was covered with dark heavy grey clouds.

Just then, a pink stub caught my eye. I thought it was crab leg, but later i realise it was part of the plant roots! I didnt quite know what the little sand moulds was until i got closer. I am assuming the crabs made it as they burrow downwards.

It was low tide while we were at the beach. I saw shells attached to the exposed roots and thought it was pretty interesting. As I explore further up, the 2 green stubs beneath the whole endless row of mangrove root grabbed me.
Porous roots sticking out of sand soil for air to absorb air and whatever nutrients they can get.
Along the way, Simon said that Captain Cook had been sailing around and was the one giving his explorations new names such as Cape Tribulation, Weary Bay and the mountain - Mount Sorrow.

I laughed out loud when Simon said "You can really imagine the state of mind the fellow was experiencing back them isnt it to have such cheery names!" Apparently, when Cook looked around the next morning after a sleepless night and understandably feeling a bit grumpy, he assigned a whole bunch of rather negative names to the beautiful coastline.

The origins of the names....

Cape tribulations
Cape Tribulation is situated 36km. north of the Daintree river in the Daintree National Park. It has a colorful history, known as Kurangee by Aborigines for thousands of years and renamed Cape Tribulation by James Cook as this was the place where his tribulations (trouble) began. Kuranjee (Aboriginal for 'place of many cassowaries' was renamed into Cape Tribulation (tribulation = trouble).

Weary Bay
It was named by Captain Cook becausehis men were weary rowing around looking for a river into whichthey could bring their damaged ship the Endeavour. (naming Weary bay where they had a rest stop)

Endeavour River

Captain Cook ordered the men into the rowboats and for several days they towed the disabled ship up the coast until they found a river suitable for bringing the ship in to beach at high tide and carry out repairs. This is now called the Endeavour River and the town there is called Cooktown.

Apparently the name 'kangaroo' originated when Cook asked the local Aborigines what the name of this animal was they replied something like ' kang-goo-roo' . Later it emerged that this was not the name of the animal but one Aborigine saying to the other; what the hell's that white idiot talking about?


Ah Dom said...

OMG.. what is that flying thingy below the photo of spider? I saw that a lot in CHC too for whatsoever reason and it is so gross.

"me-no-mad" said...

Haaa haaaa You are so funny! if i didnt know better, I would hace thot it was a girl who said that! :P Honestly, I have no idea what that is because "IT" was not part of the eco talk. It was secretly resting on a notice board behind me and another guy and it didnt move on inch despite the noise, movement etc. I thot it was dead but it wasnt. It finally twitched when i was leaving.... ;p i do not see any in Sydney. But i guess you are closer to nature and hence you see more of it. Which is good. You are living in non polluted area and breathing really clean air ;p