Saturday, May 12, 2018

Daintree Australia- Dawn River Cruise

Daintree River
There were and are several destinations on this trip that have been planned, shall we say, rather loosely.  Even though we started planning this in September, I could have used another 6 months of planning to work out the details of each location.  Or at least have a better idea of what features and attractions we might like to see. It took me 6 months to figure out the destinations, accommodations and transportation!

Our stop in Cairns was because Kevan was here, it's a tropical destination and the Great Barrier Reef is here, which I'll get to in a later post, so stay tuned!

Brahmas are raised here due to their ability to handle heat
Daintree National Park is located about a 2 hour drive north of Cairns.  With more time we would have gone further to Cape Tribulation - where the Great Barrier Reef meets the rainforest.  Also going much further would have been best done with a 4WD vehicle.
Tom and Murray - the Boatman
After our train and gondola ride, we made some phone calls and arranged a dawn boat trip on the Daintree river. Tom had gotten a tip from his birding pal, Giles in Melbourne, to be sure to do dawn river cruise on the Daintree River with Murray Hunt of Daintree Boatman Natural Tours.  If you’re heading in his direction, we highly recommend him boatman@daintreerivertours.com.auor www.daintreerivertours.com.au or on Instagram at #daintreeboatman.  We contacted Murray and made arrangements to meet him in the morning.  He gave us a contact for a caravan park located right next to the boat ramp.So while it was an early start, it wasn’t far to go!
We just pushed off of the dock and got this bit of weather

When one visits the ‘rain’ forest, one should expect rain, even in the dry season.  It rained hard all night yet looked to be a nice day…. But, it is the rain forest. As soon as we got in the boat we got rain.  It only lasted 10 minutes or so, but we had several showers throughout our 2-hour trip.

Murray has lived in Daintree and worked on the river for 10 years. He does small, mostly private tours to be sure and get you what you are looking for.  He knows where to find the stuff – very unique birds, rare and special ones, 
Tom seeks out the Papuan Frogmouth bird
a couple of resident green snakes hanging out on their branches

 and a couple of crocodiles,
Crocolog
The real thing!

 just because Dad and I wanted to see one in the wild.  He did a terrific job of putting us in locations to find the birds, then position the boat to photograph them, even spending a bit more time when the weather wasn’t quite cooperating waiting for the light to improve. With Murray’s help we all saw about 36+/- different birds this morning.


 
mangroves




another real one





  

Our trip on the river ended with this guy - all 8 feet of him!

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