Daintree Exploration and Wattle Seed Ice Cream

The Daintree region has many attributes and activities, but how to sample and more importantly savour and retain something of this unique region.

First your vehicle, a tidy and very comfortable minibus arrives at your accommodation for the journey north. After leaving the tourism hub of Port Douglas you seem change style and pace as you transit through cane filed country to the capital of sugar – Mosman where catering for the day is put aboard from a local café whose uniqueness will soon to be revealed to us. Meanwhile, our tour guide – Adrian – has been enthusiastically introducing us to the region. He was pleased to show us a true indication of a town like Mosman being a real country town. A new sign on the hardware outlet announcing new late night trading to 8.30pm on a Thursday – this was 2009.

North, onwards past cane fields some of which are being harvested and some of which still show their magnificent flower head, unique to the more tropical variety of sugar Of course we must realise that sugar cane is really just tall grass – very tall grass, with a sweet attitude. The Daintree river ferry crossing is an institution in this region and whilst one wonders why a bridge has not been constructed you soon learn that to build an all weather bridge in a ‘wild weather’ area like this would require major increases in the road approaches to where a bridge would be. With all facts considered it seems that the ferry is still the best option. The River is really the border between cane, farmland and natural rainforest, smells and tastes, on the grid and self generated power, lifestyles and lifestylers.

Our day continued with exhilerating sea kayaking off a pristine beach – although ‘quite safe’ this was still a ‘paddle of faith’ for this southlander – think crocs! From here we were granted access to a private landholding and taken on an educative rainforest walk. How Adrian managed to turn on the rain at the start of the walk and turn if off as we returned to the vehicle I have yet to deduce. It certainly enhanced a ‘rainforest’ walk! Naturally after such strenuous exertion one is rewarded with a selection of divine ice-cream made from ‘at hand and in season’ tropical fruits, all organic of course. What this establishment can do with Wattle Seed, Sour Sop, Black Sapot – yep I hadn’t heard of that one also!

Our party then headed back to the Daintree river to board a river cruise seeking tropical wildlife and crocodiles. This was no ordinary boat, but powered by electric motors and fuelled by solar panels on its roof. A relatively silent approach was thus guaranteed and I am sure the local wildlife appreciated this fact as they were most relaxed upon our approach. One didn’t but you could have reached out and patted the sleeping green tree snake that we drifted up on! The dull day meant the crocodiles were not out basking on the banks so we had to nose into various creeks and under branches to find them dozing just near the surface.

Daintree Discovery Tours operate daily with pickups from most places around Pt Douglas and the Daintree. You can take a Solar Whisper boat cruise on its own, or if you do the day tour it is included. Daintree Discovery Tours operate first rate small group day trips and the knowledge and personality of their guides enhance an already stunning area.