In addition to diving the Great Barrier Reef on my trip to Cairns, I also ventured to the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, the Tablelands and Port Douglas, which are doable as day trips. Here are my favorite things I saw there.
10. This View
In the Atherton Tablelands. It reminded me of Ireland. One of those vistas you put in a postcard.
Green shoes and a green string instrument (a ukulele? I don’t know) at 9 a.m. in the morning in downtown Cairns. Enough said.
This is the cathedral fig tree, a type of strangler tree found in the Tablelands. Everything grows over everything else till you have this intricate structure of branches and roots.
Wicked Camper vans are known for quippy sayings and sketches. But this one topped all.
Ok, so they weren’t really ninjas, but they were hungry little fockers! They were swimming in the river where we ate lunch in Daintree, and we slipped them bits of bread.
We saw two waterfalls in the Tablelands, but this one was my favorite.
After briefly spotting one that scurried back into the brush in Daintree, we got a view of this bad-tempered bird in the Tablelands. He was cool, picking at grub along the rainforest floor and seeming oblivious to us…until we started walking away, which is when he sort of followed us for a bit. We picked up our speed and, luckily, avoided his wrath.
Up until this trip, I’d most recently seen a lizard in my old flatmate’s apartment. He didn’t move much, and now I know why–lizards freeze when they sense your presence.
Well, this little guy, found in the Tablelands, did. The big one, not so much. This 3-footer crawled right into a picnic area before skulking back into the wood around Cape Trib. Happy lunch to you, sir.
2. Paradise in Port Douglas
I sat underneath a tree in the grass and just looked out at this view in Port Douglas. The building you see houses an art exhibition I’d walked through minutes before. To the right, the Sunday markets were wrapping up for the day.
1. A Crocodile’s Butt
My Daintree tour went on a river cruise to watch for crocodiles, who often take shade in the low-hanging branches skimming the water. There were signs everywhere alerting visitors to these ravenous reptiles’ presence, which made me chuckle until I realized they were serious. Our somewhat sarcastic, sourpuss skipper kept getting our hopes up at every turn, but we saw nothing but branch and birds for a good 45 minutes.
Until right before we had to turn back, when we spotted a yellow- and black-speckled male crocodile sunbathing his large back on shore. This feller didn’t move an inch while we floated close to snap pictures–thank the lord.