Sustainable Tourism IN Australia: up north discovering Daintree Rainforest (Daintree National Park)
There is nothing better than discover the beautiful Queensland doing sustainable tourism, I have been so lucky to have the chance to visit Daintree National Park during the time I was working in Brisbane.
The Daintree rainforest is one of the oldest and most beautiful forests I have ever seen, actually, it is the oldest intact tropical rainforest in the world. The region referred to as ‘The Daintree Rainforest’ covers an area of approximately 1,200 square kilometres, from the Daintree River north to Cooktown and west to the Great Divide, representing the single largest block of tropical rainforest in Australia.
The Daintree is one of the few places in the world where the rainforest meets the reef! But it is its antiquity that really sets it apart. Just to put that into context:
– the Amazon is about 7 million years old
– the Kuranda Range – (Queensland near Cairns) 60 – 70,000 years and
-the Daintree is thought to be between 110 – 200 million years old
This tropical rainforest ecosystem is one of the most complex on earth. Its plant diversity and structural complexity is unrivalled on the Australian continent and represents the origins of many of Australia’s most familiar flora.
First stop: Cape Tribulation (where the regular route stops).
Cape Tribulation is an amazing area immersed into the rainforest where to stop for the night, there you will find a different kind of accommodation, but if you are travelling by camper or campervan I can suggest you PK’s Jungle Village the only low budget accommodation in this area. We stayed there only for one night and it was fine and funny.
Daintree National Park and Daintree Discovery Centre
If you are around you cannot miss the Daintree Discovery Centre, it provides an excellent introduction to this ancient rainforest. Opened in 1989, it is a self –funding, private enterprise. Entry fees support the ongoing development of the Centre including the DDC Carbon Offset Program.
The Centre is recognised as a leader in the field of ecotourism, they have been awarded the Advanced Eco Tourism accreditation. The centre is very interesting and the audio guides allowed us to discover a bit more about this incredibly beautiful place.
There are several options to discover the rainforest:
– the aerial walkaway is spectacular, it is wheelchair friendly and allows safe and easy access to the mid-level rainforest;
–the canopy tower provides the most amazing insight into the surrounding rainforest, from the forest floor to the uppermost reaches of the canopy. It is a cyclone rated and has 5 large viewing platforms.
–elevated Boardwalks allow you to thread their way through the lush, unspoilt rainforest to see, smell and experience the rainforest, while at the same time protecting the fragile root systems of the forest.
The cassowaries are ratites (flightless birds without a keel on their sternum bone) in the genus Casuarius and are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, nearby islands, and northeastern Australia. There are three extant species recognized today. The most common of these, the southern cassowary, is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu. Cassowaries are very shy, but when provoked they are capable of inflicting injuries to dogs and people, although fatalities are extremely rare.
Cassowaries are predominantly frugivorous. Besides fruits, their diet includes flowers, fungi, snails, insects, frogs, birds, fish, rats, mice, and carrion. Fruit from at least 26 plant families has been documented in the diet of cassowaries. Fruits from the laurel, podocarp, palm, wild grape, nightshade, and myrtle families are important items in the diet. The cassowary plum takes its name from the bird.
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