North of Cairns is Cape Tribulation- where rainforest meets ocean. I headed there on a 2 day trip to explore this stunning area.
Breaking up the long drive there, we stopped to walk through the rainforest. In ignorance I hadn't realised Australia had a rainforest. Winding through was a lazy river with gigantic boulders lying in the middle. The water was so clear you could see the fish swimming around from up above and all surrounded by rainforest foliage. It was just a taste of what was to come.
Next stop was at a wildlife area. Here we got to see Kangaroos roaming round free, including a little Joey wrapped in a blanket. So cute! There were also plenty of crocodiles. Our guide managed to tease them to get them to leap out of the water. Nice!
We finally arrived at Cape Tribulation, which lived up to it's promise of being spectacular. I had travelled up with a friend I had met in Cairns and we took the time to wander along pristine white beaches, with turquoise sea on one side and the sprawling rainforest on the other. Mangrove trees littered the beach, slowly allowing the forest to encroach closer to the sea. Abolsutely stunning. The mangrove roots twisted and meandered everywhere, creating scenes of artistic beauty.
We arrived at lunch time and would leave at lunch time the next day. However, due to the popularity of the place all the things that one could do were booked up but we did manage to book onto a night walk through the rainforest.
The walk through the rainforest started at 8 and took several hours. Our guide was a gentlemen called Uncle Nev, the friendliest local you will ever meet. He kitted the group with a torch each and then took us on a winding, dark path. Wandering through the forest in the day is entirely different to the magnificance of it at night. Towering trees, hundreds of years old, with sprawling roots enclosed us and magnified the sound of the night. At times Uncle Nev would make us turn the torches off just to hear what was around. Your senses at that point become magnified and all those horror films like the Blair Witch Project come flying back to haunt you. Unfortunately, we did not get to see many night creatures but it was definitely worth it. At the end of the tour Uncle Nev took us down the river to spot crocodiles in the wild. As we stood on the edge of the water (the most stupid thing to do!), we caught a glare of red light. It looked like a tiny flame, but it was indeed a crocodile's eye. It stayed there for a while then slowly disappeared. At this point we backed away from the water just to make sure that it would not come flying out to grab us. Certainly an adventure.
As Uncle Nev dropped us off, he asked what we were doing tomorrow. We explained that we could not book on anything, and another couple had had the same problem. So, for a small fee, Uncle Nev offered to take us out. This was a lot less than any of the other tours so we readily agreed.
He rocked up early morning in his own 4x4 and proceeded to take us on the most amazing trip you could imagine. Taking us away from the tourist area, we wandered down paths most people do not go down. With his in-depth knowledge of the area it was really enlightening. He took us along the road where only 4x4's could go and to remote beaches, with only wild boar prints to be seen.. Then to top the morning off, we stopped by a river and he produced tea and homemade passionfruit shortbread biscuits! It was brilliant. Some things work out for a reason. He asked at the end if we could send some pictures. Agreeing we took down his address; Uncle Nev, c/o Masons shop, Cape Tribulation. That was it and all that was needed to find him. Explains a lot.
Cape Tribulation was a beautiful place, and certainly the people made it more so. It was a shame to leave. As we headed back to Cairns we stopped to go down the river on a boat to go more crocodile spotting. We managed to find 5 crocs in the wild, from a massive beast to a baby one. Pretty fun but not the same without Uncle Nev.