Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daintree National Park - Into the Wild ... on Boardwalks :-)

Across the river and into the wild! Daintree National Park is something very special, outside Australia it is probably not as famous as Kakadu National Park or the Great Barrier Reef, but it is one of those places that you will do yourself a great favor by visiting!

Being on a super tight schedule only having 5 days in the far north, we had to take some brutal decisions when it came to decide how we would be spending time. So crossing the river early in the morning we already knew that we would only have 1 day in the rain forest so better get on with it! :-)

For the first time the constant rain was actually helping us out. The rivers north in the park had swelled during the last days of rain and made it four wheel drive only .. Not having shelled out the donuts for a proper river-crossing-capable rent-a-car we were left with a chunk of the Daintree National Park perfectly fit for a 1-2 day visit if you gave it a good go .. so we did! :-)

You can go to all the outlooks and enjoy the vistas and you can sit in your car and in awe see the raging river blocking the road in front, but the most fantastic thing we did during our one day in the Daintree was to dive into all that greenness - the forest up there is just so incredibly full of energy! You can nearly feel how things are growing around you; warm, wet and luxuriant vegetation.

It is quite appropriate to visit a rain forest during rain, you really get that feeling of how potent the forest is around you. It might have hurt our wildlife spotting efforts slightly, for the birds it would make sense to fly somewhere dry! We picked up a few good birds though, including the Wompoo Fruit-Dove in the picture above - what a great bird! I had contemplated a bit on how to setup the camera, all that water made it near impossible to change lenses while walking in the forest. I chose to go for the macro lens; 150mm is obviously a bit shorter than the reach of the Bigma (500mm), but in the dense dark forest you do not need the excessive reach and the f/2.8 of the macro comes in very very handy when under the foliage cover.

Great stuff - really great stuff - so great indeed that I have included a link here to the far north Queensland real estate :-) You definitely get more space for your $ than in Sydney .. it would not be the worst place to retire to one day when I get old .. in a few years - 3 in fact :-D

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