Atherton Tablelands to Cape Tribulation
The Tropical Rainforest
The area around Cairns is often called the Tropical Northland. Vast rainforest carpets much of the area and narrow dirt roads are often impassible except by 4 wheel drive vehicles.
We spent several days exploring the beauty of the area, luckily managing to avoid the torrential downpours that often occur during the rainy season. A two day trip into the Atherton Tablelands provided us with views of spectacular waterfalls, many of which we swam in despite the FREEZING temperatures. The forest itself was amazing, especially the giant fig trees which can dominate an area.
We also went canoeing on a lake in the middle of the rainforest, stopping to gaze at the unusual rainforest wildlife that lived near the water. Our canoe trip ended in a small creek where we painted each other's faces with Okra, a natural rock that Aborigines use to decorate themselves for ceremonies.
That night at the "On the Wallaby" Lodge, Kate tried to master the didgeridoo, a Aboriginal musical instrument which is VERY hard to play.
A second trip into the rainforest took us into croc territory for the first time. We spent hours trail hiking through the jungle, at one point stopping to cool off in a stream. We were told that crocs lived in the stream but we managed OK without seeing any.
Our rainforest experience ended with big adventure - whitewater rafting in the middle of a cyclone. They almost decided to close the river as the water was getting so high, but we went anyway and battled our way down the rapids without casualty.
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