“Where the rain forest meets the reef” was a phrase we heard often when we were on the north-eastern coast of Australia. We devoted one day to each – the rain forest and the reef.
The day after we arrived in Port Douglas we boarded the Silversonic, bound for the Outer Barrier Reef. Cliff and I were among the snorkeling group (there were divers too) setting out to explore the coral formed just before the ocean shelf drops off into the deep. It was spectacular – with clean water, endless fish and sea creatures, and so many huge coral outcrops and boulders that we felt dwarfed in our surroundings. It was The Great Barrier Reef indeed. The experience was incomparable.
The next day (one year ago today) we joined a day tour heading to Daintree National Park, another World Heritage site,
with a full day of sightseeing ahead. We were picked up in a small bus packed full of people with scarce room to move, on a day that was getting hotter as we headed north into the rainforest. The excursion had been booked for us in Sydney. As we hadn’t seen a brochure we weren’t sure what to expect, so Cliff and I had a day of delightful surprises.
We stopped at Mossman Gorge for a hike and later walked to a stunning view overlooking Cape Tribulation. We stopped at a nice privately owned property where our driver/guide proved he could also cook: he grilled steaks and served it along with fresh salad at a picnic area. In the afternoon we took a boat ride in crocodile country (a wild river, not a zoo – keep your arms inside the boat!) then hiked in another area of the rainforest, unsuccessfully trying to spot the huge, flightless, endangered Cassowary birds. There were other stops too. It was a very full, extraordinary, magical day.