Let's go spotting crocodiles!
The point of this trip was rest and relaxation for 3 days so I hadn't planned to sign up for the many tours offered at Port Douglas. The best tour to do is to sail out to the reef and do some snorkelling, it's an amazing experience to see the underwater colours of the fish and the coral. It's at the top of my list of recommendations of what things to do when visiting Australia. Having said all that I didn't go out to the reef! This isn't my first trip to north Queensland, it's my third and I had snorkelled at the reef previously so I didn't this time. But I had thought of doing at least one tour. In the end it was "What half day tour can I do?" I ended up choosing a trip to the Daintree river and Mossman gorge, I hadn't been to either before.
The Daintree river looking out towards the sea.
Thanks to the helpful guide on our tour I found out that the river is 35km long and it's salt water. (Later I found out that 'Daintree' was actually the surname of Richard Daintree who was a geologist and the Queensland agent general in London at time the river was named by a European not something indigenous!) The Daintree is on the World Heritage register.
We were driven to the ferry crossing (there's no bridge across the river if you're heading north) the tour boats leave from there. The one we were on was solar powered which was great as it was really quiet and no exhaust fumes, which tend to make me ill! (Not a good sailor!) We had been told that the morning tour, as it was high tide, hadn't spotted any crocodiles, so our expectations were low, and luckily so was the tide! A few minutes in and we saw our first croc, an adult male called 'Nick' as he had a nick on one of the scales on his back.
Nick the croc.
Croc number 2!
Our boat skipper was terrific as he was able to spot the smaller crocodiles for us, they were really hard to see. I've zoomed in a lot in the pictures I've taken.
We also saw these small crabs which have one large colourful claw. I tried to find out what they're called, I thought at first they were called 'mudkips' but that's a Pokemon (I've spent too much time with Pokemon obsessed children!!)
We went down one of the small tributaries which had thick mangroves either side.
Where you see mangroves you also see these aerial roots sticking up. The mud the mangroves grow in, is very dense and there is no oxygen, so the trees send up roots to absorb oxygen from the air. Interesting trees!
The trip down the river was great, mostly due to the really good boat skipper/guide. He even had a camera and screen on board and would zoom in on a creature so we could see it, such as a green tree frog which is quite small! The boat was quiet and log and narrow so you could get a good view and being relatively small, he could get in close to the banks of the river.
It was a nice way to spend an hour on a river.
This is the website of the tour company I went with.