The caravan park we stayed in was on Wonga Beach, just South of Daintree Village and the ferry ride over the river. It was a lovely park in a lush tropical setting with a resident peacock who entertained us with a little jig:
He tried in vain to get the pea-hens to notice him but they weren't interested. Typical.
We drove towards the Daintree Village, passing lots of cane fields:
We called in at the village (not much there apart from croc cruises up the river but been there, done that).
We then bought our ticket for the short ferry crossing ($20 return) and waited to board the ferry which carries about 20 cars over at a time:
We intended to drive pretty much straight up to Cape Tribulation, stay one night there and then see all the sights on the way back down. Some people do up to Cape Trib and back in one day.
We drove into the National Park and stopped at Waluwurriga Alexandria Range Lookout for a nice view out to the water:
We also did a short walk around the Jindalba Boardwalk which showed some typical rainforest:
(Quite nice although I reckon its just as nice at the Abel Tasman National Park at the top of the South Island - and no crocs, sharks or stingers to look out for!)
We had booked in for an exotic fruit tasting for something different - $20pp for a tasting of 10 fruits which vary depending on the season. It is conducted on a farm where they grow all the fruit themselves - mostly just small amounts for the tastings, but a some are sold at markets and elsewhere.
We tasted West Indian Lime (squeezed into water and the only fruit I'd had before, besides the Papaya), Jakfruit, Star Apple, Black Sapote, Yellow Sapote, Sapodilla, Mangosteen, Rollinia and Soursop.
This one has a very soft skin. It has recently been marketed as the "Chocolate Pudding Fruit" but doesn't really taste anything like chocolate! Both this and the yellow sapote are relatives of the persimon. Their consistency is a little like baked pumpkin.
We decided to drive back to Pinnacle Caravan Park at Wonga Beach for the night. We stopped off at Cow Bay just North of the ferry Crossing for a quick look - a nice beach but like all the others - beware of stingers! (Official stinger season starts beginning of November):
We crossed back over in the ferry and arrived back at Wonga Beach for another night. It rained a little during the night and into the morning (the first in ages). As we headed South to Port Douglas, the mountains looked great enshrouded in mist:
After arriving in Port Douglas at 9am (much earlier than expected) we headed straight to the Sunday Markets. These were pretty good markets with the usual assortment of goodies. We just had to try the natural sugar cane juice squeezed fresh from the cane in a quite interesting manner:
This was absolutely scrumptious with a bit of fresh lime added. It wasn't nearly as sweet as I expected and very refreshing. After the markets we wandered up and down the main street in the rain which came in bursts. We booked into a snorkel cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef for the next day and then headed to a caravan park where we spent the rest of the day.
We boarded the boat and filled out the usual forms saying if we died or got left out on the reef - too bad. They provided free ginger tablets for sea sickness as it was a little choppy and we set off on the one and a half hour ride out to the reef. We snorkelled three sites in all.
We bought a disposable underwater camera which turned out to be a bit crap as it didn't show all the beautiful colours of the fish and coral (but thanks to Michelle for doing her thing and jazzing them up a bit!)