Cruising the Daintree River

PinnaclepoolWe’re staying in the Pinnacle caravan park, in Wonga Beach (yes, really, there is a village called Wonga Beach), where we arrived on Sunday 26th. Its been a chance to catch up again, for the girls to spend a lazy day recovering from their exertions at Green Island (especially Charlotte, who probably swam over half a mile), and for us to sort out the van a bit, after nearly a month living in it. In such a small space things had started to get into a state of disarray, and we’d accumulated all kinds of brochures, flyers and newspapers as we’d travelled. Everything came out, onto a big sheet on the ground, and then most of it was put back in, but this time with the right things accessible easily (not much call for fleeces here, so why did we pack them at the top of the clothes pile?). While this was going on, we took turns supervising the girls while they swam and lounged around the pool – easily done when its so luxurious. Many of the pools here are impressive, but few have been as quiet as this one – we had it to ourselves most of the day, and as well as this one there are two children’s pools with waterslides.Bigcroc

This afternoon we went on a Daintree Wildlife River Cruise, on an open decked boat. There are half a dozen companies which run these trips, but we opted for a short trip, because of the attention span of the girls. We’d been advised to go at low tide, as that was the best time to spot crocs, but obviously nobody else had followed that advice, as were the only people on a boat built for 60! It meant that we had a really good chance to talk to the guide, Lex, who’d lived on the river his whole life. His 85 year old mum came on the trip too, so she was telling us stories of yesteryear in Daintree, as well as the 9 foot python that had tried to catch her cat last week on her back porch! We got to see lots of different birds, very close, as they were used to the boats.Crocscare

But it wasn’t until three quarters of the way through the trip that we spotted a croc, under a dense tree on the mud at the bank side. Everything else was good, but spotting crocodiles was the real point of the trip (and not ‘log-odiles’, which Charlotte and Emily had spotted every 2 minutes since we’d left the jetty). After we’d spotted our second crocodile, we then started to hear the story of the last person killed by a croc on the river, in 1985. It was a woman who’d been standing on the jetty, watching Lex’s brother swim in the river one evening. Pretty scary stuff, and one which meant that Emily didn’t go anywhere near the edge of the boat!

When we got back to the jetty, the girls spent half an hour torturing the Archer fish with bits of bread. They shoot a jet of water out of their mouths up 4 feet, to knock down insects from branches. Charlotte kept holding out small bits of bread for them to shoot down from the boat side, and then when that ran out, kept them shooting at her empty fingers!

We had been worried that they would get bored on a one hour boat trip, but in fact we were on the boat for an hour and three quarters, and they

wouldn’t leave the boat at the end, and then left with a real buzz. (See Charlotte’s diary for her view on it)