|Looking 23 metres down – the Canopy Tower|
The Demon Duck of Doom (Dromornis stirtoni) at the Daintree Discovery Centre is unlikely to cause panic unless you’re of a particularly nervous disposition. That’s because it’s a metal cutout, the real life version having been extinct since the late Miocene period.
|Above the canopy – 1998|
But what’s a few megafauna between friends when a much more highly developed and dangerous animal roams the walkways and forest floors of the Discovery Centre?
|The Daintree River – 1998|
Over the crocodile-infested Daintree river, the ‘challenging’ main road winds through the magnificent World Heritage listed Wet Tropics rainforest that the founders fell in love with way back in Queensland’s glory days of unbridled development. How the privately owned centre became an award-winning eco-tourism attraction with cutting edge ‘green’ technology since opening in 1988 is a masterclass in prioritising and persistence for apathetic, incompetent and inactive governments … but I digress!
|Daintree River Mouth – 1998|
The Canopy Tower cyclone rating no doubt provides relief to nervous climbers – but the climb to the top platform can be shaky even on a calm day when a tour group gallops past, as it did on our July 2010 visit. But … it’s the journey not the destination for those who take the only opportunity in OZ to experience the unique characteristics of each rainforest level. Although the destination is mighty fine too – it’s a different world above the canopy!
As the oldest rainforest in the world – with a high incidence of endemic plants, animals and birds – the Daintree is a valuable scientific resource with secrets still to be discovered. So observing rainforest plants, birds and butterflies up close, with expert commentary provided by audio units along the Daintree Discovery Centre’s aerial walkway, boardwalks and interpretive displays is an Aussie must-do!
|From the Canopy Tower – Daintree Discovery Centre|
Especially when coupled with the chance to observe the juvenile Homo sapiens at play, unfettered by parental disapproval or social mores …
PS – Pictures marked 1998 were taken during our first trip to the Daintree.