WE ARE HERE
Once upon a time, in an ancient land along the north eastern coast of Australia, a young girl and boy entered the kingdom of the Daintree. It had been here long before the young couple had lived, and they hoped for long after they were gone.
It was a place made up of fairytales, with glittering gold spun by Rumpelstiltskin spread across the sand, and streams of light pearcing through the trees. Rapunzel’s thick hair flowed down the trunks of natures giants, while Jack’s beanstalk twirled up towards the sky. It was the real life pages of The Jungle Book, and the inside walls of Tarzan’s heart. A wild place where the tick tock of Captain Cook’s crocodiles kept time, and there was but one true ruler of it all. With a crown set upon his head, flowing robe the colour of midnight sky and jewels of crimson, purple and blue around his neck. He was the King and this his Kingdom. All the creatures and living beings relied on him. He was the Cassowary.
As time moved on and the fair haired humans moved closer, the animals began to hide amongst the spear covered vines and shadows like gargoyles turned to stone. In the waters around the mangroves, turtles camouflaged as lily pads and epiphytes hanging from trees became the safe haven for those not wanting to be seen.
It was as if the rainforest had fallen asleep, except for the constant song of the Daintree. The hum from the impossibly invisible choir of insects and leaves, vines and bees, birds and snakes pulsated through the trees. Like a freight train bailing straight towards you, but never quite getting there. The sound always seemed just around the corner, when in fact, it was always, all around you.
As oceans rose and fell, and the circle of the moon and the sun had changed all of the land over centuries of time, the kingdom became smaller and smaller until it was almost lost. The only place on earth where you can find Tree Kangaroos and Green Dinosaurs, the leaders of this Great Southern Land realised the need to save this special place for all the world. But the land of Queens did not see the need to consecrate this land.
Finally the Great Southern Leaders won, but not before a great loss. Bulldozers came and despite a great war between the people and themselves, a strip of the untouched kingdom was laid to rest, all for a track to the neighbouring province of Bloomfield. This was the last time that evil would win though, because in December of 1988, the kingdom of the Daintree was decreed a treasure of the world.
While this sacred place has been protected for all, we must not let our footprints trample it down. Visit this place but do not stay. See its magic but do not take. The walls of this kingdom must not be stolen from, only it may steal the heart from you.
The Daintree Rainforest, encompassed within the Wet Tropics of Queensland, was acknowledged as a World Heritage Area in December 1988. The listing was aggressively opposed by the Queensland State Government of the time (who were confidently voted out of power in the election following the saga), while the Federal Government fought for the areas recognition. Read more about the clashes here.
Cassowaries are the lifeblood of the Daintree. The animals, Australia’s second largest bird, eat fruit whole, dispersing the seeds in their droppings as they wander. Research shows that seeds which have passed through the digestive systems of Cassowaries, have a significantly increased chance of germination, thus raising the importance of protecting this already endangered species. Listed as endangered in the Wet Tropics region of Queensland, populations in Cape York and Internationally are listed as vulnerable.
If Cassowary populations were to decline in the Daintree and the greater Wet Tropics of Queensland, the survival of the rainforest itself would be put in major jeopardy. Read more about Cassowaries here.
Our next blog will be from: Atherton Tablelands
Until our next update - see you on / off the road 😉
Cassie and Micky