Cyclones And Crocodiles In Cairns And The Daintree Rainforest!
In this week’s Photos From The Road round up I take you along the East Coast of Australia to Cairns and the Daintree Rainforest.
There’s been a whole load of cyclones, a whole lot of rain and heaps of crocodiles…
The Rain Is Unleashed Upon Cairns
It has been a rainy week here in Far North Queensland. This is the tropics, and it’s the end of the wet season but no one was expecting the huge rainfall the area experienced in the wake of Cyclone Nora hitting the country. Cairns missed the worst of it, but the tail end unleashed rain upon rain on the area.
I travelled up this week from The Whitsunday Islands, driving over 600 kilometres and just missing really heavy rainfall at the half way point which cut off the highway completely between Townsville and Cairns.
I made it to Cairns but no where was safe. Caravan Parks were washed away, roads were flooded and rock slides were rolling down the mountains.
More rainfall was experienced here overnight than Sydney has experienced in the entire year, and this was supposed to be the end of the wet season, the last drizzle of the year…
The rain kept me in for a day or so, this was the worst in nearly twenty years according to locals, but before long things were returning to normal, and the flood waters were subsiding enough to get out and about. Clean up crews did a remarkable job clearing the rubble and getting roads passable again- it’s almost like they are used to cyclones in this part of the world…- although the car would still get a little wet in a few places.
The Barron Falls Look Insane After The Rain!
My first stop once the roads were passable was the Barron Falls. What better place to see the effects of the heavy rain than a raging waterfall?
The Barron Falls are found in Far Northern Queensland just outside of Cairns City, on the mountainous plateau of the Tablelands.
Barron Falls formed where the plateau drops sharply onto the coastline below, and at 125 metres tall it’s one of the largest water falls in Queensland.
It’s also one of the widest, with the Barron feeding its mighty width of 250 metres and creating a monster of a waterfall with multiple drops and levels on its way down.
Barron Falls can dry to an insignificant trickle at the end of long dry seasons, but the Tropical North of Queensland and especially Cairns were receiving an unprecedented level of rainfall of course…
The Falls were in full flow, and the power of the crashing water was rather insane!
With almost 600 mm of rain falling in the region in just one night, things were certainly wet in this rainforest.
The river had burst its banks in places causing massive flooding below and dangerous rock slides the day before I visited on the roads up from Cairns, but testament to how quickly things change in Australia, the days following the rains have been beautiful and sunny, and while the Falls were powerful they were already subsiding slightly.
It was an incredible display of the awesome power of cyclones and storms in this tropical part of Australia, a pattern of weather systems the locals have embraced and come to live with in this part of the world.
The Crocs Are Out And About
As well as filling the waterfalls and flooding the rivers the heavy rains bring with them more beastly dangers too.
The crocodiles are out and about…
Extensive flooding can sweep the crocs into new territories, and it’s not uncommon to see these huge creatures swimming along the rivers in the flooding before ending up on flooded cricket pitches and in swimming pools.
I went in search of a few on the Daintree River, knowing this was prime time to see them in the wild.
On a solar powered boat- to keep the noise down!- I travelled out on the river and into the mangroves.
This stretch of river cuts through the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest rainforest on the planet, and crocs have called this place home for millennia.
The river is a breeding ground for crocodiles, and inhabiting this region are the estuarine crocodiles- the saltwater crocodiles, known locally as the salties.
These are the big and dangerous ones. It’s unwise to stand near the water’s edge and even more unwise to go swimming in these waters…
Cruising the river we soon found our first Saltie swimming around the mangroves, and it wasn’t the last..
The crocs were out in force on the Daintree.
Where Am I Travelling To Next?
Up next I’ve got some busy travel plans over the next few months as I take this blog and my dream of living a life of continuous travel to the next level!
I’m flying out of Cairns in a few days to meet my business partner and YouTuber The Life of Jord in Canggu, Bali to finish the final stages of planning for our first ever event in the Philippines.
Together we have created the website Travel Continuously, to inspire and help people like us to live their dream of continuous travel. As part of that, we are taking a group of motivated and ambitious bloggers to Coron in the Philippines to teach them the skills they need to be Digital Nomads.
In Canggu we will be working hard on the website and the event for a few weeks. Then I’m travelling to Malaysia and little known Brunei for a few days of off the beaten track exploration before I then fly into the Philippines for the big event this May in Coron.
There’s more content on the way for Travel Tramp, and check out Travel Continuously if you are interestedo in life as a Digital Nomad!
All Words And Photos By Richard Collett