The four of us were really looking forward to our time in the Daintree. This was due to my parents joining us here and the fact that after a week or so of moving every one to two nights we would be staying in the one location for five nights – bliss.
We arrived at Lync Haven just after my parents and the kids happily hung out with them while Andrew and I got organised and set up. This would be a perk of having my parents around for the next few days.
Our time in the Daintree was a mix of relaxing and restocking (like getting the car serviced and fixing Mali’s water tanks) mixed with some sightseeing and catching up with my parents. Lync Haven was a great location for this. It is a motel, restaurant and campground mixed with a wildlife reserve and rainforest. So the place had walks, animals and a restaurant when we did not feel like cooking. The facilities were clean and basic and the owners very friendly, helpful and full of information. The kids loved the snakes, wallabies and birds. The place also had a wildlife reserve but as the dingo had given birth to pups recently it was not open to the public when we were there.
This is a great place for wildlife spotting as the animals feel at home in this space but not in a way that you have to guard you food and worry about animals taking over when you turn your back. One evening a cassowary just strolled past our campsite eating seeds and another night it brought along its chick.
The rainforest of the Daintree is stunning and it was wonderful to be camped amongst it. It seems this section of coast is filled with younger backpackers and families and less grey nomads. One day we took a drive to Emmagen creek, just north of Cape Tribulation. This is one of the few safe swimming holes in the area. The beaches and most rivers are home to saltwater crocs so not a place to paddle. This river ticked all the boxes for us, a deep pool for swimming, shallow sections for exploring, good skimming rocks and fallen logs to scramble. It was a great location to share a picnic lunch and our timing was perfect as we were just leaving when a tourist bus pulled up.
We also took the opportunity to try the local ice creameries. There were two. Neither rate close to Lennox Head though! One was organic and bio-dynamic. I tried sappote which was meant to be a mild chocolate. It was so mild it tasted like frozen ice. The pick of the ice creameries would be the one with the orchard. Here you get four scoops of pre-prepared flavours in a cup made from fruit from the orchard. The flavours for us were passionfruit, a local plum, jackfruit and wattle seed. It was a nice place to explore the orchard, learning about the different fruits and defiantly the pick of ice cream for the area.
The one thing I wanted to do in the Daintree was take the kids out on the reef given the rate the coral is bleaching and not knowing when we will be back. There are two operators that work out of Cape Trib and one was booked out for two weeks. So one of our five days we headed off on a catamaran with Sailaway to explore the reef. We met at the beach at Cape Trib where they ferried us out to the yacht. The wind was up and a bit choppy so it was a rocky ride to the reef but once there things settled.
This was a great relaxing way to explore the reef as you got to snorkel in the morning and afternoon, but if you did not want to go out in the afternoon then you could go on the glass bottom boat.
Izzy, Andrew and I snorkelled and loved seeing the coral and fish. The colours were not as vibrant as when I was there around twenty years ago but the reef was still alive with amazing fish and giant clams. Snorkelling this reef was great as it is quite shallow so you can see loads.
In the afternoon Matthew, Andrew, Nan and Pa loved the glass bottom boat ride and even saw a shark while Izzy and I saw a saw turtle while snorkelling. This was a slower, quieter way to explore the reef and with only 17 people on the tour it was not packed. It really was a special day.
On our last day in the area we left the kids with Nan and Pa for an hour or so and did a lovely short botanical walk. It was a very popular walk but also quite interesting as it goes along a creek into the tidal areas so you see the change of vegetation from mangroves into the rainforest.
Our five days at the Daintree left us recharged and restocked ready to explore further up Cape York. It was great to have my parents visit and we hope to see them again with luck before the rest of the trip is through.