Living within the gondwanan refugium of the Daintree Rainforest over the past 22-years, has given unparalleled insight into the extraordinary complexities of Nature’s Masterpiece. Sleeping beneath its ever-changing blanket of chemical signals and venturing into its secretive centrepiece on a daily and nightly basis, in the company of genuine eco-travellers with their fresh sensitivities and enthusiasms, has forged an increasing familiarity and one that asserts its subtle influence through the ever-increasing sensitivities of sub-conscious channels. Little by little, the seemingly insurmountable complexities yield to unexpected sensitivities of the long-term human inhabitant.
And then, by happenchance, a helicopter ride over the surrounding landscape puts us back into our rightful insignificance. Having long awaited the opportunity to photograph the Daintree Rainforest from above, we were fortunate to have favourable conditions over all aspects of the landscape, other than the apex of Thornton Peak itself. The sea was beautifully clear and calm, revealing reef right alongside the fringing rainforest. The bifurcated protrusion along the right foreshore (above) liberates Emmagen Creek into the Coral Sea.
The deeply incised channel of the upper Woobadda River shows substantive drops and high water volumes, through a pristine landscape that is begging for exploration. Numerous birds of unidentifiable taxa could be seen flying along the spectacular watercourse. Ascending across the western spur of Mount Hemmant, over the opposing Noah Falls and across the saddle into the Cooper Valley, the triple-tiered 500-foot drop of Alexandra Falls, reveals the timeless descent of Cooper Creek off the suspended plateau that gives way to the expansive catchment of the Roaring Meg Creek to the north-west.
The landscape of the Daintree Rainforest is vast. A person could spend a lifetime exploring its hidden interior and fall a long way short of covering every aspect. Many years ago, Cooper Creek Wilderness attempted to get permission to guide small groups into this wilderness landscape, but were refused on application of the precautionary principle. Not a safety precaution, mind you, but an environmental one, which was somehow triggered by evidence of serious and irreversible environmental harm as a direct consequence of the permit application itself. Instead, the sanctioned Daintree Rainforest experience is a sequence of short, interpretive boardwalks built alongside the Cape Tribulation Road.