Daintree Dreaming-Day Tour
Travel review submitted by: Andrea – 13th December 2014 – Daintree Dreaming-Day Tour
With a 7:40am pick up from the office, I joined a small group of 4 agents from Reef Info, CAPTA and of course Maryanne. Our day on Daintree Dreaming ran a little different from the brochured itinerary, which made for an exciting day.
As there was a high tide in the morning we headed straight to Crossroads Cafe just past Mossman for quick morning coffee and to pick up our picnic lunch.
We then went straight up to a private property in the Daintree called Tranquility, where we followed a short walking trail through some beautiful rainforest up to Niau Falls.
Troy, our guide, pointed out some rainforest species such as Wait-a-while, Strangler Fig and some ancient ferns.
Once at NiauFalls we had time to swim, explore the falls or just relax in the rock pools. Here we spotted a Ulysses butterfly, some iridescent blue dragon flies and a King Fisher hunting for food in the stream. This place really lived up to its name. It was the epitome of tranquility.
After about an hour at the falls, we headed back into the Daintree Village for our picnic lunch of ham, chicken, salad, fruit and the yummiest potato salad. Normally at this time we would have gone on a 1 hour Daintree River Cruise, but because we were all agents we skipped this part in favour of an earlier lunch.
Then onto Cooya Beach to meet Brandon Walker our teacher of Aboriginal hunting techniques.
Before we headed off Brandon demonstrated how to use the spears. Some of us took up the option to try and hunt with a spear, the operative word being TRY, and headed off down the beach
As the tide had gone right out we were able to go quite a bit out and still remain in the shallows. Here we saw Sting Rays, fish and crabs. Brandon managed to spear a Sting Ray allowing us all to get a look at it up close before releasing it.
We also managed to catch a Sand crab and Mud crab which we kept for our afternoon tea. We then headed into the mangroves where Brandon taught us how to gather food from this habitat. We found quite a few mangrove oysters, which were consumed right then and there by some of the girls, huge Muscles and a rare Mangrove Lobster. All of which went into the bucket to be cooked for afternoon tea. The most exciting part of the day is navigating your way through the mud and trying to stay upright without ending up flat on your bum in the mud.
On this tour…you will get right amongst it and you will get DIRTY. Although Brandon assured us that he could change the walk to cater for prissy girls. Apparently our all female group were not prissy…?
After we cleaned off we went walked up to the Walker home where Mum prepared our catch of the day. But first we got stuck into freshly baked Damper, cakes and sweet Pineapple before the main course of Oysters, Muscles, Mud & Sand Crab, and Lobster was brought out. Whilst we ate, Brandon brought out some pictures and pieces of bones and shells from Saw fish, Dugongs, and Turtles and told us stories of some of their hunting experiences.
Brandon was perfectly honest and unapologetic when questioned on the way in which a Turtle has to be killed. This was no Mickey Mouse version of experiencing the Australian indigenous culture. It was real and honest and more importantly interactive.
At about 4:00pm we left Cooya Beach and headed straight back to Cairns, getting us back at about 5:30pm. Brandon was perfectly honest and unapologetic when questioned on the way in which a Turtle has to be killed. This was no Mickey Mouse version of experiencing the Australian indigenous culture. It was real and honest and more importantly interactive.
Summary: The Daintree Dreaming-Day Tour is for people who want a real Australian indigenous experience was a genuine Aboriginal experience, different than other trips on offer, also visiting a swimming hole & waterfalls on private property. We also did not see any other tourists from other tours throughout the day, so great for getting away from the crowds.
This tour is ideal for the active and adventure market. Passengers need to have a reasonable amount of mobility, this is not just a sightseeing tour. Great for families with older kids too, in fact during school holidays the Walker Family often take out guests with children in the group. A great trip for nature lovers – you see the diverse habitats – No boardwalks here, this trip is for people who want a real Australian Indigenous Experience.