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Where the Rainforest meets the reef The Wonders of the Rainforest

I think by now we all know that the Great Barrier Reef was a very personal and special experience for me. I truly felt like something was different after rising from the turquoise world below. But I wasn't expecting what came next...

The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

I attended an Australia Specialist conference two weeks before departing on your visit to Cairns. After meeting some amazing people I'm so glad I got to spend time in the Daintree Region.

To begin… In Cairns you have two UNESCO sites meeting and that in itself is very unique. You may also be unaware that the Rainforest in this area has been around since the time of Pangaea, the forest itself is considered to be 165 million years old (some say much older) and is the oldest tropical rainforest on the planet. A forest like this only reveals it's complexity to those that know what their looking for.

Marc was our guide on the brief stop midway on Skyrail to the village of Kuranda. I don't think I've ever learn't as much as I did in that short time. (I even edited down for your viewing pleasure👍🏻.)

The next part of the adventure took me further North into the Daintree region. The indigenous people of Australia (the Aborigines) have been around for 75,000 years, making them the oldest civilization on earth. The village I am visiting is an incredibly sacred place to the local Kuku Yalanji tribe who have been custodians to the land for thousands of years. Before we entered, we took part in a smoke ceremony to acknowledge ancestors and pay respect to the land, and also ward off any bad spirits.

It can be difficult when you're in the moment to appreciate the enormity of what's going on sometimes, but to be fully immersed in a rainforest that was around over 165 million years, and in that same place you're learning from the oldest civilization on the planet. You gain a new appreciation for time, for place and perhaps most importantly, perspective.

From a tree that's sting last years, Smoke ceremonies, to sacred sites, learning to decode Aboriginal body paint, to finding natural detergent... it's all here, in the bush!
So much of the Aboriginal culture seem to come down to one thing. Respect. Respect for nature, respect for animals, respect for your neighbor, respect to the elders, to those before them and those that follow. What if... just what, if it's that simple.
Cooya Beach is home to the Kuku Yalanji tribe and Linc taught us how to throw a spear, hunt for our lunch, observe native wildlife, and find plants used for food and medicine.

Before we could enter this sacred area we had to ask permission from the tribes ancestors. I'm not sure a greater sense of serenity has ever washed over me. Pure bliss.

The first property we visited was Daintree EcoLodge and Spa and it was beyond words. Set in the heart of the rainforest, a sound that will forever play in my heart. The Lodge is a perfect base to explore the area.

A little closer to Port Douglas you'll find Thala Beach Lodge and Nature Reserve and I think you'll agree the view from the room was pretty fantastic. The whole property is breathtaking and it's run by an absolutely brilliant team. I haven't even started don the view from the dining room😍

The night sky is this region will blow your mind, some stars were familiar. Others like the Southern Cross leave no doubt that you're far from home. (The Front desk manager literally drove to her house after work, then drove back so I could use her tripod!🙏🏼)

A walk on the beach isn't bad either...

Thanks for coming with me❤️.

Created By
Evan McElligott
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Photos/Videos by Evan McElligott

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