The Daintree River Cruise in North Queensland: birds and crocodiles

Although I have written many posts about Far North Queensland, this was the first time we had ventured down the Daintree River.

We had invited our Canberra friends (who are our neighbours) to holiday with us, so we decided it was time to go further afield.

We did this trip in August 2019, and as Covid arrived soon after that, I did not get the chance to write about it. However, this is one place in the world that probably remains the same much of the time. (unless they are experiencing flooding, which is very common)

We were staying in Port Douglas, and the river cruise started very early in the morning, so we left our accommodation in the dark, and watched the sun rise over this beautiful countryside…..

We drove through open farmland into coastal lowland rainforest, until we could see the Daintree river, which is one of the longest rivers on the Australian East Coast.

While we were waiting for our boat, I took the above photo, because it suddenly looked as if we were in the middle of Ireland the hills were so green! (as a result of recent flooding, we were told)

In this part of the world, the average summer temperature is 24 to 33 (C), 74-91 (F) and very humid. The average winter is between 16 and 26 (C).61-79(F)

It was pleasantly warm considering we arrived at 6.30 in the morning, but we did not abandon our raincoats!

This region has a wide range of birds, and is a very popular place with bird watchers.

I was thrilled to see the Azure Kingfisher, as this beautiful bird is very elusive, but perhaps, so early in morning the birds were happy to stay still for a while.

Here is the Tawny Frogmouth, a champion at camouflage…

and the green tree snake was also so well camouflaged, I would not have seen this snake unless the guide pointed it out.

The Daintree river is the habitat of the saltwater crocodile, known locally as ‘the salties’. Our guide pointed out a few resident crocodiles in this area, and we were happy enough to watch from afar (I used my zoom lens for these photos naturally)

I was surprised to see some birds standing quite still in vulnerable parts of the river..

The guide was concerned about one of the old crocodiles, locally known as Scarface, (old and battle-scarred ..we were told) who had not been seen in the river for a few weeks. When were back home we read in a local paper that Scarface had died. Perhaps old age?

It all seemed a bit like a slice out of The Godfather…another world!

The Heron

The white Egret had the very best view of everything it seemed!

Although the above photo is very blurry I thought it was interesting to show a house in the middle of a rainforest. No doubt a beautiful view!

The day began to clear as we ended the cruise, and what an experience it was!

Thanks for taking the time to read a little more about Australia, much as I love my home and garden, it is a pleasure, and quite an education to see another part of the country I call home.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved

15 Replies to “The Daintree River Cruise in North Queensland: birds and crocodiles”

  1. Wowsah, what a trip! That azure kingfisher is especially beautiful. Must have been fascinating to see those salties, but I must admit they give me the shivers. Their reputation has traveled across the globe all the way to little Maine.

    1. Port Douglas is a wonderful place for a holiday, and you are close to the Great Barrier Reef. We took our girls there when they were young, they enjoyed snorkelling and looking at the coral at the same time…I wish I had taken more photos.

    1. Thanks Sylvia, of course you would know all about Kingfishers and Herons, and old Salties….maybe a bit like your alligators? …..You’ll have to come to Australia one day.
      Hope all goes well with you after the hip op. and also that your husband and family are doing well.

        1. Yes, I’m sure you will really enjoy catching up with friends and family. My cousin has just come back from Umshlanga, my aunt is 96 years old, so she finds it hard to leave her. Is your husband’s mother still going well? Have a happy holiday!

          1. Thanks for asking about Chris’s mom. We went over to England in August for her 110th birthday celebration and it was lovely with lots of family attending. His mom Kathleen died 10 days later . I think she’d just been hanging in there for her birthday and then decided to throw in the towel. She had a good, long life and was fortunate to have not suffered any aches and pains or illnesses. Chris went over for her funeral in September. It really was the end of an era. I watched the service live on video. It was really beautiful and so well-attended. She was much-loved.

          2. I wondered if your mother-in-law was still alive, amazing to have reached 110 years! As you say, a long and happy life. Lovely that you were able to watch the service on video. Best wishes for a great trip.

  2. There’s just something out-of-the-world about a river cruise, and this one was especially exotic. I imagine it’s fun to watch the salties. As long as you are safely on the boat! Have fun in South Africa. Looking forward to some photos from there.

  3. Wow! What a delightful cruise! Just loved all the images, stunning! Shame about Scarface. I remember going across Daintree river on the car ferry, wish we had taken that cruise!xxx

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