Australia’s Rivendell

Lonely beaches north of Cape Tribulation. This is where the road officially ends for vehicles.

Lonely beaches north of Cape Tribulation. This is where the road officially ends for vehicles.

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Think of Australia as a camel, cut into 6 states. The Daintree forest is located in and around Cape Tribulation. I began my Australian adventures in Darwin right near the Kakadu National Park.

Daintree National forest is in the North East tip of Australia's state Queensland (QLD). Think of Australia like a camel, cut into 7 states

There are only 60 people living North of the Daintree river. After crossing the crocodile infested waters I found myself pedaling through a dense rainforest. The soil in some areas was so poor that trees adapted large “Buttress” roots for stabilization and nutrient accumulation.

"Curtain fig". This towering fig tree was once two living organisms.

“Curtain fig”. This towering fig tree was once two living organisms.

I have arrived in Australia’s Rivendell and am surrounded by a rainforest that stretches from the inland mountainside all the way to sea. In the last ten days I have followed an ancient lava canal from the central Tablelands to rich fertile cane fields, eventually giving way to acres and acres of luscious rainforest; the Daintree National Forest.

Emmagen beach, 7 km down a steep muddy dirt road. Well worth the ride I had the whole beach to myself but spent a long windy night in the tent. This is the morning after a storm an hour after sunrise

Emmagen beach, 7 km down a steep muddy dirt road. Well worth the ride I had the whole beach to myself but spent a long windy night in the tent. This is the morning after a storm an hour after sunrise.

Emmagen beach sunrise. Each morning while camping in Daintree I would wake up an hour before sunrise to the sound of strange  birds.

Emmagen beach sunrise. Each morning while camping in Daintree I would wake up an hour before sunrise to the sound of strange birds.

Roads north of Cape Tribulation

Roads north of Cape Tribulation

Rocky beaches

Rocky beaches

One of the many secluded estuaries

One of the many secluded estuaries

Miles of cane fields eventually gave way to the forest.

Miles of cane fields eventually gave way to the forest.

Sugar cane production process

Sugar cane production process

Debris left on the beaches from Bubbler sand crabs

Debris left on the beaches from Bubbler sand crabs

The last week has been spent hiking through the Aboriginal lands of Mossman gorge, pedaling remote coastal roads and camping on deserted beaches. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and has been windy and extremely rainy, leaving most of the  park lands vacant. Due to its remote location, there are only 60 people living in the territory north of the Daintree river. Most of these individuals are old hippies in their late 60’s living off the grid on small farms with solar panels, rain catchment and growing exotic fruits such as durian and marijuana.

Lookout from the Alexander mountain range. Below is where the infamous Steve Erwin was killed by a sting ray

Lookout from the Alexander mountain range. Below is where the infamous Steve Erwin was killed by a sting ray

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The only way to describe the feeling of this place would be to call it a mix of Northern California’s Lost Coast and Hawaii’s Napali coast. The entire Daintree rainforest was at one time only accessible by a muddy dirt track that took a high clearance 4w drive vehicle to traverse. In recent years the rough road was paved giving rise to a large increase in tourism and a world heritage status. This is the only place in the world where one world heritage site literally meets another; The Great Barrier Reef begins where the forest ends and extends 15 km from the beach.

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Farm land south of Daintree river

Farm land south of Daintree river

The debris collected at the bottom of the canopy. Mossman Gorge

The debris collected at the bottom of the canopy. Mossman Gorge

Venturing across a jungle causeway

Venturing across a jungle causeway

I had one day of sunshine and spent in on this beach in Cow Bay

I had one day of sunshine and spent in on this beach in Cow Bay

To me the most beautiful thing are the silent and untouched estuaries, which pass as rivers in the valleys, streams and creeks near the roads and mangroves before touching the Coral Pacific sea. I am sad to reflect on such a beautiful place as this Thursday I fly from Cairns to Brisbane and begin my southern tour of Australia’s coast. J.R Tolkien’s Rivendell may only exist for the reader in New Zealand but there are many other places which share its mystic beauty.

Mossman creek

Mossman creek

More of Emmagen beach

More of Emmagen beach

2 thoughts on “Australia’s Rivendell

  1. Excellent – I enjoyed much of this area too in 1987 bicycling in Darwin and Cairns. Loved the Tablelands and Magnetic Island !

    BRISBANE IS GREAT – you will enjoy. Taste some of that local sugar cane rum and wash it down with some 4 X beer !

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