Billy tea safaris- Daintree Rainforest
Back in June 2014, I went on a tour of the Daintree rainforest up near Cairns, Australia. I went with an amazing company called Billy Tea Safaris. While expensive, I got to experience things I couldn’t have done with any other tour.
The day started with a 7am pick up from my hostel, and I was the second to be picked up. Score for getting the best seat! The tour guide immediately began to poke fun at my name (all in good fun). Like, yes I know that my name is Brooklyn (New York), and yes I know that Murtaugh was a name used in Lethal Weapon, thank you.
After gathering everyone, we began the tour! The early morning was a blur of stopping at an adorable little shop for refreshments, and a gorgeous look out. But the main thing I want to talk about here was our first big event…a croc tour on the river!
I am obsessed with crocodiles. If I wasn’t extremely loyal to the pandas I fell in love with as a child, I would say that crocs are my favourite animal…unfortunately for them, they have to remain in second place. This tour started with the option to pay $5 to hold a baby croc. At the time I resisted because I was so keen to get a good spot on the boat for the actual tour. Thinking back, I so should have done it. Damn it Brooklyn!
The boat held about 20 people, and our guide was simply the most knowledgeable man I have ever met when it comes to all things river. He was able to spot pythons way high up in trees, that the rest of us would have needed binoculars for. He saw birds hiding, waiting to catch their prey. All of us on the boat would be watching the water, and then the guide would get excited and show us where to look. There were a few animals that I just never saw because they were too far off or blended in to the environment too well, and my eyes just aren’t trained to notice such things.
Never in a million years could I have eyes trained to see what he saw.
But the best part of all? The crocs, obviously! I only expected to see maybe two or three, but no, we were so lucky. We probably saw close to a dozen. Others that I know who went with other tour companies only saw one or two crocs. So the extra money definitely paid off, to get someone as knowledgeable as our guide. He knew where to go and even knew the names and information on each croc. I guess that’s what happens when they are kind of your co-workers.
The croc tour ended much too quickly for my taste. I could have stayed out there all day. I think I’m meant to have been born in Louisiana, and been bred out on the swamp.
Oh well, next life maybe.
After this tour, we stopped at a kangaroo farm for some lunch. No, we did not eat kangaroos. They BBQ’d steak for us, and had HUGE portions, and provided tons of salads and potatoes. Everything you could have wanted.
While not eating we got to pet and cuddle some roos. The cuddliest roo I’ve ever met lived there. The only downside to lunch was being surrounded by caged birds who shrieked really loud. Shudder.
After lunch we went to a private creek for a swim. This tour company is the only company licensed to swim here. Not going to lie, there were a few “Warning, crocs” signs, so I was a tad nervous, but according to my tour guide that was just to warn off others from swimming there, if they made it that far into the rain forest. The water was freezing but so refreshing. To finish off the tour, they made some Billy tea right on the fire! To stir it up he lifted the pot up and began swinging it in huge circles with his arm.
Do you spot the spider blended into the tree?
On the way back we made a quick stop to this tiny ice cream shop that I had heard about a few years before. You pay $6, and its pre made, 4 flavour bowls…I was worried since I’m such a picky eater that I wouldn’t enjoy the flavours, but all flavours were so good.
A perfect way to end the day.