Heading north out of Port Douglas, our first stop was the Daintree river. The attraction here is to get on one of the (numerous) boats and to spend some time slowly going along the river banks to look for crocodiles and birds.
We happened to snag an hour of good weather and ended up seeing about a dozen of each … crocodiles in sizes ranging from 40 centimeters to 4 meters … and birds in various colors and shapes (we’re not exactly “birders” and have a hard time distinguishing an eagle from a sparrow).
A few pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uwefassnacht/sets/72157633724642821
This is as far as you can north along the coast without an off-road vehicle. We checked into the only campground and parked the van about 50 meters away from the beach … which turned out to be the most beautiful so far. There really wasn’t much to do in the area (except a few short walks through the rainforest), but we decided that it was a nice spot to wait until the wind would die down enough to go snorkeling out on the reef.
A few more pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uwefassnacht/sets/72157633842443797
Oh, I almost forgot … we encountered yet another one of those deadly Australian animals. Cassowaries look like small Ostriches, just more colorful and with a weird bent horn on their heads. Apparently, they can get quite aggressive and jump at people (feet first), doing quite a bit of damage with their sharp claws. This seems to happen often enough that it warrants warning signs: