Posted: 20 Mar 2018
Let the Travel Alliance Group make your visit to far north queensland a memorial one!
Posted: 14 Mar 2018
#ExploreTNQ #seeaustralia #visitqueensland
Posted: 20 Feb 2018
A lovely morning in the Daintree Valley which is looking as beautiful as ever after all the rain last week so we took a leisurely drive along the Upper Daintree road. The rainforest and cattle pastures all Incredibly lush and the cattle all in prime condi...
Posted: 30 Jan 2018
Babinda Kayaking is back and it's better than ever. Check out the blog and photos at https://phlipvids.com.au/babinda-kayaking-back/
Posted: 24 Jan 2018
Look what can be found hiding in the Fan Palms Trees, this little Peppermint Stick Insect, spotted regularly at our morning tea site in Cape Tribulation. Visit www.daintreetours.com for more information on our small personalized tours departing Port Do...
Visit www.daintreetours.com for more information on our small personalized tours departing Port Douglas daily.
Posted: 20 Dec 2017
Live coral fragments have been successfully collected and installed in the first offshore coral nursery being trialled on the Great Barrier Reef in a bid to regenerate damaged areas of the world’s largest reef. The Reef Restoration Foundation has a...
Live coral fragments have been successfully collected and installed in the first offshore coral nursery being trialled on the Great Barrier Reef in a bid to regenerate damaged areas of the world’s largest reef.
The Reef Restoration Foundation has a permit from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to establish a pilot research offshore coral nursery at Fitzroy Island, near Cairns in Tropical North Queensland.
Foundation Chief Executive Officer Stewart Christie said the not-for-profit social enterprise sought and obtained significant tourism industry and scientific support for the coral gardening and restoration research project, which will regenerate degraded coral reefs.
“This week we collected small amounts of healthy coral which, having survived the past two years of high temperatures, should be naturally more resilient to coral bleaching,” he said.
“This coral has been attached to six ‘coral tree’ frames in the offshore coral nursery at Fitzroy Island.”
Corals in offshore nurseries grow much faster allowing cuttings to be taken just six to 12 months later to be attached on reefs to grow new coral and regenerate damaged sections.
James Cook University Professor Damien Burrows said: “As coral cover across the Great Barrier Reef continues to decline, additional management approaches are required to assist the recovery of corals.”
Led by the Reef Restoration Foundation, the project has strong tourism industry support with funding from Fitzroy Island Resort, Cairns Dive Centre, the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) and Gempearl.
Researchers from James Cook University’s TropWATER and Reef Ecologic will be monitoring the performance of the coral nursery with support by volunteers from the Fitzroy Island Resort, Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Cairns Dive Centre and other skilled individuals.
Mr Christie said the process adopted by Reef Restoration Foundation had been proven in other locations around the world including the Caribbean and Florida Keys.
GBRMPA Chairman Dr Russell Reichelt said there had been major climate change-driven impacts on the Great Barrier Reef over the past two years.
“GBRMPA’s Reef Blueprint launched this week highlights the importance of innovative approaches and new technologies to manage the Reef,” he said.
“It’s great to see this trial underway — while it’s still early days in this project, we look forward to seeing the results.”
Fitzroy Island Resort Director Doug Gamble said it was critical to invest in projects to support the natural assets that local industry and the community relied upon.
“Investing in the offshore coral nursery is a tangible action that will make a positive difference to reefs and contribute to a better-quality experience for our guests.”
Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) Executive Officer and Gempearl Director Col McKenzie said the innovative program would engage tourism operators, Reef visitors, and individuals and businesses with a connection to the Reef showing that small actions could create a big impact for the Reef’s future.
Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef CEO Andy Ridley said: “Projects like this are vital as we need to work together to undertake actions at a local, reef wide and global scale that make a positive difference to ensuring the future health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef”.
Follow Reef Restoration Foundation on its journey at https://www.facebook.com/reefrestorationfoundation/ and if you are inspired to make a positive improvement to the health of the Great Barrier Reef, please sign-up or donate at www.reefrestorationfoundation.org.
Posted: 20 Dec 2017
A unique research project underway near Cairns to grow healthy coral for replanting on the Great Barrier Reef could soon get a helping hand from tourists. One of Australia's first coral gardens was planted this week. Small pieces of coral taken from...
One of Australia's first coral gardens was planted this week.
Small pieces of coral taken from Fitzroy Island are being suspended from a tree-like structure to promote quick growth.
Reef Restoration Foundation founder Stewart Christie said the nursery of heat-tolerant varieties will eventually be harvested and placed on parts of the reef affected by bleaching.
"Every six to 12 months we'll take cuttings from these trees, plant them on the reef and try to restore some of those damaged sections," he said.
The not-for-profit organisation will spearhead the three-year research project, after it was granted a permit to install 20 coral growing frames in two different locations at Fitzroy Island.
The concept has been more than a year in the making and is based on successful programs developed in Florida and the Caribbean.
Tourists to get involved
If the study is a success, tourists will be given the opportunity purchase their own piece of coral which will be planted back on the reef.
"The focus is really around helping tourism operators rehabilitate and restore the damaged sites so they can showcase some pristine parts of the reef and from there we can start educating tourists and guests about the bigger ticket items like climate change, " Mr Christie said.
Acropora coral tagged for monitoring as part of a study to replant coral on the Great Barrier Reef.
PHOTO: Acropora coral tagged for monitoring as part of a study. (Supplied: Reef Ecologic)
The move has been backed by Cairns tourism operators who hope it will help businesses struggling after two consecutive bleaching events.
"Some of the local operators that aren't so much involved in the international marketing are down 20-30 per cent so it's a very significant drop in visitation," Association of Marine Park Tourism CEO Col McKenzie said.
Mr McKenzie said giving visitors ownership over the reef was instrumental in raising global awareness, while also encouraging return visits.
"This is probably one of the most exciting projects we've seen come up this year," he said.
"This the first time [the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority] has given a permit for this kind of research and if we can prove it's successful it has enormous potential to assist the tourism industry," he said.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's (GBRMPA) approval of the project coincides with the official launch of its Reef Blueprint this week, which sheds light on the challenges faced by the UNESCO World Heritage site.
"The future of the Great Barrier Reef is uncertain. We desperately need strong global action on climate change but in the meantime we need to do everything we can locally," GBRMPA chief scientist David Wachenfeld said.
Dr Wachenfeld said initiatives like coral gardening reflected a new approach to dealing with the problem.
"We're actually looking at new ways of managing the marine park and one of those things is to think about the best ways to intervene in the health of the reef and promote its resilience, including restoration," he said.
Marine scientist Nathan Cook, who has been assisting on the project, said while it was a step in the right direction, work in reef restoration must not detract from the problem of climate change.
"They can provide small-scale localized diligence to help that reef manage through difficult times and potentially recover quicker after disturbances, but we have to be mindful that we don't detract from the message that climate change is the greatest threat," he said.
Scientists working in the field have hopes the results of this research could open the door for other unique approaches to helping the reef enter into a new era.
"This is the first step on that road and we anticipate we'll have three, four or more of these projects over the coming few years," Mr Cook said.
By Sally Rafferty
Posted: 10 Nov 2017
Our first mangoes and these are the delicious, sweet, soft-fleshed R2E2 variety. They are still a little unripe but we are just trying to save a few for ourselves before the Spectacled Flying Foxes discover them! The tree is loaded at the top but it's now...
Posted: 10 Oct 2017
Look who is in town doing a zipline tour with us, it’s Aislin Kriukelis from the TODAY Show . We had a great time showing her around the rainforest canopy. Thanks Aislin for being such a great sport . Tune in to Channel 9 for the special feature on Jung...
Tune in to Channel 9 for the special feature on Jungle Surfing at 8.15am on Monday 25th September on the Today Show
Posted: 21 Sep 2017
Stephanie who made the bookings for us was very nice and effective and when we wanted to add two certified dives on the reef tour she managed to arrange so that we got a refund instead of paying extra, quite impressive :) The reef day was the best, the Ca...
Posted: 15 Sep 2017
The Daintree Ferry has experienced record numbers of vehicles travelling on the ferry in the past 18 months. Council has been working with local tourism operators north of the Daintree River to develop strategies to minimise delays while encouraging visit...
From 15 September to 3 October inclusive, Douglas Shire Council will trial an ‘early-bird’ discount for ferry travellers for any vehicle in the car/ute category travelling before 9am each day, reducing the return fare by over 25 per cent to just $20 and offering one-way fares for just $10, a discount of over 33 per cent for self-drive tourists.
Mayor Leu said initiatives implemented such as the Douglas Card – which offers free travel on the ferry to residents of the Douglas Shire, Cairns Regional Council, Mareeba Shire, the Tablelands, Cassowary Coast, Cooktown and Wujal Wujal areas between 1 November and 28 February – had helped stimulate record visitor numbers for the region.
“We are hopeful this new ‘early-bird’ discount for self-drive tourists during this trial period will also have a positive impact on not just the Daintree economy, but make the experience of visiting the Daintree better for everyone by reducing the demand for travel during peak periods for north bound traffic,” Mayor Leu said.
“Following the trial, Council will complete an analysis of travel trends for corresponding periods in previous years to ascertain the effectiveness of offering discounted ‘early bird’ fares.”
Council will be promoting the discounted fares extensively in the upcoming weeks however the local tourism industry is encouraged to contribute to the success of the trial and share the information with their own networks to inform as many visitors as possible about the initiative.
Posted: 29 Aug 2017
Just had a great day out with Steve and 10 others on the Full day Cape Tribulation trip. The bus was new with LOTS of leg room. Friendly and informative guide. A must do for anyone up this part of the world. A wonderful way to see this part of Australia....
Just book it.
Posted: 29 Aug 2017
We took a full day trip that included a beautiful lunch in the Daintree rain forest with local fruits that you can only get in Cairns. It included an eco friendly cruise up the Daintree River to see crocodiles. It was simply lovely and we had a croc swim...
Posted: 24 Jul 2017
Do you remember when… All we wanted to do was protect the places we love because they were simply amazing? We just had to show everyone how amazing they were. In doing so, we secured World Heritage Areas and National Parks, essential habitat mapping,...
All we wanted to do was protect the places we love because they were simply amazing?
We just had to show everyone how amazing they were.
In doing so, we secured World Heritage Areas and National Parks, essential habitat mapping, the Directory of Important Wetlands, threatened species listings, marine parks, environmental impact assessment processes, anti-litter legislation and the list could go on. These weren’t ideas that governments just came up with – they came about because everyday Australians, especially up here in the Far North, stood up, spoke up and called for change.
The 80’s were full of such calls for change. Over the last few decades, we saw those changes come to life through policy and implementation and so the calls died down. But as the challenges facing the environment continue to grow despite the policies and programs we now have, we are going to need to use our minds, our voices and our hearts to call for change. If you believe environmental advocacy is needed now more than ever, you can help by making a tax-deductible donation before the end of the financial year (EOFY).
Donate to keep environmental advocacy strong in FNQ: http://cafnec.org.au/memberships-donations/donations/
Posted: 20 Jul 2017
WELLNESS expert Mandy Millan believes there’s no place more relaxing than the Daintree Rainforest. That’s why Ms Millan, owner of Flo Wellbeing, is bringing her Sydney-based pilates retreat to the scenic destination for the first time. She said retr...
That’s why Ms Millan, owner of Flo Wellbeing, is bringing her Sydney-based pilates retreat to the scenic destination for the first time.
She said retreats were essential for people living hectic lives.
“My two passions are pilates and wellbeing.
“They’re a great combination for strengthening your body and relaxing the mind,” she said.
But she said Far Northerners didn’t have to go to her retreat to experience the benefits of the region.
“I looked at taking this retreat to Bali but it’s nowhere near as stunning as Cape Tribulation,” she said.
“If locals can’t come, they can always practise the same sort of wellbeing in their every day lives by stretching, taking the time to see what’s going on with their bodies and just sitting and breathing in nature.”
Flo Wellbeing founder Mandy Millan is bringing a pilates retreat to the Daintree.
She said embracing pilates in everyday life was a great way to break up the monotony of working at a desk.
“When you’re rushing through life, you often don’t take the time to connect with your body,” she said.
“Our bodies can’t sustain just sitting at desks all day, but taking part in pilates can improve that. The feeling afterwards is like you’ve poured honey into your joints.”
She also recommended daily meditation to give busy minds a break.
“Our brains are always juggling thoughts, so it’s important to take time to breathe slowly and let those thoughts go,” she said.
“Adding music to meditation can help block out those thoughts. I always aim for deep, slow, calm music for meditation.”
The pilates retreat will host 12 people from August 24 to 28 at the Daintree Eco Lodge.
Posted: 19 Jul 2017
On our recent Wildlife of Australia's Rainforest expedition to far north Queensland this stunningly colourful Boyd's Forest Dragon was found sunning himself in the middle of the road. While picking him up to place him on a tree, out of harms way, particip...
It's experiences such as these that Earthwatchers get the opportunity to enjoy while in the field.