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On the road: Life in the jungle

After six months living in the Daintree Rainforest, I’m close to changing my name to Tarzan and removing myself completely from civilisation. Or as my mum likes to call it, I’ve gone “feral”. Unlike the local feral cats however, I have been sleeping in an air-conditioned room and enjoying three hearty meals a day - thank you Cape Trib Beach House.

The 110-million year old rainforest is the only place on Earth where two world heritage sites meet. You can trek through the jungle canopy looking for carpet pythons and black widow spiders, before walking onto a pristine beach and looking out to the Great Barrier Reef.

Yet when most backpackers arrive for their fleeting 24-hour visit, they all seem to have the same question on their minds, “how do you survive living here?”

There is no phone reception, extremely limited Wi-Fi which cuts out whenever there is rain - and you’ve guessed it, there is lots of rain in the rainforest - and a very small number of inhabitants.

One particular resident calls it the largest un-fenced asylum in Australia. Mainly because you have to be a bit nuts to live here, and they lock us in between the hours of 12pm and 6am, when the ferry (our only transport on and off the island) closes.

But once you get to grips with the isolation and lack of connection, you can’t help but fall in love with the place.

Surrounded by lush green rainforest and an abundance of wildlife, it took me close to ten seconds to be blown away by the natural beauty that Daintree has to offer. But if you’re looking for more excitement, there’s plenty to keep you busy.

Take Ernie’s wilderness cruise and go looking for saltwater crocodiles that roam the Daintree River, indulge in mango ice cream from Daintree Ice Cream Company, or check out Masons Swimming Hole and Emmagen Creek for a dip in a freshwater creek (they’re both crocodile-free, I promise).

There’s a daily fruit tasting tour at the local farm, which will introduce you to an exotic array of tasty treats, the best pizza on earth is made at Cape Trib Camping, and there are endless hikes for the active souls who are seeking adventure. From the dreaded Mount Sorrow (never again will I attempt such a feat) to the magical Alexandra Falls - which sees you follow Cooper Creek for a couple of hours, before arriving at a magical waterfall.

If you’re a fan of four-wheel driving, then Daintree Village marks the start of the famous Creb Track. Just over 60km long, the Creb Track is one of the best, and most challenging 4WD trips in North Queensland - an adrenaline junkie’s dream!

The longer you stay, the more hidden gems you’ll discover in the area (just be sure to make friends with the locals, they know everything that the tour brochures won’t tell you).

Living in the jungle certainly has its challenges, but being part of such a small community made it harder and harder to leave. My six month’s as Mowgli however, has come to an end and I’ll now be heading back to the real world for a while.

So it’s up to everyone else to enjoy the magic of Daintree until I find my way back.

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