We had just a few days left before inevitably returning our faithful van in Cairns. It made sense to continue North, passed Cairns, as far as we could go. Daintree National Park marks the beginning of Cape York Peninsula, Australia’s iconic, impenetrable, tropical northern tip.
The drive there was worth the detour in itself. We passed countless, flat, gold sand beaches, having a dip and a rest here and there, admiring the work of small crabs that create gigantic, almost geometric, patterns on the ground with the tiny, perfectly round, sand balls they produce while sifting through the sand for nourishment.
We passed canne field and sugar-cane factories and distilleries. The season had just started, the factory stacks spewing out the first clouds of steam, and the ‘cane trains’ running up and down the coast at full speed.
Our last stop was Etty Bay, a small but famous beach, because it is home to Australia’s endemic Cassowary birds. This strange, almost prehistoric-looking animal, is definitely out of this world! It looks a bit like an emu that has dipped its head into a few pots of paint! We were lucky to spot one just as we arrived, pacing up and down the beach.
Again, Australia did not disappoint on the ‘fauna front’: this spotting was one of many, of its indigeneous animals we had seen in the wild.