Tropical mountains


Up there beyond Cairns they have spectacular mountains looming close to the coast. Like my own mountains, they too are often shrouded in mist – and mystery.

There is a sharp contrast between the well-used flatlands of sugarcane, cow pastures, and, increasingly, housing estates.

Head up into those hills, dodging the little sugarcane trains whose tracks meander over the paddocks and across the roads, and there is sudden primeval rainforest, too steep to have been cleared.

We peeked in at the edges of the World Heritage Mossman Gorge, the Daintree Rainforest, and the Daintree River, where signs warned us of crocodiles and tourist buses and adventure tour 4WDS flowed as abundantly as the water.

My friend Emily last came here 40 years ago, when Cairns was but a tiny village and there were nought but a few dirt tracks to threaten the Daintree. I guess this is Progress.