On the Expedition
This hidden coastline of mangroves, wetlands and wildlife is of significant importance and is facing unprecedented pressures from land clearing, pesticides and climate change.
The exotic Daintree River with its unique combination of World Heritage rainforests and Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef (GBR), is a haven for rich mangrove forests and crystal clear waters. Exploring the river by boat and on foot you will help assess the condition of the fringing mangrove habitats by conducting surveys, filming the shoreline, measuring habitats and conducting field biomass assessments.
You will meet with the Kuku Yalanji people, the traditional inhabitants of this area, at Mossman Gorge and learn about indigenous cultural heritage, the dreamtime narrative of the rainforest and the people’s special relationship with the environment. The Kuku Yalandji people will describe traditional uses of rainforest plants, identify bush tucker sources, share their legends and explain the history and significance of cave paintings.
By joining this research project you will be helping to gather invaluable information on the health of one of Australia’s iconic estuarine systems, which will be used to develop a national strategy for more effective management of valuable coastal tidal wetlands faced with climate change and local human pressures.
Meals and Accommodations
Participants will stay at Crocodylus, an eco friendly village situated amidst the Daintree Rainforest in Cow Bay. The accommodation consists of safari tent style wooden and canvas bungalows fitted with fans and mosquito nets. The bungalows are open plan with 6 bunk beds and one double bed. They include an ensuite with hot shower and flushing toilet. Individual rooms with a double bed are available, but will be at an extra cost to participants if required and these must be booked well in advance for any expeditions which fall in the months between May and November. Please note these rooms do not have an ensuite. There is a large toilet block with 4 showers and toilets available for guests in these rooms.
There is a laundry on site including washing machine, dryer ($3 each) and ironing facilities. The site is powered by a generator and has 24 hr electricity. There is a public phone available near reception for guests use (fees will be charged) and computers are available with internet access charged at $2/20 minutes or $5/hr.
All meals will be catered by Crocodylus. Breakfasts include either cooked meals (eggs, bacon etc) or fruit and muesli. Packed lunches consisting of sandwiches, fruit and drinks will be taken in the field each day and dinner will be served in the restaurant, Kingfisher Café, located at Crocodylus.
Free time can be spent relaxing at the Gecko Bar or in the friendly social area which has a snooker table, dart board, reading area and swimming pool.
About the Research Area
The project will be located along the coastline and estuarine margins of the Daintree River, north of Cairns, in north Queensland, Australia. The research areas are located at three distinct sections of the river estuary – upstream (freshwater-dominated), downstream (seawater-dominated) and transitional. You and your team will compare differences between these locations and use observations to explain what is happening and what we might expect with a changing climate.