A Cassowary in the Daintree Rainforest , Queensland – Australia

In this blogpost I will bring you to such a beautiful place that you will not believe that it is true .You might think that it is a fairy tale , a place that I do love so much !

Our direction this time is to a place that is really far – it is in the Northeast of the Australian continent in Queensland close to the city of Cairns – the Daintree Rainforest .

This rainforest covers and area of 1200 square kilometres and is with 135 million years the oldest rainforest on Earth .

The day after our arrival in Cairns is such a special day since we are invited to Daintree Rainforest and a young man named Yuganda from the Kuku Yalanji tribe that is an indigineous Aboriginal tribe of this area living in this rainforest since about 50.000 years will guide us today .

Yunganda welcomes us at the entrance of the rainforest .He looks attractive, gentle and so wise to me .

The Kuku Yalanji culture is probably one of the longest living cultures on Earth .

Today Yunganda will be our guide .We walk inside the rainforest and after a short while we arrive at a kind of fireplace .Yunganda begins to explain the ceremony that is prepared for us .

The tribe choose certain tree branches with a nice smell and organized a little fire .Smoke is coming out .Actually Yuganda wants us to walk around this fireplace so that the smoke is going to be mixed with our body and our clothes .

The reason of this smoke ceremony is for the tribe to find out whether as we as visitors of the rainforest are in good or bad spirit as people with bad spirit they wont allow to enter the rainforest .

On the other hand the smoke prepares you mindwise for your walk through the rainforest as it is a very important area for them .

Probably it is also neutralizing our human smell towards the animals in the forest so that it will be easier for us to walk around and not to scare the animals .

We follow his advise and walk few times around the fireplace through the smoke .I do enjoy the ceremony and for me it is as if I am walking through a door into another world mindwise as well as soulwise .For the Aboriginal people this place is a holy place – a place where life on Earth somehow started , a place where the Aboriginal people live since 50.000 years , a place where their ancestors rest and a place where Mother Nature gives them all what they need to live .

By walking through the smoke they also raise our awareness and respect for them ie their lives , their ancestors , the forest, the nature and their faith .

I am personally very excited and so happy to be here .

After our smoke ceremony we enjoy a great breakfast that Uganda and his family prepared for us .

The table is just next to the fireplace under these gorgeous trees and I can just say that it was one of the most unforgettable breakfast that I had in my life . It was so delicious , so meaningful , so happy and so special with the Kuku Yalanji people and our friends .

After our gorgeous breakfast Yunganda takes us to the inner parts of the rainforest and begins to explain the different plants .

The Daintree Rainforest is such a dense and old geography that scientist can read the evolution of nature out of the fauna and flora at this place .There are such old and very special plants and animals at this place .

Our guide tells us that actually anything that is needed by mankind is available in the nature .He is just taking some leaves from a tree on our path and asks me to rub it with my hands in water .

Surprisingly some foam is coming up. “This is how we clean our hands ” , he says as these leaves have an antiseptic function .I am really impressed . On our way he is showing me the plants that they use for pain relief .

I am surprised . We just move further and he shows me the different plants and how they use those in their daily life .For instance plants which they use for pain relief .He tells how they use bees , bee stocks , ants and different type of insects for different kind of medical purpose .

We walk deeper and deeper into the forest .Each tree is probably min 1000 years old , is superhigh and some of them have leaves which have a diameter of 2 m . Most of the trees are winding each other .Everywhere it is so green , so beautiful .

During our walk through the forest we can hear the sounds of a lot of animals but the trust and harmony that is given by our guide is so nice that we feel very comfortable and safe .

One hectar land of this forest has a higher biodiversity of plants than all England .It is so dense and full of variations .

Wherever we have a look we see a different very interesting animal or plant .It is a bit warm but the air is full of oxygen .Yunganda shows us an aboriginal honeymoon house .

Actually it is just a few branches of a tree brought together in form of a natural shelter but it is so impressive and so innocent somehow and so beautiful .

Then Yuganda begins to paint my arms with white , orange and black natural colors .He is painting different symbols like stripes , points etc which all have a special meaning for the Aborigines .

From the paintings on my arms the tribe can understand that I am a married woman and mother of one kid .

What they draw onto their bodies is more or less their personal data .

We begin to have a great communiacton with Yunganda .I love people who are so respectful to nature , who have such a great perspective of life , who are simple in their kind of living and who are so pure and honest .

Inbetween we hear the sounds of the forest – cracks , birds songs , the rush of the leaves .

While we continue walking all of a sudden Yunganda stops and asks us to wait for a few minutes .

He tells us that this part of the forest is very special and that he needs to go to the souls of his ancestors to ask for some permission to walk through this area .Then he dissappears in the depth of the forest and after a short while he comes back .

His ancestors gave us permission to cross this area .At the end of our path we arrive at Moss Gorge .I cant tell you what kind of beautiful and crystalclear water was running through the gorge in this wonderful forest .

This is actually the drinking water of the Aborigines .When we put our hands into the fresh water it feels so nicely cold and it is so clean that we really feel blessed . It is like the water of a paradise .

During our walk he tells us about the life and the faith of the Aboriginal people .

There is no written transmission of the knowledge but since thousands of years the history and the faith of their people is transferred from generation to generation in oral form .

What they tell is actually the story of how life started , for instance how the rocks , the forest , the water here came to life and what kind of souls all these have .

A rock is not a just rock for an Aborigine but a rock is a part of the universe and life with its soul and therefore it is very precious and holy .

You will never see Aboriginal people harming nature .

They live in full harmony with their natural environment .A full day we walk through this awesome forest and in the afternoon Yuganda leads us back to the entrance .

While we walk back I just hear a kind of rustle in the bush and all of a sudden I see two eyes , some blue and some red in the forest but since it lasts just for a few seconds I cant figure out of what it is as it disappears in the green like a ghost .

I just ask Yuganda what this was and he tells me that this was the most important animal of the rainforest , a cassowary !

What I have seen was a cassowary , the biggest type of a bird in Australia but it is not flying . It looks more like an ostrich .It is about 1.80 cm tall and weighs 60-70 kg .

It has a black colour in total but some blue and some red at its head .

They also call it the “The Dinozore of the Rainforest ”

The cassowary is eating up all the fruits and seeds of the trees and while it is walking around it is leaving all the seeds in different areas with its defecation back to the soil and this is why this animal plays an important role for the survival of the rainforest and keeps it in healthy conditions.

Therefore the cassowary is a holy and untouchable animal for the Aborigines.Probably about 4000 cassowaries are living here in the Daintree Forest .

We arrive back at our fire place and are offered some tea .

Yuganda is playing on his didgederoo and on the other side he is also showing us the different types of boomerangs and how they make use of all these tools .

The sound of the didgeridoo is fitting so nicely to the rainforest .We have a nice talk .

We cant get enough of this beautiful environment .What at amazing nature and what a great harmony with human life .

I am so impressed ! The whole region is so gorgeous as next to Daintree and Moss Gorge there is also the longest reef of the world , The Beautiful Great Barrier Reef, Australia, February with a length of 2000 km . All of these world wonders are also part of the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE.

Hundred of years ago the Daintree Forest was taken away from the local indigenious people and they were disrupted from their precious land but in 2021 the Australian Goverment decided to say sorry and to give the land back to the Aborigines.

Since then the indigenious people, The Kuku Yalanji tribe , are part of the local government of Daintree Forest and probably in the next future 100% of the goverment for this area will be given back to them .

Dear Yuganda , thank you so much to accept us to your great world in the Daintree Forest and to explain the history and the nature of the region to us .

The didgeridoo that I bought over there is now standing in the corner of my home .

For some people it might be just a wooden instrument while for me it is so much more – for me the didgeridoo is the music played by Yuganda in the rainforest ,It is the sound of the flowing Moss river in the gorge ,it is the mysterious look of the cassowary in the trees and it is all the memories that we shared with the Kuku Yalanji people on that day .

Australia and the indigenious people of Australia will always have a special place in my heart – now and for the future .

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