A one hour drive north from Cairns along a spectacular coastal road will find you at the tropical village of Port Douglas, perfectly situated where two World Heritage Listed sites, the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest meet.
This relaxed seaside village is positioned at the end of a peninsula, surrounded by the calm waters of the harbour on one side and sandy stretch of the famous Four Mile Beach along the other. Praised for its rainforest, reef and relaxed village charm it’s no wonder that Port Douglas was recently ranked 3rd on Australian Traveller magazine's list of 100 Best Towns in Australia.
Nearby at the award-winning Wildlife Habitat Park, you can meet some of Australia’s native wildlife such as the kangaroo, koala and the cassowary – an intriguing flightless bird only found in north-eastern Australia. It’s recorded by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most dangerous bird, growing up to two metres tall and listed as the heaviest bird in Australia.
Although dangerous, the cassowaries are stunning. Adults are striking with glossy black feathers and a bright blue and purple neck with touches of red. The distinctive brown casque on their head is thought to be used for defence and to crash its way through the dense rainforest. Each foot has three toes with the inside toe bearing a large dagger-sharp claw used as a weapon and they can run up to 50 kilometres per hour and jump up to 1.5 metres. They really are quite a sight!
Unfortunately they’re increasingly becoming endangered and as they’re frugivores (fruit eaters), they have the important role in helping to spread the seeds of many North Queensland rainforest trees, without them the rainforests may not be able to survive.