YOU can help us on our mission to reduce pollution in the Daintree, and lift its people out of energy poverty
pollution and energy poverty in the daintree

Introduction to the Daintree

The Daintree rainforest meets the pristine beaches of the Great Barrier Reef

So, what is "Daintree"?

The Daintree is an extremely special part of our planet, starting about an hour's drive north of Cairns in north Queensland.
It contains spectacular scenery and some of the last surviving ancient rainforest, which according to the scientists has been virtually unchanged for at least 120 million years. The Amazon rainforest might be more world famous, but is "only" about 20 million years old.
The Daintree rainforest contains many plants and animals that are rare, endangered, or live nowhere else than here, such as the cassowary on the right.
Some trees have been discovered that were previously thought to be extinct for millions of years!
The Daintree adjoins the Great Barrier Reef and UNESCO has recognized both as outstanding areas of scientific value and spectacular beauty and listed both the Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef as World Heritage Areas.
World famous nature enthusiast Sir David Attenborough has seen a lot of amazing places around the world but the Daintree is at the top of his favourites list, hear him tell you what he thinks of the Daintree...
Visit some of the links in the green bar on the right to show you how beautiful the Daintree region is, and consider a holiday there to treat yourself, and help support the local community.

There are several definitions of the word "Daintree":

1. The Daintree National Park, this is made up of several sections, starts at Mossman, and ends north of Cape Tribulation, see map on right.

2. The Daintree Rainforest, this includes both the National Park and the rainforest on private land.
Apart from some walks at Mossman Gorge and Daintree Village, most of the accessible rainforest is north of the Daintree river.
To fully appreciate the ancient Daintree rainforest you really need to get across the Daintree river, do some of the boardwalks, enjoy the drive through the rainforest, and even better spend at least one night at Cape Tribulation and do a guided day or night walk to learn about this amazing eco-system.

 

 

 

map showing the location of the daintree in australia

 

 

map showing the daintree national park
Map showing the sections of
the Daintree National Park

3. The Daintree Region, this is an area without exact boundaries, but runs roughly from Daintree Village to Cape Tribulation and includes the Bloomfield Track.

4. Daintree, or Daintree Village, a small town on the southside of the Daintree river, it had a booming timber industry in its early days so nowadays it is surrounded by fields with grazing cows, the forest is further out..

Some history of the Daintree region

The area north of the Daintree River is of spectacular beauty, but has been the centre of much corruption, controversy, scandals and debate over the years, and still is today.

For roughly 120 million years the Daintree was the domain of dinosaurs, crocodiles and cassowaries, until about 40 000 years ago Aborigines started moving through the area.
Then in 1770 James Cook sailed up the coast, and made history by crashing his ship on a reef which very nearly caused it to sink, the last point he saw before it got dark he named Cape Tribulation, which has now become a tourism icon and a very popular place to visit.
The fist white settlers started arriving in the 1920s, although it took until the 1960s for a rough track to reach Cape Tribulation, hippies discovered the place in the 1970s and lived there, and then more people followed.

For many years the rainforest had been considered a bunch of nasty weeds in the way of growing the holy sugarcane, but in the 1980s opinion changed (in some) and protestors gathered in Cape Tribulation to stop the bulldozing of rainforest to create a road up to Bloomfield. Thanks to copious numbers of cops the protests failed and the new road was pushed through which is now known as the infamous Bloomfield Track.

Thanks to the area's spectacular natural beauty it became more and more popular as a place to live, and as a place to holiday, and at some point some fairly harsh legislation was introduced to protect the area from being over-developed.
Mayor at the time Mike Berwick shocked many residents with a two year building moratorium, followed by a restrictive townplan, blocks of land had their development rights reduced or taken away, without much realistic compensation, and several policemen had to protect Mike at a meeting where he explained the new laws to residents.
He was also one of the driving forces behind the 'Electricity Supply In The Daintree Region Policy' , which is legislation prohibiting any grid power in the area starting from north of his house up to Cape Tribulation. He managed to make himself very unpopular in the Daintree region with restrictions and electricity denial which all started north of Forest Creek Road so his own residence was never affected while the rest of the Daintree turned into the Bermuda Triangle of property investment.

The dark green on the map roughly shows the area where subsequent governments have denied basic services to their citizens to keep them poor and drive them out.

A “Three Point Plan” was developed by regional stakeholders in 1999 to both conserve the rainforest and reassess the provision of power north of the Daintree River.
Points One (town plan) and Two (rainforest buyback) of the Plan were specifically designed to control development and thereby protect the values of the Daintree Region.
Point Three suggests a reassessment of the provision of power to the Daintree region could occur should effective development controls be emplaced.
The Daintree Green Study confirms that the first two elements of the Three Point Plan are now in place.
But the Labor government was unwilling to lift the ban on grid power, condemning a whole population to living in energy poverty, and polluting the environment with noisy smelly generators and mountains of lead acid batteries, while solar subsidies are only given to people elsewhere already on the grid.
Fortunately the LNP took power in 2012 and they made the first step to resolve this issue, and later committed to building the infrastructure needed, but unfortunately an election interrupted this and now we are back to a Labor government with a Premier who wants to keep the Daintree in the dark ages, and a local state member who only makes the news with scandals and can never be found to do anything for us.

Two very different aspects of The Daintree


Your own beach !

The area north of the Daintree River is of spectacular beauty, and thanks to (some say overly) protective government policies it is still quite undeveloped.
There are no high rise hotels or concrete structures. Resorts, restaurants and houses are mostly of designs to fit in with nature, and buildings are hidden away in the rainforest
In a world gone crazy with traffic jams and over-development the Daintree is an oasis of peace and quiet and scenic beauty where you can still have a pristine beach all to yourself or come face to face with a cassowary.

The ferry over the Daintree River is the gateway and as soon as you drive off the ferry you will find yourself in a different world.

But all this protection has come at a high cost for the local residents and businesses, some have gone bankrupt or have left, others struggle on. The cost of generating your own electricity is high, and no subsidies for renewable energy are available in this area.
Hypocritical politicians who talk about a greener world ignore the hundreds of generators that roar in the Daintree, and the mountain of dead lead acid batteries that piles up.


An exploded battery bank of a solar system

You can support the local community by taking a holiday in the Daintree to help residents pay for their high energy costs.
Stay in the area north of Forest Creek Road, as this road and Daintree Village are connected to the grid and don't need your support as much as the people off the grid from Cow Bay to Cape Tribulation!!