After my energising zip wiring, we get picked up at lunchtime and catch-up again with the Irish lads Arron and Karl where we are taken to Marrdja Botanical Boardwalk. Our guide is a different guy from the previous day, but really entertaining with plenty of stories and really accommodating to make the tour it’s best.
The guide Richie gives a really expert and detailed explanation of the forest, telling us names of plants and what they do. He starts the tour by telling us the 2 (well known by now) most dangerous plants in the forest the Gimpie-Gimpie and the Wait A While. He even has a personal experience of being stung by the Gimpie-Gimpie and it sounds absolute torture causing him pain for 6 months and him having to wax his legs every day to get the top layer of skin off to get the poison out. Ouch!
The walk we do is about 45minutes and it is amazing actually how many different things there are in the forest, making it one of the most bio diverse places in the world as it has everything from low lying ferns and shrubs, to tall rainforest canopies and small mangrove ecosystems all next together and in one area. It is fascinating to hear how all the life of the forest comes from the mangroves and all the tropical fish we see in the barrier reef actually start here and are then carried along the river out to sea. Also how the mangroves protect from the flooding and cyclones they get, as are a front run of protection to the land and says had Thailand not got rid of their mangroves before the Tsunami, then they would have protected and stopped it causing as much devastation as it did.
The other really interesting facts he gives us, are how the trees here because they are near the salt have a “sacrifice” leaf on each one, which will take in the salt water so it is filtered out from the other leaves as they need fresh water. It is only 1% they take, but it makes it go yellow and will fall off allowing the other leaves to grow healthy.
He shows us huge BASKET OF LIFE plants that sit in the trees helping the spread of the plants and some get to up to a meter wide – not something you want to land on your head walking underneath it.
8th March 2016