The cassowaries of the Daintree Rainforest have not changed in some 40 million years and are vital to the survival of the rainforest. They are predominantly fruit eaters consuming around 5kg per day. Although, don’t be surprised if you see one enjoying flowers, fungi, snails, insects, frogs, birds, fish and other small mammals and carrion to complement its diet.
They eat fruit from at least 26 different plant families, most of which are highly poisonous to humans. Rainforest fruits such as Black Palms, Finger Cherries, Davidson Plums, Cluster Figs, Silver Quandongs and Noah’s Walnuts are particular favourites.
The Southern Cassowary is a keystone species because they eat fallen fruit whole and distribute seeds across the rainforest floor via their droppings. Many trees rely on this method of seed dispersal to be able to reproduce. Once the fruit has passed through the bird, most of the fleshy part has been removed from the seed leaving it ready to germinate from a lovely pile of compost – or Cassowary Poo! – to you!
Have you sized up to our cassowary at the Discovery Centre?
Cassowaries are large birds, and will grow as tall as 1.80m, with the females being bigger and stronger than the males – they can even reach up to 2 metres and may weigh up to 60 kilograms. Come visit and compare your height to theirs!
Happy New Year everyone! We’ve swung into 2021 with the intention to be present and pay attention to all the beautiful details life has to offer – the critters and small, the sounds of nature, all the different shapes of leaves you’ll find in the Daintree rainforest.
Swinging into 2021 by @nickiatkinson
White Lipped Tree Frog by @jairandhawa_
Boardwalk through the jungle by @g8m8australia
Nankeen Night Heron by @ekko.world
Golden Orb Spider by @oneworld.traveller
Great-billed Heron by @islandersteve84
The Daintree Discovery Centre was proud to recently receive its re-certification recognising our commitment to sustainable tourism.
The Daintree Discovery Centre was honoured to recently receive its re-certification recognising our commitment to climate action.
The Daintree Discovery Centre was proud to recently receive its re-certification for our continuous efforts to always respect our culture.
Summer is coming up with temperatures rising, perfect for lazing in the sun like the crocs on sandbanks of the Daintree river or enjoying the breeze while cruising through it (or above, if you’re a bird!)
Cape Tribulation beaches by @oz_laventure
Gorgeous Cassowary by @seajewlz_land_adventures
Sunrays across the Daintree river by @antoine_mbn
Sunbathing croc by @parky.au
The Daintree from above by @beautiful.interruptions
Eastern Great Egret in flight by @seajewlz_land_adventures
Daintree Discovery Centre is continuing to support the important regeneration and restoration work of Rainforest Rescue in the Daintree Rainforest with this year’s donation totalling $2758.65.
This year marks the 18th year that Australia’s largest remaining rainforest – and the oldest tropical lowland rainforest in the world – has benefitted from the relationship between the rainforest reviver and the education centre.
The annual donation to Rainforest Rescue reflects the importance and growing interest from the visiting public in sustainability, in line with Daintree Discovery Centre’s environmental ethos.
Daintree Discovery Centre manager Abi Ralph said she was delighted the amount of this year’s donation was only slightly less than last year despite the lengthy closure to the public because of Covid-19 health and safety restrictions.
“Centre visitors gave $542.40 via our collection tins and the Centre matched this with a $542.40 donation,” Ms Ralph said.
“The balance of this year’s donation to Rainforest Rescue was made up of $336.50 from recycled bottles and cans, $1322 from a donation of 50 cents per takeaway cup and $15.35 from a donation of five cents per bag of ‘cassowary poo’ sweets bought at the Centre.
“As well as being a delicious confection and a novel memento of a visit to Daintree Discovery Centre, the ‘cassowary poo’ sweets help reinforce the importance of this ancient and amazing bird in helping to grow the rainforest through spreading the seeds of rainforest species in its droppings.”
Ms Ralph said Branden Barber, chief executive of Rainforest Rescue, had described the partnership with the Daintree Discovery Centre as pivotal to spreading the word on the uniqueness and importance of the Daintree as the world’s longest and continuously existing and evolving rainforest.
She said the symbiotic relationship with Rainforest Rescue reflected the importance between education, through the Centre’s immersive rainforest walks and accompanying exhibits and displays, and Rainforest Rescue’s regenerating and caring for the overall growth and wellbeing of the rainforest.
The annual donation from the Daintree Discovery Centre helped Rainforest Rescue with its local nursery, seed collection and plant propagation to produce more trees to grow more rainforest.
Rainforest Rescue raises more than 20,000 plants locally from more than 200 species annually. The group has been protecting and replanting rainforests since 1998.
“We are proud to continue our association with such a committed, effective and valuable organisation and to know that our work here at the Centre in entertaining and educating our visitors is helping to make such a difference through our support and annual donation.”
For more information on Daintree Discovery Centre visit www.discoverthedaintree.com.
For interview requests, please contact:
0417 202 663
Fun, funky and informative – all combine in new interactive interpretive signage at Daintree Discovery Centre designed to enhance the visitor experience in the Daintree Rainforest.
Daintree Discovery Centre manager Abi Ralph said the team had been busy over the Covid closure period designing and working with experts to better tell the story of the rainforest and its inhabitants and of Gondwana’s ancient legacy.
“We are thrilled with our cool new signage and are sure our visitors will appreciate it too. It provides a more immersive and engaging experience with succinct and easily understood facts and interesting information,” Ms Ralph said.
“Wonderful interactive signage has been installed along the Aerial Walkway, the Canopy Tower and the Jurassic Forest exhibit. They include colour-coded spinning totems that focus on local mammals and canopy birds. These are hands-on information stations designed to appeal to our younger visitors.
“Our dinosaur Jurassic Forest, has also been updated with 3D effects, sound, sliders and a spinning globe.
“We are delighted that the improvements have been completed and the Centre is back to operating as normal, ready to welcome visitors wishing to experience and understand the Daintree Rainforest and how it works.”
Brian Arnold, group general manager of Aboriginal Development Benefits Trust, which owns Daintree Discovery Centre, said continued investment helped to keep the product experience fresh and maintain the Centre’s position as a must-do activity for visitors crossing the Daintree River.
“Daintree Discovery Centre is recognised as a leader in ecotourism and environmental conservation and maintaining that role is a keen focus of our investment activity, particularly in these difficult times,” Mr Arnold said.
For Daintree Discovery Centre opening times, visit www.discoverthedaintree.com.
For interview requests, please contact:
0417 202 663
The Daintree Discovery Centre’s community initiated tree planting at Nightwings Rainforest Centre yesterday, Saturday March 21 to mark World Tree Planting Day, has been a resounding success.
Organised in association with Rainforest Rescue and supported by the Wildlife Habitat through its Tropical Animal Rehabilitation Centre (TARC), around 1000 trees were planted by the volunteers.
Daintree Discovery Centre manager Abi Ralph said the education centre was a huge supporter of Rainforest Rescue’s revegetation work.
“The trees planted were all grown onsite at the Rainforest Rescue nursery, and it has been fantastic to see a small but dedicated turn out of individuals here to get the job done,” she said.
Australia’s largest remaining rainforest – and the oldest tropical lowland rainforest in the world – has been benefitting for 17 years from the relationship between Rainforest Rescue and the Discovery Centre.
The centre makes an annual donation to Rainforest Rescue from several DDC revenue streams from wristbands and stickers to the Centre’s “cassowary poo” sweets.
Rainforest Rescue raises more than 20,000 plants from more than 200 species annually. The group has been protecting and replanting rainforests since 1998.
More than 55,000 trees have been planted over the past four years at Nightwings, a former cane farm on the banks of the Daintree River at Wonga. The aim is to restore the complex lowland rainforest that once covered the area.
Ms Ralph said the event was still able to go ahead, with volunteers practicing social distancing under the Federal Government’s new guidelines to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rainforest Rescue Nursery Manager Marine Deliens said numerous specialist species had been chosen for the plant out on the WWF plot at Nightwings.
“We had a good mix of pioneers, early secondary, late secondary and mature phase species to have a quick canopy closure. This will shade out the weeds and we hope to stop maintenance after 18 months to two years,” she said.
“These include Ficus (fig) species and Blue Quandong, which are great food trees for rainforest animals, and Melicope species, host trees for the Ulysses butterfly and great attractors of birds.”
World Tree Planting day is part of the United Nations’ International Day of Forests, which is held to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. This year it aims to promote education to Learn to Love Forests.
Nightwings is located on Norris Rd Wonga Beach. Just follow the flags or see Rainforest Rescue’s facebook page for more information.
For more information on Daintree Discovery Centre and its philanthropic activities, visit www.discoverthedaintree.com.
For interview requests, please contact:
0417 202 663
Summer is in full swing up here in the Daintree – bask in the sun, dip in cool rainforest streams, relax under palm trees and enjoy the sounds of the rainforest all around you.
This month we’re featuring a selection of all the birds and critters you can discover in the Daintree Rainforest – let us know which ones you have spotted yourself already.
Image by @theportdouglasbeachhouse
Image by @mr_moz_photos
Image by @dodgerjones
Image by @johanlarsonphotography
Mating Robber Flies
Image by @daintreediscovery
Image by @juliaschachingerphoto