I'd thoroughly recommend this tour
I'd thoroughly recommend this tour to those keen to experience the indigenous people's connection to the Southern Daintree. It was also a great way to see the beauty of the rainforest and the coast without spending hours sitting on a bus.
Bridgette was our guide and driver, making us feel right at home all day, from punctual pick-up to exhausted drop-off at our hotel. She kept the day running smoothly and cheerily, despite some challenges with bad weather and some tour participants that needed special attention due to their health.
Our morning activity was at the Mossman Gorge, where we were greeted with an aboriginal smoking ceremony performed by Jenny, a local Kuku Yalanji woman, who also explained some of her traditions, ceremonies, rainforest foods and medicines. Most of our group then took an optional walking tour with a local guide into some of the more culturally significant parts of the gorge whilst a few of us remained with Bridgette for a more relaxed stroll through the rainforest and normally a chance for a swim in the pristine waters of the river. Unfortunately the heavens opened and the swim became a quick wade. Soaked, despite our wet weather gear we returned to the cultural centre for a tasty lunch of barramundi.
After lunch we headed down to the coast where we were met by Brandon who took us out hunting seafood. He seemed a little quiet at first but as the afternoon wore on he shared so many amazing stories of the natural world and how his people interact with it. The persistent rain made spotting fish difficult so we moved into the mangrove swamp to hunt mud crab with our spears. Mercifully the rain kept the mosquitoes at bay, as we used our bare feet to feel for shellfish and mussels in the mud whilst Brandon prised oysters from the mangrove trees. In addition to the shellfish we only managed to score a couple of smallish crabs. I think Brandon was keen to keep searching for 1 kg specimen but he could see that this was harder work than many of us were used to. So we retired to his family home across the road. His mother had baked us some damper and muffins which we tucked into whilst Brandon cooked up what we had just collected. This was supplemented with a large mud crab he'd caught the previous day and, as a special treat, a little taste of green sea turtle meat which had been specially hunted for a recent funeral ceremony. It was all delicious. During the cooking time Bridgette showed us and explained various indigenous tools and artefacts. By then it was about 5pm and time to return home, tired but satisfied and with a much greater appreciation of this ancient culture.
My only caution about this very active tour is that to really get the most out of it you need to be reasonably fit and mobile and happy to get wet and dirty.