Our adventure begins in dense rainforests outside Cairns, in the north of Queensland, one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. We are part of an expedition that will travel far from the tourist trail and into vast unspoiled regions in order to search for an extraordinary aborigine, the Walangee!
A newly-ignited forest fire forces us to change direction and take an alternative route. On this occasion it is no problem, otherwise our entire expedition could be in jeopardy. Our new route travels along a gravel-covered forest road: a four wheel drive vehicle in this part of Queensland is an absolute necessity.
Three rivers, the Lockhart, Pascoe and Jardine, as well as numerous small tributaries, flow across the pathless jungle area of the north coast of Australia. The rivers is a habitat for a large variety of very unusual creatures.
We feel a little like how the first European discoverers of Australia must have felt. Cape York Peninsula was one of the first regions to be discovered by the first seafarers, long before Captain James Cook discovered the fifth continent.
Within his hut, Chief Walangee is busy with the creation of a new harpoon. For the inhabitants of Cape York Peninsula, for thousands of years, the harpoon has been the most important hunting device. Today, the point of the harpoon is made of iron. Chief Walangee is one of the last authentic hunters of this region.
We also visit one of the most famous diving sites in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, that consists of around a thousand islands and almost three thousand individual reefs.
This journey into Australia’s natural past has confirmed that it is one of the world’s most untouched land masses, in which ancient traditions continue to be used for practical purposes, not just a tourist’s carefully posed photo opportunity!