Trekking in Jurassic park is no fun at night

IT'S dense rainforest, 11 o'clock at night and pitch black.

Wind the clock back 10 days, and this was where I found myself - in the depths of cassowary territory.

Let me put this story into context. I had elected to book accommodation at a rainforest retreat while visiting Mission Beach for a dear friend's wedding.

Cabins were perched atop a virtually untouched tropical paradise, requiring a trek for access.

In hindsight, rainforest retreats are not alcohol friendly.

However rejuvenating a 25-minute walk through a rainforest may be during the day, it is far outweighed by frustration and terror at night.

For anyone who has been in the rainforest at night, it is a magical experience - when you have a tour guide and torch.

Otherwise it becomes downright frightening.

The walk, intended to be quick and brisk, ended up taking me two hours.

I considered for a moment resting my head on a mossy knoll and awaiting the break of dawn.

There were huntsmans the size of my head, eerie noises coming from afar and the odd bite of a tropical mosquito.

Perhaps one animal you don't want to encounter in the dark rainforest while carrying your heels in one hand is a cassowary.

For those unaware, a cassowary is a six-foot bird; the last living descendant of the Cambrian period (Jurassic times).

And to see a wild one less than two metres away, the risk of being disembowelled is a very real threat.

I'm headed back to far north Queensland in a few weeks for another friend's wedding.

I'll be choosing the backpacker's over luxury this time around.



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