(mellow acoustic guitar)
– After keeping busy with boat chores in Cairns, we decide to take a break and
be tourists for a few days, exploring the World Heritage
Rainforest around Kuranda. Join us as we experience the rainforest canopy from the sky, try some tasty food, teach you a little more
about indigenous plant use, and enjoy a historical and
very scenic train ride home. ♪ I’m gonna get you to find out ♪ ♪ I’m gonna get you to find
out and know the truth ♪ – Good morning, today we
are heading off to Kuranda, which is up in the rainforest. And then, tomorrow, we’re gonna come back on the Scenic Railway, so it’s gonna be a really great trip.
(mellow acoustic guitar) I’m really lookin’ forward to it. Got all the camera gear sorted. In an hour or so, we’ll be
ready to roll on the shuttle bus to the Skyrail.
(mellow acoustic guitar) – [Troy] At last, we’ve
reached enough notoriety. (camera equipment clanks)
– To get our own gondola. – [Troy] To get our own gondola. No one wants to ride with us.
– (chuckles) (funky electronic music)
(birds chirp) – Well, I think this is
a really great way to get a good, overall look at Cairns. We can actually see all the
hard water that we sailed down through.
– Yeah. – And the view is much better,
– Yeah. – from here.
– It is beautiful, isn’t it? – Well, Cairns is right smack in the middle of a World Heritage area. I mean, there’s just a ton of rainforest, all around it, all through it.
(skyrail rumbles) And, you know, I reckon
comin’ on the Skyrail is just a really great way to see it. And it’s not an expensive thing to do. Like I said, I did it with
my mom, and she loved it. And now, I’m doin’ it with Pascale. – I’m already loving it. And I’ve only been on,
for like five minutes, but it’s great.
(skyrail rumbles) – Yeah, I mean, you’ve got
these windows where you can slide it up and down.
(window slams) But you can have it open, so yeah, the breeze is coming through, the bird noises, and
everything else like that. (birds chirp)
– It’s really beautiful. – Oh, oh my God, we’re stopping. – Oh, no.
– No, that’s a good thing. So we’ve got two other stops up here. We’re gonna jump out,
have a look at a boardwalk and the view over Barron Falls. – Yeah.
(upbeat electronic music) – It’s pretty cool.
– Yeah. (upbeat electronic music) I like how the palms kind of just grow up. – [Troy] Those palms are wait-a-while. – [Pascale] Oh, that’s
wait-a-while, right. Yeah, I was gonna say. It’s like a vine.
– So all of this, what looks like palms, it’s rattan, and that’s wait-a-while. So it climbs up. And every time it falls over, all those spikes and everything grab you. – Jagged.
– They jump; they grab ahold of the forest. And then, it just keeps
climbing its way up into the canopy.
(upbeat electronic music) (birds chirp)
– What do you reckon about bein’ on assignment here, Pascale? – Not bad.
(upbeat electronic music) (birds chirp) (mellow acoustic guitar)
– This is Din Din or the Barron Falls, a 260 meter long, granite-faced waterfall. We were visiting Cairns in
the middle of the dry season, so the falls were just a small trickle. Until 1958, the Barron
River was a raging torrent. But since the construction
of the Tinaroo Dam, the water has been contained
for irrigation purposes in the Atherton Tablelands. (didgeridoo tones)
(stones tap) Kangaroo slippers.
– You see the boat slippers? – Oh, they’re so soft.
(indistinct chatter) Ready for the cold?
– (chuckles) (upbeat stringed music) – And on the down stroke, you just, hitting it with the hard bit on
the corner? (upbeat stringed music) Boat instrument. It weighs nothing.
(upbeat stringed music) – Tune is D-A-double D, so D-A-D-D. (indistinct chatter)
Oh, thank you, enjoy. – Sure will.
– And good luck with your sailin’.
– Yeah, it’s been pretty good, so far. – Oh yeah, it’s amazing,
so well done, so envious. (didgeridoo tones) – Hello, young lady, how are you? – (chuckles)
(paper rattles) – She’s hooked. – Got recommended by Paul to have these, at the music shop,
(indistinct chatter) in the markets, pretty delicious. This is beautiful, tahini, tumeric, green chili, pickles, salsa.
(indistinct chatter) Delicious, really good. (mellow stringed music) This is an old Douglas DC-3 aircraft, designed in America in 1935, as a long-range passenger aircraft. This plane began service
with the U.S. Air Force in 1942, in Mareeba, before being acquired by an Australian airline, after the war. (mellow stringed music)
It played a role in the movie Sky Pirates, where it was
crashed into a section of the reef before being
recovered and transported up to its final resting place in Kuranda. – I’m amazed that here in Australia, you can still find like,
jagged metal edges and stuff without warning signs
and stuff all over it. What a place!
(indistinct chatter) – [Pascale] We’re just
checking out how tiny the space is for the–
– Yeah. – the pilot.
– If you wanna be a pilot, it’s better off bein’ a
manlet, like don’t you think? – Here we are, at the
Kuranda Koala Gardens. And I have seen many koalas before, but I’m sure a lot of you
at home haven’t seen koalas. And you might wanna see
me cuddling one, so. – So we’re here to kidnap one.
– We’re here to kidnap a koala.
(upbeat stringed music) – He’s having an afternoon nap. I wish I could help.
(upbeat stringed music) – There’s even more.
– Well, it is koala land. – (chuckles) Oh, yeah.
(birds caw) This is how I’m used to seeing koalas. They’re all asleep.
– Yeah. – Koalas only eat eucalyptus leaves, so they spend a lot of their time feeling a bit intoxicated from the– – It’s hard to digest–
– eucalyptus oil, yeah. A hop, skip, and a jump from
the koala park was Birdworld. And as soon as we entered,
(upbeat guitar music) this Indian ringneck
parakeet wasted no time, jumping on Troy’s head.
(upbeat band music) – What if he likes ears?
– The bird is going. Oh, he’s going for your glasses. – What’s he chewing, now?
– Your shirt collar, not ideal. (bird squawks)
There we go. (upbeat band music) (birds squawk)
(upbeat band music) (birds squawk) Ever wondered what Kuranda looks like, once the last gondola train has departed? (suspenseful music) Yeah, so we’re gonna
follow the yellow track, which is the Jungle Walk. And then, we’re gonna take the River Walk. And then, we’ll be back in town. – So this is the Free Range
Sailing tourist edition. So we did the trip through town yesterday, the obligatory trip. And now, we’re just having a look in the wilder places of Kuranda. (bird chirps)
So it’s not all just shopping and markets. You can actually get away and
have a bit of a peaceful day, away from the maddening
crowds, if you like. Shall we go and have a look?
– Let’s go. – All right, increasingly
on the some of these walks through the Aussie
bush, the local councils are starting to put more
information out there for you. Particularly in the
Botanic Gardens in Cairns, they have this. So this one says, “Alexandria
palms,” these ones. And it says that the crown
was eaten raw or cooked. And sheaths could make water containers. And a lot of palms incredibly useful. So these,
(palm sheath crackles) you know, it doesn’t take
much to connect that. And you’ve got a pretty
handy little container, traditionally speaking, I suppose. (palm sheath thumps on ground)
And these, most palms, you can chop
down; it’ll kill the palm. You can chop this, open this up. And the growing tip on a
lot of palms is edible. I guess if you’re lost in the bush, you could justify it. You wouldn’t wanna go around
killing palms, just to get the. ‘Cause the edible bit’s like
a, sort of a cabbagey-flavored food, just through here. But you’ve gotta kill the
whole tree to get ahold of it. When you do it with coconuts, you know, it used to be called millionaire’s salad. You’d destroy the whole
coconut tree, just to get this white, cabbagey growth
that’s in the middle. But it’s really nice to see. You know like, a lot of
that traditional knowledge is being held on. And I think people get a
greater appreciation of the bush if they can see that some of it’s useful. (mellow electronic music)
(birds and insects chirp) You know, it’s just human
to sort of program with us. – Look at the basket fern up there. It’s amazing.
(birds chirp) – So all of this mass here, that looks like a type of palm, and these leaves that I’m holding here, they’re called lawyer cane. And they’ve also got a
nickname of wait-a-while. If you look, everything on those things is covered on these backward-facing, hook-like spikes. They’re like cat claws.
(birds chirp) And what happens, and you can see it here, is the wait-a-while grows
up, or the lawyer cane. It grows up to a certain height. And then, gravity makes it fall into the surrounding rain forest. These spikes catch, and
then it supports itself and grows up, again. And just by (chuckles)
(backpack whispers) by falling and catching, it
just keeps working its way up. And it can wind its way right up into the top of the canopy, like really, really long
canes going all the way up. It’s rattan, okay. It’s all that furniture
(palm leaves rustle) that you’ve seen made. Well, that’s it. And there was a job in North Queensland of actually putting on heavy
leather overcoats, secateurs, machete, and actually going
in and harvesting rattan. And that’s how you do it. It’s not gonna be a fun thing to do. But wait-a-while, itself,
incredibly useful. All right, these stems can be split, and they’re really, really strong. You can make a really
strong cord out of it. You’ve all seen rattan furniture. You can make fish traps,
all sorts of things. These backward-facing hooks, the Aboriginals in North Queensland, you can get a tendril of
it, put a little bit of food or bait on there. And the freshwater shrimps,
as they come and get it, oo, you can hook ’em out. Just an endless number of uses. When the long strands are
going into the canopy, you can cut the base of
it and cut further up, and water will drain out of it. There’s no end to it, really. But you do have to watch out. If you were going through
this thick sort of bush, these things, they get
the name wait-a-while. (equipment thumps on ground)
‘Cause as soon as they catch your skin or your clothes,
you’re not going anywhere. It’s so strong. So you have to wait a while, unhook it, and move on your way. And I guess they also got
that name of lawyer cane (chuckles) ’cause if you
get tangled up with it– – You can’t get rid of it.
– you’re stuck, all right. It takes a while to get untangled
from it, the lawyer cane. – It’s a bit unfair.
– It’s a bit unfair, isn’t it, Pascale? So even this dead bit
of lawyer cane, it’s. (cane rattles)
You know, it’s stuck, well in there because
all of these tendrils. I mean, they become a bit brittle, now that they’re dead and rotting. But all of those hooks
are really effective (cane rattles)
(grunts) at supporting it, up into the canopy. But look at that. This thing is just
armored, along its length. They’re spikes are every
part of this plant. (chuckles) They’re just mad. It looks a little bit like bamboo. (leaves rattle)
But if we see, up here, on this dead bit, it’s solid. It’s just made of all these fibers. (bird chirps)
So lawyer cane actually makes really great and light fish spears, okay, small animal spears
and things like that. But you can also bust it apart, (stem snaps)
and the whole thing’s made of these fibers, which can be teased apart and make incredibly strong rope. Anytime you have like,
a big tree come down, and, you know, you make
a clear space to the sky, (birds chirp)
the undergrowth just goes mad and just fills up with lawyer cane. And everything’s just scrambling to fill that space up, again. Because a lot of this is
regrowth forest, it’s not old. It’s not old forest. It’s hard to move through. Like this is the sort of stuff where, if you had to go, it’ll take
you hours to go a kilometer. The people up in New Guinea and stuff that used to have to fight in this, (chuckles) it was just unbelievable. (distant traffic)
(birds chirp) It’s really, really hard to move through. So when you get old growth rainforest and the canopy’s quite complete, you can move through it, not too bad. You know, sort of a
bit cleared, like this. But yeah, this Queensland
regrowth bush, really hard work. Wait-a-while falling over, again. – On no, what happened?
– It’s a trap. There you go, here. When I actually first came to Queensland, I was just pushing through
a bit of this bush. And I got caught on my
eyebrow by a wait-a-while. That was my introduction to it. Wild gear. So this stuff, we were
talking about that gravity. You know, it falls over towards things. And then, these tendrils grab on, and that’s how it climbs. So this wait-a-while
is doin’ exactly that. (leaves rattle)
It’s just about to catch onto another big creeper. And it will just go skyward.
(leaves rattle) So yeah, this stuff, we said that it’s a good building material. These tendrils, look at that. You make a clove hitch with that thing, and it’s really good. You can test for whether
things are gonna make a good bush string, just by tying a
knot in it and pulling on it. I don’t have a pocket knife. Otherwise, I would–
– What? – Yeah, I know. I’d strip this thing of its spikes. I’d show you, but.
(stem rattles) So if you tie something
in an overhand knot and give it a bit of a pull. I can’t do it effectively ’cause I don’t wanna spike my hands. But that’s a good test for
whether something will make good cordage for tying
stuff up in the bush. Wait-a-while definitely passes that test. And if you put some effort in and broke this apart into
its individual fibers, got rid of those spikes, you could make (birds chirp)
incredibly good bush rope. But even as it is, you
wanna make a lean-to or a little shelter,
grab some of that stuff. Work carefully with it.
(mellow electronic music) Unbelievably good.
(birds chirp) – So this is the lacy tree fern. And you can actually eat the fiddlehead, that curling piece inside. That’s good bush tucker, if
you need to get some food. And that’s quite common
(insects chirp) with ferns, all around the world. You can eat that center
heart, the new shoots there, in the fern.
– Yeah. – [Pascale] I’ve never had it, myself. I’m not sure how you prepare it. – It’s not super delicious.
– Right. – [Troy] So get all the
spikes off it and boil it. And there’s lot of starch in there. But there’s a few. If you eat a lot of it,
it’s not that great for you. – Right, okay.
– But over in New Zealand, it was sufficiently important for them to. You know, they’ve got
ferns and fiddleheads in a lot of the Maori art and also on some of their
sports teams decorations and things.
– Okay. – So it was an important food over there. (water gurgles)
(mellow electronic music) (birds chortle and chirp)
(insects chirp) (dramatic electronic music) So that’s a male scrub turkey.
(bird calls) And they use those big feet of theirs. They scratch up all the
leaf litter into a mound. And just the natural composting of that generates enough heat to hatch their eggs. So the male builds the mound. Then, the females come along. They’re impressed, if it’s
in a good bit of real estate, if he’s looking, you know,
a bit of a flash character, nice red head, yellow wattle, all the things that scrub
turkey females like. She’ll lay the eggs in there. And then, she’ll just tear off and go and have a fat time. He raises the kids. And he might actually
get a few females to lay eggs in his nest, if he’s
a successful sort of chook. So this one looks like
he’s just startin’ to (birds chirp)
put his mound together, a nice, young scrub turkey, just makin’ a name for himself. (birds chirp)
(water gurgles) (upbeat drumbeats) – [Pascale] Here, we see a native beehive. If you look closely, you can
see some of the pollen sacks attached to bees’ back legs.
(bee wings whir) You can also see some of
the bees removing waste from the hive.
(upbeat drumbeats) Australian native bees are much
smaller than European bees, and they don’t sting. They bite.
(upbeat electronic music) Native bee honey was a
traditional source of food for Aboriginal people in Australia. (birds chirp)
(bee wings whir) – So you can see, a lot of
the trees have creepers that go up and around ’em, to reach the canopy. This one’s shed its creeper. It’s gone, now.
(birds chirp) But you can see that it
was sufficiently strong that as the tree grew, it had
to grow around the creeper. It constricted it, very strongly. You know, they’re tough plants. So we don’t see it on the
time scale that we move on. But plants fight. You know, they have to compete
for space with each other. It happens slowly, but yeah, it’s definitely
a battle, out here. (thumps tree trunk)
All right, a lot of these trees that live
in soft and shifting soils have developed a strategy
of having buttress roots. These are buttress roots. Okay, they’ve grown them up, and they’ve made a triangular section, (upbeat drumbeats)
And that happens, like at the point of most leverage. They have a great amount of strength. It’s very hard to uproot these trees. But from a human point of view, this actual graceful
curve that follows it, really a good spot to get axe handles and other tools and things like that. And the Aboriginals also, if you get a nice, tight curve, great for getting a throwing
stick or a boomerang. (upbeat drumbeats)
This is Black Bean, a really, really common tree, all through North Queensland. And it has these
(bean pod cracks) massive seeds in these little pods. (upbeat electronic music)
Because they were so common, the local Aboriginals
devised a way of eating it. But it’s involved. These are highly toxic
as they are, right now. So they need to be smashed
up, almost into a paste, and then, put in running water
and leach them, over days. (chuckles) And then, grind that up, dry it out, and make a type of flour and eat it as a damper.
(upbeat electronic music) So what does it say, here? The seeds are toxic,
but can be eaten after three days preparation,
including leaching in water. So it’s heat; it’s
washing; it’s everything. But I guess there’s so many of them that it was worth their while, spending days and days and days, just tryin’ to get the poison out of ’em. (seeds and leaves rustle)
Well, that’s it. Fear or feed, I guess.
(upbeat electronic music) (birds chirp) – Finished the walk.
– It was a pretty nice walk. How are you feeling, Pascale?
– Good, I’m a bit hungry. – A bit hungry.
– (chuckles) – We actually had a little,
few drinks, last night. So I feel like some of that’s. Drunk a bit of rum, last night.
– A little bit hung over. – So low key. But that’s it. The walk was really nice, really peaceful. There wasn’t too many people on it. And now, we’re just going up here, past the railway station,
and back into town. (upbeat local music)
– Yes, everybody, donuts, donuts here.
(indistinct chatter) – Okay, what’s this one, here? Is that the soy one?
– That’s it. No, this is the savory one. We have the (mumbles)
noodles, vermincelli noodles. – Okay.
– And the veggies. They are cooked in a lard
(upbeat local band music) with soy sauce.
– Okay. – And they’re deep-fried.
– Okay, so we’ll get one of those.
– Yes. – And then, some sweet ones.
– Yes, just a moment. (paper rattles)
– Whereabouts in Japan are you from?
– I come from (in foreign language),
which is next to Hiroshima, where the bomb went.
– Yeah. (paper rattles)
– Yeah, I was born just after the bomb.
(upbeat local band music) Which one would you like, soy bean powder or cinnamon
sugar or ordinary sugar? – I think we’ll have one
soybean and one cinnamon. – Hai (upbeat local band music)
– I’m looking for the bag. – Up here.
– Where? Oh, yes, when you are
small, you don’t see. – (chuckles) I’ll grab ’em.
– Oh, thank you. (upbeat local band music)
(indistinct chatter) (paper rattles)
– You bake them here? – Yes, everything.
(indistinct chatter) So this is donut.
– Thank you. – This is one for you. That’s just $10, the total. Thank you, just a minute. Thank you very much.
– Thank you. – Thank you, I hope
you have a lovely time. Thank you, (in Japanese language). (upbeat local band music)
– Mm, it’s weird, but it’s good.
(indistinct chatter) – Haven’t had anything like it, before. – No.
(upbeat local band music) (indistinct chatter) (cheerful acoustic guitar) – The Kuranda Scenic Railway is hauled by 1720 Class Diesel Electric Locomotives, each emitting around 1000 horsepower. Coal-fired steam engines ceased operation on the line in 1967.
(cheerful acoustic guitar) Construction of the Kuranda
Railway started in 1886. During the wet season,
the roads from the coast to the Atherton Tablelands became boggy and were impassible to deliver supplies. And the tin miners were
on the verge of famine. The railway was built to deliver
these much needed supplies and was completed in 1891. Many workers lost their lives during the construction of this railway on some of the most treacherously steep and wet country in Australia.
(mellow acoustic guitar) The locomotives have been hand-painted by the traditional owners
of the region, the Djabugay, to depict the dreamtime
legend of the Buda-dji, a great Carpet Snake who carved
out the mighty Barron Gorge. (upbeat acoustic guitar) The railway line from Kuranda
to Cairns has 15 tunnels. All tunnels were dug
with picks and shovels, after dynamite or gunpowder
was used to loosen the rock. (mellow electronic music)
The longest tunnel on the line is 429 meters long. And a total of around 2.8
million cubic meters of earth was moved by hand, during
the construction of the line. ♪ Slowly closing my eyes
from all that I said ♪ ♪ With a little love we
can change the world ♪ ♪ With a little love ♪ ♪ With a little love we
can change the world ♪ ♪ With a little love ♪ ♪ I want to jump into the river ♪ ♪ Let the water cleanse me ♪ ♪ I want to let my anger go ♪ ♪ And have beauty in all I see ♪ ♪ With a little love we
can change the world ♪ ♪ With a little love ♪ ♪ With a little love we
can change the world ♪ ♪ With a little love ♪ – [Pascale] The railway
line is also made up of 55 bridges, over the
gorges, creeks, and ravines. (guitar tones)
(bird screeches) These bridges, like the
tunnels, were all built by hand, a truly astonishing feat
of resilience and manpower. (upbeat band music) Thank you for tuning
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