A much less known fig tree is the one out at Clohesy River. While it may not be as massive as the Cathedral Fig or The Curtain Fig in Yungaburra, it is still worth a drive out. Like the other fig trees, it is accessible via a boardwalk that takes you into the cool rainforest.
This time, we were there with a lovely friend who was in a wheelchair. She wanted to get out from the walls and streets of Cairns to soak in some rainforest energy. This was one of the few places we were able to take her. The drive up to the boardwalk was a bit bumpy but once there we were able to get her wheelchair out in the park area and onto the boardwalk with no problems.
The boardwalk is not made for bare feet though, so if you and your kids are the barefoot sort, expect to help the younger ones navigate this boardwalk. The gaps in between planks are slightly too wide for little feet and it is slow going for some youngsters.
There is a huge scrub turkey mound there as well, one of the biggest ones we've seen. It was freshly turned over this visit, but no sign of any turkeys!
The Clohesy River Curtain Fig
The highlight of the area is the curtain fig of course. This curtain fig has successfully strangled and killed off its host tree, leaving behind a hollow space within the fig. This feature is one of the coolest things about curtain figs that have been around for many years - the living cave within them.
The hollow left behind after the curtain fig came out tops
Many of these hollows are large enough to take shelter in, and have awesome ventilation through the root walls, making it an ideal place to have a small campfire that is sheltered from rain.
While we were there, we were lucky enough to discover a baby curtain fig at the beginning of its life, just starting to put down its roots and grow on its host tree.
Nearby there were also trees with really large buttress roots. Check them out while you are there. These buttresses give you an idea of how organic curves can be self-supporting. In fact, these kind of buttresses are what many natural builders of organic houses like cob end up imitating.
Also spotted was a curious tree with a fig like trunk at the very bottom, and some fungus. There are plenty of different fungi species out that way for those of you who like going hunting for fungi.
Buttress roots - ideal for campsites and building design ideas!
The kids also discovered some truffles and signs of wild pig, so the usual warning of being wary of ferals while exploring forests applies here too. (Yes, despite what Parks and Recreation have to say, there is a very large feral pig problem in Far North Queensland's national parks - don't say you weren't warned!).