There are many tour companies and they all offer the same thing. I went for the half day adventure tour from Kang’s. A heavily decorated Land Rover appeared outside at 8.45.
Try to get a forward-facing seat as they drivers are maniacs and being in the back is not comfortable. We (several Frenchwomen and 2 Indians) drove about 30km out of town, up a 4WD track to the start of the walking track to the Rafflesia.
If you know the para trainasium this explains one of the events – walking across 2 bars and having to step over a crosspiece. Mountbatten’s influence after the war I’m sure. From here there was about 1hr 20 min of walking in the jungle.
On the way the guide pointed out some types of ginger and a plant that you can use to freshen your mouth. It’s like chewing Deep Heat.
The walk could take longer if your party isn’t fit or takes pictures of everything. This tree attracted a lot of attention.
The Rafflesia isn’t that rare – we passed quite a few dead ones before coming to the one that was open.
One of the guides then cut open some bamboo so we could drink the water from inside.
On the way back the 4 wheel driving was more ‘hardcore’ as the driver put it. He kept saying ‘Don’t worry, be happy!’ while the Frenchwomen were squealing.
The tour includes a visit to the aboriginal village. However it had started raining and noone else wanted to go! But I did – the only one. The main draw here is the demonstartion of blowing poison darts.
From there you can look around the village. The guide was blunt – ‘The only other place you see these people is working at KFC’. The government is building modern houses for them. It reminded me of Glen Innes.
On the way back you can see the extent of the farming development – all 30km back to town was terraced out with hothouses.