Our zipline tour was inspired by a Hollywood movie. Which is ironic, given the Daintree Rainforest inspired Hollywood to produce the legendary movie, Avatar. Anyway, that’s all history now and today our Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours provide people with a completely interactive way to see and explore our green world. We’ve done a quick timeline of our story, which is provided below. Please note, no trees were damaged in the making or operating of our Daintree zipline tour. The platforms are secured to the trees using an ingenious friction system of blocks and chains, so no nails or bolts were required. Our Daintree zipline is an example of ecotourism at its best and we look forward to seeing you in the canopy.
It was the sight of Sean Connery heroically soaring through the Amazon in the ‘90s film Medicine Man, that planted the seed in the mind and heart of Jungle Surfing founder, Stephen Walsh. Pharmacist Stephen had a dream and a spectacular backyard to show off. In 1995, he started selling tours through his Port Douglas shop, operating guided day and night walks through his private, rainforest property in Cape Tribulation.
All the while, his grand master plan was taking shape. He wanted to share the beauty of the Daintree like never before; to create a system of cables and platforms that would take visitors into the treetops of the world’s most ancient rainforest.
Working in a UNESCO World Heritage Site is no easy feat. So, what went into building our Daintree zipline? Nine years of research and development, working with Australian and overseas experts in their fields, as well as liaising with the elders of the Traditional Owners, the Kuku Yalanji people, for cultural approval.
Our Daintree zipline site has no mains power and limited access. When you add in the tropical weather conditions, you’ve got yourself a challenge of epic proportions. Rising to the task was a team of arborists, engineers, riggers, carpenters and scientists, who scaled the heights and slowly put the puzzle together.
Protecting and presenting the Daintree Rainforest in its most natural and raw form, was the vision behind our zipline and tree platform tour. As such, every care and precaution was taken during construction and now in operation to ensure we minimise our environmental footprint at all times. No heavy machinery was used in the construction of the tree canopy platforms. Every piece was painstakingly carried into the forest and hauled into place by hand. After more than a few years of blood, sweat and tears, Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours opened to the public in August 2003. From small beginnings, attracting guests from Cape Tribulation and nearby Port Douglas, Jungle Surfing now welcomes more than 25,000 visitors from around the world each year to its Daintree zipline and is proudly Australian owned and operated.
Sadly, the founder of our Daintree zipline, Stephen Walsh, is no longer with us. But every harness clipped on to our ziplines and every step taken in our Hamster Wheel, is testimony and tribute to his slightly madcap idea, his unwavering enthusiasm and his absolute passion for the Daintree Rainforest.
Today, the team at Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours and Adventure Night Walks continue to strive for excellence, in all they do. Inspired by the drive and commitment of our founder, we deliver his dream, welcoming our guests into the treetops to swing through the canopy on our Daintree zipline. We look forward to seeing you up in the trees.
© Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours and Jungle Adventures Night Walks 2021