My Experience Living in the Rainforest

During my travels in Australia, I had the wonderful opportunity to work at a yoga retreat for 18 days in the middle of the rainforest. The only way to arrive at the resort was to take a 4X4 vehicle through a rough and rugged road. After you have bumped, up and down a few dozen times along the path, you can finally say you’ve reached “Sanctuary Retreat”. The facility is located in a quaint town called Mission Beach, just two hours south of Cairns. The isolated establishment sits upon a hill overlooking the ocean and is surrounded by lush trees and wild life, being an overall paradise. Sanctuary Retreat offers unique lodging options such as luxury cabins or eccentric huts, all while being equipped to be eco-friendly. Check out their website for more information for your next getaway in North Queensland, Australia:

Sanctuary Retreat located in Mission Beach, Australia.
There were days I would sit in a hammock reading a book and be taken in by the serenity and solitude of the rainforest. This landscape was so different to me because I come from Canada where our scenery isn’t anywhere comparable. Outside the rainforest was a secluded beach taking about 10 minutes to walk to and clothes were optional giving you a chance to diminish those pesky tan lines. The treacherous walk to the beach was steep, secluded and filled with trees, upon trees, exemplifying the true nature of the rainforest. Here are some things to expect while living in the wet tropics of Australia.



This creature really is a spectacular sight and it reminds me of an ostrich on steroids. The Cassowary can stand anywhere from 4-6 feet high, they have stocky legs and claw like feet making them appear like a ferocious bird. On the contrary, these creatures are quite skittish and shy. However, if they feel threatened they will go into ambush mode and chase you. My roommate at the retreat had the good fortune of being chased by one

A wild Cassowary I encountered on a hike.
and luckily outran the feathered friend. Truthfully, it’s a sight I wish I saw because they are known to be such timid creatures, leading us to laugh about the incident now. The exclusive creature is only found in the wet tropics of Australia, (North Queensland). Mission Beach has established retreats to save these unique birds from extinction because the population is declining yearly. Fortunately during my stay in the rainforest, one female Cassowary visited us daily. She trekked once a day to scavenge for fruit and usually would leave some droppings behind as thanks, so generous of her.


Blissful sounds at night

You know those “Sounds of Nature” tracks weirdos use to fall asleep easily at night? I now have an understanding and appreciation as to why they use them, because nature’s audio does help with unwinding your mind and spirit. Living in the rainforest presents you with a live symphony every night putting you in a slumber quite effortlessly. Nature’s genuine rainforest sounds fill your ears with crickets, birds and graceful winds each evening.


Spiders and more spiders

Australia is well known for having spiders and extremely large ones. The rainforest is an isolated area and is a breeding place for a number of species, making these creepy crawlers unavoidable. This reality was something I had to accept, due to my mild phobia of spiders. There were plenty of times I would walk into spider webs and have a dramatic meltdown hoping one wasn’t caught in my wild, long hair. The worst of them

Cute “little” Huntsman spider who just gave birth to over 200 babies in the bathroom. 
all was the time a massive Huntsman spider entered my bedroom. When I caught a glimpse of the pest on the ceiling, I darted outside as fast as I could. Many thanks to my roommate for capturing the spider and releasing him back into the wild. She was aware she was on her own with the Huntsman’s discharge after seeing my petrified state and hearing my shrilling screams. Many apologies go out for my incompetent state that evening.



On one of my exploration days outside the rainforest, I would take long hikes down the beach. A local was walking his dogs and because I am obsessed with canines, I naturally sparked a conversation with him. During our discussion he warned me about crocodiles living in the river just 200 meters from where we were standing. Seeing my troubled face, he told me not to worry “too” much, but be aware of my surroundings and have an extremely watchful eye when I swim. After my chat with the native resident a thought came to my head, “does my travel insurance cover crocodile attacks?”



These flying annoyances are bloody irritating and there is no way of avoiding them in the rainforest. Word of advice, wear an abundance of bug spray to avoid bites in all sorts of places on your body. The worst are the bites on the bottom of your feet!


Rain of course

Living in the wet tropics inevitably brings copious amounts of rain. The vast quantity of trees adds reasonable coverage from the rain, allowing you to freely walk around rainforest grounds. For the fact of humid climates in the rainforest, rain comes as a refreshing relief from the sweltering heat and cools the body instantly.



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