On June 4th we were in the town of Dimbulah, Queensland. This town was historically established by a gold mining company in the late 1800’s. The population of Dimbulah is near 4,000 people according the 2006 Census of Australia. This town has historically been a top producer on cash crops such as tobacco and now-a-days it produces many other cash crops such as sugar cane, coffee, and tea trees. Sugar cane is the most popular cash crop in this region as we experienced while driving through this area. The sugar cane fields went on for miles at a time. We visited two different sites in this town.
Our first stop of the day was the Botanical Ark. We were greeted by the owners Alan & Susan Carle which provided us with some very delicious Guyana juice. This amazing piece of land was once a cattle ranch 30 years ago. Through soil conservation Alan and Susan were able to make the land fertile once again and began to grow exotic plants on the property. They currently have 20 acres of their land planted with exotic plants. The owners of this garden have traveled to most of the tropical areas of the world to find exotic plants and fruits. They have also spent time with many indigenous tribes of the rainforest across the world to see their way of life. On their journeys across the world they have brought many exotic plants and fruits back to Australia. Quarantine laws on plants and fruits are very strict in Australia due to its very unique isolated environment. Alan and Susan have managed to bring these exotic plants to Australia and grow them on their lands.
During the 1980’s The Botanical Ark was the largest exotic flower producer in Australia. They have left that business behind and now only focus on tours of their premises by invitation or request only.
Alan explained to us he hopes to educate people on the importance of the rainforests of the world through showing the economic gains these areas can have for people. Many products come from the rainforests across the world such as dyes, fibers, rubbers, and many other natural products. There are many more uses the rainforest can provide for people but science has not yet discovered them because we’ve only scratched the surface. The cure for cancer can be hiding somewhere in a rainforest but people continue to cut them down every day. One football field size portion of the rainforest gets cut down every 20-30 seconds.
Both of the first two field visits were related to sustainability in an environmental, social, and in an economical perspective. Using your resources wisely, effectively, and only taking what is needed is very important approach to sustainability in an environmental approach. Once sustainability is achieved in an environmental way, social and economic sustainability will follow along. This is the setup of a strong sustainability model because the environment and the biosphere come before everything else. As a society we need to work along with Mother Nature not against it. This will ensure we leave something good behind for our future generations such as our children and grandchildren. Lets not leave a mess behind for future generations and be more considerate on how we use the resources Mother Nature provides us with. Taking shorter showers, using energy-efficient light bulbs, using reusable shopping bags, and using green energy are all ways we can help the environment. This is not a main concern for many people now-a-day but it will be in the upcoming years as natural resources deplete and climate change continues. Currently we have a stronger focus on economics more than anything else. That has to change as we strive for sustainability across the world.
The final Place we visited on June 4 was a historical gold mine site. We had to travel several hours west towards the outback to reach this mine. The Tyrconnell Goldmine was once home to 10,000 gold miners during its peak of operation. Gold mining was very common in these regions of Australia in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The gold mine site now is just a tourist attraction that receives around 2,000 visitors per year. To end the night we sat around a campfire and told stories all night long. We also slept in tents and swags which allowed us to have the entire Outback experience. The stars were beautiful at night since we were so far away from the city.
This is the website to the Mossman Gorge Centre. The website has information on the activities it offers and how the Centre is run:
The Tyrconnell Goldmine’s website and brief history on the site:
The Botanical Ark’s website:
This website has information on all the tropical foods Australia has to offer around its tropical regions:
Information on the Daintree Rainforest and its unique environment:
An example on all the restrictions Australia has for fruits and plants:
This website explains the importance of the Cassowary has for the Daintree Rainforest and how it’s at the verge of extinction: