Behind the Green is all about giving you more insight into the places we feature. Our interviews reveal what happens behind the scenes, tells stories of the people on the ground, exposes the challenges they face, as well as the communities they impact; essentially the bits you don’t usually hear.
Meet Vivienne or Viv for short. She is one of the owners of Daintree Wilderness Lodge and with her Italian husband they run the lodge, she also has 2 children to keep her busy. Both of them still spend time in the city, working hard to keep Daintree Wilderness Lodge alive. The lodge brings a dream for a slower-paced lifestyle within this incredible heritage area.
Learn more about Daintree Wilderness Lodge here >
Where do you see Daintree improving most in terms of your eco approach?“We would like to see more reforestation in the area. A lot of the Daintree area has been cleared which is very sad, often due to agriculture use. Where we are we have not introduced any foreign plants which many hotels unfortunately do for aesthetic reasons, we however want to keep the lodge more natural. We would like to plant more indigenous plants, particularly on a section of grass which sits in front of the property. There are also pockets within Daintree that desperately need replanting, there is a rainforest rescue association here which is proactive in this and we encourage our guests to get involved.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do there?“It has to be the impact the lodge has on our guests. We have had guests here which become emotional, this has moved us. Seeing this reaction often spurs us on, our guests immerse themselves in this natural environment, in an ancient forest and seeing the affect this has on them is beautiful.”
Why is Daintree a great choice for eco-conscious travellers?“People who usually come to stay with us are eco-conscious minded anyway, this is what we have found with the guests who have chosen to spend their holidays with us. The owners (before me and my husband took over) hand built the lodge, removing just 2 trees in the whole construction, there was no use of heavy machinery, and the accommodation sits above the forest floor in order to minimise the impact. You don’t need to dress nature up, it is best just left alone, this is the most awe-inspiring bit for guests to witness and that is why it is a great choice.”
Can you tell us about the local wildlife there?“We are so fortunate, we are so untouched here. There are a lot of native fruits such as the Cassowary plum tree which grows up to 15-20 metres tall. Interestingly the seed doesn’t germinate until it has been eaten by a Cassowary Bird, the digestion process is paramount to this. This small thing shows the delicate and fragile nature of an ecosystem like this.
If you clear the trees you lose the birds. Fortunately, we have some local Cassowary Birds left, we have a male and female which has been here for many years and they have chicks! The male is the one who looks after the chicks, which is quite unusual. It is a great story to tell guests as they walk past them whilst they enjoy their breakfast!
What is the latest green initiative you have implemented at Daintree Wilderness Lodge?“Daintree is off the grid and is very isolated. When we took over the lodge we had a diesel generator which we wanted to get rid of as soon as possible, it just didn’t make sense to be in this amazing forest and generate all our energy from it. We have now invested in solar panels, however, we do still get a lot of cloud cover so we cannot run on clean solar energy 100% of the time.”
What is the most unique aspect of Daintree Wilderness Lodge compared to other lodges?“The accommodation is built above the forest floor, the walkways that weave between the lush green trees and plants. This provides a place to stay in which guests feel close to nature and can appreciate it in a natural and rawer form.”
What’s next for Daintree Wilderness Lodge?“We are continuing to search for better greener practices, it is a never-ending question in our minds. We are relatively new to this, we don’t have 10-20 years of experience like some other owners, we are learning quickly. We have so many ideas which we want to implement, balancing this with creating an unforgettable experience for our guests.”
Find out more about Daintree Wilderness Lodge & do your own green checks here.