By Samantha Carver
Two weeks off. Lying by an azure ocean, palm trees swaying in the fringing rainforest. As you lift a mango daiquiri to your lips, we empathize … because if you’re anything like us, the guilt sets in. You’re lounging in the tropics of Far North Queensland. You’re not rushing to work, nor juggling family, friends, responsibility, meeting deadlines, overwhelmed, overworked, overtired. In short, feeling naughty for doing nothing. Yet in actual fact, your heart, lungs, liver and mental state will medically thank you for it…
A stroll through the woods has always been a pleasant pastime. That was before Forest Bathing caught on. Green Therapy is the act of immersing yourself in nature to absorb its serene elements. And while it may be a new thing to western civilization, the Japanese have been practicing ‘Shinrin-Yoku’ or ‘Forest Bathing’ for decades. It was created to combat Karoshi – which means death by overwork. In the rat race of our careers, responsibilities, stress and hectic lifestyle, the idea is to be still. But Back Country Bliss are going to go one better. Introducing the ultimate in de-stressing, our famed River Drift Snorkelling experience! Even better, we have the world’s oldest rainforest and crystal clear river to do it in.
This exceptional tour happens to be the only one of its kind in Australia, and is a morning or afternoon spent exploring the beauty of a 100 million year old rainforest by river sled and snorkeling in pristine waters. Can you already feel your anxiety slipping away? Good, because immersing yourself here will actually decrease depression.
Focusing on the sights, sounds and smells of nature also promotes both a drop in blood pressure and stress levels. So imagine the benefits of letting your mind drift, literally, while meandering down ‘The Cathedral’. Our most tranquil and stunning part of the river; this is where you’ll float on a raft, gazing up at a rainforest canopy, giving in to the echo of songbirds. The jewel coloured butterflies and kingfishers flitting by also improve ocular muscles.
Absorbing our emerald domain will likewise significantly improve your attention span. Best of all, Back Country Bliss Adventure’s River Drift Snorkelling is welcoming of any age group, including young families; so it coincides with proven studies of how holidays enhance blood relationships!
With technology comes great responsibility, as you may well know. And while the internet may be fun and provide convenience, it has also attributed to our task-load by adding texts, emails, Facebook messaging. According to Microsoft, the world now spends the equivalent of 1300 years, every day, typing in passwords.
You can see why it’s imperative to get away from it all, right? Luckily, on our Daintree Adventure Day with Back Country Bliss, all technology ceases to work once you enter the oldest jungle in existence. It’s just you and rolling valleys, rainforest swimming holes, and tropical beaches.
When travelling to the far north, you’ll undoubtedly explore the Great Barrier Reef, and so you should; saltwater boosts the immune system. Yet we shouldn’t underestimate the healthy power of simply walking on a shore with ocean views. And on our adventure into the Daintree, amidst Jungle Surfing and a crocodile spotting cruise, you’ll stroll along some of the most breathtaking beaches imaginable. On the sands of Cape Tribulation, breathing in the salty air will assist your respiratory system, reducing asthma, sinus pressure and coughing.
The very act of sea gazing is proven to promote creativity and compassion. Not to mention soaking up all that vitamin D on a sunny day (through lashings of sunscreen, of course!).
All you need is love…
…And the chemical that produces it within us is called oxytocin. It’s released when we have adoration for another human, and surprisingly, for animals too. That blissful, I-just-want-to-squeeze-you feeling we get is a powerful, natural drug flooding our body. And we receive a truckload of it when face to face with wildlife.
Back Country Bliss Adventures are addicted to the stuff, and share our supply on all of our tours! For example? By choosing our event-filled Daintree Adventure Day, you could be in for a rare tree kangaroo sighting while Jungle Surfing, or even a gaggle of baby cassowaries. Or by trying River Drift Snorkelling, we can promise a wonderland of eastern rainbows, jungle perch and the vivid gaze of pacific blue-eye fish peering back at you from beneath the river. It might even be your day for the appearance of a water dragon, platypus, and some little turtles.
Now, you may think wildlife has to be cute and cuddly to inspire oxytocin, yet this isn’t so. Fascination can boost levels, helping to reduce anxiety, along with heightening nerve activity.
Take a Hike!
At Back Country Bliss Adventures, when somebody tells us to ‘go take a hike’, we thank them very much! Our unique tours to Spring Creek and Mowbray Falls include trekking through hidden valleys, climbing rock formations, swimming secluded water-holes, and reaching waterfall summits! And our Mossman Gorge adventure unlocks ancient secrets of the Daintree while meandering through the rainforest. Apart from some jaw-dropping scenery, we love the endorphins released on these hikes, and so will your body.
You won’t even know you’re getting a good exercise as you stare out over the Wet Tropics panorama. Studies show the body feels less forced while indulging in activity on holiday, plus you’re likely to happily exert yourself longer. This is because adventure lacks repetition, nor are you attempting to fit a regime into your daily grind. And when you’re looking at views that create wonderment beyond articulation, it sends a message to the sub-conscious that anything in life is possible.
Endorphins are your happy drug. Cortisol is the hormone in charge of stress. Stress weakens the heart and brain, along with anger, grief and fear, which effect lungs, kidneys and the stomach. Endorphins not only assist in overriding these emotions, but they strengthen the immune system too! The Attention Restoration Theory (ATR) asserts that resting the mind in picturesque landscapes will actually cause improved concentration and reduce fatigue.
Back Country Bliss are proud of each tour we’ve tailor-made for outstanding locations, unique activities, and healthy benefits. And it stands to reason why we’ve included swimming in every one! We believe wholeheartedly in healing powers, and since our wading spots are some of the most pristine and flawless waters in the world, Back Country Bliss ensure hydration and rejuvenation with each dip.
Lastly folks, we recently read a study on how a holiday can lower your risk of heart disease. So the team at BCBA prescribe Far North Queensland immediately. Tours best taken once a day!