When our family first moved to Far North Queensland I had only ever really thought about one kind of palm tree, the coconut palm, so often portrayed in movies of desert islands.
But I was soon to become familiar with the Licuala Fan Palm. This palm is an integral part of the environment that inspired much of the poetry of Magic Fish Dreaming. It is distinctive and common in the Cassowary Coastal area.
There is a licuala Fan Palm walk between Tully and Mission Beach. On it you may come across the Ulysses Butterfly, Green Tree Frog, Scrub Turkeys or Wallabies and sometimes if you are lucky a Cassowary (we have done this.)
Mission Beach has over 50% of the remaining fan palm forests left in the world. These palms are incredibly resilient to cyclones.
This tree is just one of many inspirations for the poetry of Magic Fish Dreaming. It is the ultimate faraway tree of Far North Queensland, although it is not one you are allowed to climb on – for that you have to find other trees (of which there are plenty that are almost as magical).