Wildlife Land Trust / Sanctuaries / QLD / Daintree Ice Cream Co.

Jenna Rumney and Dave Mainwaring are the owners of a property approximately 60km north of Port Douglas. The property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary, and it is Jenna and Dave’s intention to continue to maintain and conserve the native vegetation and encourage and support the growing populations of local wildlife. Jenna is a registered wildlife carer and would like to use the property for releasing rehabilitated red-legged pademelons and musky rat-kangaroos.

The property covers 9 hectares of riparian rainforest, which contains a fruit orchard and freshwater creek. Wildlife species known to inhabit the property include southern cassowaries (Casuarius casuarius), red-legged pademelons (Thylogale stigmatica), striped possums (Dactylopsila trivirgata), stony-creek frogs (Litoria wilcoxii), a range of honeyeaters, sunbirds, and kingfishers, and numerous additional insect, bird, and reptile species.

A small timber forest planted through a government initiative some decades ago is present at Daintree Ice Cream Co., and Jenna and Dave may harvest from it with the goal of creating a sustainably managed forest and providing a wildlife (particularly cassowary) corridor by maintaining links to neighbouring rainforest.

This sanctuary is featured in Wildlife Lands 17!

After a decade of guiding rainforest tours and 3 years running our own business, Daintree Wonder Tours, we made up our minds to purchase a block of land as a sanctuary for native plants and animals in Australia’s Wet Tropics, home to some of the highest numbers of rare and threatened plant and animal species in the world. During our search, we got the ‘scoop’ on the Daintree Ice Cream Company, established in 1993 and now a world-famous tourist attraction specialising in home-grown fruit ice creams.

The 22 acre property has an established tropical fruit orchard including Davidson plum and exotic fruit trees such as black sapote, soursop, araca and breadfruit; an Australian timber-tree forest; pockets of ancient rainforest; and a pristine freshwater river. 

We took over the property a year ago, switching to organic farming to reduce nutrient runoff, a major issue affecting the Great Barrier Reef. We have planted native ‘companion’ plants to fix nitrogen and ‘sacrificial’ plants to stop pests eating our fruit crops. And we use compostable ice cream cups which are reused as mulch and reduce our carbon footprint. We will soon start revegetating sections to create habitat and food for native wildlife and corridors for transitory species. We also have an area for raising orphaned or injured macropods and have made our property available to scientists conducting important fieldwork – all while making delicious tropical fruit ice cream. 

The Daintree has a special place in our hearts. It is an ancient world full of natural wonders and we hope that by using our land holistically we can contribute to a better understanding of rainforest ecosystems, preserve important habitats and act as stewards for its wildlife. Above all, we want to demonstrate how successful businesses and ethical land management can co-exist and enrich one another when done correctly. For more information visit www.daintreeicecream.com.au