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Daintree National Park

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Daintree National Park is in Far North Queensland, Australia.




Daintree is about 3 hours north of Cairns, 1-2 hours north of Port Douglas. It is much quieter than either Cairns or PD, owing to the distance, crossing the Daintree river (a ferry may take cars and buses across, for a toll), conservation efforts and being off the power grid. The Daintree region is currently in flux regarding conflicting demands of population and economy growth and preservation of the spectacular natural environment.

The quiet environment makes for a very pleasant, laidback tropical stay, somewhat distanced from the mass tourism of Cairns and Port Douglas although Cape Tribulation is a popular daytrip for visitors and amenities for tourists abound.

Flora and Fauna[edit]

The park consists largely of broadleaf lowland tropical rainforests and upland tropical rainforests, although there are also significant mangrove and fan palm communities. The rainforest is an amazing array of biodiversity. Look out for the cassowary, a large non-flying bird with a "helmet" growth on its head to protect it as it runs through the forest. Of course, as with all of far northern Australia, saltwater crocodiles are present


Tropical climate with moderate seasonal variations. The summer is the rainy season.

Get in[edit]

  • TransNorth - their Cairns-Cooktown route is perhaps the cheapest mode of public transportation into the rainforest, AU$51.70 between Cairns and Cape Tribulation as of August 2016. They depart Cairns Railway Station on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7:00AM, arriving in Cape Tribulation three and a half hours later, and proceeding to Cooktown. The return bus from Cooktown departs Cape Tribulation at 10:00AM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
  • At least three other companies, including Cape Trib Connections, Active Tropics Explorer, and Jungle Tours run day trips with overnight options from Cairns to Cape Tribulation. They are a bit more expensive, but include some additional amenities en route, e.g. a crocodile-watching boat ride on the Daintree River and a short trip to the Mossman Gorge.


Get around[edit]

It's easiest to get around by car, but buses run from Cairns and Port Douglas up to Cape Tribulation, and beyond all the way up to Cooktown. Many companies offer packages of accommodation and transport to the area.[3] Most people opt to drive to Daintree from Cairns which is about a 2 hour trip.

Some of the hostels rent bicycles which is a pleasant way to get around Daintree Village and see the sights while you're there. The ride from Cow Bay to Cape Tribulation is about 25km each way and a nice daytrip, although a bit hilly in the Noah Range area.

The road is sealed all the way to Cape Tribulation and all rental companies allow cars to travel as far as the Cape. 4WDs are required only for the Bloomfield Track.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Ocean Safari runs amazing half-day snorkeling tours from Cape Tribulation to the Great Barrier Reef. They are located on the main road near Myall Beach and the Mangrove Boardwalk. In addition to the completely untouched fish and coral, you can see tons of giant clams (bigger than anything in Palau) and are almost guaranteed to spot a sea turtle or two!
  • Try to visit the beaches while the tide is coming in, as the water is crystal clear then. Cape Tribulation Beach (just past the paved road) is particularly beautiful, with powdery white sand.
  • With luck, you may spot cassowaries in their natural rainforest habitat. Tourist attractions such as the Daintree Discovery Centre keep a track of sightings; however, you are arguably just as likely to spot one walking along the side of the road.
  • You can bushwalk up to the Mount Sorrow Lookout in the Noah Range, but take care when you do the walk (approximately 6-8 hours). Leave early in the morning with plenty of time left in the day to ascend and descend while it is still light.
  • Continue after Mount Sorrow Lookout to the famous Mount Pieter Botte, an outstanding rock formation deep in the dungle. This is only for experience bushwalkers. Walkers have gone missing on the trail. The trail is well marked, but take care especially after raining. It takes at least 14 hours return, as the dungle slows you done. Hence, it's better and more enjoyable to take your tent with you and stay over night at the lovely Roaring Meg creek. The final south peak can be only scrambled up to a ridge, to reach the summit you need rock climbing gear and experience in trad climbing.
  • Interactive Rainforest Guided Walks with Aboriginal Guide [4]
  • Mason's Tours [5]is the orginal tour operator at Cape Tribulation and offers 1/2 Day Walks, 2 Hour Walks, Nightwalks and 4WD Tours. Run by the Mason family, who originally came to the area in 1932, Mason's Tours is hard to beat for local knowledge.
  • Cooper's Creek Wilderness [6] runs excellent bushwalking tours. Pru (the owner) is very warm and knowledgeable. Take swimmers for the swimming hole at the end. Tony's Tropical Tours is also supposed to be quite reputable.

There are several operators running riverboats so you can spot crocodiles on the banks of the Daintree River and also Cooper Creek

At Rainforest Hideaway B&B on Camelot Close in Cape Tribulation there is an interesting sculpture trail through the rainforest.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Lemon myrtle oil is produced by tropical plants native to the area. It has a pleasant lemon scent and is said to have antimicrobial properties. Lemon myrtle essential oil and bath products are available (and marketed as an Australian-made product for visitors to purchase) to purchase at the Daintree Spa and some other businesses in the area. Lemon myrtle products are cheaper and easier to find up here than in Cairns or other areas of Australia.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Try some native Australian cuisine at Julaymba Restaurant & Grill. Rainforest salad is great, with native ingredients [7]

  • The Daintree Ice Cream Company offers delicious exotic fruit ice creams made from fruit growing in the orchards just behind. For 5 AUD, you get a sampler bowl with whichever four flavors they have available that day.
  • The Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm has reopened, offering exotic fruit tasting in Cape Tribulation for AU$30, at 2PM most days.
  • Daintree Tea is also available to buy at shops and restaurants in the village and at Cape Tribulation. However, the plantation itself does not appear to welcome visitors.
  • There are a number of small shops in the Daintree area. There is one at Wonga Beach, one at Daintree, one at Cow Bay, and two at Cape Tribulation. Mason's Store at Cape Tribulation has takeaway alcohol, groceries, and even a cafe selling burgers made with exotic meats. Being a remote rainforest destination, there are no Coles or Woolworths, so if you require the services of a multinational, go there before you come to the area!

Drink[edit][add listing]

PK's and Beach House each have full-service bars.

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • PK's Jungle Village in Cape Tribulation. AU$15 for a campsite, AU$25 for a dorm bed. Has a bar and restaurant onsite.


  • Cape Trib Farmstay in Cape Tribulation. On an exotic fruit-growing farm in the rainforest, with cabins overlooking a creek.
  • Epiphyte B & B, 22 Silkwood Rd, Cow Bay (off Buchannon Creek Rd, toward Cow Bay beach), 61 7 40 989 039, [1]. checkin: 10 am; checkout: 12 noon. A laid-back and truly welcoming accommodation house with large en-suite double rooms, private balconies and large open-space lounge to meet others, relax with a glass of wine or a beer and contemplate the world. Fantastic views across the rainforest from the verandah and all rooms and only minutes from isolated rainforest beaches of Cow Bay. The cabin is supurb for couples or groups. from $85 dble.  edit
  • Rainforest Hideaway, 19 Camelot Close, Cape Tribulation (first turn left after Welcome to Cape Tribulation sign), 61 7 40980108, [2]. checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 10 am. Artistic owner built accommodation deep inside the rainforest. Just about everything here is handmade by the owner/manager from the furniture to the pictures on the wall, and there is an extensive sculpture trail snaking its way through the two hectares of privately owned rainforest all the way to the beautiful creek. Walking distance from beach, national park, restaurant and shop. $120 to $140.  edit

Enjoy unique spa treatments and aboriginal culture experiences at Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa [8]

  • Cairns Australia has a comprehensive list of accommodation in and around Daintree from spas & affordable lodges to rainforest hideaways.[9]

Coconut Beach Resort at Cape Tribulation has been renamed to Cape Tribulation Resort but is currently closed awaiting new owners.



Stay safe[edit]

There are crocodiles in the Daintree River and other creeks in the region. Sometimes the riverbed will have a warning sign, but not everywhere. Stay away from the shore of the river and other creek beds.

Marine stingers are present in the water during the summer season. Some beaches are signposted with warnings for this.

Get out[edit]

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