Daintree-Cape Tribulation is where the Rainforest meets the Reef. A place that you come to reconnect with nature and see the rainforest in its splendour. Just 140 kilometres further north of Cairns, away from the major cities and famous resorts, you will find very laid-back area of Cape Tribulation located in the Daintree region. It is the place where time is seemingly stands still. Untouched by mass developments, this place is where you can still see and feel the real rainforest. It is the place where the centuries-old palm trees have survived invasions. The area has a diverse mixture of nature, culture and history. You’re surely to find some of the most beautiful rainforest coastlines you have ever laid eyes on. Yes, Cape Tribulation is an area of breathtaking beauty with mountain ranges, narrow coastal strips and dense rainforest reaching to the edge of the beaches.
Cape Tribulation area is undeniably one of the most exciting, diverse and magical region to visit in Australia and the Great Barrier Reef sits at the very heart of it. It is richly blessed with nature, culture and history – A place where rainforest meets the reef. It is one of the popular iconic places in Australia to visit. The drive stretches along the edges of Great Barrier Reef to Cooktown along the coastal drive.
This road is known for its vast stretches of stunning coastline, with its breathtaking waterfalls, scenic vistas at every turn, impressive rivers, lush rainforest, rugged terrains and rivers and creeks infested with crocodiles. Given its remoteness and raw, natural beauty, it was the perfect place to visit where I could be safe and also find a ton of outdoor activities to fill up my weekend. The visit to this area promises to be one of the great contrast, beauty and exploration. It gives me an opportunity to enter the tropical wonderland – the Daintree National Forest.
With bitumen road from Cairns to Cape Tribulation and easily accessible by conventional vehicle made this road trip much easier and comfortable without having to load extra accessories. Leaving Cairns early Saturday morning, I headed north of Cairns. Knowing that it was going to be a wonderful getaway of rest, rejuvenation and spending priceless time alone and doing things I haven’t done in a long time made it even more exciting for me.
From the tiny town of Mossman, I continued my drive through cane fields, with the back-drop of tropical ranges on one end and the ocean on the other, until reaching Daintree River Crossing. Daintree River Crossing is the gateway to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest Wonderland. Arriving early at the Daintree Ferry crossing meant that I didn’t have to wait longer than 30 minute and the cost of Ferry crossing is $31 return.
Daintree River Ferry Crossing
Crossing a ferry is an another experience, as you sit in your car while enjoying the views of the crocodile infested Daintree River. However, my adventure began from the moment, I drove off the Daintree Ferry. The drive along this road takes you through natural rainforest wonderland.
The drive along this road to Cape Tribulation is one of the most spectacular and thrilling experience you will ever have. It took me through lush tropical rainforest, narrow and windy road lined with natural and unique ferns, vines, trees and plants that are unique and only found in this part of the world. The whole area provides a vast array of flora and fauna, rough and dense terrains. It is one of the natural botanic kingdoms in the world. This is the place to come and enjoy, admire and appreciate nature amidst the oldest rainforest in the world.
What to see and do?
The Daintree Rainforest and the entirety of Cape Tribulation boast many stupendous boardwalks through the trees, walking trails and impressive lookouts with stunning views.
Just within 5 kilometre drive from the Daintree River Ferry crossing is the Alexandra Lookout. The drive along this road gives you an impression of what Daintree Rainforest has to offer. It is widely known as the oldest rainforest in the world and boast plenty of native and exotic plant and animal species along the way. The surrounding landscape is home to some breathtaking natural wonders, many of which can be soaked up from the excellent vantage point of Alexandra Lookout.
As I enjoyed the view from this stunning lookout, it shows how Daintree and its surrounding regions have a rich Indigenous history that spans back thousands of years and the Alexandra Lookout is no exception. The Lookout has signs that I was able to learn more about this fascinating slice of Australian history and discover the importance of Alexandra Lookout in the region’s Indigenous history.
Leaving, the stunning views of Alexandra Lookout, I continued my windy scenic drive through the rainforest and every corner I turned, I was surprisigngly faced with impressive rainforest ferns, palm trees and many exotic plants. Within few kilometres, I reached one of the popular boardwalks on the way to Cape Tribulation. This boardwalk known as Marrdja boardwalk is undoubtedly the best in the area. This incredible rainforest boardwalk is a paradise for nature lovers as the rich vegetation and thriving wildlife allow you to get lost in the beauty of this natural park.
As am meandering down the Marrdja boardwalk, it took me into another world where the lush vegetation changing and evolving the richness of the earth and the rainforest echoes with life. Here, I not only got the chance to see the tangle of fig trees embracing each other but the gentle music of the bright streams spilling over rocks and the mangrove forests entwining with the dewy fresh rainforest made for an incredible sojourn. The constantly changing scenery and vegetation within 1.2km along this boardwalk are captivating and it just kept me me enthralled as I stroll along this stunning and impressive boardwalk.
I found this boardwalk to be among the most accessible and interesting of all these trails and it is well worth stopping to see some of the abundant flora and fauna of the Daintree Forest. This boardwalk is a looped walk that begins and ends at Oliver’s Creek, a glistering stream that emerges from beneath the thick rainforest canopy. The boardwalk is only 1.2km in length and is entrely wheelchair accessible. It is really, an instructive and nice boardwalk and there is so much to see. I get to see different types of mangroves, basket ferns, palms, strangler fig trees, birds, green butterflies, exotic mushrooms and the list just goes on. The informative signs along the boardwalk teaches of this land from prehistoric times and I walk, I found signs explaining that this rainforest is one of the places on earth to still be preserving many ancient trees. It is truly an amazing place to be.
The popular Cape Tribulation lies on the coast of the rainforest, where it meets the reef and has a long-stretched secluded beach with the back-drop of lush tropical rainforest and the reef. It is approximately 30km from the Daintree River Ferry crossing. Cape Tribulation is nestled in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest and offers some stunning natural scenes from remote headland that just out towards the Great Barrier Reef. It is reowned for its adventure trails through the rainforest, pristine and untouched lush rainforest, remote beaches, quiet and secluded tourist accommodations and the world heritage rainforest of Daintree National Park.
From the lookout as I looked back at the beach, it has the most stunning view of the coastline and headland. Cape tribulation is also home to 2 interpretive walks – Dubuji Boardwalk that takes you through the rainforest and mangroves. The Madja Botanical Boardwalk and pathway takes you through the high value Daintree coastal rainforest. I took an easy walk on Dubuji boardwalk to the Kulki lookout. It is just a short walk through the rainforest to the headland where a lookout point provides excellent view across the Cape Tribulation beach and pristine coastline. The views from here are stunning and unrivalled anywhere else before taking strolling along the beach.
What a great location to spending time here exploring this tropical world heritage listed rainforest but for those who want to experience a more adventurous road trip, travellers can drive beyond Cape Tribulation coastline. The road along the rough coast way to Cooktown and surrounding villages along the way, only accessible to 4-wheel vehicles. Some of the rugged part of this terrains are rough, dusty and rivers to cross.
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