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LOCATION: Cape Tribulation 1/4

Photos courtesy of Scott Plume, Barefoot Tours

Cape Tribulation, it’s so much more than just “where the rainforest meets the reef”. When you read about Cape Trib, most articles will start by telling you how majestic the rainforest is. And, that its one of the only places where the rainforest meets the reef. And, to see the beach and rainforest in the same view is spectacular. And, it feels as though time has stood still over millennia, reminding them of the dinosaur age and Jurassic Park. And, so on. And, so on.

Cape Trib, more than just “Where the Rainforest meets the Reef”…

Well, in this series of blogs we are going to discuss Cape Tribulation and the Daintree National Park, giving you a different and fuller insight into the region and it’s importance, not only to Far North Queensland, but also the World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics, and Australia in general. Apart from the astounding natural aspects to the region, it’s history is of the utmost importance to how nature is perceived today and the formation of Australia.

After giving some insight into the region’s history we will take a tour through the Daintree and look at many of the possible attractions in the region. There are many tour operators that run fantastic tours to the cape and if getting on a bus for the day is your thing we highly recommend this, and you can book through our website. The guides running tours through the region are extremely knowledgeable and are great fun (I have to say that for I am a tour guide too). But, if you would like to live on the wild side and see the area for yourself, this series is for you. We not only hope to give you an insight into the marvellous attractions throughout the region, but also put together a couple of self drive itineraries with some complimentary information to help you find your way.

For the rest of this article we will give you some insight into the Daintree and Cape Tribulation before getting into the real nitty gritty stuff over the next few articles…

Cape Tribulation is found in the Daintree National Park and it has been a drawcard destination for Far North Queensland for at least 20 years. It is found about 150km north of Cairns and getting there is one hell of a ride. The drive will take about two and half hours and as you know, you are surrounded by two of the world’s greatest world heritage listed regions.You will also pass by Palm Cove, Port Douglas, the Daintree river and so much more. Once you pass by Palm Cove you will begin a World Heritage listed section of road that lasts for 27km on the way to Port Douglas, The Captain Cook Scenic Drive. This section of road is rated as one of the best in Australia and even gives the Great Ocean Road a run for its money.

After this you will pass through some sugar cane farms on the way to Mossman. These farms frame the Great Dividing Range beautifully and the thick mountainous rainforest provides the ultimate postcard photos. From here it is another 40km of leisurely driving to get to Daintree River. One of the highlights of the drive is crossing the river, it is on a cable ferry as they have not built a bridge due to the Wet Season conditions.

As you know this is the tropical north of Australia and we have a wet season prone to monsoonal troughs and cyclones. One of the record falls in the 1996 saw over 2m of rain fall in 3 days, the river height rose to 18m and saw the Cape shut off to the rest of Australia for quite some time. In fact just about every year or two there will be a flooding event in the region. For this reason a bridge is yet to be built and there has been much debate about the topic throughout the regions history. Never the less, the ferry crossing is all part of the experience, sometimes you might even see a crocodile resting on the banks of the river or floating downstream.

Once you cross over the river you are in the world famous Daintree National Park and the most picturesque rainforest drive begins. The future holds over 40km of driving through the worlds oldest rainforest and stopping at some of the most spectacular lookouts and walking tracks. We will talk about these attractions through the rest of this series of articles.

Another thing to note about the Daintree, is that once you cross the river you are taking a step into what we like to call ‘no man’s land’. It seems to be a region the government almost forgot. There is no power, water or other facilities provided by the government. Residents on the other side of the river use solar power, generators or hydroelectricity to power their properties. For water, they need to either have water tanks, attain water from a close river source or both. The closest police station and hospital are found in Mossman so if something goes awry you want to be prepared.

Most people who live in the Daintree are relatively self sufficient and have an absolute passion for the region, making living there much easier than it sounds.

The natural beauty is astounding through the region but it is also well known for being part of the World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics and is extremely important for its biodiversity, endangered species and its geology. For more information on these topics please look to our blogs on this topic.

As for the best time of year to visit, it depends on how adventurous you are. The wet season typically runs from November through to the end of April, and February and March tend to be the wettest months. It is a rainforest and therefore can rain anytime through the year, but generally the most pleasant time to visit the region is in the middle of the dry, between June and the end of September.

Stay tuned for more information about the region in future articles as part of this series.


Photo credit: Photos courtesy of Scott Plume, Barefoot Tours