Leave Cairns and travel 2 hours north along the winding Captain Cook Highway to Cape Tribulation, and you won’t be disappointed. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is where the ancient Daintree Rainforest meets the intriguing underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. As the road winds north through the Alexander Ranges (and just before you run out of sealed bitumen), you’ll discover pristine beaches, lush rainforest and fertile lands producing an incredible array of tropical fruits.
There’s something for everyone in Cape Tribulation. Rest beneath fan palms on a remote beach, hike rainforest tracks, listen to the stories of the Kuku Yalanji people, swim in chilled rainforest waterholes, snorkel on the reef or take a 4WD adventure on the rugged Bloomfield Track. This is a place where nature rules, the air is pure, and life is a little slower. This is a magical place to add to your wanderlust list.
Between the oldest rainforest in the world and our planet's most extensive coral reef system, there are plenty of Cape Tribulation attractions to keep you busy.
Explore with an ocean safari of Cape Tribulation, or one of the many popular reef tours and snorkel with turtles above pristine coral. Spend some time with the Kuku Yalanji people who have lived in this region for 50,000 years. A tour with a local Indigenous guide will reveal the history of the Daintree Rainforest and give you an insight into bush tucker and traditional medicine. There are numerous rainforest walks to delve into.
For something extra, take the Dubuji Boardwalk, a 1-hour self-guided mangrove walk. Or the 30 min Marrdja Botanical Walk which meanders through the rainforest to the beautiful lookout over Noah Creek.
The best time to take a tour of Cape Tribulation is during the dry season, from May to September. The rainforest can be hot and steamy in summer, making for uncomfortable walking conditions. These warmer months are also when stinging jellyfish are most active in the waters. On your Cape Tribulation tour, other wildlife to look out for are cassowaries and crocodiles. Always be ‘crocwise’; obey crocodile warning signs, never swim in water where crocodiles may live, and be extra vigilant during breeding season from September to April. Of course, a Cape Tribulation crocodile tour is the safest and most informative way of learning about these magnificent creatures.
Take a look at our Cairns, Daintree, Cape Tribulation and Mossman Gorge tour if you’re keen to see it all in Far North Queensland.
Cape Tribulation is just 141km north of Cairns in Far North Queensland and can be reached by 2WD along a sealed road. North of Mossman Gorge, visitors need to catch a ferry across the Daintree River. The ferry operates every day from 6 am to midnight. It’s only a 10-minute crossing, but you may find there are delays during the peak season (July to September).
From luxury lodges and eco-cabins to beachfront camping and the casual jungle village, there’s accommodation to suit all budgets in Cape Tribulation. It's recommended to book your stay in advance, especially during peak season, as availability can be limited in this remote area.
If you want to swim at Cape Tribulation, you can head to one of several beaches in the area, including Myall Beach, Cape Tribulation Beach, and Emmagen Beach, where you can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. However, these beaches are not patrolled by lifeguards so you need to pay attention to any signs or warnings about stingers or crocodile sightings. It’s recommended to swim in designated swimming areas only.
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