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Daintree National Park - Review

Daintree National Park

Daintree National Park


RvTrips's review

31 Jul 2017
  • Feature article
  • Review
Daintree National Park
Daintree National Park

The Daintree National Park is a world heritage listed area north of Port Douglas in far north Queensland, a stunning location with white sand on the beaches, blue water and lush rainforests. This National Park comprises sections covering the amazing Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation.  

Mossman Gorge is only a short drive from Port Douglas and has a huge parking area catering for cars, tour buses and caravans. Shuttle buses operate every 15 minutes to take visitors to the walking tracks and swimming holes. Highly recommended as this is a beautiful area of the Daintree.

The Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree National Park can be reached by taking an old fashioned cable ferry across the Daintree River (an experience in itself) and then travelling along the Captain Cook Highway.

‘Cape Trib’ as the locals call it, is beautiful and even more ‘laid back’ than Port Douglas. We stopped for lunch at Cape Trib Beach House, enjoying our meal at Tides Bar and Restaurant while looking into the rainforest. After our lunch, we walked along the short path to the beautiful beach. A sign across the walkway said 'Beach Closed – Crocodile sighting'. We spoke to a couple of blokes heading down to the beach with a broom, ‘to move on a salty that was sunning itself on the beach’. Yes, there was a croc, and they were serious. Only in FNQ!

The Daintree National Park is home to the Cassowary - a large flightless bird with a bright blue head. Don’t miss the turnoff to Cow Bay. You will find another wonderful beach and if you’re lucky, spot cassowaries walking along the road. You are asked to drive carefully and pay particular attention near 'recent crossing' signs.

Check out the Cow Bay Beach Hotel. The timber used to build the hotel was milled using trees cleared from the land itself. Just beautiful - a list of the various timbers used sits on the wall at the end of the bar.

 On the Captain Cook Highway, you will pass the Marrdja Botanical Boardwalk near the Noah Creek Bridge, well worth a stop. Walk through the rainforest and across the mangroves via a well-maintained boardwalk. There are lots of informative signs along the walk explaining the important role mangroves play within the rainforest.

Another gem is the Daintree Ice Cream Company.  We had Wattle Seed, pineapple, mango and black Sapote (also known as black Persimmon or Chocolate pudding Fruit) – delicious.  Wander around the Orchard Walk and look at the plants that produce the fruit used in the ice cream.  They have a poster saying “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream, and it is kind of the same thing”. Highly recommended.

On the way back down the Captain Cook Highway, we stopped at Lookout Point.  A busy car parking area with a short boardwalk to the lookout back over Cape Tribulation. Lovely views but unfortunately it was low tide, so the beach did not look as spectacular as it does at high tide. Many of the visitors on this boardwalk were fascinated to see a Goanna eating a small animal just below the path. Another reason to look around when walking in the rainforest - you never know what you might see. 

There are a range of accommodation options in and around Cape Tribulation if you wish to stay a few days and fully immerse yourself in the rainforest experience.  Select from resorts to backpackers to ‘free camp’ sites (unpowered). With a 4wd you can even drive up the coast to Cooktown and visit the famous Lion’s Den Hotel along the way!

A trip to Daintree National Park is highly recommended - there are lots of things to see on the way, and I guarantee it will take more time than you think!


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