Cape Tribulation & The Daintree Rainforest

Cape Tribulation "where the rainforest meets the reef"

No lies.
It literally does.

In Queensland, just north of Cairns you will see the beautiful Cape Tribulation;
home to the Daintree Rainforest.
Which infact is the oldest living rainforest in the world!
AND Cape Tribulation is the only place in the entire world where two natural World Heritage listed sites exist side by side:
The Daintree Rainforest & The Great Barrier Reef!
 I can only describe this place as paradise!

& trust me you do not want to miss a trip to this glorious part of Australia!

I was staying in Cairns & had just secured my farm work so had just a few days left of freedom to explore the area.
I was limited on time (& money oops) so had some options to choose from but the one that appealed the most was a 2 days tour up the Cape Tribulation & Daintree Rainforest.

I booked with Active Tropic Explorer who run both a 1 or 2 day tour.
You can have a look for yourself here

The trip cost $178 & this includes all your transport, 1 night at a choice of 3 hotels
(I went for Cape Trib Beach House YHA) and all activities.
There is an option to pay $59 extra for all your meals included too.

 Day 1
Myself & my friend Carsten were picked up nice and early from our YHA in Cairns where we started the adventure with a lovely scenic coastal drive to Port Douglas. Here we were treated to incredible panoramic views of the Coral Sea.
We had a brief stop at Rex Lookout for some photo opportunities before getting back on the bus and heading up to Mossman Gorge in the Daintree National Park.
We were met by the traditional owners, the Kuku Yalanki people and participated in a "Welcome to the Country' smoke ceremony. This is supposed to cleanse your body of evil spirits. We were taught all about the weapons and culture of the Bama (rainforest) people as well as getting to play around with their natural paints.
After feeling all cleaned and evil-free, we had a quick lunch stop at the visitor centre before boarding the shuttle bus to the gorge for a refreshing swim.
Be warned, the water is bloody cold!
& as per I nearly drowned but that's cool.
We took turns pushing off the massive boulders into the rapids and 'gently float down the river'.
Orrr you could do what I did and push off to far & too fast and get caught in the worst part of the rapids and get swept under!
We walked back through the forest along the lovely boardwalk paths back to the bus

Next was a chance to spot some crocs on a river boat cruise along the Daintree River.
We actually saw loads and big salties which was great and in a natural setting, not being enticed in with food like in the Northern Territory.
A quick warning on crocodiles:
There are a lot of big salt-water crocs in this area, like a lot
& there are signs everywhere warning about where is safe to go swimming etc.
Whilst we were on the trip, a woman was actually dragged into the water and killed by a big crocodile on one of the beaches we visited (she wasn't on our trip, it just happened on the same weekend where we were) at night.
All it takes is one silly act & ignoring all the signs and you could be facing a crocodile.

Anyway ... the boat trip was great & the views were gorgeous.

Now it was time to be dropped off at our accommodation (if you're doing a 1 day tour you'd just carry on) and was time to check into the YHA.
I would definitely recommend staying here, it is right on the beach and is lovely!
We had the rest of the day free to do what we liked and explore the beach.
At the YHA they offer free activities such as beach volleyball, bonfires and guided walks to Kulki Point.
I opted for the walk & it was perfect. We walked along the beach and learnt all about the local wildlife and vegetation and even got to see loads of baby reef sharks in the water.
The one thing that will stick with me about this area though is the stars at night.
I have never seen stars like it.
Because we were on the beach, next to the rainforest, there was no artificial lights anywhere so all we could see where stars that went on for days deep into the horizon.
It was bloody brilliant.

Day 2

We weren't due to be picked up to continue the tour until lunch time so we had a whole free morning to do whatever activities we wanted and theres loads to choose from;
jungle surfing, horse riding, guided night walk, sea kayaking or a half day reef trip.
Me & Carsten went for Jungle Surfing and it was hilarious.
The jungle surfing was with Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours & can be booked here.
It cost $95 and was great fun.
We were actually the only people on the whole course at the time so our instructors really gave us a lot of information about the rainforest as well as made the surfing really fun.
They pick you up from your hostel & get you all kitted out (free bandana!), I went for the Khaleesi helmet because I'm the mother of dragons right!?
 It was great fun & we even got to zipline upside through the rainforest!

Back at the hostel we grabbed some lunch and waited to be picked up to continue on with the tour.
First we headed on the Marrdja Botanical Boardwalk for a rainforest walk. Our guide taught us all about the different plants that grow here and in true Australia-style, got showed a leaf in the shape of a heart that can kill you.
Typical Straya!
We had a quick photo-op at the famous bird sign, unfortunately we didn't get to see any but they are super famous in this area!
Next was to Thornton Beach (this is where the woman was killed by the croc the evening we left)
& got beautiful views out to the different islands in the reef.
Next we stopped at Floravilla - an ice-cream shop with 26 flavours of locally made ice-cream including rainforest honey, passionfruit & goji berry.
I obv went for the triple chocolate option because im all about that chocolate fix.

A beautiful photo opportunity came next at Alexandra Range Lookout. You get panoramic views of the rainforest canopy, the Daintree River and all the way out to the Coral Sea.

It was stunning!
Then it was time to head back on the bus for the return journey to Cairns, including a quick stop off at Port Douglas.

I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who maybe is short on time and wants to fit Cape Tribulation in over 2 days, or maybe doesn't have transport to do it themselves.

You get to see a lot of the area and is reasonably priced.

My video of this whole trip is below! Enjoy. 

G Goes Global - Australia #9 Cape Tribulation & The Daintree Rainforest - GoPro Hero 3+ Silver from G Goes Global on Vimeo.

Thanks for reading & happy travels 

♡ G

Join me on Instagram @gemwills 

& follow me on my Australia Adventure! 

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  1. Wow!, I feel I have traveled the whole of Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest with you, since you have done an absolutely phenomenal job in recording your experiences!. I’m definitely going to show this post to my friends who say travel blogs are a waste of time. Thankyou so much for letting the world see, how one can have a time of their life!.

    Jeck Welch | G Adventures Promo Codes

  2. Thank you very much Jack! I would highly recommend a trip up there to everyone, such a beautiful part of the world! :-) G x

  3. I am very grateful for this enlightening article. I am new to this issue, but for me it elucidated several questions. Congratulations on your knowledge on the subject. Thank you very much.
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