The Daintree Rainforest; a natural paradise home to some of the world’s most spellbinding wonders and unique wildlife. It is found in our very own backyard in the tropical Queensland region and stretches thousands of kilometres along the coastline. It is, in fact, one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Pretty amazing!
After Cooktown we free camped our way down to Wonga. Wonga is along the coast and is only 30 kilometres south of the Daintree River. The town is surrounded by rainforests and the beaches are filled with coconut trees. We stayed at Wonga Caravan Park and it was cheap like the budget! This caravan park offered water, power and the kids stayed free. We were along the beach and there were heaps of coconuts for the kids to collect and crack open for coconut water. It was our own bit of tropical paradise to ourselves.
Unfortunately like all the beaches in Far North Queensland there is no swimming. The crocodiles have right of way up the top end. So those barmy hot days we could only smell the salty water and as tempting it was to dip our feet in those bright blue waters it was not enough that we would bet our life on it.
From this caravan park we took a day trip into the Daintree Rainforest via a ferry. This is a great day trip and inexpensive. It is the only way to cross the river from the south side of the Daintree River. The kids found this great fun and spent most of the time looking for crocs that probably were not even there.
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Cape Tribulation is a bucket list destination for most travellers. This place offers many great beaches, coconut trees and free camping options. It is your closest paradise option than actually setting sail and being stranded on a deserted island. Cape Trib is completely away from all major towns and has only local road traffic (which is very limited).
There are two ways to get here. The first is from the North which includes the Bloomfield track from Cooktown. This track is off road and is recommended for four wheeled drive only. Although you can take this route during the dry season and be fine with a two wheel drive.
We took the barge (as mentioned below)
****I hope for the future the council installs a Telstra reception tower so like our family who work remotely can travel through the Bloomfield track and explore the roads ourselves.
Catch The Barge To Cape Tribulation
There are two ways to get to Cape Trib (Tribulation). We entered from the South side and caught the ferry over the Daintree River. Now when I say ferry I mean a small barge. This barge runs continously from 8am to midnight everyday. This is great for the small price of $30 return. It really is as simple as rocking up, buying a ticket from your car window and waiting in line to drive onto the barge. This is the same for returning.
I have got to be honest, before arriving at Cape Trib I had seen many beautiful pictures of Cape Tribulation and the water looked stunning. You know the type- flat calm waters that are crystal clear blue, with the odd palm tree slowly swaying back and forth.
This certainly was NOT the case for us! We went on a rainy day which then turned everything dull and the ocean black and choppy. This is the lookout from Alexandra Lookout, yes it is cloudy and it rained the whole time we were exploring. We couldn’t see further than the trees due to low cloud coverage. But hey let’s be real, we can’t control the weather and those ferns are still gorgeous!!!
Floravilla Ice-cream Factory
On a hot day this is the go-to place!! Yes it was a cloudy day but when in Far North Queensland when it gets cloudy it becomes extremely sticky and humid. So yes ice-cream is best place to go!
Marrdja Boardwalk- Daintree Rainforest
This walk was really interesting for both yound and old. Even though my kids are wearing jackets and beanies in the photo, it was actually very hot and sticky. They have just climatised well to the weather.
This walk gives some great information about the different trees, plants and wildlife in the area. It took us about an hour to walk the loop. This can done quicker of you only walk without reading the information signs. We also did the loop at the end of the dry season so the waterways inside the loop were not flowing or full.
It did start raining and we found some broken tree leaves to use as umbrellas to walk the rest of the walk (please don’t break them off, only use the broken ones) It felt kind of cool to use the leaves of nature to help keep us dry. Kind of like an episode out of Robinson Crusoe.
Coconut Beach- Myall Beach
This was the kids favourite part of the day trip. Looking for coconuts to break open and drink from was an absolute blast and reminded us from when we were backpacking through South East Asia. I even had fun looking for coconuts to drink fresh coconut water from.
Myall Beach is probably the best place to find freshly dropped coconuts. We gathered about 15 and took them back to our campsite to eat the flesh and catch the water for drinking. At the entrance you can see a metal stake in the ground, this is where you will crack open your coconut…..be careful not to break it open all the way and lose the tasty coconut water!!!
Cow Bay Beach
Cow Bay Beach was a nice stop to let the kids run wild along the beach front. It had finally stopped raining long enough for us to go for a walk along the beach and exlplore. The kids found the rope swings and had a blast swinging like Tarzan and Jane!
This beach is still a no swimming beach zone. There have been crocodile spottings here all the time and it is highly recommended that EVERYONE stays out of the water.
Mossman Gorge- Daintree Rainforest
Mossman Gorge is absolutely gorgeous and is filled with so much history. We as a family highly recommend this place. As we travelled through Mossman Gorge through COVID it severely dampened our opportunities for us to take the tours.
As you arrive at Mossman Gorge you will park your car and make your way to the reception area. This is the place where you will purchase your park entry fee entry fee. There is no driving into the National Park. The only way to enter and visit the gorge is by a shuttle bus that leaves from the reception area and drops you off at the walking track.
Bring your swimming gear and camera because there are plenty of photo opportunities and a few good swimming holes to swim in.
Mount Molley National Hotel
Just a short drive from our campgrounds was the National Hotel. This is a popular stop for travellers and has a great friendly vibe. We sat outside and caught up on some work. The staff let us plug our laptops into the power sockets and the kids enjoyed watching the fish swim around in the inside pond.
We were recommended this pub by other travellers and they recommended trying the crocodile spring rolls. This was a first for the kids and let me say they were hesitant. The only child to try was our darling daughter Amity. It was a winner in our book!!!!
Explore Far North Queensland
Should you visit Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest?
Yes…the answer is yes! This is by far one of our most favourite places so far as we travel Australia. The rainforest really won us over. It is sincerely amazing, it reminded us of a scene from Jurassic Park the movie!!