Cape Tribulation area is north of Daintree river.
It is in the
northern Daintree rainforests, and it is most
often referred to as the whole area north of Daintree River Ferry
and south of
the southern end of Bloomfield Road.
But the actual Cape
is in the northern end of the whole area, which also includes other
like Cape Kimberley, Cow Bay, Alexandra Bay, Thornton Beach,
Noah Beach and more.
And the actual
Cape is even further north, where you can walk to the lookout point
For years I used to come here and just do the
Mangrove Walk to the beach and there seemed to be not much else
place is heavily
commercialised and packed with
different kinds of accommodation, tour companies
and places to
If you come here with expectations of pristine tropical
rainforest, bear in mind that it doesn't come without mass tourism
here, not anymore.
But the rainforest and
the beaches are
What to See in the Area
There are a few rainforest boardwalks where you
can experience the rainforest. There is also the Daintree
Centre where you can learn about it, as well as a bat house,
museum, and a few tea, coffee and tropical fruit farms that you can
rainforest itself is of course beautiful - there is a reason why
Daintree is the most famous tropical rainforest in Australia. You can
have a closer look at it on the many boardwalks in the area, and go
spotlighting night time to see its nocturnal animals.
mean just that - it's raining a lot of the time and for years my
photos of the place were all dull because the sun was never out
when I visited. It is not a nice type of weather, but without
the rain, there would be no rainforests.
Where to Stay in the Area
is plentiful - there are beach houses, lodges, resorts and spas,
rainforest bungalows, backpackers, farmstays and camping grounds. And
there are many different places of bed and breakfast accommodation.
if you are on your way up to Cape York, you are likely looking for
a camping ground. There is one south of the Cape Tribulation
Village, and there is a national parks camping ground at Noah Beach.
Many accommodation places also have camping grounds.
There are many places to eat out. A good one is Whet just south of the
Cape Tribulation Village. There is also a good one at Mason's Shop, and
there are a few places at Thornton Beach and Coconut Beach. Many
accommodation places have restaurants; and there is a pub in Cow Bay.
Getting to the Area
are lots of different tour operators. There are jungle walking tours,
four wheel drive trips, river cruises, croc
riding, white water rafting, and ocean safaris that take you
to coral reef.
are tours from Cairns that take you here.
Do you need a four wheel drive for your Cape Tribulation trip? If you
only do the usual thing like most people do, you don't need it. The
road is all sealed and good. But if you want to get off the main track
and venture into Bloomfield
other small tracks, you do need a
in the Cape Tribulation
lot of people
coming here with loads of expectations, having heard
so much about the place and the famous Daintree rainforests.
So when they arrive and drive through the area, which only takes about
half an hour, they are immediately disappointed.
What you have to do is to slow
down and enjoy the place.
Find yourself somewhere
to stay for starters, then go out and start
discovering in slow pace. There are
places to see and things
to do, but if you just drive through
the area you miss them all. From the south to the north,
and Alexandra Bay
Once you have crossed the river on the ferry, and keep driving north,
you first pass a left-hand turnoff to Daintree Manor B&B and Daintree Forest Trails.
Keep driving and you come to the right-hand turnoff to Cape Kimberley -
a beautiful beach spot, and there is a beach house accommodation.
Back on the main road, the next thing north is a nice lookout point.
Have a closer look and you can see Cape Kimberley and Snapper Island,
the mouth of Daintree River, you can see Port
and Low Isles,
Wonga Beach, and even as far south as Double Island, which is not far
Discovery Centre and
Not far from the lookout point is Daintree Discovery
haven't been to a tree top walk and are interested in
learning about the amazing rainforest
ecosystem, this is a great place to do it.
It is very informative with both plants
Just next door from the Discovery Centre is Jindalba Boardwalk - the
southernmost one of a few different rainforest boardwalks in Cape
It is also one of the best ones and a
great place to take some rainforest photos.
Cow Bay Area
Further north is Cow Bay, which is really a little township (by the
way, the largest one in the area), with a hotel (pub), car mechanics
and even an airstrip. Turn right to the beach and a road takes you past
a few accommodation
places to Cow Bay Beach with a nice picnic area.
Coffee and Icecream
Cape Tribulation is also known for its farms. There are a few tea,
coffee and tropical fruit farms, which are open to the public and you
of course buy the locally grown tea, coffee, tropical fruit, and ice
cream made from the locally grown tropical fruit :-) Some
found in Cow Bay.
and Insect Museum
Just north of Cow Bay you can turn in to Hutchinson Creek, and further
north to Wilderness Lodge where there is a cafe and a fan palm
boardwalk. Fan palms are some of the most beautiful rainforest
and this is one of the best places to see them.
Museum Further north you pass the
Daintree Tea Company and a few accommodation places, before you get to
the turnoff to the Insect Museum - an amazing collection of different
types of insects
the area as well as other places in the world. If you are even slightly
interested in wildlife,
After the insect museum you cross Cooper Creek where you can join some
tours; and then
you come to Thornton Beach. It's a nice beach
for a walk, but like other beaches up here, not so good for a swim
due to sharks,
jellyfish and crocodiles.
There is beachfront dining in Cafe of Sea.
North of Thornton Beach you cross Noah Creek, and then there is Marrdja
Boardwalk - another rainforest walk. This walk doesn't only take you
through rainforest, but also a quite extensive mangrove area. It is
quite interesting and there is information to read about mangrove
Further north you cross Oliver Creek and come to Noah Beach - where
there is a camping
The camping spots are behind some vegetation but next to the beach and
it's also a
nice place to go spotlighting night time.
Beach you cross
Thompson and Myall Creeks and on your left
hand side is Mason's Store - where there is a nice cafe
and a small grocery shop. They also run four wheel drive tours to
Bloomfield Track which is the road north towards Cooktown.
north is Cape Tribulation Camping Ground, which is very nice, has a lot
of space, nice amenities, a small shop and nice staff, but is not a
really cheap place to camp. They also have kayak hire. Just north is
Beach and Dubuji Boardwalk.
Boardwalk This is
boardwalk, but each one is a bit different. Dubuji is perfect if you
want to combine a rainforest walk with a picnic lunch or
- there is a large picnic area. This walk also goes to the beach,
crosses a creek and passes through an area with mangroves and fan palms.
the road is Camelot Close - a street with a few accommodation
and Nicole Drive - another street where you can visit an exotic fruit
farm and taste locally grown tropical fruits from Asia, Caribbean and
Boardwalk Back on
the main street,
just north is the Cape Tribulation Pharmacy and grocery shop, the main
stop for tour
buses, and PK's Backpacker Accommodation. There is also
the Turtle Rock Cafe and Takeaway, and the Mangrove Boardwalk - a short
stroll to the beach through a mangrove habitat.
the road is Bat House. There is only one bat, but it is not the Little
Red Flying Fox or Black
Flying Fox, that you can see in many
parts of northern
Australia. It's the Spectacled
Flying Fox, which is only found in parts
of eastern Cape York
peninsula, including Daintree
Kulki and Mt Sorrow
Cape Tribulation Village is finished with the Bat House, and the only
thing you have left is the actual Cape Tribulation - the cape that has
given the name to the whole area. It is called Kulki by local
Aboriginal people, and you can reach it by walking through the
rainforest to the beach and a lookout point.
There is one more thing, but only if you are fit and into serious
of Kulki is a small car park and across the road is
the start of Mt Sorrow Track - a steep and hard (by most people's
standards) hike up to Mt Sorrow. This is the end of Cape
and the start of Bloomfield
Tribulation rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world.
dense and lush,
and it has so many different species that it is known asthe
most important living
record of Australian plants’ and animals’ evolution over 400 million
years. While the
rainforest is all
around you in Cape
Tribulation, there are a few places where you can walk on
to get into the rainforest to experience it even better. The best
places are Dubuji,
Marrdja and Jindalba Boardwalks,
can also walk in the Cape Tribulation rainforest
on the Kulki, the Fan Palms, and the
the northernmost one, and it starts just south of the Cape Tribulation
Village. It is a nice walk that crosses a creek and goes to a beach. It
also passes though an area with mangroves
and fan palms. There are large picnic grounds at the start of this
is the next one south, and it starts south of the national parks
camping ground at Noah Beach. The walk goes through some
well as quite an extensive mangrove area.
Further south, just north of Cow Bay is the Fan Palm Walk
adjacent to a wilderness lodge.
Cow Bay is Jindalba
next to Daintree
Discovery Centre where you can learn all about Daintree
many different Cape Tribulation tours available.
local tours in Cape
Tribulation, others depart from Cairns, Port Douglas and Cairns
It is always cheaper to rent a car and do the drive yourself, but a tour is handy if you like to
sit back and be taken to places.
They all take you to great places, so it surely is an easy way to have
a great day.
wheel drive tours take you to tracks in the Daintree rainforest
as well as to Bloomfield Road.
is a lot of
available in Cape Tribulation, if you are on
the way up to or down from Cape York, you are most likely looking for
somewhere to camp.
And there are a fair few options around in the area.
northernmost one is the Cape
Tribulation Camping Ground. It is a
nice place with large open camping sites and clean amenities, but it
is not your cheapest option.
Trib Camping Ground
A lot of
the accommodation places
have camping grounds in their back yards, and they can be quite cheap
even if their cabins and rooms are expensive.
Haven has quite a cheap camping ground.
But your cheapest option is the national
parks camping ground at Noah Beach.
Parks Camping Gound at Noah Beach.
It is a nice
camping ground just next to the beach, under large trees
where it may well be
worth doing some night time spotlighting.
a lot of Cape Tribulation accommodation to choose from.
along the main road, you pass by accommodation all the time, it's
absolutely packed with resorts,
lodges, hostels, bed and breakfast..
There are obviously a lot of rainforest locals here who like to make a
living from it - and the
places to stay are beautiful.
Below are some, roughly from south to north.
in Cow Bay
Rainforest Retreat Motel
This motel has a variety of
different rooms with tea and coffee making facilities, fridges,
toasters, microwave ovens, TVs, work desks, insect screens and private
There is an outdoor saltwater swimming pool, a snack bar and a
BBQ area if you want to cook yourself.
a While Retreat
retreat, near Cow Bay, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and sleeps
There is a well equipped kitchen, TV, stereo, CD and DVD
player and internet access. There is an outdoor swimming
pool with showers and an entertainment area with BBQs. And a library
and undercover parking.
This lodge has only seven cabins to be able to give more personalised
Cabins have tea and coffee making facilities, TVs, CD and DVD
players, mini bars, internet and room service.
There is an outdoor
swimming pool, a massage and beauty centre, a bar and a restaurant.
Accommodation near Thornton
This lodge is inland from Thornton Beach.
It has cabin style
accommodation with mini bars, coffee and tea makers, TVs, DVD players,
internet and in-room movies.
There is laundry service, free parking, a
swimming pool, a spa, massage, a bar and a restaurant.
Tribulation Resort & Spa
This resort has villa style accommodation with rainforest rooms that
have tea and coffee making facilities, mini bars, TVs, CD players and
There is a swimming pool, a spa, laundry service,
babysitting, a bar and a restaurant.
This lodge has rooms with minibars,
tea making facilities,
direct dial phones, room service, private bathrooms and
There is a
pool, a spa, a fitness room, a library, a bar and a restaurant. Free airport shuttle and free breakfast every morning.
Cape Trib Village
This lodge is a 104-bed backpackers hostel that has dorm rooms and
The cabins are
very nice with air
bathrooms and private
a swimming pool, laundry, communal kitchen, TV lounge and
This is a backpackers place with triple share jungle tents, double and
twin safari tents and powered camp sites.
Tents have shady decks; and
the grounds there is a communal kitchen, a camp fire area, laundry,
parking and other usual amenities.
This bed and breakfast place has two timber cabins for one couple each.
There is a kitchen, a lounge and a large verandah with rainforest
In the lush tropical rainforest gardens there is a fish pond and
some quite fantastic sculptures.
This is another backpacker place and it's just next door to the IGA
There are cabins as well as powered and unpowered camping
sites. Amenities block, large open communal kitchen and a lively bar.
In the end of camping grounds there is beach access
via a mangrove boardwalk.
This place is on a tropical fruit farm in the heart of Cape Tribulation
and it has bed and breakfast accommodation. There are cabins with
insect screens, private ensuite bathrooms and verandas with mountain
views. Kitchen and laundry facilities are shared.
Tribulation Camping This
is a nice camping ground that caters for tents,
homes and camper trailers.
There are 20 powered and 40 unpowered sites,
double and twin safari tents.
There are all camping amenities including
equipped camp kitchen and BBQs.
North of the Village
Tribulation Beach House
the northern end of Cape Tribulation, this
place is on a seven acre rainforest block with beachfront. There are
self contained apartments as well as family cabins and budget dorms,
and amenities vary depending on the kind of unit. There is a swimming
pool, off street parking and a bar and a restaurant.
Cape Tribulation weather like?
Well as you would expect in the
it often rains.
They do have their sunny
particularly during the dry season, but most of the time that I have
visited, it has rained.
The temperatures are
warm and tropical
all year around.
time is November - December, before the monsoonal rains
Those bring an almost constant cloud cover, which cool the temps down,
despite the fact that January and February are summer months in
southern Australia. The monsoonal
Wet season lasts until April - May, and is followed by the
lasts until the end of the year.
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all
the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact
detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks,
at least 30 guaranteed FREE
camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to
the Cape), at least 40 best
swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things -
from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception,
how to deal with the national
parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits
and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery
gear by my partner
Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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