ABOUT THE DAINTREE
The Daintree is a small settlement north of Cairns with a population of no more than a few hundred. Set in the heart of one of the world’s oldest rainforests, on one side you will see lush green, while on the other white sandy beaches. This is also the only place on earth where you will find two heritage listed places sitting side by side –the ancient Daintree rainforest and its heritage beaches. Enjoy boat tours across the rivers and rainforests, or go swimming at the various secluded beaches. Whether a gigantic crocodile in the banks of a river, a colourful cockatoo, a romantic swim in one of the secluded beaches, or a delicious restaurant meal, The Daintree will not disappoint.
MUST SEE THE DAINTREE
Visit the Floravilla Ice Cream Factory & Art Gallery and eat organic ice cream to your heart’s delight. They have some unique flavours you’ve probably never heard of, like passionfruit ginger or double chocolate rum raisin.
If you want to see crocodiles in their natural habitat, head down to Daintree Wild Zoo or take a cruise on the Cape Tribulation Wilderness Cruises. The zoo is about ten minutes by car from Daintree Village or a 20-minute walk. On site you will find an amazing collection of birds, including a funny parrot that greets you at the entrance, kangaroos, owls, and more. This location is great for feeding the roos if that’s something you have always wanted to do… and oh yeah, it’s worth it!
The Cape Tribulation Wilderness Cruises depart every morning at 9am and 11:15am. This is the only boat tour permitted in Cape Tribulation, which happens to be the most bio-diverse mangrove system on the Australian continent. You will definitely see crocs here, in their natural habitat in the mangroves. The tour company also offers night tours, which are somewhat of an eerie adventure to say the least.
Last but not least is the Bat House. Here you will get to see the Daintree’s infamous flying fox bats up close and learn about the research and conservation with these delightful furry friends. Most of the bats at the Bat House are orphans who have been rescued from as young as a few months old and have been in captivity for too long to be released back into nature. Most visitors are so amazed by these little primates as they are so full of personality –each one so different to the next— full of intelligence and friendly as can be.
THE BEACHES IN THE DAINTREE
As the main attraction up here are the beaches –there is not much else to do other than relax and enjoy nature up here—below is a list of beaches for you to explore and enjoy:
Myall Beach is the closest beach to Rainforest Hideaway. Head to the northern point of the beach to the cape for a stunning view or for a little longer walk you can head to Cape Trib Beach. Mason Creek is here, only cross it at low tide.
Cape Tribulation Beach (also known as Cape Trib) this is the main beach in the Daintree, so it can sometimes get a little crowded on certain days with the busloads of daytrippers. Watch out for the infamous cassowary that has become a little famous on YouTube chasing tourists around.
Emmagen Beach is slightly north of Cape Trib beach, you can choose to drive here –but be sure you have a sturdy vehicle for the unsealed rocky road, or you can walk by heading north of Cape Trib beach and then jumping over the rocks at low tide. There are no signs, so if you are driving be sure to look out for a huge fig tree (you can’t miss it) and this will lead you to the track down to the beach.
Coconut Beach is a true paradise if you ever saw one! As the name implies, the beach is lined with coconut trees, and the waters are pure and refreshing. Best to stay in the shallow waters however, as the reef makes it a little tricky for swimming. You can get here from Cape Tribulation Resort. The creek at the Northern End is known as a croc spot at night, so best to stay clear. You will be fine on the beach though, nothing to worry about.
Noah Beach is a very long and secluded beach, and part of the national park. If you are looking for seclusion and privacy, if you want to feel like the only people here on planet earth –this is certainly your beach of choice! The only people who tend to come here are the people camping at the national park.
Thornton Beach is the only spot in the Daintree with a café located right on the beach. Have a relaxing walk on the beach or a quick dip in the water, and finish it off with a cool Aussie beer or a delicious lunch. Cooper Creek at the south end of the beach is best to avoid, as there are many crocs in this area.
SAFETY IN THE DAINTREE
Up north, the question of the day is always: Is it safe to swim up here? The answer is… yes! However, this yes comes with some conditions. You can swim the beach up here, but only outside of jellyfish season, which is November until June. On Myall Beach and Coconut Beach you must stay in the shallow waters to avoid the reefs also. A scratch or scrape from the reef might seem harmless, but it can end up being a bit of a party pooper. Be careful with any scratch you get in the tropical waters, they tend to infect very quickly and very badly. If you do get a scratch it is recommended to head straight to first aid and consider antibiotics. Might sound a bit over the top for a scratch, but a scratch is not just a scratch up here in the tropical waters.
Now the big question… crocs! Are you going to get eaten by a crocodile while enjoying your tropical vacation? No, you will be perfectly fine. Although there is a lot of hype around this, most croc attacks never happen in daylight and on beaches. They are more likely to happen in creeks and mangroves, at night, and only if the crocs are provoked.
COOLEST ACTIVITIES THE DAINTREE
Take a boat tour with Dan Irby in Dan Irby’s Mangrove Adventures —the two hours of exploration of the Daintree Rainforest and Daintree River are accompanied by fascinating facts and amazing views of animal and plant life. Witness 4-metre crocs, colourful birds, snakes, and frogs in this exciting tour with one of the best guides in town.
If you love a bit of pampering (don’t we all?) then don’t miss the Daintree Wellness Spa. Their famous Walbul Walbul treatment will rejuvenate you from head to toe and transform your skin in a short two hours. The treatment consists of two parts, first is a gentle exfoliation, and second is a deep tissue massage using all local ingredients to nourish and nurture your skin,. You will leave the spa with your skin feeling softer than a baby’s bottom!
WHERE TO STAY THE DAINTREE
Daintree Riverview Lodges & Van Park is a great choice to park up your campervan in The Daintree. They have powered and non-powered sites available, as well as facilities such as hot showers, a BBQ area, and an undercover camp-style kitchen. From the site, you can enjoy a great view of the Daintree River and the lush green surrounding rainforest. Listen closely, and you are sure to hear all the magical sounds that this ancient rainforest in home to.
Another great option is Cape Trib Camping. A little past the lush trees surrounding the camp, you will find a white, sandy beach waiting for you. After a day’s exploration, you can take a hot shower on site, have a good night’s sleep, then wake up to the sunrise on the beach with a nice green juice.
If you’re looking for a great place to stay in the heart of the jungle, head out to Jungle Lodge. Enjoy a good old authentic campfire on site, and share it with all the other travellers that are also passing on through this slice of Australian paradise. The facilities are spotless and well maintained, and there is a pool for cooling down in this most humid part of the world.
WHEN TO COME THE DAINTREE
If you plan to go swimming in the beaches near The Daintree, you must keep some precautions in mind. Between November and June, it is jellyfish season. This means –you must STAY out of the water– but not to worry, as most hotels and resorts have swimming pools on hand. How could they not in such a humid climate, right?
While The Daintree is very large, the township is very small, so there are not really any annual or large events to experience up here. It’s really just all about the nature, adventure and relaxation up here. If you head out fifty-six kilometres from the settlement, you’ll find yourself in Port Douglas, another growing tourist destination in North Queensland. In October, the town celebrates Portoberfest, their take on Germany’s Oktoberfest, which is a celebration of all things German, from food to beer and music.
Also in October, Port Douglas celebrates the Go Troppo Arts Festival—ten days filled with pottery workshops, painting classes, storytelling, glass making, textile dyeing, oil painting, and much more.
Photography Credit : islands.com
Blog written for: Share A Camper