Port Douglas is not only the perfect place to explore the Great Barrier Reef, but also to the famous Daintree Region up North. The Daintree Rainforest is dense, green and joins long, white beaches that run for miles along the blue waters. Wildlife is abundant with saltwater crocs and cassowaries (emu like birds) on our list to see. Cape Tribulation is as far North as you can go without the help of a 4W-Drive and has a real frontier-like feel to it.
We started our roadtrip after having a good breakfast on our balcony overlooking palmtrees and enjoying the warm temperature of tropical Queensland. It was such a nice treat after Melbourne's cold and rainy weather....
First stop was Mossman Gorge. The famous gorge is located in the Southern part of the Daintree Rainforest and is a wonderful place for a rainforest walk (we did the 2.5 circuit which was beautiful) and a picnic my the riverbank. The huge fig trees are my favorite and you will find plenty of them by walking through the forest.
Next stop on our roadtrip was the Daintree River - famous for its many saltwater crocodiles. The chance to see a large saltie out in the wild is a real danger in Northern Queensland (you find warning signs on all rivers, beaches and creeks) which makes them kinda scary in my eyes. However, from the safety of the boat we looked them in their sleepy eyes (they were laying around on sandbanks), so it was okay. Scarface (one of the largest local saltie, pictured above) was HUGE. Don't want to meet this fellow while taking a dip in the river.
After taking the old car ferry across the Daintree river, we headed up a winding road through dense forest to our last stop of the day - Cape Tribulation. We stopped to have some icecream (the flavours of the day were coconut, raspberry, banana and wattleseed - all yummy!) and finally arrived at Cape Tribulation. The town is really small and the road suddenly turns into a dirttrack (4WD needed from here), but the beach is long, framed with palmtrees and really beautiful. We went for a walk and watched the clouds roll in from the forest.
We didn't encounter any cassowary, but there were warning signs of them crossing the streets everywhere. The only large bird we saw was a bush turkey. Loved the sign below :)
The Daintree is a beautiful hidden gem and should be on the list of everybody exploring the region. It reminded us so much of Costa Rica - the dense rainforest, rivers, beaches, sugar-cane fields, small working towns with wodded houses! The trip up to Cape Tribulation can be done in one day with a rental car from Port Douglas - it definitely is worth it!!
Can't wait to return - *K