Earlier this month my husband and I spent four days in the Daintree Rainforest. It was one of the most beautiful locations, reminding me of the beautiful scenery in Fiji .
To get to the Daintree, we took a Tiger Airways flight from Sydney to Cairns. It was such a cheap flight because we had purchased tickets as part of a ‘$1 return flight deal’ – that is, you pay for the flight there and get the return flight for $1. Tiger has these deals semi-regularly, so keep an eye out for a great deal. Tiger Airways isn’t the most luxurious airline, but it’s hard to overlook the huge savings you can make.
We then rented a car from Redspot Car Rentals who definitely provided the best deal for cars rented from Cairns airport. We found that waiting until the last minute resulted in the cheapest prices, so if you’re game – maybe wait a while before renting your car.
We then drove two hours north – stopping in Port Douglas and then Mossman before reaching our accomodation in the Daintree
To actually get to where we were staying (and to get to Cape Tribulation) we had to take the Daintree River Ferry – that’s right – we crossed a river in our car. It was quite the experience, I must say! The ferry runs from 6am to midnight and it only takes a couple of minutes to get across.
So my husband surprised me with a serious upgrade to our accommodation, booking us in to a Daintree Valley Cottage which was just five minutes from the Daintree River crossing. I completely had my breath taken away with the stunning view from the front porch.
I spent an endless amount of time just sitting and staring off into the distance. But it wasn’t just the view, it was the tranquility of being so secluded from the rest of the world. All I could hear was the cool breeze and birds.
The Cottage was just stunning – the pictures on the Stayz listing just doesn’t do it justice. It was so beautiful inside and out. It was basically off the grid, running on solar power and rain water with very limited reception and noooo internet access. That was a really lovely feature too, keep us disconnected from the chaos of the world.
Given that it was so secluded, we stocked up on some snacks and water in Mossman.
The only criticisms I have is that the Cottage had no curtains. Despite being so secluded and private, I still would’ve appreciated the certainty of privacy with curtains. It also meant that all light would stream into the room when you slept.
Tour to Cape Tribulation
We spent the first day of our trip driving north towards Cape Tribulation, stopping along the way to see the sights and do some gorgeous walks. One of our first stops was the Walu Wugirriga Lookout which had dream-like views.
Daintree Discovery Centre
The Discovery Centre was a great way to see and learn about the different layers of the Daintree. We walked all of the walkways (which aren’t very long and make for an easy walk) and listened to the audio tours. We even learned about Cassowary poop – which looks like a fruit salad, doesn’t it?
The best part was the 23 metre high canopy tower which allowed us to see the top of the Daintree. ‘Twas beautiful.
After getting some advice from the guys at the Discovery Centre, we continued north and stopped at the Marrdja, Dubuji, Kulki, and Jindalba Boardwalks. Each was relatively short – about 45 minutes – and a relatively easy walk. It’s a really pleasant way to see a lot of the beautiful plants, flowers and birds living within the Daintree. Here are just a few of my favourite shots from the boardwalks:
Along the way we stopped to eat at CJ’s Bar and Cafe which had stunning views of the beach. The service was wonderful and the food was alright too. I have to say, there isn’t much choice north of the river, so anything that looks alright is good enough.
One great place to stop was the Daintree Icecream Company, which I would highly recommend!! They serve cups with four flavours of exotic ice cream. On the day we went we had mango, coconut, wattleseed and black sapote. Wattleseed ice cream tastes like coffee and black sapote tastes like chocolate pudding – delicious!
We wished that we had hired a 4WD instead of a standard car because we were only really able to make it up past Myall beach. We will definitely be making a trip back up to see more of the sights!
Port Douglas & Mossman
It was absolutely stunning and my favourite part of the trip. After arriving to the Mossman Gorge Centre we took the shuttle to the heart of the actual Gorge. The bus driver was incredibly witty and knowledgable, giving us a brief history of the area. It was a perfectly pristine part of the Daintree that we got to experience on a 2.4km circuit track. This definitely was harder than the boardwalks we walked through on day one, especially since we had to navigate some roots and adventurous trees – but it was sooooo worth it.
Along the way, we passed the Mossman River which had a bunch of tourists from a cruise line swimming in it and cooling down.
At the end of out little trek, we explored the aboriginal art gallery in the centre. I bought the most amazing hand cream with goats milk and manuka honey which is just doing wonders for my hands.
I also had an amazing melon and lycee iced tea from the cafe which was perfectly refreshing.
Crocodile River Cruise
Later in the afternoon we went on Bruce Belcher’s crocodile river cruise which was amaaaazing! We even got a free drink and snacks for the ride!
We got to experience a beautiful, picturesque afternoon and saw A WHOLE BUNCH OF CROCODILES. I mean, we had already been warned to stay well away from the water because there’d be crocodiles everywhere – but seeing them for ourselves was a whole other experience. The tour guide was really lovely and knowledgeable too. It was an excellent use of an hour and highly recommended.
That just about sums up the highlights of our trip. Northern Queensland is stunning and a great place to go for a short escape.
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