Even if you have been to Australia you may not have heard of Cape Tribulation (aka Cape Trib). A place so serene and deserted you might feel like you have been dropped on a desert island to fend for yourself. It’s the famous spot where rainforest meets the sea, nothing but trees, white sand and blue sea as far as the eye can see.
Named by the famous navigator James Cook when his ship ran aground in 1770 he recorded – “…the north point was named Cape Tribulation because here begun all our troubles.” Ironically looking at the incredible scenery and calm waters the last think you‘ll be thinking about is your troubles! As Cape Trib is included in some of the most significant ecosystems on the planet it was added to the World Heritage List in 1988. The benefits, naturally, are to keep this lush, historical rainforest alive and away from harm. Yet let’s not forget the benefits to Queensland – increased tourist visitation, income to local communities and better protection and funding for their environment.
Located on the Daintree Coast and surrounded by Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation currently has no public transport, however a coach trip from Cairns does depart at 7:30 Mon/Weds/Fri, but depending on traffic could take you all day or not run at all! The main point of entry is actually the Daintree River, with a car ferry crossing throughout the day from only AU$24 return. We had decided to drive up from Cairns by hire car and we didn’t regret it, with at least a 40km strip of rainforest and winding roads hugging the coast. It was a stunning sight and with plenty of viewpoints, where we were able to stop and capture the outstanding scenery.
There is plenty to do when you arrive, personally I was just happy to soak up the gorgeous, constant sunshine, the white sand and turquoise waters whilst savouring delicious fresh mangos that we had found earlier fresh from a group of mango trees. A little relaxation never hurt anyone! However, if you need some adventure why not explore the rainforest itself, one of the most ancient rainforests in the entire world, home to Mt Sorrow, a 850m climb, and a fresh water swimming hole at Emmagen Creek. It’s also a Cassowary Habitat Zone if you fancy spotting one of these extremely rare birds, that believe it or not can grow up to 2 metres tall! You can also get out on the water with some of the kayak tours, and don’t forget you are only 30 minutes away from the Great Barrier Reef.
With any kind of trip like this its best to travel light, but don’t forget the essentials in such heat – sunglasses, sunhat, sun cream, light clothes (a rain jacket in the monsoon season) and strong shoes for walking. Be aware that there will be no mobile phone coverage along the Daintree Coast so be sensible and stay safe! It’s best to travel to Cape Trib during the cooler months of July and August, however the downside to this is that it’s the most popular time to visit. If you can go during October-November its a little warmer but visitor numbers substantially drop so you can fully immerse yourself into this ancient, unreal Wet Tropics Rainforest that is Cape Trib.