Cairns to Cape Tribulation

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesCairns
FinishCape Tribulation
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable for4WD AWD 2WD Caravan Camper Motorhome Bike 
Distance141.88 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed54.55 km/hr
Driving Time2 hrs 36 mins
Page Updated: 31 Oct 2013

Description

Cape Tribulation is located within the Daintree National Park and the Wet Tropics World Heritage area about 110km north of Cairns. The region is a tropical wonderland that includes 95kms of magnificent coastal rainforest and pristine tropical beaches stretching from the sugar town of Mossman in the south to the Bloomfield River in the north. The Daintree has been left relatively untouched by the world of urban development, noise and air pollution allowing visitors to experience the purity of the natural surroundings. Most business operators are committed to eco-tourism activities and visitors will find wonderful opportunities of outdoor activities without the glitz of greedy commercialism.

This trek note provides a self-drive route along sealed roads with a vehicular ferry service transporting visitors across the Daintree River and a bridge over Cooper Creek making all weather access year round for all vehicles including 2WDs and caravans. Cape Tribulation is at the end of the sealed road, 35km from the Daintree River Ferry. The road is narrow and winding so take your time to do the drive safely. It is best to allow faster traffic to pass but only stop where you can pull off the road safely. Drivers should also watch for wildlife, particularly cassowaries.

Most people visit the area during the dry season with the peak period between July and November. (Please note that access north of Cape Tribulation is 4WD only via the Bloomfield Track and is often closed during the wet season February to April).

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

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  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

The Daintree Rainforest encompasses the Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree National Park and is Australia's largest remaining tropical lowland rainforest. At at over 100 million years of age it is perhaps the oldest rainforest anywhere in the world. The rainforest eco-system and microclimate support primitive and ancient plant species and many rare native mammals, birds and butterflies. In 1988 the Daintree was declared a World Heritage area.

Taking a cruise on the Daintree River will allow you to view crocodiles and birdlife.

History

Prior the invasion of the Europeans, the Cape Tribulation area was occupied by Aboriginal people called Kuku Yalanji.

Captain James Cook named Cape Tribulation, "because here began all our troubles", when his ship ran aground on what is now known as Endeavour reef off the coast in 1770, however the area was not settled by Europeans until the 1920s, despite earlier timber cutting of red cedar and tropical agriculture.

Tourism began in the 1970s but by 1981 recognition of the area's significance led to the declaration of the Cape Tribulation National Park and by 1988 the Cape Tribulation area was included in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

The road to Cape Tribulation was only built in 1962. The first person to drive to Cape Tribulation was Marion Swenson in an old, ex army, Bren gun carrier. She drove along Coconut Beach, across Myall Creek mouth (at low tide) and up into Mason’s property via the existing track to the wharf in Myall Creek. Later, the last section of road was completed, eliminating the need to drive on the beach.

Preparation

Most people visit the area during the dry season with the peak period between July and November. (Please note that north of Cape Tribulation is 4WD only via the Bloomfield Track and is often closed during the wet season February to April).

Permits

This trek requires crossing the Daintree River by ferry, which operates from 6am to midnight every day of the year (reduced service on Christmas Day). Fees vary depending on your vehicle with extra for trailers and caravans. For up-to-date information check Cairns Regional Council website.

Camping permits are required and fees apply for staying at Noah Beach campground in the Daintree National Park. Camps must be booked & paid for before travelling. Sites can be booked online, see ParksQ Online Booking.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel SymbolWonga Beach.
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 20 litres4cyl 23 litres4cyl 28 litres
6cyl 22 litres6cyl 26 litres6cyl 25 litres
8cyl 22 litres8cyl 24 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Low Isles Lighthouse
Distance from Trek Mid Point 14.35km NW
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C32.231.730.829.427.625.925.526.728.530.431.732.3
Mean Min. °C25.525.525.124.122.821.220.420.721.923.224.525.3
Mean Rain mm401.3418.9435.8230.798.862.335.637.236.945.591.1210.0
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

The following locations have various services And supplies:Wonga Beach

Map

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What to See

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Showing 7 Places

Where to Stay

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Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Cairns to Captain Cook Hwy & Yorkeys Knob Rd11.45 kmNW320° 12 min
Captain Cook Hwy & Yorkeys Knob Rd to Skyrail Rainforest Cableway0.59 kmW278°
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to Ellis Beach16.84 kmN338° 17 min
Ellis Beach to Pebbly Beach23.44 kmNW318° 23 min
Pebbly Beach to Captain Cook Hwy & Port Douglas Rd8.72 kmNW318° 7 min
Captain Cook Hwy & Port Douglas Rd to Mossman13.59 kmNW309° 10 min
Mossman to Dayman (Rocky) Point12.94 kmNE31° 10 min
Dayman (Rocky) Point to Wonga Beach4.96 kmN355° 4 min
Wonga Beach to Junction Mossman-Daintree Rd & Cape Tribulation Rd8.23 kmNW330° 5 min
Junction Mossman-Daintree Rd & Cape Tribulation Rd to Daintree Ferry4.05 kmNE37° 5 min
Daintree Ferry to Alexandra Range Lookout (Walu - Wugirriga)7.55 kmE70° 11 min
Alexandra Range Lookout (Walu - Wugirriga) to Thornton Beach14.96 kmN21 min
Thornton Beach to Marrja Botanical Boardwalk5.76 kmN357° 7 min
Marrja Botanical Boardwalk to Noah Beach Campground1.6 kmNE67° 2 min
Noah Beach Campground to Noah Head1.23 kmNE44° 1 min
Noah Head to Cape Tribulation4.76 kmN6 min
Cairns to Cape Tribulation141.88 km  2 hr 36 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

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