Cape Tribulation is a small settlement in the Daintree where the bitumen road comes to an end before the Bloomfield Track. The scenery is stunning with old growth rainforest hanging down over wide empty white sandy beaches.
There are only about 200-300 people who live in Cape Trib and many live off-the-grid on properties hidden away in the rainforest. It is a beautiful escape from the rat race where you can recharge your batteries and reconnect with nature.
While Cape Trib has been a popular backpacker destination for many years, there is now a variety of accommodation to suit all tastes as well as a handful of places to eat.
We highly recommend spending at least a couple of days here because there are actually quite a few things to do. And, you will also want to spend time soaking up the peace and tranquillity.
Here’s our list of things to do in cape tribulation:
1. crocodile cruise
You can’t visit the Daintree without doing a croc cruise so this should definitely be on your list of things to do.
There are a handful of tours that operate on the Daintree River but there is also one that departs from Thornton’s Beach called Cape Tribulation Wilderness Cruises.
They take visitors through the mangroves from Thornton’s Beach with tours departing three times a day.
It is amazing to see saltwater crocodiles in the wild and in their natural habitat so a cruise is definitely worth doing.
They are also reasonably priced with tours costing adults $30 and kids $22.
2. jungle surfing
Next on your list should be exploring the rainforest and there are lots of different ways of doing this.
For those who want to embrace the full ‘Tarzan in the jungle’ experience, Jungle Surfing should be at the top of your list of things to do in Cape Tribulation.
With 6 platforms and 7 ziplines taking you around a 40 acre rainforested property, you get to see the rainforest from lots of different levels and angles as well as enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean.
Children are welcome (we took our daughter once when she was 3 years old) so the whole family can go, as long as nobody has a major fear of heights.
It costs $95 for both adults and kids (no discounted prices for kids).
It is great fun and an awesome experience.
3. rainforest walks
The Daintree rainforest is the oldest living rainforest on the planet, even older than the Amazon.
There are a few different interpretive self-guided boardwalks that you can do in your own time and at your own pace.
The Maardja Botanical Walk is about 10 minutes south of Cape Trib and is a really popular walk with locals and tourists.
If you’re itching to get off the boardwalks and explore yourself there are plenty of other walks in the area.
One option is to follow Emmagen Creek for a few kilometres or, if you’re really fit, you can hike the trail up to Mt Sorrow for some fantastic views of the Daintree coastline. This takes about 6 hours so make sure you are well prepared.
For something a little more cultural, you can take a guided walk with the Walker Sisters in Wujal Wujal, which is not too far away up the Bloomfield Track. Their tour includes the Bloomfield Falls.
The beaches in the Daintree are amazing (although remember not to swim here) so make sure you plan some time for long walks along the beach, particularly at sunset.
5. daintree entomological museum
This is a short drive south from Cape Trib but if you love butterflies, moths, beetles and bugs then you will really enjoy a visit to the Daintree Entomological Museum, even the kids will love it.
One man has built up an amazing and comprehensive collection of bugs and butterflies from all over the world and you can see all sorts of preserved creepy crawlies behind glass-encased shelves.
And there are many other little surprises here too like giant spider web front gates and a beautiful freshwater swimming hole where you can swim or have a picnic.
Family passes cost $25 or it is $10 per adult and $5 per child.
While many of the inlets and rivers have saltwater crocodiles to watch out for, fishing off the beach is incredibly popular and when the tide is right out at Myall Beach, fishing from the rockpools and drop-off area is a great spot for fishing.
There are also many fishing tours available in the area so if fishing is on your list of things to do in Cape Tribulation, enquire beforehand which are the best tours to do and where the fish are biting.
7. swim holes
If you’re visiting Cape Trib in the hot months you will definitely want to spend some time enjoying a swim in a local freshwater creek.
Don’t forget, this is crocodile country so avoid swimming in the ocean and only swim in pools or swim holes.
There are a couple of swim holes in Cape Tribulation.
Mason’s swim hole is the best known. This fantastic local freshwater swimming hole is actually located on private property behind Mason’s Store so please be respectful.
You need to do a little bit of bobbing and weaving between trees and overhanging vines to get to the water, but that is all part of the adventure.
Another option is Emmagen Creek a little further north.
8. fruit tasting
Cape Trib Fruit Farm is a commercial farm producing a wide range of exotic fruits, many of which you have probably never even heard of.
The owners are very friendly and most days they offer a 90 minute fruit tasting tour in the afternoons. It includes a guided walk through the orchards followed by a tasting session.
9. horse riding on the beach
Riding along the beach on a horse as the sun rises or sets is one of the most memorable things to do in Cape Tribulation.
Rides last between 2.5 to 3 hours and includes a ride through rainforest, creeks and the beach.
It costs $99 for adults and $60 for kids (8-13 years).
If horse riding is not your thing this is a really good alternative. Ebikes are great fun to ride and these tours also allow you to explore the rainforest and swim in a private swim hole not available to the public.
Freeride’s guided eco tours operate on a private property next to Mason’s Store.
Don’t worry if you’ve never ridden an ebike before, they are very easy to ride. The owner, Jordan, gives you some instruction and a few practice runs before setting off on the tour.
Also, he tailors the tour to suit each group so whether you’re a group of hardcore mountain bikers or a family group looking for a leisurely tour, let him know and you can go at your own pace.
Either way, he also stops at a few points to explain some of the sights and sounds of the forest. If you’re lucky you might even spot a Daintree dingo.
The tours last about an hour and cost $75 per person. Children aged 10+ can go.
11. REEF TRIP
This is literally where the ‘rainforest meets the reef’ so the reef is quite close to the shore here.
There are two operators that go to the reef from Cape Trib. Ocean Safari does half day tours and Sailway does full days sailing boat tour.
travel nq fast facts:
- It takes 2-3 hours to drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation depending on how long you have to wait for a ferry.
- There is no phone or internet coverage.
- There are a few places to stay in Cape Trib