Cape Tribulation, Daintree National Park (CYPAL) Tropical North Queensland

The rainforested foothills of Mount Alexandra sweep down to meet white sand at Cow Bay Beach. Photo credit: © Steven Nowakowski

Where the rainforest meets the Coral Sea—Cape Tribulation and its fringing reefs, Queensland. Photo credit: Tourism Queensland

Cow Bay beach

Wander along a perfect white sandy beach with a glorious backdrop of the iconic Daintree rainforest.

Accessible by

  • Conventional vehicle

Revel in perfection as you explore a white sandy beach in a long deserted bay where the rainforest-clad foothills of Mount Alexandra sweep down to meet the shore.

Once a cattle farming area, and now a popular destination for visitors, Cow Bay settlement is the first real evidence of 'civilisation' you'll encounter after crossing the Daintree River ferry and travelling north on the Cape Tribulation road. Take time out to stretch your legs on the beach and watch for birds, butterflies and cassowaries.

This park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, famed for its exceptional natural beauty, outstanding examples of the record of life, evolutionary history and remarkable diversity.

Getting there and getting around

Cow Bay beach is in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park (CYPAL), 100–150km north of Cairns.

  • From Cairns, drive 104km north along the Captain Cook Highway to the entrance to the Cape Tribulation section of the park at the Daintree River crossing.
  • The Daintree ferry operates 6.00am–midnight every day with a reduced service on Christmas Day and occasional breaks in service for mechanical repairs or during flooding.
  • From the Daintree ferry, drive 27km north along Cape Tribulation road then turn onto Buchanan Creek Road and drive a further 5km to Cow Bay beach.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Cow Bay beach is open 24 hours a day

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Cape Tribulation safely.