Cape Tribulation, Daintree National Park Tropical North Queensland

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

Visiting Cape Tribulation safely

    Mount Alexandra lookout offers views of the Daintree River mouth. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Mount Alexandra lookout offers views of the Daintree River mouth. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Dangerous stinging jellyfish occur in the waters around Hinchinbrook Island. Photo: Jamie Seymour.

    Be aware of dangerous stinging jellyfish (stingers). Courtesy of Jamie Seymour, James Cook Univeristy.

    Cassowaries at Kulki day-use area. Stay well away and never feed cassowaries. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Cassowaries at Kulki day-use area. Stay well away and never feed cassowaries. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Estaurine crocodiles can occur in waters in and around Hinchinbrook Island. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Crocodiles are potentially dangerous. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Getting there and getting around

    Vehicle access

    Travel 104km north of Cairns on the Captain Cook Highway to the Daintree River crossing. The 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.

    Beyond the ferry, conventional two-wheel-drive vehicle access is possible as far as Cape Tribulation, although high clearance is useful and caravans are not recommended. The road through this section of the park is narrow and winding. Drivers should keep left and watch for wildlife, particularly cassowaries.

    The unsealed road north from Cape Tribulation to Bloomfield is suitable only for four-wheel-drive vehicles due to steep grades and creek crossings. It may be closed after heavy rain. Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads to enquire about local road conditions.

    Air and sea access

    There is a private, ultralight-aircraft airstrip near Cow Bay Village. For details contact Daintree Airstrip, Cow Bay, 4873. Ph: (07) 4098 9202.

    Although boats can moor at various locations off the coast between the Daintree River and Bloomfield River, it is not advisable due to poor anchorage.

    Wheelchair accessibility

    Three of the four short boardwalks (Marrja, Dubuji and Kulki) are wheelchair accessible. At the fourth boardwalk (Jindalba) wheelchair access to the creek is available from the exit end only, near the disabled access parking bays.

    Staying safe

    Please be safe when visiting this park.

    • There is no mobile phone reception and no help close at hand.
    • Check weather reports, water and river height information before heading to the park.
    • Road conditions can deteriorate quickly to become slippery, boggy or even too dusty. Take vehicle spares in case of flat tyres or breakdowns.
    • Dangerous stinging jellyfish ('stingers') may be present in coastal waters at any time, but occur more frequently in the warmer months. If you do enter the water, a full-body lycra suit or equivalent may provide a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Remember to be croc wise in croc country. Visit marine stingers for the latest safety and first aid information.
    • Take care around cassowaries. Please slow down when driving through their habitat and watch out for cassowaries and their chicks at the roadside. These large birds can cause serious injury or death. Stay well away and never feed cassowaries. Be cass-o-wary!
    • Do not touch stinging trees. They grow up to 4m high, have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges and often occur along rainforest edges. Touching any part of the plant leaf results in a very painful sting. If you are stung, and symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.
    • On extended walks ensure you have enough drinking water and protect yourself from the sun. Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing. Be prepared for weather changes, particularly if walking the Mount Sorrow ridge trail.

    Be croc wise

    Crocodiles are potentially dangerous. Never take unnecessary risks in crocodile habitat. You are responsible for your own safety, so please follow these guidelines and be croc wise in croc country.

    • Obey crocodile warning signs—they are there for your safety and protection.
    • Never swim in water where crocodiles may live even if there is no warning sign present.
    • When fishing, always stand a few metres back from the water's edge and never stand on logs or branches overhanging the water.
    • Never clean fish or discard fish scraps or bait near the water's edge, around campsites or at boat ramps.
    • Stay well back from any crocodile slide marks. Crocodiles may be close by and may approach people and boats.
    • Never dangle your arms or legs over the side of a boat. If you fall out of a boat, get out of the water as quickly as possible.
    • Never provoke, harass or interfere with crocodiles, even small ones.
    • Never feed crocodiles—it is illegal and dangerous.
    • Camp at least 2m above the high water mark and at least 50m from the water's edge. Avoid places where native animals and domestic stock drink.
    • Never leave food scraps, fish scraps or bait at your camp site. Always check that previous campers have not left these behind.
    • Never prepare food, wash dishes or pursue any other activities near the water's edge or adjacent sloping banks.
    • Be more aware of crocodiles at night and during the breeding season, September to April.

    Remember to be be croc wise.

    For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

    Before you visit

    Essentials to bring

    To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit make sure you bring:

    • a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
    • insect repellent
    • fuel or gas stove for cooking—fires are not permitted
    • rubbish bags—bins are not provided.

    Opening hours

    Daintree National Park is open 24hrs a day but ferry hours are limited to 6.00am-midnight daily, with a reduced service on Christmas Day and occasional breaks in service for mechanical repairs or during flooding.

    Noah Beach camping area is closed throughout the wet season every year from the first Sunday after New Years Day, reopening Good Friday. These dates may vary depending on weather and road conditions, and the camping area may also be closed after heavy rain. Observe road closures and restrictions, as penalties can apply. Check park alerts and Queensland Traffic for local road conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology provides updated weather reports.

    Permits and fees

    Camping permits

    Camping permits are required and must be booked in advance. Fees apply. Your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

    Other permits

    Permits are required for commercial and some organised group activities. See park permits and policies for more information.

    Pets

    Domestic animals, including birds, are not permitted in Daintree National Park.

    Climate and weather

    The Daintree region has one of the wettest climates in Australia. During the wet season, from December to April, there are heavy and frequent downpours. Some areas receive more than 6m of rainfall annually. Maximum temperatures through the wet season range from 27–33°C, with humidity often exceeding 80 per cent.

    The cooler, drier months from May to September are the best time to visit. The weather is pleasantly warm with reduced humidity. Maximum temperatures average 26°C.

    For more information see the tourism information links.

    Fuel and supplies

    Fuel and supplies are available at the Rainforest Village, 14km from the Daintree River ferry. For more information, please refer to tourism information links.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.