Top 5 Things To Do In Daintree Australia
What's The Deal With Daintree?
If you're planning to visit Australia, you probably have a list as long as your arm of things you've wished to do and see for many years. One place you just can't miss is Northern Queensland. With the Great Barrier Reef looming off the coast - and almost undoubtedly one on your bucket list - it can be easy to forget the mass of years old rainforest just a couple of hours up from the bustling centre of Cairns.
This short low-down of my best bits should help to encourage and inspire a trip up north, Down Under! From croc spotting to fruit tasting, the Daintree has it all and more, so don't miss out on a magical adventure into paradise...
1. The Mossman Gorge
75 kilometres from Cairns you find yourself plunged into the Daintree National Park and a top stop off is the Mossman Gorge Center, an interesting and easy route into the boardwalks of the Mossman Gorge. The Mossman Gorge encaptures World Heritage listed rainforest and is just a stones throw from the Center which aims to protect the environment whilst making it accessible for those who wish to visit, alongside encouraging and actively helping the immediate Indigenous population through job opportunities and training.
The Center is immaculate and a small shuttle bus takes you a mere 5 minute journey, dropping you at the entrance to boardwalks, icy cold waters and almost unimaginably large stone boulders. You can get lost on both short wanders or longer circular trails or just sit by the water taking in the incredible surroundings. With regular shuttles, you can spend as little or as long as you wish experiencing the natural beauty of the Gorge. Keep your eyes peeled for Cassowary, tall, black birds with colourful chests, immediately recognisable by the bone protruding from the crown of their heads!
2. Crocodile Watching On The Daintree River
Crocodile tours down the Daintree River are a must, not just because of the opportunity to spot one of the most notorious monsters of the animal kingdom. The guys who run the tours have a wealth of information and knowledge about the creatures beneath the boat and on the banks and the surrounding areas and geographical landmarks.
Tales of Scarface, a giant, territorial crocodile daddy of the Daintree river, a 6' beast of the muddy waters, echo in your mind as you peer desperately over the edge of the boat into the deep. Bull sharks are another - admittedly rare - sighting opportunity, roaming from salt water to fresh.
The guides knowingly outline the fascinating lives of these breathtakingly ancient animals which makes the experience a must-do. I personally consider myself as being a crocodile geek but came away with new knowledge of their lives and habits having journeyed down the river.
3. Exotic Fruit Tasting
If you're hungry, don't miss the Daintree Teahouse, hidden away deep in the rainforest. With fresh barramundi, kangaroo and vegetarian options available alongside an indepth exotic fruit tasting and talk, you'll be stuffed. The fruits are delicious and the restaurateurs hospitable and welcoming, obviously passionate about their trade and surrounding environment. You'll welcome the idyllic surroundings of the outside eating area of the restaurant after a hot morning on the river and exploring the gorge.
(Daintree Teahouse Restaurant, Mossman-Daintree Road, Daintree, QLD, Australia)
If you're a real foodie, check out the ice cream on offer at the Daintree Ice Cream Company. Amidst the orchards full of trees, weighed down by fruits from around the globe, the company create delicious, homemade ice cream from the fruits gathered. A different twist from your usual 99!
(Cape Tribulation Road, Cape Tribulation 4873, QLD, Australia)
4. Cape Tribulation
You'll feel a million miles from reality on visiting Cape Tribulation. The name, given to the Cape by Captain Cook after his ship suffered badly in raging storms, is almost ironic. Despite Cook's despair at his fateful, storm ravaged landing on the shores, the beaches and views across the Cape are unlike any other. Azure blue waters line the coast; don't miss the signs directing you towards the lookout where you can get a sparkling view.
Agonisingly, during the sweaty, hot summer months, the waters are a danger zone, teeming with Box Jellyfish you'd be silly to paddle, however great the urge. Pad along the beach, a short distance from the lapping waters and enjoy feeling deep within an oasis of calm.
5. Captain Cook's Highway
Practically unavoidable if travelling from Cairns - luckily - is Captain Cook's highway, a coastal drive which weaves along the water, past Palm Cove, a picturesque tourist playground, and onto Port Douglas, another hot spot for holiday makers and sightseers.
You'll pass incredible look out points and the famous Port Douglas which has its very own hilltop viewpoint worth a walk or drive up; a pretty sundial lists cities, thousands of miles away whilst the viewpoint allows you to gaze over the highway and coast.
A trip Down Under is a once in a lifetime opportunity - although saying that, I'll hopefully visit again in the future! The Daintree and surrounding areas host a variety of activities which you can spend painless hours debating over and a rich historical background that will boggle you but these above locations will both entertain, amaze and mesmerise - enjoy the environment, take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints; you'll have the experience you'd dreamed of.
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