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Daintree River to Cape TribUpdated: 29-Apr-2007
Cross the Daintree River by ferry and travel north into the best of the Daintree - the Reef and Rainforest Coast.
Allow a minimum of one and a half hours drive time from Cairns to reach the ferry, one hour from Port Douglas.
Turn right at the signpost for Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Ferry. On the left just after the turn-off there is a series of lakes and billabongs which is old path of the Daintree River prior to the 1911 cyclone. Drive slowly as this is an excellent opportunity to spot birdlife in the billabong.
Looking northwards across the Daintree you can see the rainforested slopes of Thornton Peak. This mountain dominates the skyline and you will see it from several different angles on your journey. Very often there are clouds resting on top.
Check out the model of the Cassowary and the chicks, so that you know what they look like. You must remain in your vehicle while you are travelling on the ferry.
When you come off the ferry, pull over to the left and let the local traffic pass. You will have a more relaxing journey if you let the traffic get away. You may also be able to buy some cheap locally grown fruit from the banana stall which is often on the north side of the river.
A large part of the lowlands you will be travelling though is privately own freehold land. There are about 1000 rateable blocks, the majority between 1-2 hectares. The number of permanent residents is between 600-900 people. Many of these blocks have not been settled, and the rainforest is still intact.
The drive over the Alexander range is a stunning scenic rainforest drive and one of the most spectacular in the world - it has a sympathetic conservation design and its meandering nature enhances the ecotourism experience.
As you descend from the look-out there are several glimpses of views of the Daintree coastline.
The Cow Bay area has been classified as Outstanding Cassowary Habitat Zone by Corme and Moore (1993). In the lowlands and swamps of western Cow Bay the population density is as high as the best habitats in Mission Beach.
All the roads seen from the main road are cul-de-sacs servicing freehold blocks of land.
In the wet season Cooper Creek can be a barrier to cars, as the causeway may flood in heavy rain. In a small car do not try and cross the causeway until the depth of the water on the causeway drops to 0.2 metres. You need to have lots of patience as it is possible to be held up here for several hours if there are heavy rains in the area.
Noahs Range is the last range before you reach the Cape Tribulation area. Great view of Cape Tribulation and the fringing reef as you descend from Noahs Range into the Cape Trib valley.
Cape Tribulation Beach has toilets and picnic tables. You can walk to the look-out which takes 10 minutes. From here view the rainforest clad mountains which literally meets with the fringing reef. Remember to bring your camera as the view is spectacular! Just north of the Cape Trib Beach House is still some live coral on the edge of the fringing reef, if you have brought your snorkel.
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