Getting to the Daintree
For a full rainforest experience north of the Daintree River, the best option is to stay locally (Cow Bay, Diwan or Cape Tribulation) and be picked up by Mike of D’Arcy of Daintree Tours at your accommodation place.
Otherwise, the usual meeting point is Thornton Beach. Driving times (if no queues at the ferry crossing) are: from Port Douglas 90 min and from Cairns 2.5 hours.
There are many choices of accommodation from Cow Bay to Cape Tribulation. They vary from safari style cabins to luxurious pavilions, including B&Bs and holiday houses.
The Daintree National Park covers a large geographical area (from Mossman to Cape Tribulation). For those unfamiliar with the geography of the area, it can be very confusing as there are many localities in the Daintree – Cow Bay, Diwan and Cape Tribulation are just some of them. For more details go to www.destinationdaintree.com to download a visitor’s map and learn about some of the most popular localities in the region.
The road is sealed all the way from Cairns to Cape Tribulation. The area is easy to find, and easy to explore. If possible, allow for daylight and extra time on the drive to/from Cairns as it is a very scenic drive with a number of opportunities for photo stops.
Having a hire car is by far the best option to explore and appreciate the area. The numerous beaches, boardwalks and localities are far apart and there are no taxis or buses in the area.
Some tour bus companies departing from Cairns offer packages including stays at Cow Bay/Cape Tribulation, or allow for a drop-off/pickup at certain accommodation places.
When to come
Ask the locals and they’ll say the rainforest is great anytime of the year, constantly changing with the seasons. The most popular time with visitors is from June to October when the cooler temperatures (mid 20°C) and lower rainfall usually bring sunny days beautifully designed for outdoor exploring. July and August are the busiest months and require planning and pre-booking as many places and activities are booked out in advance.
December through April is the green season, with regular rain bringing lush growth, more active (and numerous) wildlife and marvellous water through the creeks.
D’Arcy of Daintree Tours runs private tours every month of the year, but we don’t normally take advance bookings for February or March. Historically, these can be the wettest months of the year and, while the rest of the region is very visitable, the 4WD Bloomfield Track past Emmagen Creek can become impassable. So, we hunker down and enjoy the lush warm tropical weather.
The green season especially is a good time for tailored private tours, as you can experience some out-of-the-way places, and we can explore and explain all aspects of the biodiversity of our environment, from fringing reef to coast, mangroves to lowland forest and the tangle-dangle of the symbiotic and competitive plants in the rainforest.