The Freshwater Streams of the Daintree River

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Daintree River The Daintree River courses through the lush surrounds of the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest and most popular natural attractions in Australia. It rises in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest near stunning Cape Tribulation, and is set in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics of Queensland.

The area and river boasts hundreds of years of history, but it remains an important destination for visitors in the present day, too.

Here, you can take cruises down the river, spotting the native flora and fauna as you go, wander along the banks and discover ancient trees and magical scenery, as well as learn more about the flow of the river and its many different tributaries and streams.

The Geography of the River
The river itself begins in the ancient slopes of the Great Dividing Range in the Daintree National Park, just below Black Mountain, before cascading north and then east beneath the canopies of the rainforest.
Through the rainforest, the water is incredibly fresh and, at this point, an abundance of wildlife congregate, particularly unique and native species of fish. Daintree River 2

After this, the river unites with two minor tributaries before continuing on through the Cairns Marine National Park, where it meanders through pretty mangrove swamps and finishes up in the Coral Sea just to the north of Wonga Beach.

Here, the mouth of the river expands out into a huge sandbar that moves with every tide.

The Freshwater Streams of the Daintree River
Along its route, the Daintree River picks up, joins, and leaves numerous freshwater streams that pick their way through the lush surroundings of the Daintree Rainforest.
Under the ancient canopies of thousand-year-old trees, these streams provide a sense of mystery and majestic charm to forest life.

In many, the shallow waters trickle over boulders and rocks, carving a path through the undergrowth and creating new streams and tracks towards the Coral Sea.

It’s in these spots that you can spot weird and wonderful freshwater marine life, including vibrant species of fish that flit backwards and forwards just beneath the surface of the water.

Daintree RiverSome of these streams draw in keen fishermen from far and wide who are looking to catch quirky breeds of fish and just admire the peaceful scenery that surrounds the river.

If you’re in the Daintree Rainforest, the river and its accompanying freshwater streams are well worth a visit if you want to soak up the charm of the area.

1 Day Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest Tour with Port Douglas Pickups

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Location Address Time
Acacia Court Hotel 223/227 Esplanade, Cairns 7:40am
Aspect Central 209 Sheridan Street, Cairns 7:30am
Asylum Cairns Backpackers 149 Grafton Street, Cairns 7:40am
Balinese Motel 215 Lake Street, Cairns 7:40am
Bay Village Tropical Resort Cnr Lake & Gatton Streets, Cairns 7:40am
Bellview Hostel 85-87 The Esplanade, Cairns (Bellview Bus Stop) 7:20am
Bohemia Resort 231 McLeod Street, Cairns 7:00am
Cairns Aquarius Holiday Apartments 107 Esplanade, Cairns 7:20am
 Cairns City Backpackers 274 Draper, Cairns 7:00am
Cairns City Motel (Poinsettia) 69 Lake St, Cairns 7:30am
Cairns City Colonial Club 18-26 Cannon Street, Cairns 6:50am
Cairns Girls Hostel 147 Lake St, Cairns 7:10am
Cairns Habor Lights 1 Marlin Parade, Cairns 7:20am
Cairns Holiday Lodge 259 Sheridan St, Cairns 7:30am
Cairns Holiday Park 12-30 Little Street, Manunda 6:55am
Cairns Night Market 9 Shields Street, Cairns 7:20am
Cairns Plaza Hotel 145 Esplanade, Cairns 7:25am
Cairns Rainbow Resort 179 Sheridan St, Cairns 7:30am
Cairns Queenslander 267 Lake Street, Cairns 7:40am
Cairns Sheridan Hotel 295 Sheridan Street, Cairn 7:30am
Cairns Villa & Leisure Park 28 Pease St, Manoora 6:45am
Calypso Inn Backpackers 5/9 Digger Street, Cairns 7:40am
Caravella Backpackers 149 Esplanade, Cairns 7:25am
Caravella’s Central 72 Grafton St, Cairns 7:10am
Cascade Gardens 175 Lake Street, Cairns 7:20am
Cataways Backpackers 207 Sheridan St, Cairns 7:30am
City Terrance 63-65 McLeod St, Cairns 7:05am
Claredon on Spence – YHA 79 Spence Street, Cairns 7:05am
Coral Towers 255 The Esplanade, Cairns 7:40am
Coral Tree Inn 166-172 Grafton Street, Cairns 7:25am
Comfort Inn Cairns City 183 Lake St, Cairns 7:25am
Double Tree by Hilton 121-123 Esplanade, Cairns 7:25am
Dreamtime Travellers Rest 189 Bunda Street & 4 Terminus Street, Cairns 7:00am
Floriana Guest House 183-185 Esplanade, Cairns 7:40am
Gilligan’s 57-89 Grafton St, Cairns 7:10am
Globetrotters International 154-156 Lake Street, Cairns 7:25am
Hilton 34 Esplanade, Cairns  7:10am
IL Centro Apartments Hotel 26-30 Sheridan Street, Cairns 7:05am
Il Palazzo Boutique Hotel 62 Abbott Street, Cairns 7:20am
JJ’s Backpackers 11-13 Charles Street, Cairns 7:40am
Koala Beach Resort 137 Lake Street, Cairns 7:20am
Lazy Duck Backpackers 136 Grafton St, Cairns 7:20am
Mad Monkeys 100-102 Sheridan St, Cairns 7:05am
Mantra Esplanade 53-57 Esplanade, Cairns 7:25am
Mantra Trilogy 101/105 Esplanade, Cairns 7:25am
Marlina Gateway Apartments 35-37 Trinity Beach Road, Trinity Beach 7:25am
N’Joy Hostel 141 Sheridan Street, Cairns 7:30am
Nomads Serpent Resort 341 Lake Street, Cairns 7:40am
North Cove Waterfront 275-277 Esplanade, Cairns 7:40am
Northern Greenhouse 117 Grafton Street, Cairns 7:10am
Novotel Oasis Resort 122 Lake Street, Cairns Cit 7:10am
Oasis Inn Apartments 276 Sheridan Street, Cairns 7:40am
Pacific International Hotel 43 Esplanade, Cairns 7:20am
Palm Royale 7-11 Chester Count, Manunda 6:45am
Piermonde Apartments 2-4 Lake St, Cairns 7:05am
Pullman Cairns International 17 Abbott Street, Cairns 7:10am
Queens Court 167-171 Sheridan St, Cairn 7:30am
Reef Gateway Apartments 239 Lake Street, Cairns 7:40am
Reef Palms Apartments 41-47 Digger Street, Cairns 7:40am
Royal Palm Villas 184 McLeod St, Cairns 7:30am
Ryans Rest 18 Terminus St, Parramatta Park 7:00am
Rydges Esplanade 209-217 Abbott St, Cairns 7:25am
Rydges Plaza 50 Grafton Street, Cairns 7:10am
Rydges Tradewins 137 Esplanade, Cairns 7:25am
Shangri-La Pier Point Rd, Cairns 7:20am
The Abbott Boutique 69-73 Abbott St,Cairns 7:20am
The Lakes Resort 2 Greenslopes Street, Cairns 7:40am
Tradewinds McLeod 191 McLeod St, Cairns 7:30am
Travellers Castle Hotel 209 Lake St, Cairns 7:25am
Travellers Oasis 8 Scott St, Cairns 7:00am
Tropic Days 28 Bunting St, Bungalow 7:00am
Tropic Towers 294-298 Sheridan St, Cairns 7:40am
Tropical Heritage 8 Minnie St, Cairns 7:25am
Tropical Queenslanders 287 Lake St, Cairns 7:40am
Villa Shangri-La 288 Sheridan St, Cairns 7:40am
Villa Caucluse 141 Grafton Street, Cairns 7:20am
Waterfront Terraces 233 Esplanade, Cairns 7:40am
Water Edge Apartments 155 Esplanade, Cairns 7:25am
YHA Central 20-26 McLeod Street, Cairns 7.05am

The Pretty Plant Life of Cape Tribulation and Beyond

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Daintree RainforestThe Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef in a part of the coastline known as Cape Tribulation. This spot is unique, in that it boasts all the characteristics of a beachside resort, with pristine sands and sparkling shallows, as well as a tropical rainforest packed full of native wildlife.

Primitive Plant Species
The majority of the world’s nineteen primitive plant families can be found in the Daintree Rainforest and its surrounding regions, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the entire world.  
Today, you can still find a primitive she-oak called Gymnostoma australianum, which is a pine-like tree and one of the only remaining types of plants in its group. You can find these just to the north of the Daintree River.

Another primitive species, the Noahdendron nicholasii can be found on a specific area of the river’s banks and in surrounding narrow creeks. So far, it hasn’t been found anywhere else in the world. It is most noticeable by its eye-catching pink flower spike that is made up of multiple scented blossoms.

Near Cape Tribulation itself, you can find the ancient Idiospermum australiense, which has been found in several other regions of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Idiot Fruit
Perhaps the most famous species of plant in Cape Tribulation and its surroundings is the Idiot Fruit, which is one of the rarest primitive plants in the entire world, dating back more than 110 million years. The finding of this plant back in the 70s showed just how old the Daintree Rainforest is.

EpiphytesDaintree Australia 6989
These plants can survive without rooting into the ground, so they can often be found being supported by host plants. One of the most important and common versions of this plant in the Daintree Rainforest is the Basket Fern, which can create its own ecosystem.

King Ferns
This is one of the largest and oldest ferns on the entire planet, with their fronds measuring up to five metres in length when fully grown.
Noah’s Satinash

The most eye-catching things about Noah’s Satinash plants are the vibrant pear-shaped fruit that it grows. They appear between October and November after a bloom of white flowers during autumn. The fruits are a firm favourite for the native Musky Rat-kangaroos who come out at night to feast on them.

rainforest walkNative Gingers
The dozens of Ginger species found in this part of Australia are all endemic to the region. They are often used as ornamental plants and can be found in many flower arrangements throughout the region.

What to Do Around Trinity bay

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trinity bay michaelThe Daintree Rainforest is unique in that it is one of the only rainforests in the world that gently slopes into the ocean. Trinity Bay marks one of the key spots where this happens, rolling out in a paradise show of pristine white sands and shimmering blue waters.

Situated just a stone’s throw from the Great Barrier Reef, the water surrounding the bay is home to a colourful selection of marine life and fascinating corals. It sits at the end of the Mossman River, marking the point where the cascading water trickles into the sea. This unique set of natural features provides the bay with some incredible views.mossman river michael

Many visitors choose to stop off at Trinity Bay when they’re exploring Queensland, exploring its beach and many landmarks that surround it. It offers a break from the forest scenery and provides the perfect backdrop to relax and soak up the sun against.

As well as unique scenery and beautiful wildlife, the bay also boasts a fascinating history. It got its name from Trinity Sunday, a Christian Holy Day, which was given to it by James Cook back in the late 18th century.

What to Do Around Trinity Bay

The stunning scenery of Trinity Bay lends itself perfectly to a range of fun activities, whether you want to simply kick back and relax or do something a bit more adventurous.

Soak up the Sun

The palm-lined shores of the bay are ideal for a spot of sunbathing. On the pristine sands, you can relax, soak up the warm Australian sun, and take a dip in the sparkling shallows.

trinty bay watersports michaelDo Some Watersports

The close proximity to one of the world’s most famous water spots, the Great Barrier Reef, means Trinity Bay is ideal for water lovers and those keen to explore the marine life.
Scuba diving and snorkelling are popular activities here, where you can get up close and personal with some of the region’s most mesmerising sea creatures, while kayaking offers a more leisurely way to explore the coastline.

Take a Walk

All around the coast, there are plenty of walking trails that you can pick up to discover beautiful views and hidden spots. As you go, keep your eyes peeled for vantage points that offer breath-taking views of the shoreline and beyond.
Trinity Bay is situated in a place that makes it easy to explore both the rainforest and the ocean views that characterise this part of Australia.

The Indigenous Smoking Ceremonies of the Daintree Rainforest

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Kuku Yalanji 1Travelling to Cairns and north Queensland wouldn’t be complete without delving deep into the Aboriginal culture that imbues the area and has done for thousands of years. The ancestral past is still visible throughout the lush region, where centuries-old secrets languish amongst rainforest scenery and incredible landscapes.

There are numerous tribes that call the area home, particularly in the Daintree Rainforest, one of north Queensland’s most popular natural attractions. Here, there is unique coastal scenery thanks to the three diverse eco-systems that make it up. In a small area, you can expect to see sprawling white sands of beaches, mangroves, and coastal reef – a bit of something for everyone.

Each individual tribe has its own traditions and rituals that you can discover and learn more about on a tour of the area. You can get a glimpse into their daily lives, and discover the ways they continue to hunt for food and create shelter in the surrounds that they have called home for as long as time. SmokingCeremony1

The tropical seasons are a part of life for the Aboriginal people in this part of Australia, and they use them to their advantage. They continue to prosper and thrive in the unique landscape, where they live happily side by side with nature and the tropical climate.

Many tours of the region start with a traditional smoking ceremony, which gives you an insight into local life. The ceremony is conducted by the local people who have a specific cultural knowledge about the region that they will willingly share with you. The ceremony itself is a spiritual cleansing to help ward off any bad spirits and to make sure that, while you’re wandering through the ancient land of the local people, that you are welcomed and honoured.

Once the smoking ceremony is over, you’ll often have the chance to try out some other Aboriginal activities. On many tours, you can try your hand at spear throwing – a hunting technique that the locals still use to this very day. Alternatively, you can learn how to track and hunt fish, crabs, and mussels, as they languish through the lush mangroves, or you can try bush tucker meat and learn all about the bush medicines that have been carried down from generation to generation.

Mossman Gorge CentreWhen you leave the Daintree Rainforest, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of the people who have safeguarded it for centuries and the rich past that has made it the place it is today. With the smoking ceremony, you get to become a part of that fascinating history, if only for a short while.

The Cassowaries of the Daintree Rainforest

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CassowaryCassowaries are lovingly known as the guardians of the rainforest because they disperse seeds throughout the forest, keeping more than 150 types of native plants and trees alive.

But what exactly is a cassowary?

These magnificent birds boast rich black plumage and are part of the same bird family as the emu, ostrich, and Kiwi. Growing up to 1.8 metres tall, they are impressive and beautiful – but can also be dangerous if you spot them around breeding season as they are very protective over their young.

You can find cassowaries in the lush canopies of the Daintree Rainforest in the tropical region of Queensland. Their dark plumage means they blend in well with the shadows of the forest. For the most part, cassowaries live in solitude, only coming together during the mating season. Their home ranges can be anywhere between 75 and 80 hectares big (sometimes more) depending on what fruit and other foods are available with that proximity.

If you keep your eyes peeled, you might just be lucky enough to see one of these incredible creatures in the wild.

The Feeding Habits of the Cassowary

Cassowaries are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. They predominantly feed on common fruits that have fallen to the forest floor, as well as a variety of grasses, seeds, insects, and other invertebrates. cassowary attack 2

The Unique Breeding Habits of the Cassowary

Cassowaries have a unique breeding system. They tend to mate between June and October, where both males and females initiate courtship. The female then lays her eggs on the forest floor – usually about four at a time – before the male sits on them for 50 days and incubates them. Once the chicks have hatched, the male cassowary looks after them until they are 16 months old. At that point they are ready to move out on the own and pick up a life of solitude just like their parents.

How to Spot a Cassowary

It’s unlikely you’ll miss a cassowary if you come across one in the forest. As well as coarse black feathers on their torso, they have an eye-catching metallic blue neck and head with red markings. On top, they have a pointy, prehistoric-looking feather that makes them even taller.

Many visitors to Australia venture to the Daintree Rainforest especially to see these elusive, native creatures. If you do get the chance to spot one, remember to take lots of photos before it melts back into the shadowy forest undergrowth.

The History and Views of Rex Lookout

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Tucked away near the lush confines of the Daintree Rainforest, Rex Lookout offers spectacular views over Cape Tribulation and out onto the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders. You’ll find the lookout on the drive between Cairns and Port Douglas, making it the perfect place for a pitstop if you’re taking a long drive between the two popular destinations. daintree Michael

From the excellent vantage point, you can look out over Trinity Bay below and watch the hang gliders as they jump off and float away across the blue skies. Don’t forget your camera here, as the impressive coastal views, clear water, and a backdrop of mountains make for some stunning photos.

The lookout not only gives you the chance to view the Great Barrier Reef from a different perspective, it also provides the perfect place to get out of your car and stretch your legs.

The History of Rex Lookout

The lookout was named after Raymond Rex, the Douglas Shire Councillor for 45 years. He was a well-respected man and was pivotal in the plans to have the Captain Cook Highway finished up during the time of the Depression so people could easily travel between Port Douglas and Cairns. rex creek michael

However, despite much respect coming from one side, others didn’t want the road to be built because they thought visitors would go and spend their money in other parts of the area.
But it wasn’t just the highway that Raymond Rex had influence in. He also helped set up the water and power supply for Rex Creek, making him an important person in the history of the area. At the lookout, you can see a plaque that was dedicated to him on August 21st 1982. Rex Lookout michael

For many, the lookout isn’t just a place to stop off between Port Douglas and Cairns or somewhere to enjoy the local views, it’s also a spot that acts as a reminder of the hard work of Raymond Rex’s life. From the lookout, you can soak up the fascinating history while being surrounded by the stunning expanse of the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef – two of Australia’s most incredible natural hotspots.

It’s well worth a visit if you’re travelling between Cairns and Port Douglas or vice versa, acting as a great stop-off point that’s imbued with a sense of local history and amazing views.

Exploring Plantlife and the Past at Marrdja Boardwalk

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The Daintree Rainforest boasts an ancient collection of trees and beautiful vegetation. There are numerous trails that weave their way through the undergrowth, including the picturesque Marrdja Boardwalk.

The name Marrdja comes from the Kuku Yalanji people and means rainforest walk, while the boardwalk itself loops around Oliver Creek alongside a sparkling mountain stream that sits beneath the lush canopy of rainforest trees.

Marrdja signAlong the route, there are various signs that educate visitors on the evolution of the Daintree Coast and its resident plants, as well as deeper guides to the two main habitats that characterise the area – rainforests and mangroves. Where Oliver Creek joins together with Noah Creek, there is a distinct transition between lush rainforest scenery to mangrove forest that is well worth exploring.

In addition to signs about the evolution of the rainforest, you can walk your way through a 350-million-year journey via signs and information. Start by learning about the very first land plants and then move on through the era of the dinosaurs and the emergence of pretty flowering plants before discovering more about how the super continent of Gondwana (that Australia used to be a part of) broke up and formed several smaller continents. Finally, the tour takes you through the age of humans and the impact they have had on the vegetation and landscape.

Marrdja 2Important Information About the Marrdja Boardwalk
The length of the boardwalk spans one kilometre and starts from Oliver Creek on Cape Tribulation Road in the Daintree National Park. All in all, it takes about 45 minutes to explore, including all the signs and educational material along the way.

To get to it, you want to park up in the carpark on Cape Tribulation Road. From there, you can find the entrance to the boardwalk on the south bank of Oliver Creek.

Exploring the Marrdja Boardwalk gives you the chance to discover the stunning natural beauty of the Daintree Rainforest while learning more about its origins. Not only can you wander amongst some of the country’s oldest vegetation and marvel at the incredible scenery that this area is known for, you can dig deep into the millennia-old history that imbues the region and its surroundings. If you’re in the Daintree area, the Marrdja Boardwalk is a must-visit, especially if you’re a history buff keen to discover the meandering natural history of Australia and its resident plant life.



Things to Do on Cooya Beach

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cooya BeachThe Daintree Rainforest is best-known for its ancient trees and lush vegetation, but that’s not all it has to offer. In fact, where the rainforest meets ocean, there are some spectacular beaches boasting pristine sands and sparkling turquoise waters.

Cooya Beach is one of these stretches of sand. Set near the mouth of the Mossman River to the north west of popular Port Douglas, it promises visitors excellent swimming and snorkelling amongst numerous other activities.

It proves to be a popular hotspot for holiday homes and there are plenty of locals who live around the area. If you’re ready to get stuck into some of the things Cooya Beach has to offered, here are some activities to get you started.

Cooya beachThings to Do in Cooya Beach
Mud-crabbing is one of the go-to activities on Cooya Beach. Because of the close proximity to the mouth of the Mossman, there are numerous forms of life that relish the muddy waters and the change from freshwater to saltwater surroundings. Try your hand at catching some crabs in a relaxing afternoon activity.

Likewise, boating is a popular sport amongst visitors and locals. The pristine coastline promises spectacular views and peaceful waters to peruse. Hop aboard a boat to explore the area from a different perspective and soak up all that this picturesque part of the coastline has to offer.

Like much of Australia’s waters, the ocean off Cooya Beach is ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving. Below the surface, you can explore a colourful world of unique marine life and discover some incredible corals as you go.

cooya beach IKick Back and Relax
The sandy shores of Cooya Beach are ideal for kicking back and relaxing on. Grab a spot in the sun or shade and while away the hours reading, sunbathing, or watching the world go by.

Keen swimmers will enjoy the calm waters of Cooya Beach. As well as an abundance of quirky marine life, the area is great for a leisurely swim. When it gets too hot in the sun, cool off in the waters for the ultimate refresh.

Cooya Beach offers a stark contrast to the lush canopies of the Daintree Rainforest. If you’re in the area, check out the serene sands that cover this stretch of coastline and join in with the local activities, whether that’s mud-crabbing, boating, or simply kicking back and relaxing by the water’s edge.


The Animals and Plant Life of the Daintree National Park

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mangrove girlLocated in the tropical wilderness of North Queensland, the Daintree National Park promises a lush expanse of rainforest and plenty of native wildlife to encounter. The Daintree Rainforest itself boasts an incredibly biodiverse landscape with a large concentration of animal and plant species that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. It is also one of the oldest rainforests on the planet.

For the most part, the park is covered by tropical rainforest, which has been alive for more than 110 million years.

It is thought the forest was created via a fortuitous continental drift when it split away from the supercontinent that took up the southern hemisphere millions of years ago. As it drifted away towards Antarctica, it passed through ocean currents and dropped in temperature, while other areas sped off to warmer climates. It is thought the rainforest segments of the supercontinent, like the Daintree, retained their original climates, as well as their original tree species. In fact, many tree species that have long been thought extinct have recently been rediscovered in the park.

green pythonAnimal Life in the Daintree National Park
The park is home to more than 430 different bird species, ranging from small, colourful varieties to larger, more prehistoric-looking species. Keep your eyes peeled for the wompoo fruit-dove, which is one of around six pigeon species in the park, as well as the cassowary and the buff-breasted paradise kingfisher.

CassowaryOn the forest floor, you might spot creatures like the striped possum, the ringtail possum, the brown bandicoot, and various species of tree kangaroo. There are plenty of native Australia critters here, too, including the swamp wallaby, the platypus, and the short-beaked echidna.

If that wasn’t enough, there are also around 23 reptile species that call the forest home, and 13 amphibians that wander between the watering holes and dry land. You might be able to spot forest dragons, water dragons, chameleon geckos, pythons, and varieties of tree snakes, as well as a unique frog species like the Australian lacelid, the white-lipped treefrog, and the common mist frog.

The selection of wildlife and plant species in the Daintree Rainforest really is spectacular, and you can guarantee that you’ll be able to spot at least a few of the native critters that call the park home. While wandering beneath the lush canopies and exploring ancient landscapes, keep your eyes peeled so you don’t miss a wildlife-spotting opportunity.




Getting to Know the Kuku Yalanji People

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Kuku Yalanji 1The Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest not only promises visitors an exceptional landscape of lush scenery, it also lets visitors step back in time to experience Australia’s ancient culture, where they can learn about the rich heritage of the local Indigenous people who live in the area.

While in the region, you can hear from the Kuku Yalanji people themselves about the legends and history that imbues the Gorge and its surroundings.

The Kuku Yalanji People
The Kukuk Yalangi people originate from the rainforests in the lush north of Queensland. Here, they have been living together in complete harmony with the environment for more than 50,000 years, which is when life in Australia is thought to have come about.

kuku yalanji 2Some tribes of the Kuku Yalanji people spread as far as Port Douglas, Cooktown, and Chillagoe, but, for the most part, they are concentrated around the Mossman River and Gorge.

Nature is a hugely important part of the Kuku Yalanji people’s belief systems, and they have intimate knowledge of its cycles which has been passed down from generation to generation. They are often known as the “rainforest people” because of their close affinity with nature and their surrounding scenery.

The Kuku Yalanji people have been sharing their knowledge and histories around the Mossman Gorge officially since 1986, offering tours to visitors and guided walks through the scenery. Now, there is an eco-tourism centre at the Gorge that gives visitors the chance to learn more about the rich cultural history of the Kuku Yalanji people and their connection with the environment.

Kuku yalanji 3Dreamtime Stories
Dreamtime stories are a rich part of Indigenous culture, and the Mossman Gorge is steeped in numerous legends that span back thousands of years. One of the most popular narratives follows the backdrop of the Gorge – Manjal Dimbi. This is an impressive mountain whose name, when translated, means “mountain holding back”.

According to some Dreamtime stories that imbue the area, the large humanoid rock of Manjal Dimbi represents Kubirri who helped the Kuku Yalanji people when they fell afoul of the evil spirit, Wurrumbu. Kubirri held back the evil spirit, who now sits in The Bluff above the Mossman River.

A visit to the Daintree Rainforest and the Mossman Gorge isn’t just an opportunity to experience some of Australia’s most mesmerising natural scenery, but it also gives you the chance to learn more about the Kuku Yalanji people and their fascinating history and contribution to Australian heritage.

What to Do at Cape Tribulation

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Cape Tribulation 1Cape Tribulation marks the spot where the turquoise waters of the sea meet the lush greenery of the forest and is one of the most unique spots of natural beauty in Australia.

Here, the Great Barrier Reef, an incredible natural wonder, joins forces with the Daintree Rainforest, bringing visitors an eclectic backdrop of ancient trees, native wildlife, and beautiful scenery.

The Best Time to Visit Cape Tribulation
The majority of visitors head to Cape Tribulation during the dry season, which takes place between July and November. During this time, marine stingers tend to be fewer in number and the temperature is much more enjoyable.

There are four key resorts that dot Cape Tribulation that cater to every kind of traveller – whether you’re a backpacker working to a budget or on the hunt for a more luxury experience.

Cape Tribulation 2Things to Do in Cape Tribulation
The diverse landscape that makes up Cape Tribulation means there are plenty of things to see and do during your stay. If you’re looking for active adventures, the area has you covered, or if you simply want to relax and soak up the unique scenery, you can do that to.

Diving and Snorkeling
The close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef means snorkeling and diving are two of the most popular activities in the region. Beginners and pros can dip beneath the surface of the water and explore the marine life that characterises one of the most spectacular parts of the world.

Bushwalking and Treks
Back on land, you can wander the many routes that weave their way through the rainforest. Along the way, you can marvel at huge ancient trees, spot exotic fruits, and look out for some of the native species that call the forest home.

Cape Tribulation 3Active Adventures
For the more adventurous traveller, there are plenty of adrenalin-pumping activities to get stuck into. You can explore the coastline from a different perspective in a kayak, you can take a horse ride through the forest, zip line through the high canopies, and even take a 4-wheel-drive safari.

River Cruise
If you fancy exploring at a slower pace, you can cruise down the Daintree River, spotting animals as you go and learning more about the natural habitat and its residents.  

Cape Tribulation really is an exceptional part of Australia, promising lush rainforest scenery with an abundance of animal and plant life, and the beautiful expanse of the Great Barrier Reef, with its picturesque islands and turquoise waters.