Friday, 1 March 2013

Taking it Easy at Cape Tribulation

hen I first arrived in Cairns I was at a bit of a loss about what to do with myself so I asked my facebook friends what I should do knowing a few of them had been up this way before. One of the things suggested by multiple people was to go up to the Daintree Rainforest. Thankfully the receptionist at my hostel was happy to help me out and got me booked on to a tour up to the rainforest which would include an overnight stay and a drop off the next day at Port Douglas. 

Thus I once more found myself on a bus heading out of Carins. This was a very different tour from my Uncle Brian’s experience. Our guide was friendly and chatty but in a calmer more mature way. The drive up to Port Douglas was spectacular. The road twisted round the coast giving me a different view of the reef and the rainforest.  Myself and two other backpackers were left to explore Port Douglas whilst the rest of the passengers went on to a wild life habitat. The three of us purchased some snacks and headed to the lookout pointed out to us by our guide. I think we were meant to explore the town but I had two days planned there and the others didn’t seem fussed so we took it easy until we were picked up and on our way again. We had a quick stop at Mossman Gorge where we took a short walk to a spot in the river where it was safe to swim. Only one of our group, a small child, indulged but I did spend some time paddling and enjoying the view.

Once at Cape Tribulation I introduced the other two backpackers to the delights of wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream before we took a walk down to beach where we could see the rainforest actually meeting the reef. The beach was deserted until we arrived but the signs warning of stingers and crocs dissuaded any of us from taking a dip in the sea. The tour was only half over but for me that was it for the day. I was dropped off at my accommodation with promises that I would be collected the next day.

Once in the rainforest I decided to explore it in a different way, I tried and loved jungle surfing! It was like flying through the canopy and I felt so safe my last ‘flight’ on the zip rail was done upside down. It was an experience I recommend everyone (who isn’t afraid of heights) try at least once. As we walked up to the first platform and when we waited for our turn on the zipslides our guides told us more rainforest facts which set me up nicely for my rainforest night walk later on. We didn’t see many animals during our night walk but we did see a bandicoot and I can now claim to have licked a green ants bum. As we were walking through the dark forest it started to rain which in my mind was perfect. I did put away my camera as I was feeling slightly over protective of it but the sounds and feel of the rain made up for the lack of photos. I did get it back out when our guide stepped inside a large stranger fig and lit it up creating a beautifully eerie effect in the dark forest.

The next day when I was checking out I had a lovely surprise as two of my diving class were sitting in the common area waiting for their lift to the bat sanctuary where they were volunteering for the week. It was fun to see them and catch up but too soon they were on their way. Just as I was settling down with a book my fellow backpacking tour friend appeared and he offered to show me the beach walk he had taken the previous day. Sadly as the day before the tide was high so I missed standing in the reef and forest at the same time but it was still a lovely walk, the company was pretty good and we were not eaten by crocodiles.

As promised our guide did return for us at midday and it was time to continue our tour. Our first stop was the Daintree river for some croc spotting. Our guide was great and really made the effort to find us a big croc but they were all hiding. In the end we only saw a baby one up close but that was good enough for me. Back on the bus we had one last stop at a beautiful lookout point before it was back on the bus and on to Port Douglas. Thankfully my driver remembered I was to stop there because I had got caught up talking to a couple and ended up giving the poor folks a lecture on all the great places in Australia they should visit on their travels. In hindsight they were probably quite relived I wasn’t going all the way back to Cairns with them! And so with hasty goodbyes my rainforest meets the reef experience was at an end. 


  1. What an absolutely fantastic experience Lyn!...WOW! xx

  2. I know! Sometime I read my old posts and think "Did I really do all that?" Ten years ago I never would have believed me capable of all this but it just goes to show, you never can tell......