Great Barrier Reef Places


Cape Tribulation

Getting Here and Around

Daintree River Ferry. The turnoff for the Daintree River crossing is just under 30 km (18 miles) north of Mossman on the Daintree–Mossman Road, which winds through sugarcane plantations and towering green hills to the Daintree River, a short waterway fed by monsoonal rains that make it a favorite inland haunt for saltwater crocodiles. On the northerly side of the river, a sign announces Cape Tribulation National Park. There's just one ferry, carrying a maximum 27 vehicles, so although the crossing takes five minutes, the wait can be 15, especially between 11 am and 1 pm and in holiday periods. There's no need to pre-book your pasage, but do bring cash: credit cards aren't accepted. 07/4098–7536 or 07/4099–9444. Round-trip: A$23 per car, A$9.50 motorbike, A$2 walk-on passenger/bicycle, A$46 multiday car pass (5 return trips). Daily 6 am–midnight.

North of the river, the road winds its way to Cape Tribulation, burrowing through dense rain forest and onto open stretches high above the coast, with spectacular views of the mountains and coastline. The 140-km (86-mi) drive from Cairns to Cape Trib takes just under three hours. If you're renting a car, it's simplest to do so in Cairns or Port Douglas.

This can be tough driving territory. The "highway" is narrow with just two lanes; many minor roads are rough and unpaved; and even major thruways in this area may be closed in the wet season due to flooding.

Mason's Cape Tribulation Tourist Information Centre & Shop and PK's Jungle Village, a little farther north on the opposite side of Cape Tribulation Road, are the last stops for food, supplies, and fuel as you head north. At PK's there's an IGA supermarket and the Cape Trib Pharmacy.

ATMs are scarce beyond Mossman. Get cash at the Caltex service station and convenience store at Wonga Beach or at PK's. North of the Daintree River, mobile phone coverage is limited (except in and around Mossman and Daintree Village), and you'll be lucky to get any signal once you get as far as Cape Tribulation.

Public transport is limited throughout the region. Coral Reef Coaches runs daily services between Cairns, Port Douglas, and Mossman/Silky Oaks Lodge. Sun Palm Transport Group's daily services link Cairns, Palm Cove, Port Douglas, Mossman, Daintree, Cow Bay, and Cape Trib: the full journey takes three to four hours, with stops at most resorts on request, and is A$78 ($A48 from Port Douglas; A$68 from Palm Cove).