Great Barrier Reef Places



Outdoor Activities

Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours. On these relaxed coastal walks (A$75), Kubirri Warra brothers Linc and Brandon Walker, members of the Kuku Yalanji bama (people), take turns guiding groups through three diverse ecosystems along Cooya Beach, north of Port Douglas, demonstrating traditional plant use, pointing out bush tucker ingredients, recounting Dreamtime legends, and sharing their knowledge of indigenous culture and the area. On a two-hour night-spearing trip over similar terrain (A$150), the brothers teach hunting and gathering skills passed down by the Kuku Yalanji over millennia: observing, tracking, spear-throwing, and foaging, with plenty of jokes thrown in. Wear wading shoes, a hat, insect repellent, and (on day tours) sunscreen. Return transfers to the Port Douglas area are A$30. Mossman Gorge Rd., Mossman, Mossman, QLD, 4873. 07/4098–2595.

Walkabout Adventures. This operator takes small groups on half- and full-day rain-forest safari and coastal hunting trips (A$150-A190 per person), and runs an hour-long Daintree rain-forest walk that's perfect for time-pressed travelers (A$45). These excursions visit the world's oldest rain-forest, Mossman Gorge, and coastal mudflats, mangroves, and beaches, with swims in rain-forest streams, foraging beach and mangrove walks, and lessons on spear-throwing. The one-hour walk, departing Daintree Eco-Lodge & Spa most days, is best booked through the Eco-Lodge. Transfers are available from Port Douglas, Palm Cove, the Northern Beaches for a surcharge. Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa, 20 Daintree Rd., Daintree, QLD, 4873. 0429/2947–8206; 07/4098–6100 Daintree Eco-Lodge & Spa. Daily, prebooking essential.

Daintree Station. Impressive displays of horsemanship and "jackeroo" (cowboy) skills are the draw at Daintree Station, which offers a daily Stockmans Lunch Muster complete with whip-cracking, cattle-driving, a bull catcher, ATVs, cattle dogs, stunt horses, and various other animals. It's all delivered with dry Outback humor and followed by a barbecue lunch, live music, and bush tales. Daily shows are staged in a 19th-century-inspired "Outback station shed" arena in rain-forest environs 12½ km (8 miles) north of Mossman or a 35-minute drive north of Port Douglas. After lunch, you can test your rodeo skills on a mechanical bull, or amuse the kids at the farm-animal petting zoo. Kingston Rd., Whyanbeel Valley, Mossman, QLD, 4873. 07/4098–1149. A$63, A$120 with transfers (Stockmans Lunch Muster); A$99 (trail horse-ride). Extra A$15 insurance levy for ATV tours and horse rides.

Vertical Adventures. The half- and full-day helicopter tours from Vertical Adventures whisk you from Great Barrier Reef sites to Daintree National Park and Mossman Gorge for guided kayak, mountain-bike, walking, or river-snorkeling adventures. Options include a half-day helicopter-kayak tour (A$349 per person with 1–3 guests; A$333 per person with 4), and a half-day helicopter-river-snorkeling option (A$389/A$375). The Daintree Adventure Day includes a helicopter flight into the Daintree Rainforest, zip-line opportunities, and a crocodile-spotting river cruise (A$599/A$589). Helicopters depart from the Sheraton Mirage Country Club heli-pad near GBR's Sunbird Centre. Rates include flights, refreshments, all safety gear and equipment, entry fees, insurance, and transfers from Port Douglas, Mossman and Oak (Thala) Beach; from Palm Cove or the Northern Beaches, it's A$35/A$50 return. 4 Davidson St., Mossman, QLD, 4877. 07/4099–6310.