Rainforest & Cape Trib Tour??

Feb 26th, 2004, 08:41 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12
Rainforest & Cape Trib Tour??

I am looking for a good, no how about excellent! one night trip from Cairns that gives us time in the rainforest and Cape Tribuation, possibly the tablelands. We are 2 adults and 2 kids (ages 7&9). Any good thoughts out there?
cold_canada is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 10:15 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
cold canada - do you mean one night at Cape Trib and one night in Tableland or a nocturnal native animal spotting trip with return to accommodation. If the latter it might be a bit much for young kids as they don't get back until around midnight or later. What time of year?
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 06:16 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12
Good questions Pat. Not the nocturnal native spotting trip. I agree it may be too much for the kids but they love hiking and are definitely night owls. My concern is that a single day trip may be too much of a rush and I am therefore interested in something over two days that takes us to Cape Tribulation, the rainforest and possibly the tablelands. The overnight could be in any location on the route. Time is the last week of May. Thanks.
cold_canada is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 10:44 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Hi cold in canada (I bet you are) - Cape Trib and Atherton Tableland are quite a way apart, so you'd need to choose which area to overnight. Jungle Tours from Cairns do an overnight to Cape Trib and will pick you up in Cairns - the accommodation is basically backpacker, you could stay in a B&B - website is www.bnbnq.com.au which will also give you details of B&B's and farmstays in Atherton. For Cape Tribulation there are also some more "upmarket" resorts - Silky Oaks near Mossman, Daintree Eco Lodge are two. Any of these will be able to give you details of local wildlife trips and arrange your transport from Cairns. Hope this helps!
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 10:47 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Sorry, when I said Atherton I meant Atherton Tableland which is now referred to as "Cairns Highlands" - lovely little towns of Yungaburra, Malanda, Milla Milla with opportunites for platypus spotting and bird life.
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 07:31 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Cold_canada, perhaps there are tours that accomplish just what you're after, but the two areas are some distance from each other as Pat Woolford said. It doesn't seem intuitively obvious to me that a tour company would necessarily offer a 2 day tour covering both areas. Although it's not quite as exaggerated as this, your question almost sounds to me as if you're asking for a 2 day tour that will encompass diving / snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef and a visit to the tropical rainforest. When I was there it seemed to me that different tours catered to each of these experiences.

I think there would be a lot of merit in taking a one day tour of the tropical rainforest (that would include crossing the Daintree River and driving as far north as Cape Tribulation), and then returning to Cairns for the night.

Then, the next day set out for the Atherton Tableland / Cairns Highlands. If you can afford the time to turn the Tableland / Highlands tour into a 2 day trip, overnighting at the Undara Lava Tubes, I think that would be wonderful.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 09:26 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12
Thanks, Pat & Judy. Atherton Tablelands (Cairns Highlands) is a separate trip. Do you feel that a one day(versus my thought of two days)trip is enough time for the rainforest and cape tribulation?
cold_canada is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 10:06 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Cold_canada, we did a one day trip to Daintree River / rainforest / Cape Trib / Mossman Gorge, and were very satisfied with it.

We took the SkyRail to Kuranda, on the edge of the Tableland, and caught the regular train down again. (We were happy with our trips up and down, but other people here have been happy going both ways by Skyrail, and still other people have been happy driving themselves up and down the escarpment.)

What we are not happy about, in hindsight, is having devoted only 1 day to the Tableland. We now wish we'd done a 2 day trip, overnighting at the Undara Lava Tubes. Next time we go, that's the minimum we'll do.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 05:00 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12
Thanks, Judy. Sounds like the tablelands c/w lava tubes is worthwhile, I will check it out for sure. Any comments on the the company you took the Daintree River / rainforest / Cape Trib / Mossman Gorge trip with?
cold_canada is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 07:02 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Cold_canada, unfortunately I no longer remember the tour company we used for our day trip into the rainforest. We did that in July 1999, and I had no idea then that I would participate in a travel forum and that I would find it useful to remember such details.

We were staying in a hotel in Port Douglas, and the hotel had a lot of brochures at the front desk. We looked through the brochures and picked a company whose itinerary we liked the look of. The receptionist phoned the company a day or two before the trip and made the reservation for us.

We were very happy with the tour. I'm trying to remember how many of us there were on the tour, about 10 if memory serves me correctly. Our driver / guide did a great job of explaining the rainforest and mangrove ecosystems, and this made our day very meaningful.

The tour also dropped us off on the banks of the Daintree River, where we took a boat ride with a separate guide. Ironically our river guide was a Canadian marine biologist who had lived in the local area for decades. He was very knowledgeable about the ecosystems of the river and the estuary where it flowed into the ocean.

It is possible to cross the Daintree River and drive through the rainforest to Cape Tribulation as a self-drive exercise. But I really do feel this is an environment that is worth traversing in the company of someone who knows it well.

The Far North Queensland experts around here (Pat Woolford and others) would be able to give you the names of good rainforest tour companies. Also, if you do a word search, you'll find a wealth of information in previous discussion threads.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 12:41 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 33
Judy_in_calgary,

What did you feel you missed in the Tablelands? We'll be heading to the Undara Lava tubes in May, and were wondering what else was worth touring while in the area.

Thanks,
Dave.
copen is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 02:45 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hello Dave (Copen),

There are discussion threads here that are a wealth of information. I particularly recommend Pat Woolford's posts on Far North Queensland, as she's lived in Cairns for quite some years, and knows the area.

In this very thread (fifth post down), Pat said:

"Sorry, when I said Atherton I meant Atherton Tableland which is now referred to as 'Cairns Highlands' - lovely little towns of Yungaburra, Malanda, Milla Milla with opportunites for platypus spotting and bird life."

Another of her messages about Far North Queensland's Outback appeared in this thread:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34478253

Then, in another thread, Pat covered Outback places stretching from South Australia through New South Wales and into Queensland. But as she said, that trip took her and her husband three weeks! Much as we'd love to see it all, we're only envisaging Far North Queensland's Outback for our next trip.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34479472

Hope this helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 05:14 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Hi Judy - when you do, try to get over to Lawn Hill National Park in NW Qld - it's wonderful and the main attraction on that 3 week outback jaunt we did a few years ago. About 50km from Lawn Hill is Riversleigh where massive fossil discoveries have been made.
pat_woolford is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 09:20 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
.. and to cold in canada - Trek North out of Cairns do an excellent day trip to Cape Trib - may be the one Judy took. www.treknorth.com.au - it's tour CT1 It's a pity you haven't more time for Tablelands - a good day trip from Cairns is with Steve of Wilderness Eco Safaris - www.wildernessecosafari.com - Steve has permits to "restricted access" rainforest tracks so you hardly see another soul. There's another which does the "waterfall circuit" of the Tableland and includes a boat ride on Lake Barrine and Paronella Park - Northern Experience Eco Tours - www.cairnstours.com Mareeba Wetlands can be reached with Wait A While tours - birds and kangaroos in the wild, or you can self-drive.
pat_woolford is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 10:24 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
>>>>>>Trek North out of Cairns do an excellent day trip to Cape Trib - may be the one Judy took. www.treknorth.com.au<<<<<<

Yes, Pat, that's it, exactly! Thanks for refreshing my memory. And thanks also for the tip about Lawn Hill National Park.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2004, 09:52 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 121
Yes we went with Craig at Trek North and I can confirm their Cape Trib. day tour is great.
stevelondon88 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 07:03 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12
Thanks, folks!
cold_canada is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 09:11 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 57


You know I made a very long winded post here (and of course my most interesting yet lol) and it has disappeared into cyber-space grrrrr.

To summarise because I haven't the energy to repeat.

We did a tour to Cooktown. Not tableland, not sure what you call it. Outback? Sure seeemd like it.

The tour went inland to Cooktown, then overnight stay then by 4wd the next morning to Cape Trib. Here you could elect to stay overnight. We left the tour at Cape Trib because we wanted 2 nights. Then we used the hotel shuttle back to Cairns (was a bit expensive but very nice little bus)


It was a trip I am glad I made even though it was hot, bumpy and much of the environment harsh and hostile.

Sometimes boring, sometimes interesting but always different to anything I have ever done (and I am Aussie).

Stopped by a waterhole and watched aboriginal kids frolicking in the water and wondered how the hell did their ancestors ever survive this place? You really have to respect their stamina!

Also wonder how the lily white gold prospectors ever survived though from a lot of accounts not many did!

Cooktown, lovely little very very very quiet town. Loads of mangoes for the taking all over the ground almost everywhere. Sweet and juicy. I was in heaven. (this was October) No roads seem to go north from here, just dirt tracks. Amazing really, so much more land is north of Cooktown. Makes us Sydney people realise how sparse this continent is populated. To live in a city of 4.5 million you can be blinkered to the reality of the country as a whole.

After the bumpy, pot holed drive through the dust shrouded Daintree (the 4wds ruin the view by throwing up dust) we arrived at Cape Trib. Had a lovely relaxing 2 days before heading back. The only real disappointment was the night walk, waste of money but at night not too much to do!

So for me was worth some discomfort but for others it could be hell or heaven, depending on what type of experience you want. Kids may get bored on such winded trips though. If I took children on such a trip I would try to learn a lot about local aboriginal legends and weave it into the journey.

Black Mountain was one place that perfectly lent itself to myth and legend.

Truly unique experience.

Sorry I waffled on anyways.




DropBear is offline  
Mar 12th, 2004, 04:18 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Hi Dropbear - yes, that dry, dusty area on the inland road to Cooktown between Palmer River and Lakelands is known as "outback". There's an excellent little book by Glenville Pike - "The Wilderness Coast" which covers the history of Port Douglas, Mossman, Daintree, Cape Tribulation, Bloomfield and Cooktown and explains the Aboriginal myths about Black Mountain.
pat_woolford is offline  
Mar 12th, 2004, 11:12 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 57


Pat

Will look out for it. If there is any part of Australia I would relocate to, it is that part. So seeing one day I may end up a "local" I should learn all I can !
DropBear is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:20 PM.