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21 Amazing Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation Things to Do (2024)


Staff member
Jan 13, 2024
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Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Ariana Svenson

Embark on a journey through Australia’s natural beauty by exploring the remarkable wonders of the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. From the delicious local ice cream and fruit farm to the abundant wildlife and breathtaking encounters, you can’t not visit this area when travelling in Australia.

Here are the best things to do in Daintree and Cape Tribulation so you can plan the ultimate family trip!

By the way, whether you crave the luxe life at a high-end resort or the easy vibes of a campsite, we’ve got the perfect stay for you. Uncover the coolest accommodation options in Cape Tribulation in our blog post.

This post may contain affiliate links, from which we would earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. More info in my disclaimer.​

21 Amazing Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation Things to Do (2023)

Where is Cape Tribulation?

Cape Tribulation is located in Queensland, Australia, within the Daintree Rainforest. It is just over 139km north of Cairns along the Captain Hook Highway and is part of the larger region known as the Daintree Coast.

Cape Tribulation Map

Cape Tribulation is one area within the larger Daintree Rainforest area. However, it’s a very popular destination that is fairly widely known. If you are going to go as far as cross the Daintree River, then it’s pretty likely you will go all the way to Cape Trib (as Aussies lovingly refer to it)! Logistically, I think it makes sense to talk about the Daintree and Cape Tribulation as “one” though there are localities within in.

Cape Tribulation is the perfect place to visit after a trip to Cairns. We reached Cape Tribulation via a Road Trip/ Great Barrier Reef Drive. Use our 7 Day Cairns Itinerary to plan your trip.

Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation What to do

Why is the Daintree Rainforest Significant?

The ancient Daintree Rainforest is significant for many reasons. It’s unlike most other national parks in Australia. Here, you can experience the place where the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest – two world heritage sites collide.

Biodiversity: The Daintree Rainforest is home to a vast proportion of Australian wildlife and plant population. A massive percentage of Australia’s species, including over 12,000 species of insects and over 30% of Australia’s frog species, live here. That’s a lot of frogs!

Think of it this way – if Australia were a town and all its animals were people, about 3 out of every 10 frogs would live here. And, it’s not just frogs that love the Daintree Rainforest. About 65 of every 100 butterflies and bats in Australia live here too.

Age: The most ancient rainforest! The Daintree rainforest is one of the oldest rainforests in the world, dating back more than 135 million years, which makes it older than the Amazon Rainforest! It’s one of the must-visit Landmarks in Australia. For more information, see our Facts About the Ancient Daintree Rainforest here.

Conservation: The Daintree Rainforest is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, highlighting its outstanding universal value and cultural and biological diversity. The rainforest is an important carbon sink, absorbing and storing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Indigenous Culture: The rainforest is home to the Kuku Yalanji people, who have lived in the area for thousands of years. They have a deep spiritual and cultural connection to the land.

Cape Trib, Cape Tribulation Australia

What is the Significance of Cape Tribulation?

While Cape Tribulation is important in European history, it also holds spiritual importance for the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people. According to their ancestral heritage, the area’s landscapes have deep spiritual significance. Wundu, also known as Thornton Peak, stands as a sacred site, along with Manjal Dimbi, Mount Demi, and Wurrmbu, the mighty Bluff.

Among these revered locations, Kulki, better known as Cape Tribulation, holds a special place in the spiritual beliefs and connections to the land of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people.

How Cape Trib was Named

Cape Tribulation is special in Australia’s history, echoing Captain Cook’s remarkable journey.

At Cape Tribulation Cook’s ship, the barque Endeavour, encountered the challenging waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Ultimately succumbing to its hazardous nature. You can view more about the Great Barrier Reef with these Great Barrier Reef Facts for Kids.

In light of their tribulations, Captain Cook named the area ‘Cape Tribulation’, symbolizing their trials during their expedition.

21 Amazing Cape Tribulation Things to Do

21 Amazing Cape Tribulation Things to Do: Plan the Ultimate Family Trip

There are so many things to do at Cape Tribulation. The longer you stay at Cape Trib, the more Daintree rainforest things to do you will discover! Here are our top recommendations for the perfect family trip to Cape Tribulation Australia!

21 Amazing Cape Tribulation Things to Do

1. Visit the Daintree Discovery Centre

One of the Things to do in Daintree Rainforest is to visit the Discovery centre. The centre is located on the first stop North of the Daintree River. At the centre, you can see the 23m canopy rainforest tower, walk the aerial walkways and boardwalks (some of the Best Treetops Walks in the World), and learn more about Daintree with the informative audio guides. Kids’ audio guides are also available.

From the viewing platforms, you may even see wild cassowaries. The centre is one of the BEST places in the world to see them. Learn more about them in our Fascinating Australian Cassowary Facts for Kids.

After paying to enter, your ticket will be valid for 7 consecutive days. You can return to view the rainforest in different weather conditions.

butterflies in the Daintree Rainforest Australia, what to do in the Daintree Rainforest

2. Dive into the World of Insects at the Entomological Museum

One of the things to do in the Daintree is the Entomological Museum! This unique museum showcases a diverse collection of insects, offering a fantastic experience for the whole family.

Marvel at the beauty and incredible diversity of these tiny creatures as you explore the exhibits.

Cassowarys Australia, Daintree Rainforest things to see, animals in the Daintree Rainforest Australia

3. Embark on an E-biking Adventure

E-biking is one of the best things to do at Cape Tribulation. Hop on an electric bike and ride along scenic trails, quickly taking in the breathtaking landscapes.

Whether a seasoned cyclist or a beginner, e-biking provides a fun and eco-friendly way to immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty.

The Great Barrier Reef Australia, Things to do near Cape Tribulation

4. See the Great Barrier Reef by Kayak

A must-do activity when you visit Cape Tribulation is to experience the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef up close with a kayaking adventure.

Enjoy the world’s most extensive coral reef system while enjoying a memorable and eco-conscious adventure. Hire a kayak or go on a guided tour.

Walk On the Cape Tribulation Beach, Beach at Cape Tribulation

5. Walk On the Cape Tribulation Beach

One of the most unique and best things to do in the Daintree Rainforest at Cape Tribulation is also completely free. Why not go for a refreshing walk where the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef? Make sure you allow time to soak in the atmosphere and the wonder of Cape Tribulation Beach. As the saying goes, “the best things in life are free”!

There are many activities to enjoy, such as swimming, sunbathing, and beach-combing. Several guided tours offer a more in-depth look at the area’s unique ecology and wildlife, including educational talks about the area’s marine and plant life.

Cow Bay Beach Cape Tribulation

6. Cow Bay Beach

While the walk at the iconic Cape Tribulation must be ticked off, another option is Cow Bay. This is one of Cape Tribulations’ most secluded and tranquil beaches. Here, you can have a go on the coconut tree rope swing.

With its palm-lined shores and peaceful atmosphere, it offers a tranquil escape from the busier beaches in the region. Relax, unwind, and enjoy the untouched beauty of this hidden gem, where time seems to stand still.

** Note – It is dangerous to swim at either Cape Tribulation or Cow Bay beach for a large proportion of the year. Make sure you ask a local for advice!

Fishing at Cape Tribulation Australia, things to do at Cape Tribulation, Cape Trib

7. Fishing at Cape Tribulation

Fishing is a popular activity if the tide is out during your visit. Myall Beach is one of the best areas for fishing from the rock pools. However, you should be aware that many nearby rivers have crocodiles to watch out for, so it’s recommended to go fishing at Myall Beach.

Coming from a non-fishing family, if you aren’t familiar with fishing, it is most rewarding if done with an experienced person! If not, you can spend ages waiting for a bite or not even hook a fish at all!

There are also some fantastic fishing tours available. Why not check out this amazing Aboriginal fishing experience?

8. Go Jungle Surfing

One of the best things to do in the Daintree Rainforest is Jungle Surfing (a fancy word for ziplining).

At the Daintree Rainforest Discovery Centre, you can try Jungle Surfing. This exciting and unique experience allows you to explore the lush tropical rainforest from a birds-eye perspective. You will fly from platforms of 7-16m.

Indigenous culture Cape Tribulation Australia

9. Learn about Local Indigenous History

The Daintree Rainforest is essential to the Kuku Yalanji people. With a guided rainforest walk, you can learn all about the Indigenous connections to the forest and local histories.

You will also learn about natural medicines, where indigenous people create natural medicine from trees.

Daintree Forest Waterfalls hike

Hike to one of the Daintree Rainforest Waterfalls

Several rivers cut through the Daintree Rainforest, resulting in many waterfalls around the rainforest. Here are some of the best waterfalls to visit.

10. Mossman Gorge

Set in the surroundings of the Daintree Rainforest near Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge is one of the area’s most famous natural wonders. Plus, it is one of the region’s best freshwater swimming spots.

The crystal-clear waters are inviting, while the cool temperatures make it the perfect place to rejuvenate. If you’re feeling adventurous, bring some snorkeling equipment to discover what lies beneath the water’s surface.

The gorge is open year-round, being popular no matter the weather. Due to its popularity, it’s best to get there early in the morning to beat the crowds!

Plenty of Mossman Gorge Walks and Swimming Holes are also to be discovered!

Cassowary Falls Australia hike

11. Cassowary Falls

Found near the Daintree Village, Cassowary Falls is nestled in an isolated spot deep within the bushland, with lush greenery and fantastic wildlife. The area provides a unique experience for keen swimmers, with deep, cooling waters and untouched scenery. The watering hole is surrounded by large rocks, perfect for sunbathing and jumping into the water.

Make sure to bring your walking shoes, for the walking treks sprinkling the area is well worth doing before or after your swimming adventure.

Cape Tribulation National Park Australia

12. Emmagen Creek

If you want a walk and a swim, Emmagen Creek is for you! Nestled about 5km north of Cape Tribulation within the National Park, Emmagen Creek is in the middle of the rainforest; you must walk through the bushland before reaching the watering hole.

The creek is a quiet paradise, littered with smooth rocks and clear blue waters. Spend hours here swimming, floating, sunbathing, and reading the day away! The swimming spot is well worth the trek.

Assorted Fruits Australia, Markets in Daintree village

13. Taste Some Exotic Fruits

Cape Trib Farm is one of the most popular Daintree tourist attractions. This rare exotic fruit orchard produces many amazing fruits, many of which you have probably never even heard of. The owners were inspired by their travels in Asia in the 1970s, and established the farm to propagate some weird and wonderful fruit unavailable in Australia.

The owners are amiable, and most days, they offer a 90-minute exotic fruit-tasting tour in the afternoons. It includes a guided walk through the orchards followed by a tasting session. There will be lots to taste as there are over 70 different varieties of fruit growing at the farm, including:

  • Durian
  • Soursop
  • Breadfruit
  • Rambutan
  • Mamey Sapote
  • Black Sapote
  • Abiu, Pitaya
  • Maprang
  • Miracle Fruit

What Fruits Grow in What Seasons at Cape Tribulation?

This region boasts a tropical climate, with a wet season (typically November through April) and a dry season (May to October).

Here are What Fruits You Can Try in Each Season:

: Wet season – November to April.

Bananas: Bananas can grow year-round in tropical climates like Cape Tribulation’s, but there is more produce in the wet season.

Passionfruit: Passionfruit can produce year-round in tropical climates, though peak production is often in the wet season.

Rambutan: This fruit, similar to lychees, usually ripens in the wet season.

Dragonfruit: Dragonfruit tends to ripen during the wet season but can produce fruit yearly.

Durian: Wet season (November to April).

Breadfruit: Breadfruit trees can produce fruit throughout the year, but there may be a peak in some locations in the wet season.

Mamey Sapote: Dry season (May to October).

Black Sapote: This is typically a winter-fruiting tree, so it would likely bear fruit in the cooler months of the year (June to August).

Abiu: Abiu trees can bear fruit year-round in optimal conditions, but fruiting may peak during the wet season in some locations.

Maprang (Marian plum): This fruit usually matures in the late wet or early dry seasons.

14. Try Some Daintree Ice Cream

Daintree boasts not one ice cream company – but two:

The Daintree Ice Cream Company: Since setting up in 1993, what was once a humble ice cream shop has grown into a global icon. The ice cream flavours are made from exotic fruits, creating a unique spin on those classic flavours. Try the famous 4-scoop cup with different flavours each day.

Floravilla Biodynamic Organic Icecream: With sixty different flavours, there’s something to satisfy every ice cream lover’s cravings.

Daintree Tee, Daintree Village Australia, What to do in Daintree Village

14. Try Daintree Tea

The tea from the Daintree tea company is a must-try when visiting Cape Tribulation.

The tea is grown on the Cubbagudta Plantation by the Nicholas family, who have been growing tea since 1978 at the plantation in Diwan, just South of Cape Tribulation.

Cape Trib Horse Riding, Horse Riding at Cape Tribulation

15. Cape Trib Horse Riding

Whether you’re a pro horserider or your children have always wanted to try horseriding, it’s one of the Best things to do in Cape Tribulation.

Cape Tribulation Horse Rides offer this service.

Mason's Swimming Hole Cape Tribulation, Daintree Rainforest where to swim

16. Mason’s Swimming Hole

While swimming at Cape Tribulation’s beaches is discouraged due to marine dangers, you can enjoy a safe and serene freshwater experience at Mason’s Swimming Hole. Swimming holes are a popular alternative to going into the sea in tropical North Queensland.

This crocodile and stinger-free spot, conveniently located off the main road, offers a tranquil oasis where you can cool off and embrace the beauty of this crystal-clear swimming hole. It’s perfect for relaxing amidst the peaceful surroundings of the Daintree Rainforest.

Cape Tribulation Walks. what to do at Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation Walks

The tropical paradise of Cape Tribulation has some fantastic walks to suit all ages and fitness levels, from challenging treks to serene boardwalks.

Here are the best Cape Tribulation walks:

17. The Mount Sorrow Trail

Distance: 7.1km

Mount Sorrow is a rainforest peak just above the reef in front of Myall Beach. Given it is always hot in the tropics, we’d recommend leaving early as this is not a walk in the park. It takes 6 hours to return and is physically challenging!

However, hiking along the ridge of Mount Sorrow is one of the best ways to experience the ancient rainforest and get a great vantage point of where the rainforest meets the reef. Also, the fact it’s so tricky, you’re also likely to have an untouristed experience!)

18. The Dubuji Boardwalk

Distance: 1.2km

Take your family on an enchanting stroll along the Dubuji Boardwalk. This captivating trail winds through the heart of the Daintree Rainforest.

As you follow the raised boardwalk, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of ancient trees, vibrant flora, and the sounds of nature. Watch for colourful birds and curious reptiles that call this rainforest home.

The Dubuji Boardwalk also has some good signs, sharing fascinating facts about the rainforest’s unique ecosystems and wildlife.

Daintree River Cruise, Boat on Daintree River, Daintree village river cruise

19. Explore the Daintree River on a River Cruise

One of the best ways to see the diverse wildlife of the Daintree Rainforest is on a river cruise. You will spot crocodiles, birds, and other wildlife.

20. Visit the Bat House Cape Tribulation

This educational research and conservation centre is dedicated to preserving and understanding bats, particularly the Spectacled Flying-fox.

The Bat House is staffed by volunteers who will be able to answer all your questions about these fascinating creatures. You’ll also have the opportunity to see bats up close.

Exlpore Daintree Village, What do do near Daintree Village Australia

21. Explore Daintree Village

The quaint Daintree Village is nestled on the banks of the Daintree River and offers a range of activities for the whole family.

Enjoy local art galleries and enjoy a bite to eat in one of the cafes. Make sure you pick up some unique souvenirs!

Cape Trib Dangers, Dangers of Cape Tribulation Australia

You Might Read About Some of the Cape Tribulation Dangers

While Cape Tribulation is a must-visit destination, awareness of some dangers is essential. Here’s what you need to know:

Marine Stingers: During certain times of the year, especially in the warmer months, the waters around Cape Tribulation can be inhabited by marine stingers, such as jellyfish. Ensure you put the kids in protective swimwear, such as stinger suits, to provide an additional safety layer. Make sure you check local warnings and swim only in designated areas.

Cape Tribulation is a Crocodile Habitat: Far North Queensland is home to saltwater crocodiles, which inhabit coastal waters and some inland waterways. Avoid swimming or entering water where crocodile presence is indicated. Be cautious near riverbanks and estuaries.

Cape Trib Dangers, Dangers of Cape Tribulation Australia

Cape Tribulation Map: Things to Do

The Verdict – Things to do at Cape Tribulation

In Cape Tribulation, nature’s wonders unfold at every turn, offering an extraordinary experience for all who visit. From the lush Daintree Rainforest to the stunning beaches and the Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep, this tropical paradise beckons with many adventures and is the perfect place for a family trip!

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21 Amazing Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation Things to Do (2023)

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