As anyone who has visited can attest, Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest are amongst the most magical experiences in the world. An awe-inspiring place of ancient tradition, it is one of the most unique ecosystems in the world, and the only place in the world where two World Heritage listed areas exist side by side – the magnificent underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef and the lush tropical rainforests of the Daintree.
The word 'wilderness' is a word many of us associate with reconnecting with nature and each other. Cape Tribulation and the Daintree, located just over 90 minutes’ drive from Port Douglas, is so much more than thongs and sarongs. Whilst most luxe seekers might not think of going off the grid in Cape Trib as the first option for luxury travel, nowhere knows more about slowing down, switching off and soaking in the good life than the Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest.
Let’s get straight to it. Luxury travel is mostly about the thread count, right? These properties certainly boast all the special touches, in addition to being off the grid enough to truly switch off and relax – definitely the most luxurious aspect of Cape Tribulation.
Mist at Cape Tribulation is a collection of boutique pavilions in the middle of the rainforest, just a breath away from instant relaxation. Included in your getaway is a bottle of champagne and imported beers on arrival, a breakfast hamper and a gourmet cheese platter. Two-person hammocks dot the property’s grounds, and finding them is part of the fun as you wander amidst some of the world’s rarest palm trees.
Black Palm is another boutique spot nestled between beautiful wild beaches, hidden swimming holes, restaurants and activity spots. High set cabins featuring floor to ceiling glass windows and an outdoor deck with sweeping vistas of the rainforest lined creek. Did we mention the double walk-in rain shower with surround-view glass walls? Getting clean with nature, indeed.
Daintree Wilderness Lodge and Silky Oaks Lodge are two properties that simply breathe luxury. At Daintree Wilderness Lodge, the key word here is ‘wilderness’ - cabins sits on stilts, each with a unique viewing sunroof allowing you to gaze up into the rainforest and filling your cabin with the natural beauty of this very special rainforest area. Silky Oaks Lodge, a magnificent treehouse lodge, sits high above the crystal-clear waters of the Mossman River and is enveloped by the lush Daintree Rainforest cloaking the steep mountain sides from the riverbanks. The most perfect get-away-from-it-all locations.
Experiences up this way are less Monaco casino heist glamour and more Cannes and champagne class. We’ve even got the most picturesque places for you to take your yacht (or know people who’ll take you out on theirs). Head out on a private charter with Ocean Safari to the exclusive Mackay Sand Cay, an ultra private sand cay smack bang in the middle of an azure Great Barrier Reef . Oh yes, this is living.
While on land, get a hold of your inner Darryl Braithwaite and ride along secluded beaches with Cape Tribulation Horseriding. This unique area is one of the only places on the planet where you can experience the rainforest and the reef on horseback. Guided rides in the most beautiful place on earth, beach, rainforest and lovely horses with a knowledgeable local guide.
The luxury is in the details. And sometimes, the details are simply insider knowledge. Cooper Creek Wilderness Daintree Rainforest Tours run privately guided walking and 4WD expeditions that showcase the diversity and sheer magnificent beauty of the Daintree Rainforest. Combined with a cruise element in the estuarine section of Cooper Creek and a birdwatching option for the truly nature loving amongst us, these tours offer true insight into the awe-inspiring wonder of this ancient living structure.
Julaymba is the local Kuku Yalanji word for river, and also the name of the dining room at Daintree Eco Lodge. Borrowing flavours from the local region and its neighbours further north, Julaymba’s seasonal menu weaves a tropical tapestry throughout its a la carte and set tasting menus, with a strong emphasis on native ingredients. Think locally caught rock lobster with green coconut and kefir lime or line-caught reef fish with salted curd and black garlic, finishing off with black sapote chocolate pudding and hibiscus mascarpone. In addition to a well-considered wine and cocktail list, pure spring water from the property’s own pristine waterfall is used in food preparation and for diners to drink in their restaurant.
Whet Restaurant, located in the heart of Cape Tribulation, does exactly what it promises. Regarded as one of Cape Tribulation’s most stylish places to eat with its laid back cocktail-bar feel and romantic, candlelit, alfresco dining, Whet’s promise is simple: an emphasis on local produce, seafood caught from the surrounding waters, clean flavours and a well-considered menu that oozes creative flair.
Then, when the time comes to wash away the salty satisfaction of your remote rainforest vay-cay, treat yourself to a pamper session at the revered Silky Oaks Lodge Healing Waters Day Spa, where each treatment more indulgent than the next. The only spot of stress in your day will come from having to choose between a Jojoba head to toe treatment, an all-day cocooning detoxifying ritual, or Healing Waters’ epic relaxation aroma-fusion treatment.
Dipping your toe in the good life, indeed.