The 35 kilometres from Cape Tribulation to the Daintree Ferry meanders past vanilla & tea farms, tropical fruit ice creameries, interpretive boardwalks, rainforest attractions and secluded beaches. The Daintree is filled with truly unique and rare wildlife and is home to over 430 bird species, best spotted on a relaxing Daintree River cruise. 50km south of the Daintree River follow the palm-fringed road as it guides you towards the iconic Port Douglas village, alive with restaurants and boutique shopping. Stop for a coffee or lunch at one of 60 restaurants before heading to Rex Smeal Park or Flagstaff Hill lookout for views to Low Isles and Four Mile Beach. As the sun begins to fade, there is no better time to take a moment to enjoy a golden sunset from Rex Lookout. Delight in spectacular 180-degree views over the Coral Sea and watch the hang-gliders sail high about the mountainside. Don’t forget to capture that iconic holiday photograph and breathe in the fresh ocean air. As the journey draws to an end take one last stop at Palm Cove, a perfect place to relax and enjoy a waterfront sundowner along the Melaleuca lined esplanade. Reflect on the day as you walk the palm-fringed beach and take in the vista to Double Island and beyond.
To reach the beginning of the Jindalba boardwalk from the Great Barrier Reef Drive, turn off Cape Tribulation Road at the Daintree Discovery Centre, into Tulip Oak Road in Cow Bay. Jindalba is the traditional Kuku Yalanji people’s name for this area, meaning ‘foot of the mountain’. Allow around 30 minutes to complete the lush, shaded 700 metre rainforest boardwalk circuit, that meanders through lowland rainforest up to heights of four metres, offering views of the rainforest below. Information signs provide interesting facts on the diversity and ecology of the rainforest, including the location of an ancient Hopes Cycad, dated at around 40 million years old.
The Daintree River along the Great Barrier Reef Drive is a spectacular entry into the Daintree Rainforest via cable car ferry. Rich in bio-diversity and ancient vegetation, the Daintree River is home to hundreds of fish and crustacean species and more than half of the world’s mangrove species. The prehistoric estuarine crocodile, or saltwater crocodile, also calls the Daintree River home. Nearly extinct due to hunting their numbers now flourish, making the Daintree River a prime ‘croc spotting’ location. Jump on board a guided river tour departing from the ferry or from Daintree Village, spotting the vast and scenic surroundings. The Daintree River can only be crossed by cable car ferry, pulling you into the final section of the Great Barrier Reef Drive, to Cape Tribulation.
Follow the palm-fringed road as it guides you towards the iconic Port Douglas village, alive with restaurants and boutique shopping. Settle into your exclusive resort or spacious boutique apartment and prepare to discover the best-kept secrets that keep the a-listers coming back for more. Stroll down to Four Mile Beach and soak up those glorious Coral Sea views to Low Isles or pack a few picnic essentials and walk the Flagstaff Hill Walking Track to Rex Smeal Park for a breathtaking sunset underneath the palm trees. Dinner can be simple - cast a line from the Sugar Wharf and cook your catch at a beachside BBQ barbeque or add a touch of luxury with a five-star dining experience.
As the name suggests, the small yet striking beach along the Great Barrier Reef Drive is covered with tiny, smooth shingle and cobbles along the shoreline. Heading south between Pebbly and Ellis beaches, you’ll find an area where visitors and locals alike stop on the Great Barrier Reef Drive, to create unique rock formations and ‘make their mark’ in an earth-friendly and fun way. Remember to take care when pulling over to stop at this area and consider other motorists.
Feel the excitement build as you climb the mountain range towards Rex Point Lookout for a spectacular 180-degree view over the Coral Sea. A popular launch pad for hang gliders and the perfect place to stop, stretch your legs and take a group photo while admiring the glorious outlook.
Pull over and take in the 180-degree vista of the Coral Sea with views of Double Island to the south. Watch the hang gliders as they take off from this cliff face and get a bird's eye view of the fringing reefs below.
Named after the palms that line the beach, Palm Cove is a secluded coastal village dotted with cafes, restaurants and boutique shopping along the paperbark-lined Williams Esplanade. The beach is the most popular of the Cairns Northern Beaches, with the pristine sand and water, free BBQs, jetty and walking paths. Sitting off the coast you’ll spy the twin-peaked Double Island, a private luxury island and popular kayaking destination. Sit back and enjoy the view from a beachfront bar, sipping to the success of a fabulous day on the Great Barrier Reef Drive.
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