Perched on the southern side of the Daintree River, you will find an unspoilt oasis thriving with ancient vegetation, scenic surroundings and vast array of native wildlife and plant species. The Daintree Village, a peaceful township filled with friendly faces and undeniable charm is a welcome rest point along the Great Barrier Reef Drive. Explore the quaint village with stores presented in the style of yesteryear, stopping for a scone and tea. Channel your inner explorer and embark on a crocodile, bird and wildlife spotting cruise before retreating to your luxurious rainforest lodge, exclusive holiday house or cozy safari tent hidden deep in the rainforest.
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.
After crossing the mighty Daintree River into the Daintree Rainforest, the first coastal beach area to explore along the Great Barrier Reef Drive is Cape Kimberley. To access the beach, turn into Cape Kimberley Road for 10km, with 5km being along a dirt road. At Cape Kimberley there is a resort and camping area, parking and facilities and offers views of nearby Snapper Island. It is a 3.5km long beach with a direct and stunning coastal walk to the mouth of the Daintree River.
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.
North of the Alexandra Range, Cow Bay is the first coastal Daintree village in the Daintree Rainforest and thought to be named after the dugongs (sea cows) that feed on the seagrass beds in the bay. Turn off the Great Barrier Reef Drive (Cape Tribulation Road) at the ice creamery onto Buchanan Creek Road to arrive at Cow Bay Beach. There are three secluded bays to explore along this deserted beach and at low tide you are able to walk north around the headland to other isolated beaches. There is tourist accommodation in the area of Cow Bay and Diwan and as you go through the area you'll go past a tea plantation, tourist activities and boardwalks.
Thornton Beach along the Great Barrier Reef Drive presents visitors with views of the Coral Sea from your car seat, however, the true beauty of this beach is observed when you step foot onto it. The small yet eye-catching Struck Island is just off the beach and is a point of interest on your beach walk, where you can take in views of the lower ranges of Thornton Peak and walk south to meet the mouth of the Cooper Creek. If you needed more convincing to stop the car, the beachfront cafe offers a welcome opportunity for those wanting to swap a steering wheel for a strong cup of tea (and maybe a treat). Closeby you can check into a number of accommodation options, guided rainforest walks, as well as embark on a crocodile spotting river cruise at Cooper Creek.
*Petrol Station/Servo is located at Daintree Rainforest Village, 2094 Cape Tribulation Road, Diwan QLD 4873
The Kulki Boardwalk begins at the day use area at Cape Tribulation Beach car park. This easy 600m return walk will take approximately 10 minutes. The boardwalk journeys from the picnic area to a viewing platform that overlooks the Coral Sea and Cape Tribulation Beach. You can also access Myall Beach, a stunning section of Daintree coastal beach perfect for exploring.
Myall Beach is on the southern side of the Cape Tribulation headland; the place where two World Heritage areas meet, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. It is at this magnificent location that the end of the Great Barrier Reef Drive journey is achieved. To reach Myall Beach, park in the Kulki Boardwalk carpark and begin the walk over the ridge of the Cape Tribulation headland and down through the coastal forest. An exquisite sight awaits, the stunning Myall Beach. The Myall Beach walk joins the Kulki Boardwalk to the north and the Dubuki Boardwalk to the south, a distance of about 1.5km. Look out for horses on a guided rainforest and beach horse ride.
Added to list