A pristine white beach for a relaxing vacation, or a thrilling jungle adventure to get your adrenaline pumping? How about both? Take the scenic three hour drive north of Cairns to a beautiful topical paradise called Cape Tribulation.
Cape Tribulation is part of the Daintree National Park and is located in northern Queensland, so it is very tropical year-round and boasts not only a thick, exotic rainforest, but also a heavenly stretch of open beach. No fighting for towel space here!
To get there, you can rent a car and take a beautiful drive along the coast and through the rainforest, or there are a few other transportation options. Renting a car gives you more freedom to explore the area because some of the attractions are very spread out, but most (if not all) of the tours/activities provide transportation from your accommodation. Coral coaches have twice daily services (call +61 7 4031 7577 or +61 7 4098 2600 for booking information). There are also day and overnight tour packages from Cairns.
Book accommodation right on the beach, such as the Cape Tribulation Beach House where you can get anything from a dorm room bed for $28 AUD to a luxurious beach house for the whole family at $600 a night. We went for a more modest cabin with one double two single beds, which was not glitzy, but it was airy, very clean and very comfortable. From there, the beach is a two minute walk from your bed and the front desk has all the information for any activity you could ask for.
The options are almost limitless. I suggest you start your cape tribulation experience looking at brochures and plan out your trip, or you may end up missing something you really want to do. There are walking tours, 4wd tours, boat tours, food tours, and many more if you want a look around. I enjoyed the horse rides for a good look around the cape. The guides take riders through the jungle and along the beach, where the more advanced riders can canter their horses. I found it to be a good experience for any level of rider, as there are two guides who go out with the group, one in the lead with the advanced riders and one who stays with the beginners. For the more adventurous travelers, there is jungle surfing, unlimited hiking, and sea kayaking on the reef.
Some words to the wise: food is expensive in Cape Trib, so it would be a good idea to take some snacks and lunches with you to limit the restaurant expenses. Also, while you’re hiking, watch out for Casuaris! They are large, almost prehistoric-looking birds that live in the Daintree area and can be quite aggressive. If you see one, make sure to take a picture because no one will believe you otherwise