About 2 hours north of Cairns is the Daintree region including Cape Tribulation – it is a unique destination where the rainforest meets the reef and there are loads of family friendly things to do while visiting. Here are some highlights of the Daintree with kids.
The drive to the Daintree itself has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world – as the road winds along the stunning tropical North Queensland coast taking in views of the ocean and the forest – and there are loads of places to stop along the way – including Port Douglas and Mossman Gorge.
There is so much to see we recommend hiring a car and staying overnight – we loved PKs Jungle Village who have camping and cabins available – and take time to explore this incredible region.
Here are some highlights of the area:
Just before the ferry crossing into the Cape Tribulation region you can enjoy a river cruise and see crocodiles and loads of other wildlife in their natural habitat. Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Cruises is our recommendation – we had a brilliant family adventure on the Daintree with them.
There are 2 fabulous ice creameries in the Daintree and I couldn’t possibly recommend one above the other as their flavours and experiences are so different. So I say – visit both! Floravilla is a biodynamic ice cream factory in the Daintree and has over 26 flavours all made with natural ingredients. From triple chocolate to passionfruit, coconut, banana or Ironbark honey there is definitely something for everyone! They have lovely gardens where you can sit and enjoy your ice cream and they do a special Daintree Rainforest flavour that’s not to be missed. Then there is the Daintree Ice Cream Company who have a huge orchard where they grow the tropical fruit that goes into their flavours. The result is delicious and unique – the flavours change throughout the year depending on the seasonality of the fruit. We tried wattle seed, mango and coconut – yum!
One of the most spectacular things about the Daintree is that it is one of the only places in the world where the rainforest meets the reef. There are some absolutely stunning beaches here – each one with incredible views and all feeling a millions miles from anywhere. We spent half a day on the beach near the cape (accessed directly from our accommodation) – there are loads of spots all the way up the main road to choose from – just be careful of stingers during the Summer months and also crocs (we chose not to swim!) A much safer option for a swim is the swimming hole at Mason’s Creek – you can access the area which is on private land through Mason’s café – a gold coin donation in the box out the front will get you access. Treat yourself to a yummy snack, meal or drink in the café while you are there.
The Daintree rainforest is one of the oldest in the world – make sure that you visit The Daintree Discovery Centre where you can learn more about the amazing region and also come face to face with some life size mega flora, fauna and dinosaurs. It’s a great place to start your visit to the Daintree so you get to know all about the wonders of the region before you see them.
On a trip to the Daintree with kids there are several family friendly bush walks to do – make sure you visit the Kulki Cape Tribulation look out point (a short 10 minute walk). There are also 2 child friendly boardwalks to enjoy – Dubuji and Mardja – you can download a great info sheet on the area on this link – http://bit.ly/daintreewalks
As mentioned above, there is lots to see and do on the way up to the Daintree – so allow yourself plenty of time to take it all in. Stop for a coffee at Ellis Beach, see the hundreds of rock stacks that have been built by visiting tourists and have now become an attraction themselves, stop at the bowls club on the way home and see hundreds of wallabies hopping in the field next door. Stop at Port Douglas (you can easily spend a whole day here – blog post coming soon), visit the fantastic Mossman Gorge and learn about indigenous culture and take a swim in crystal clear cooling waters, have a picnic lunch at the huge playpark and skate park at Mossman on the way and let the kids burn off some energy, visit the Daintree Village and be sure to do a river cruise. Stop at Rex lookout and enjoy sweeping views across the ocean, out to the islands, and back to the mountainous backdrop of Cairns.
The above info on the Daintree with kids is an excerpt from our ebook ‘Cairns with Kids’ – a 60 page publication that is essential reading if you plan a trip to Cairns with the family. We lived there for 7 years and have included the best of the attractions, playgrounds, beaches, safe swimming spots and more. – You can preview the book, get a free sample or buy a copy for just $4.99 on this link.