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August trip - advice wanted

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August trip - advice wanted

I have posted a version of this incredibly long post in the Daintree and Cairns forums, so please don't waste time reading it again if you've seen it!


My partner and I have booked a 17-day trip to the area in August. I've already posted something in the Port Douglas forum (reallyhelpful, especially TravelPort!), and now I have a few more Daintree-centric questions.

My partner is recovering from a serious illness, and it has been a stressful time for both of us, so what we really want is a peaceful battery-recharge trip in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. We'll spend what we have to to get the most out of it, but money isn't generally plentiful, so anything we can save is a bonus. Although we're not super-fit or anything, we love medium to short bushwalks, being surrounded by forest, and waterfalls in particular. We're really keen to see as much of the Daintree as we can, at a relaxed pace, and preferably with crowds of others kept to a minimum. We'd love to see spectacular things, but the trip is more about experiencing things together and having memories of that than a full checklist of things we have seen.

We'll be spending three nights in Port Douglas (staying at the Pink Flamingo, which looks just wonderful); three nights in Cape Tribulation (haven't booked accom yet, but thinking of Rainforest Hideaway) and then 10 nights at the Daintree Valley Haven (good cooking facilities, and somewhere nice to hang when hubby is feeling exhausted, and somewhere secluded is all at a premium, this place looked like it would fit the bill). We've hired a car.

So far, the list of things to do I have put together is:

Boardwalks & beach walks at Cape Tribulation

Coopers Creek night walk

Coopers Creek day walk

Full day reef trip (From Port Douglas)

Port Douglas Sunday markets

Mossman Gorge - Kuku Yulangi & loop walks

Tranquility rainforest tour to Niau falls

Sunset Daintree river cruise (Dan Irby)

Sunrise/daytime river cruise (Dan Irby again, or someone else?)

Daintree village walk

Wonga beach walk

Kuranda skyrail

Atherton Tablelands - Milaa Milaa circuit, lakes and volcanic craters

Breakfast with the birds

We probably can't do all this - even with all our time, given we won't be doing 10-hour sightseeing days, and we will need some rest.

Questions (at last, the point!)

1. Given our priorities - seeing/relaxing in rainforest/some wildlife/some spectacular other stuff without huge crowds - what are the must-do things on this list? Is there anything we could just drop?

2. Any opinions on the dawn vs daytime cruise?

3. Which walks in Cape Trib will be most crowded? What is the best way to avoid the crowds (early mornings, late afternoons, should we call the venue and ask?). I would rather not be starting at 7am every day of our holiday, but maybe it is worth it to avoid tour buses? (just try to change our sleep patterns!) Will it be more or less crowded on the weekend to weekdays - or won't it make a difference?

4. Are there other places that should be on the list? I haven't listed the caves at Chillago, for example. It would be a full-day for us (on top of the Atherton Tablelands) but maybe it is worth it?

5. I've also considered whether we should splurge on a trip with Pete Bexendell. I had initially rejected a tour of the Daintree, because most of them package things we can do on our own, at our own pace. But it looks like Pete takes you to private rainforest, and that the info he has would make the rest of our exploration worthwhile?

6. Is this the most appriopriate accomodation?

Sorry for the longest post in history (if anyone made it this far!). Like everyone else, I guess, just trying to get as much out of our trip as we can.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: August trip - advice wanted

Hi Cassie

While in the Tablelands, I stayed in Yungaburra. It is a great place to meet your needs (quiet for a re-charge, but plenty to do in the area). Yungaburra has a great pub/hotel where you can go for beer and cheap meals (and stay, if you want an old-world lodging experience). You can walk along the creek on the southwest side of town at sunset to see platypi (look for bubbles coming up in the water. Watch the bubbles for a while and a platypus will appear). It is close to the lakes and waterfalls.

I can't imagine a better battery recharge place than Cape Trib. It is quiet, uncrowded and exceptionally beautiful. The people there are very warm as well. I didn't run into the busses, but I know they are there. You should look into the kayak trips run by Crocodylus Village. They do a morning trip to have breakfast on a beach accessible only by boat, and an overnight trip to Snapper Island.

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2. Re: August trip - advice wanted

Hi Cassie,

I have literally just fallen off the plane after being up at PD & Cape Trib. The best place in the world is Cape Trib. Its not fancy or ritzy but is perfect for pure relaxation. No mobile reception and where we stayed (Coconut Beach Lodge) no tv. It was peaceful and beautiful having the rainforest surrounding you from all angles. We stayed in the Daintree Escape room which at first we were worried re not having any outside world communications! This soon turned to relief at that fact!

The bathroom itself was cool as one wall was completely glass (sitting in the bath or on the loo staring out into the bush! lol) This made it even more exciting when the local resident - George the Cassowary decided to visit! He was captured by his own reflection in our mirror and started grunting. I was laying on the bed reading, wondering what the hell that sound was - only to discover as i was wondering lazily to the loo that it was George getting upset that another male was in his territory! ha ha. He posed no harm to us although i wouldnt suggest getting too close - was one of those cool things you can only see up at that end of the world!

As far as walking through Daintree Village - it honestly would take you 15 minutes to do that. The village of Daintree is very small and also, the village of Cape Trib is even smaller. Im not sure what pricing you are looking at but i would defintely recommend Coconut Beach Resort. It is probably the more expensive of the places to stay so please take that into account. Perhaps look at one of the discount accom websites. The busy season is now starting so you may have trouble getting a cheaper room but worth a look anyway.

I would suggest doing the following activities in Cape Trib

* The board walks around the area

* H2O Odyssey or Rum Runner reef day cruise (The Port Doug cruises come to the same area so why waste more time in a boat when you can spend only 45 mins each way and spend more time in the water seeing turtles etc!)

* Coopers Creek Croc cruise

* Nightwalk (either Coopers Creek or Jungle Adventures)

* We did the jungle canopy surfing (flying fox) - is a bit pricey for the small amount of time you are flying through the jungle but worth the experience if you want a little more adventure (im scared of heights so this was really a big thing for me to do! the last leg they have you do it upside down!)

I didnt see a dawn cruise but seems like you have done a heap of research so i will have to leave that one up to you.

Be warned that meals in Cape Trib are VERY pricey. We ate at PK's backpackers one night to try and save some money - not recommended from my opinion and we wouldnt go back. Their meals are classed as cheap and are AUD$15. Coconuts meals are expensive but great and they are around AUD$26. Dragonfly Cafe is AWESOME for dinner and are open for lunch also. Their prices are slightly cheaper than Coconuts and are just as delicious.

Please also do the Mossman Gorge. It really was beautiful - we did this on our way up to Cape Trib from Port Douglas. You can swim here so make sure you have your swimmers and a towel (we didnt and regretted it - although is was slightly crowded but def worth it.) We did the loop track and were so sweaty at the end, a swim would hhave cooled us off nicely!

Can i also recommend that you consider doing Hartleys Crocodile Farm? We did this and thought it was great. You get to see heaps of Crocs and other native animals too. This is about 25kms south of Port Douglas, so if travelling from Cairns up to PD it will be on your way.

Let me know if you need anymore help! I can chat for hours regarding what we just experienced!

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3. Re: August trip - advice wanted

P.S I forgot one other worthwhile place!!!!!

Daintree Discovery Centre!

This is on the road up to PD, worthwhile in my eyes if you want to learn about the rainforest and its inhabitants.

Edinburgh, United...
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4. Re: August trip - advice wanted

KVT76 - how widely accepted were credit cards in the Daintree and Cape Trib area, both in restaurants and trips?


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5. Re: August trip - advice wanted

Hi Eros,

We found no issue with credit cards up there and charged most things to our card.

I guess they are all tourist based so understand the need for credit card facilities. We even used our Amex card regularly which we found great (Sydney now a days its quite hard to find somewhere that accepts Amex!)


Edinburgh, United...
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6. Re: August trip - advice wanted

KVT76 - many thanks for the info.

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: August trip - advice wanted

I spent three nights at the Coconut Beach Resort last June and would go back in a heartbeat.

OK, it was pricey, but it was well maintained with a lovely location. The food in the resturant was fantastic and the staff were really helpful with tours.

Do a crocodile cruise on Coopers Creek. You'll definitely see some.

8. Re: August trip - advice wanted

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