After having visited the 110 million-year-old Daintree Rainforest three times now, I must say that if you’re going to visit you may as well stay a while, at least overnight and immerse yourself deep amongst the rainforest.
Our first visit to Daintree National Park was a day trip from Cairns which was way too rushed and I highly recommend you make your visit at least a 2 day / 1 night trip. And you can’t miss Cape Tribulation, which is located around 110 kilometres north of Cairns.
As we like to say on our blog, we travel to accumulate memories, not just possessions and to spend quality time as a family. And when you visit the Daintree it’s like stepping back in time and the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the noise of the outside world and be at one with nature.
In case you don’t know, the Daintree is special in that it’s the only place where two world heritage sites meet – where the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef.
And when you stay overnight, you have the perfect opportunity for a digital detox and to immerse yourself in the natural environment and reconnect as a family.
Cape Trib Beach House
Our home for the night was at Cape Trib Beach House, the ONLY beachfront accommodation in Cape Tribulation and situated right on famous Cape Tribulation Beach.
We love options when we travel and at Cape Trib Beach House you can do as little or as much as you like.
For those that just want to unwind and relax after a day of exploring the Daintree, Cape Trib has got you covered. Or, if you’re looking for added adventure, the Beach House makes a great base for exploring the Cape Tribulation region, our favourite part of the Daintree.
We found it provides the perfect balance between exploration and relaxation.
After unpacking our bags in our cabin, we took a stroll through the property towards the beach front to catch the late afternoon light.
On the way we couldn’t help but notice the great mix of people soaking up the relaxed vibe. From elderly couples to other families like ours, to younger solo travellers soaking up the serenity, it was obvious this was a place to get away from it all.
We met Louis, the bar and restaurant manager who hails from London. He enthusiastically shared his story of how he stayed at Cape Trib on his travels around Australia and 18 months later still hasn’t left. That’s the pull this place has on you.
To get a true perspective of where we were, we walked down the short access track and onto the sand of Cape Tribulation Beach where a few kayakers were headed out for a paddle.
The sight and sound of the water against the backdrop of the lush green rainforest is striking and you immediately appreciate how special this location is.
The true beauty of Cape Trib lies in its isolation and peacefulness. Try finding this much space to lay your towel on many of the other well-known beaches around Australia!
Our kids enjoyed a runaround and play on the sand, and then a suggestion from Louis was to walk north a few minutes until you come to these incredible trees right on the beach.
Whenever we can’t find Kalyra, our first reaction is to look up because she loves climbing trees, and these became some of here favourite climbing trees and made for some pretty awesome photo opportunities as the sun dipped below the rainforest canopy.
Sleeping at Cape Trib Beach House
If you’re looking for accommodation in Cape Tribulation, Cape Trib Beach House is budget friendly with a variety of accommodation options to suit all travellers from families to couples to solo travellers. And the location can’t be beaten, especially for the price!
At Cape Trib you can experience the best of nature – there’s nothing like falling asleep listening to the ocean and the sounds of the rainforest.
We slept in one of the Escape Family Bungalows that came with a double bed and two singles nestled amongst the rainforest. Kids aged 4 – 14yrs stay for $15 per night, and if you have an infant (0-3yrs) they stay for free.
Scattered about the property is a variety of accommodation options. There are private cabins on the beach which are ideal for couples or families and shared rainforest cabins for large groups of friends or solo travellers on a budget.
Eating at Cape Trib Beach House
Tides Bar and Restaurant is where it’s all at for breakfast, lunch or dinner and offers a relaxed and casual outdoor space for a meal set just off the beach and beside the pool.
We were impressed with the quality and size of the dishes and there’s a wide variety of meals on offer for all taste buds and budgets, including a good kids menu.
Our tip for dinner – give the Kangaroo Loin Fillet a try (it was cooked to perfection and not everyone can get this dish right) and finish off with the sticky date pudding, my fave dessert ever!
There is a well-stocked bar and a big projector screen, and at the time of our visit was playing a wildlife documentary which kept our kids entertained and educated.
Most nights at Cape Trib Beach House conclude with a bonfire on the beach. It’s here under the stars where you can share stories and tips with other travellers from around the world.
Even if you don’t stay at Cape Trib Beach, stop in for a bite to eat and see for yourself.
Sunrise on Cape Tribulation
One of my favourite moments of our time in the Daintree Rainforest was waking up to the sun rising above the horizon over Cape Tribulation Beach.
When you stay at Cape Trib Beach House, you merely roll out of bed and you’re on the sand enjoying a spectacular start to your day in Tropical North Queensland.
The sun is golden as it peeks above the horizon and the morning light on the rainforest is just beautiful. A few other early risers joined me for a stroll along the shore, and some enjoyed a session of yoga.
What else can you do at Cape Trib Beach House?
Relax by the pool
Next to the restaurant there’s a saltwater pool, so for some downtime with your favourite book, or for freshening up, you could sit by the pool whilst the kids take a dip. Again, you have the rainforest as your backdrop.
Play on the Beach
Is there a better free activity for a family than some beach time, and Cape Trib Beach is our favourite beach in the Daintree to let the kids play in the sand.
Bring your towel, book, and bucket and spade and you and the kids will be happy for an hour or two.
From the beach house, walk south along Cape Trib Beach to Kulki Lookout which offers stunning views over Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest.
If you’re not up for walking, jump in your car at the beach house and drive to Cape Trib Beach car park; then it’s only a 500m walk to the Kulki viewing platform.
Enjoy a massage on the beach
Cape Tribe Beach House is the only resort in Cape Tribulation that offers this service. Imagine the serenity
Things to do in Cape Tribulation
We love that Cape Trib Beach House offers the perfect base to experience all that the Cape Tribulation region has to offer.
The most exhilarating way to experience the Daintree Rainforest is by jungle surfing (zip lining) high up amongst the canopy. We had a ton of fun zooming between the trees with Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours who pick you up at Cape Trib Beach House.
The Jungle Surfing adventure begins in their unique human powered Hamster Wheel that takes you up to the first platform. From there you zipline between six canopy platforms deep in the most ancient section of the rainforest.
If the only surfing you’ve done is at the beach or on your smart phone, seriously give this a go.
Pete’s enthusiasm for the region is infectious, and I remember sitting quietly in my kayak a few hundred metres off-shore gazing back at the only place in the world where two World Heritage areas meet and all I could think of was how magical this place is.
Kayaking gives you another perspective on the Daintree and the reef. Pete runs half day tours right from Cape Trib Beach House.
If you haven’t been out on the Great Barrier Reef yet from Cairns or Port Douglas, then consider Ocean Safari who run a half day reef trip to an untouched part of the reef.
We haven’t done this actual tour, but we did a tour with these guys previously to Whitehaven Beach from Airlie Beach and they know how to have fun and find the best spots for snorkelling – and it’s only 25 minutes to the reef from Cape Trib on their cool yellow Ocean Safari boat.
One of the beautiful Daintree Rainforest walks you can do is the Dubuji Boardwalk. At only 1.2kms it was an easy walk for our kids as it winds its way through lowland rainforest swamps and mangroves with some pretty cool trees that offer plenty of shade if you are visiting in warm weather.
One of the prettiest Daintree Rainforest walks is the 1.2km loop Marrja boardwalk. It follows the creek through a section of rainforest and past the eerily twisting roots and vines of the mangroves to a lookout over Noah Creek.
Along this interpretive walk learn about the plants found in this environment. Your eyes and mind will be fascinated.
Just go a little further north of Cape Tribulation, right before the road turns to the 4WD only Bloomfield Track, to visit Emmagen Beach.
The track is next to the big strangler fig on the right-hand side of the road. It’s a short five-minute walk down to the beach and is definitely worth a look. There was no one around when we went. It is right next to Emmagen Creek so be wary of crocs.
And apparently the Emmagen swimming hole on the other side (croc free side) is great – be sure to check with the folks at Cape Trib Beach House on directions and to be safe.
Lunch at Mason’s Store & Cafe
For a burger with a difference stop in at Mason’s Store & Cafe where you have the choice of wild boar, emu, crocodile or kangaroo burgers. I went with the emu burger.
It’s a little challenging to get your mouth around their size, but the burgers are nice enough. Besides burgers, their menu is quite extensive.
Whilst there, take a short walk from the cafe to the swimming hole in the creek. It’s very pristine and no one around when we were there but gets popular in peak season (gold coin donation) to swim.
To get all the details about sleeping at Cape Tribulation and to make a booking visit here/a>