Kayaking in Paradise – Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest

At 110 million years old the ancient Daintree Rainforest is the oldest existing rainforest in the world.

I’m about to hit the big FOUR ZERO this year and feeling a little tattered, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to visit Tropical North Queensland.

When you’re talking about not just one, but two World Heritage Listed sites smack bang against each other, well that’s a nature lovers paradise.

The Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulationa headland located within Daintree National Park – look anything but tattered and old.

As a I sat 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, all I could think of was beauty, serenity and being privileged. Privileged to be at the very spot where

World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest meets the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef.

I knew I was going to enjoy this day. The drive from the nearby town of Port Douglas in to the Daintree Rainfrest was breathtaking as we passed overlooks and wound our way through the stunning rainforest.

A large green landscape with a body of water

The other thing that got me excited was meeting Pete, my guide for the kayaking trip. Pete has called Tropical North Queensland home for the past 15 years since relocating from his birthplace in New Zealand – yeah another one – and his enthusiasm for this place was infectious!

Previous to starting his Kayaking adventure company, Pete was a chef, dive instructor and jungle surfing instructor, all within the Tropical North Queensland region. He’s an outdoor lover and his passion comes across naturally.

First things first was putting on our “stinger suits” for protection against the box jelly fish who make these pristine waters home.

I then grabbed my single kayak whilst Pete and Chelsea, my guide from Port Douglas Tourism, chose the double and we made our way to the waters edge.

people standing next to kayaks

With Pete leading the way, our initial goal was spotting turtles that inhabited the reefs close to shore. We spotted them but you had to be quick with your camera, which I wasn’t, as the cheeky buggers broke the surface then swam away out of site.

We paddled slowly further off-shore, stopping numerous times to just float around and take in the beauty and peacefulness of the place. I was snapping a ton of photos but every so often reminded myself to put the camera down and just take it all in.

man kayaking
man kayaking

Pete being the hospitable guy that he is, even had chocolate cake onboard his kayak for morning tea, and I never say no to cake.

people kayaking
a man kayaking

The stroke rate of our paddles increased again as we headed towards the point of the headland in search of the resident dugong who apparently likes this coastal habitat and is dependent upon seagrasses that exist in the Cape.

a man kayaking
a man kayaking

Under instructions from Pete, we then floated quietly in an area he had spotted them previously. We waited patiently for the not-so-attractive dugong to poke its head above water for air. Unfortunately, I didn’t see one, but Pete was adamant one surfaced a little way off in the distance, again you have to be quick with the camera.

Upon reaching the point, we paddled alongside the rocks and up close to the mangroves before rounding the bend and heading towards Cape Tribulation Beach.

people kayaking
mountains next to water
a man kayaking

At this point, all I wanted to do was jump in and have a swim. The beach was empty well, almost, and the water incredibly clear and inviting.

Compared to a lot of famous tourist destinations along coastal Queensland, Cape Tribulation is still an off the beaten track destination.

a beach
kayaks on a beach

But the risks of swimming at this time of year are too great so we settled for standing up in knee deep water protected by our “stinger suits”.

On the way back we paddled over another reef section and it was here we got a visit from a few stingrays. I know what you’re thinking, where are the pics, unfortunately, I missed out again but have the memory forever etched in my mind.

people kayaking

Throughout our three hour morning paddle, Pete enthusiastically shared his future plans for his 20km kayak adventure tour, his 5 day epic kayaking tour supported by both boat and car on land, as well as his kayak and fishing combo tours.

I didn’t want this tour to end, and I couldn’t think of a better way to experience this amazing tropical environment and the ancient Daintree Rainforest.

Sea kayaking allows you to take in the natural beauty from a completely different perspective, seeing the amazing marine life, fringing coral reefs and World Heritage Daintree National Park.

To learn more about Pete’s kayaking adventure tours including his morning, sunset and fishing tours, visit his website CapeTribPaddleTrek.com.au and follow him on Facebook.

Popular Daintree Rainforest tours

Discover the only place on earth with 2 natural World Heritage listed sites side by side. Explore the Daintree River and Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge. Tours offer mobile tickets and cancellations up to 24 hours in advance.

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