Cape Tribulation

A place of breathtaking beauty with rugged mountain ranges rising sharply behind the narrow coastal strip, dense rainforest tumbling down the mountains to the beaches, and a bewilderingly rich variety of flora.

Location: 75 km south of Cooktown, 110 km north of Cairns via Captain Cook Highway.

Cape Tribulation National Park features long sandy beaches, rocky headlands and steep mountain ranges intersected by numerous creeks and rivers. One of Australia's last extensive stands of lowland rainforest is found here. Impenetrable ranges, rising steeply from the coast, are blanketed with dense upland rainforests supporting many ancient plants and animals. This unique landscape is the traditional country of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people.

Cape Tribulation is in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest, home to some of the oldest rainforest on the planet, and this Word Heritage listed rainforest is adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. The Daintree is the only destination in the world where two World Heritage areas meet.

One of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, the Cape Tribulation area was included in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in 1988. It is here that rainforested mountains sweep down to long sandy beaches.

A visit to this area gives you a rare chance to experience two of Australia's most significant World Heritage sites - the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics world heritage areas. Both are valued for their exceptional biological diversity.

The Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park (about 17,000 ha) stretches in a narrow, intermittent strip from the Daintree River in the south to the Bloomfield River in the north. The McDowall Range, rising steeply from the coast, forms the western boundary.

Things To See and Do

There are a variety of walks at Cape Tribulation, from under an hour to full day treks.

Fishing is permitted in all tidal creeks in Cape Tribulation, Daintree National Park except Cooper Creek, where fishing is prohibited.

Most of the world's 19 primitive plant families are found in Daintree National Park and the surrounding area. A number of very rare plants can be seen in Cape Tribulation. The park is also home to many near threatened and endangered animals including, Bennett's tree-kangaroos, Daintree River ringtail possums and southern cassowaries. Some birds migrate to the area from New Guinea in summer to breed. These include buff-breasted paradise-kingfishers, with their very long tails, and pied imperial-pigeons, which arrive in large flocks. During the winter months (June - August), migrating humpback whales are often seen from the beaches.

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The Rainforest Coast Drive

This drive follows the coastal road from Cairns to Cooktown through the only place on the planet where two World Heritage sites, the Wet Tropics of Australia (containing the world's oldest rainforest) and the Great Barrier Reef, converge. The Daintree Rainforest contains the last remnant of the oldest surviving rainforest in the world.

About Cape tribulation

The cape's name recalls the visit of Lieut. James Cook to the area. His journal entry for Monday 11th June 1770 reads: "I named the north point Cape Tribulation because here began all our troubles". It was here that Cook's vessel, Endeavour, ran aground onto what is now known as Endeavour Reef. The ship managed to limp to the Endeavour River near present-day Cooktown where, for some months, it was laid up for repairs.

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