Snugged in between two World heritage areas, the Port Douglas and Daintree region is picturesque and magical. If you want to find your mojo back or just need some time to disconnect with the rest of this crazy world, this is the ideal destination. Time seems to just slow down and the rainforest takes all your worries away. If you don’t believe me or want to know more, just watch this video.
Port Douglas is the ideal base to start exploring the area. There is a variety of accommodation and surely something will suit your needs. From the luxury hotel room to the self-contained unit, there is something for everyone.
What draw tourists and locals to the region is generally the easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and a number of cruises will get you there. As I just recently obtained my open diver certificate, I was of course not to miss this opportunity. I went with Poseidon who does take snorkelers as well. The boat visited three different sites on the outer reef which were all healthy and stunning. A truly amazing day.
Visiting three different sites can be a bit intense so if you are after a more casual day out there are plenty of options available.
We went there during the Christmas holidays which happens to be just the beginning of the rainy season. This means that intermittent showers were on the menu. To be honest, I love the wet season. For one, most people associate rain with cold. Not here. On the contrary. There is nothing more refreshing than a good outdoor shower. Secondly, the rainforest is at its prime during the wet season. I find that the colours of the rainforest are most vibrant right after the rain (Instagrammers, take note).
The Great Barrier Reef is just an out of this world experience and is rightly much talked about but it is not the only World heritage area that you can visit in the region. The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest living rainforest on earth. Yes, older than the Amazon. And it shows. At first, the rainforest is a bit intimidating, it appears like a big mess of green but once you get more acquainted, a whole new world just opens.
One way to get to know the rainforest is to see it through the eyes of the Kuku Yalanji people who have been inhabiting the forest since the dawn of times. Mossman Gorge Centre is a good start to enquire about guided walks and to get introduced to the forest.
If you feel up for the adventure, crossing the Daintree river will reward you with incredible sights and I assure you, you will come back transformed from this escapade.
We drove up from Port Douglas, across the Daintree River with the ferry and up to Cape Tribulation.
It is a bit difficult to explain what happens after the ferry crossing. It is a bit like entering a magical world where the rainforest takes over and all your troubles go away. Entering the Daintree forest is like going back to the Jurassic era when dinosaurs were roaming. Just out of this time zone.
When you crossed the ferry, take the time to stop at the Alexandra lookout to soak it all in. It is just a little bit after the ferry crossing and will reward you with views of Low Isle and its lighthouse framed by king ferns.
An other way to get acquainted with the rainforest is through a better understanding of the biodiversity that it represents. To get a bird’s eye view, Daintree Rainforest Aerial Walkway is just what you need. Stop by and learn about the trees and its strange inhabitants like the cassowary.
There are a number of walks that you can do along the road to Cape Tribulation. One that is not to be missed is the Dubuji boardwalk. This walks will bring you through a forest of fan palms. It is an extremely rare and iconic forest. To be honest, it just holds a special place in my hearth. This is where the magic happens. There is just nowhere else in the world like it. Breath it all in and thank the forest for the cleanest air you will ever breath.
Hope you get the chance to visit! Until next time, keep exploring and take care of our beautiful planet!