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
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
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
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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.