Ask around in Cairns about where to find the best beaches and the chorus will all echo 'Cape Trib.'. The promise of empty whitesand beaches drew me further north to the Daintree Forest in search of the remnant of what most of Queensland must have looked like a century or two ago.
There's no shortage of transport options to get to Cape Tribulation, there are numerous bus companies plying the route. I opted for a package deal which included accommodation at Cape Trib Beach House. You can book as many nights stay as you like and I had two to spare.
Although I'm not a fan of the package tour I have to say that this was tastefully done, I learnt a lot of stuff I wouldn't have just taking the standard bus service and overall it was superb value for money.
Cape Trib Beach House is the only accommodation in the area actually on the beach. The facility is a number of cabins, some dorm style others individual suites all dotted along a winding track through the forest (read jungle) to the beach. There's a bar/restaurant in the shady trees which again I thought was good value and I didn't need to stray much further than the beach right in front of the Beach House.
This was definetely time for some serious relaxing and logging beach time. Sure I walked the beach a few times and went snorkelling once but mostly I read my book and enjoyed a stress-free couple of days soaking up the rays, certain once I reached New Zealand I was in for a weather shock.
All too soon it was time to make the return trip down to Cairns. Two of my friends from the dive trip were on the bus on the way back which was really nice and we had fun on the highlight of the ride - a river cruise on the Daintree River.
There are so many warning signs everywhere around the Daintree and Cape Trib alerting the unwary vistor to the danger of crocodiles I really hoped to see one. Sure enough as with most things in tourist central they pretty much lay it on a plate. The Cape Trib package included an hour cruise on the river and our skipper obliged with several crocodile sightings, the best being the little nasty right there in the photo.
He (or she) was pretty small but the hiss it gave as we drifted by was reassurance enough that you wouldn't want to tangle with one.
We made two more stops on the way back, one for a half hour walk around Mossman Gorge and then in the village of Port Douglas which was enough time to grab a long overdue coffee and T-shirt before reaching Cairns.
September 15th I flew via Brisbane to Auckland stretching out my ETA visa allowance to within 6 hours of its expiry!
Next Stop - New Zealand