After been fed and caffeinated, it was time to hit the road. We departed Port Douglas bright and chirpy, not unlike the numerous birds that have serenaded us each morning and most of our daylight hours.
We were now heading up further on the windy coast road and have the added bonus of a short ferry ride to the Daintree Rainforest. To be more precise to stay at the Cape Trib Camping ground. At the beginning of our trip, it was a necessity to stay at camping grounds than do freedom camping. Basically, there weren’t any legal places to park outside an official camping ground in this area. None that we could find on our Camp Australia app or chatting with other campers.
I wasn’t driving on this segment due to the roads not being straight enough or wide enough for my driving comfort. Later down the track I took over the driving like a duck to water, ask the Squire if it was relaxing for him, maybe not. So, I will pretend that he wasn’t a “backseat” driver with driving school hints for Africa.
Our first pit stop was to be the Rex Lookout, as you do when wanting an aerial view of where you drove through.
Back to the vehicle and more awe-inspiring coastal views around most corners. The coastal areas are beautiful though some of the tourist information that saturates the media is not so correct. Don’t expect pristine white beaches like Western Australia. Parts of this area are rough, remote and prices reflect the short tourism season. Though the powerful sedation of nature, unlike any other forest we have entered was worth the journey.
This is the only place in the world where two UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites sit side by side.
After an organised and very short ferry ride over the Daintree River and looking all around for that elusive view of a snappy local, the crocodile, we were finally being surrounded by dense rainforest.
On the way, we stopped at Noah Beach for a walk.
This was to be our first taste of being totally out of mobile coverage, giving us a real sense of freedom and to be in the “moment”.
It also has the daunting age of being 140 million years old, and it will touch your soul. Wiser than the Amazon Rainforest. Total enjoyment from both of us being immersed in it with walks amongst twisting vines, strangler figs, epiphytes and cycad trees that date back to prehistoric times.
Our second stop after disembarking the ferry was to visit the Daintree Rainforest Information Centre. Well worth the time to gain an insight into what lives and breathes deep within the forest with detailed information, many of the information boards and displays especially suited for children. The meandering boardwalks we were finding still impressing us, the Daintree Rainforest Information centre was no exception. For most of our trip, we had some fantastic walks, made more comfortable with well-structured walkways and information boards.
Now it was time to find Cape Trib Camping, as it was now late afternoon.
We found Cape Tribulation Camping less than 20kms down the road, we head down a short dirt road which would take us directly to the camping ground and right beside Myall beach.
It was a fun place to park up in for a few days. Couldn’t have chosen a better location with bush, mangrove and beach walks to while away a few hours. We could’ve indulged in a wood-fired pizza or two courtesy of the campground. A popular nightly activity for the younger camping fraternity. The campground kitchen facilities were excellent for those of us who had our own yummy food and felt like dining away from the motorhome.
Myall Beach is on the southern side of the Cape Tribulation headland. The place where two World Heritage areas meet, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. It was fun just to sit and watch people pass by, even a group of horse riders or just read a book underneath the shade of the trees.
Best combination holiday ever is having access to the bush, beach vistas and walking tracks.
Unlike 4 mile beach, there is no patrolled beach here, and we didn’t feel like taking a significant risk of coming face to face with a snappy local. Paddling on the ocean’s edge was to be as far as we got in this area, even then it must be stressed to be aware and do it when the water is clear, not muddy. Respect the environment and acknowledge that we are all just visitors while less desirable locals literally have the run of the area.
While I am on the topic of undesirable “creatures”. I was to experience adoration of more than a few biting insects. It’s adoration staying with me for the rest of our trip. An insect who I feel has no place on this earth, I am talking about the mosquito. For the life of me, I can find no reason for its survival, after all, it’s the most lethal creature on the planet.
Damn things sought me out no matter how much spray I soaked myself in. The Squire was not touched by this creature until our second to last day. It was only then I could repeat his mantra, “Stop scratching”. Luckily for me, I am no longer scratching and slowly healing from that negative part of being one with nature.
The positives of being surrounded by rainforest exceeded the negatives.
Most early mornings at dawn, I ventured out by myself. The beach always felt quite eerie as I sought a better advantage point for a photograph by the river or beach. It obviously wasn’t my time to go as not one creature leapt out of the water to greet and eat me.
Then there was the runner who I swear to whoever lives above scared the living daylights out of me, as I was totally in dream mode while walking along the Dubuji boardwalk amongst the mangroves. We both laughed as we regained our composures from both being startled, me from her foot thumping and her by my loud, very audible scream.
After our blissful few days of being immersed in Rainforest, isolated beaches and not so blissful mosquito bites, it was time to head out again via the Daintree River ferry and head to Wongo Beach.
We stayed overnight on the Southern side of Wonga Beach which is a 10.5 km long, east facing beach that runs in a sinuous curve from Rocky Point north to the mouth of the Daintree River. It occupies part of the wide Trinity Bay (named by Captain Cook on the day of the same name); he commented on its shallow seafloor.
The Daintree runs behind the northern end of the beach, which is undeveloped and slowly curves around in lee of the Daintree River mouth shoals. With shoals extending up to 2 km east of the beach.
This was a stepping stone on our way further north of the Daintree Rainforest.
There are two ways by land to venture to Cooktown, we had to take the longer inland route as our vehicle was not suitable for the Bloomfield track. Not sure many would be as the road is awfully rough.
Next stop – Cooktown in Part 3.
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