After bidding farewell to Willie and Judy in Cooktown, Brooke and I hopped in our Traveller’s Autobarn station wagon and headed south to Port Douglas.
From Port Douglas, a handful of tour companies offer day trips including sights around Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge, and Cape Tribulation. We contemplated booking the tour but then realized we could self-drive and make our own experience.
So we did! Brooke has already documented it very well, and instead of writing a nearly identical post, you should read hers and continue on here to see my day through photos
It all began at the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary. After several days of eating fruit and nuts for breakfast, I was itching for a real meal, and a buffet breakfast was just the ticket. Best pineapple juice. Ever. But it wouldn’t be breakfast at a wildlife sanctuary without sharing it with a variety of birds!
After an all-you-can-eat buffet, you can spend as much or as little time as you wish wandering through the park, learning about Aussie flora and fauna. Buy a cheap bag of feed and get close to the animals!
If you’re keen and want to spend more money, you can also have your photo taken holding a koala, snake, or croc!
From there we hit the road forMossman Gorge. I expected a short walk followed by amazing views of a massive gorge. Instead, we walked on trails for an hour and saw lots of trees. Gotta love having preconceptions of what a place will look like and finding something quite different
Following Mossman we continued to head north through the Daintree National Park to Cape Tribulation. There’s no doubt that the road from the Daintree River to the Cape Tribulation beach proved the most challenging route to this point. With constant twist and turns, blind curves, and narrow lanes, it put our skills to the test!
But the views at Cape Trib beach were worth it
To reward ourselves for that tough drive, we concluded the self-drive tour on a sweet note with a treat from the Daintree Ice Cream Company. We each paid $5 to taste the four flavors you see in the photo below — the pineapple was my favorite!
Upon returning to Port Douglas, we found that all of the restaurants were booked for the night! If you decide to head that way, making a reservation (especially on the water front) the evening before or morning of is a must. My Aussie sister Toni highly recommended On the Inlet, and Salsa Bar & Grill touted itself as a place where the locals go. Since we couldn’t get into either, we snagged an outdoor seat at 2 Fish.
All in all, we spent less than the tour company would have charged us and with the exception of a Daintree River Cruise to spot crocs, we accomplished everything we set out to do! Save yourself some money and self drive through tropical north Queensland