The Great barrier reef is world-famous as the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world, so big that it’s also visible from space and it’s a UNESO world heritage site. Tourists from all over the world go to Cairns specifically to witness this amazing place. But there is a lesser known gem hidden behind the barrier reef’s fame. Do you know what I am talking about?
If you are like me and didn’t know well, apparently Cairns also has access to the oldest rainforest on Earth and that boys and girls is the other less known Cairns world heritage site.
And not only that but a place called “Cape Tribulation” is the only place on earth where 2 world heritage sites meet one another. See me in the picture below? I am in between the barrier reef and Daintree rainforest!
Although Cape Tribulation is so lucky to be the meeting point of 2 world heritage sites and has beautiful white sand beaches it is unfortunately, not too safe for swimming. There are jellyfish, sharks and crocodiles waiting to attack.
When I arrived at Cairns I didn’t know anything except for the barrier reef, and if I would have known that there was more to see I would have planned a little bit of a longer stay. However, if you are like me and F-up already, the “Active Tropics Explorer, Cape Tribulation Daintree Rainforest” tour takes you to many places in just one day.
The shuttle bus was driven by the best tour guide ever, his name was JJ so if you have a chance to get his tour you must ask for him! He stopped at places that were not included in the tour because he thought them worth seeing, he was also so full of knowledge and so funny.
The tour included a smoking ceremony with the indigenous people, they taught us a little bit about the rainforest’s fruits and medicines. This fruit looked so colourful I thought it was plastic but its real fruit!
Then a swim in the Mossman river, , one of the few safe to swim, crocodile-free rivers in Cairns. The the water was really cold so I didn’t swim though.
After that JJ took us to Daintree river for the crocodile spotting river cruise with “Daintree river cruise centre”. We only saw a baby crocodile but it was more than enough for me. The river cruise guide was also so funny, he explained to us that crocodiles don’t eat smart people, and a croc attack was just “natural selection” because you had to be asking for it if you approached a river side in a place where crocs live.
After the river cruise we went to have lunch on the white sand beaches of Cape Tribulation. Lunch on the very spot where both world heritage sites meet was a very cool thing.
After lunch we went to a walk on the rainforest, the “Marrdja Botanical boardwalk” which JJ told us was his favourite part of the tour because he loved learning about all the plants and trees on the rainforest. I could tell it was his favourite part because he knew so much and was so enthusiastic to teach us. He showed us which tree to cut if we needed to drink safe water, and which tree to use to make a fire.
This heart shaped plant that looks nice and loving but that it causes the most excruciating pain for months if you happen to touch it…scary.
I wasn’t brave enough to eat an ant’s butt but JJ also taught us how to eat this specific ant’s behind because it tasted lemony.
The rainforest walk was so interesting but I recommend you to take bug spray because I didn’t and regretted it. Mosquitoes bite like crazy.
After that it was a quick stop at Floravilla for ice cream!!! They had so many flavours it was a tough choice but I decided on the black sapote one because its nature’s chocolate pudding. Didn’t really taste like chocolate pudding but it was delicious. We ate the ice cream at Alexandra Range lookout and watched a beautiful view of the river. I was a bit busy eating the ice cream though.
Then after all of that there is still a quick stop to Port Douglas. JJ also had a lot of interesting facts about Port Douglas, and he told us its history. Really, is there anything he doesn’t know?
We arrived to our accommodations a little after 7:30pm so it’s really a full day of fun, squeezing as much as possible in a short time. It is the best tour if you don’t have days and days in Cairns.
Also, JJ told us of the only place in town where they serve crocodile, kangaroo, and barramandi fish. All very aussie treats. But to be honest, they were not for me…