On Wednesday, June 15th, we drove from Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation and explored that area. This involved crossing the Daintree River twice by ferry and some of more unsettled weather we had, but was a good day nonetheless and we were able to hike some of the trails as well, which, for my wife and I, is also a plus.
Cape Tribulation is 85 kilometers north of Port Douglas and is the place where rainforest meets reef - the Daintree Rainforest reaching down to the sea within sight of the Great Barrier Reef. It is also the end of the sealed road and we were forbidden in our rental car contract to go any further north, though the weather and time constraints made that impossible in any case.
Cape Tribulation was so named by Captain Cook after his ship ran aground on what is now Endeavor Reef. The ship remained afloat only because a large piece of coral embedded itself in the hole in the ship's side. As Cook said, "...the north point [was named] Cape Tribulation because here began all our troubles".
We crossed the Daintree on a cable ferry (for some reason we did not get a photo of the ferry) both on the way up to Cape Tribulation and again on the way back. My wife was especially fascinated by the signs at the ferry crossing.
Across the river, our first stop was at the Mount Alexandra Lookout (Walu Wugirriga). The heavy overcast and a few sprinkles of rain suggested worse weather to come, but except for a brief shower at Cape Tribulation we had a decent day and even saw the sun.
Daintree River and Coral Sea
Near the Mount Alexandra lookout we visited the Jindalba Rainforest walk. What an amazing experience it is to walk through the rainforest as we did, on a wet and dark day. Sadly, we were not able to identify everything we saw.
the only flowers we saw and we were unable to identify them
not sure if these are flowers or fruits
no idea at all
Female Golden Orb Spider
Green Tree Ants
From Jindalba we went on to the Marrdja Botanical Rainforest Walk. This walk follows Oliver Creek to the mangrove forests near the beach. On the way there we saw our first and only Cassowary, though only my wife was able to get a quick photo.
a bit of Australian humor
(the first of these is the Cannonball Mangrove which explodes and scatters the seeds)
flowers and leaves of Broad Leaf Orange Mangrove
orchids (they look like Bulbophyllums but none were in bloom)
Fan Palm leaves
Wait-a-while Palm canes
We stopped for lunch at the Boardwalk Takeaway and I was able to get some photos there also, notably of the Olive-backed Sunbird feeding on the flowers of a Crepe Ginger. The lunch was very good, but I was more pleased with the photos.
Olive-backed Sunbird and Crepe Ginger
Cluster Fig tree and fruits
Arriving finally at Cape Tribulation we explored the beach and walked the trails at the cape. We found many interesting things, but as was so often the case in our Australian adventures, we were not able to identify many of them.
the cape and the beach
Blue Beach Crab
Silverbush flowers and fruits
Golden Guinea Tree flowers
unidentified tree and flowers.
The walk at Cape Tribulation is the Dubuji Rainforest Walk and we followed those trails as well, finding many more things worthy, in our opinion, of being photographed. These photos were taken there, though much is unidentified.
vines and Strangler Figs
Fan Palm fronds
Yellow Pittosporum flowers
Yellow Orb Spider
From Cape Tribulation we headed home, stopping at Thornton Beach on the way. We all agreed that the cape was one of the high points of our trip, though the next day would be even better with snorkeling out at the Great Barrier Reef.