book daintree accommodation online Rainforest Hideaway - Daintree accommodation and sculpture trail in the ancient rainforest at Cape Tribulation, Australia

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Self contained eco accommodation in Cape Tribulation

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car hire cairns to cape tribulation and bus transport

The road between Cairns and Cape Tribulation is a very scenic drive

Getting to Cape Tribulation is easy nowadays since the road has been sealed all the way, and several door-to-door bus services run daily between Cairns, Port Douglas, Daintree village and Cape Tribulation.
All car rental companies now allow their hire cars to go past the Daintree river up to Cape Tribulation.
In 2010 another milestone was reached where bridges were built over several creeks where the road used to get cut in heavy rain, so Cape Tribulation now has


The most enjoyable way to travel to Cape Tribulation is your own hire car, so you can explore the many atractions between Cairns and Cape Tribulation. The journey from Cairns to Cape Tribulation is now officially known as the Great Barrier Reef Drive, to recognize the outstanding scenery along the way, where else in the world could you see two World Heritage listed National Parks, a long string of deserted tropical beaches and indigenous Aboriginal culture all in an easy 140 km?

Great Barrier Reef Drive
From the Smithfield roundabout on the north side of Cairns
simply follow the brown coconut tree signs

Also, the bus services have been scaled back and the choice is a bit limited these days.
Keep in mind that if you hire a 4WD to go further up the Bloomfield Track that you check if you can take the vehicle up there, it sounds crazy but there are companies in Cairns that hire out four wheel drives that are not allowed to be taken off sealed roads!
A lot of things are within walking distance and most tours pick up from Rainforest Hideaway, but a rental car will give you the freedom to explore at your own leisure the places where the bus doesn't stop.

And it is easy to find your way here, Sheridan Street cuts through the Cairns city centre, as long as you get on this road then you just keep heading north, there is only one way road up!

cairns to cape tribulation hire car
The Captain Cook Highway from Cairns to Cape Tribulation

Hire Cars - To explore further north of Cape Tribulation you definitely need a four wheel drive. If Cape Tribulation is as far as you want to go, a normal (2WD) rental car is all you need, as the road has been sealed all the way since April 2001. Refer to the maps page to see how to get here, but just about all the Cairns car hire places will give you a free map anyway.

Discover Car Hire is the best place to start your search for a cheap hire car.
Ofcourse you can search all the major car hire companies one after the other but you'll find it saves you a lot of time to simply type in your car hire location and dates, and get presented with an overview where you see all available cars next to their prices to compare on one page. Can it get any easier?

Bus to Cape Tribulation

The good old days before the road was sealed

Several bus companies do a door to door service from Cairns accommodation, Cairns airport, Port Douglas accommodation and Daintree Village to Cape Tribulation.
Depending on the number of people in your party and the duration of your stay in Cape Tribulation it may be just as, or more, economical, to hire a small car as the bus fares are not all that cheap.

Please note that timetables and prices are subject to change from time to time.

Cape Trib Adventure Bus - This bus leaves Port Douglas at 08:30 and arrives in Cape Tribulation around 10:30, and it leaves Cape Tribulation at 16:30 returning to Port Douglas around 18:00.
Return fare is $100.- , you don't have to come back to Port the same day, you can stay in Cape Trib for one or more nights. Bookings on 0488 425 968 or online via

Trans North - This one runs all the way from Cairns to Cooktown, so is a great option if you plan to head further north after your Cape Tribulation stay and explore Cooktown. They depart Cairns at 07:00 in the morning, arrive in Cape Trib about 10:30 but not every day, only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the one way fare Cairns to Cape Tribulation is $50.90.- See the Trnas North website for more info, time tables and prices.
The return journey leaves Cape Trib at 10:10 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrives in Cairns around 13:30.
This bus also goes around Port Douglas for drop off and pick up at hotels.

This bus will drop you off at Rainforest Hideaway, most package deal buses will stubbornly not drop you off here.

If you book on a package deal bus, such as Cape Trib Connections, Tropics Explorer, and Jungle Tours etc. ask where they will drop you off, most of these drivers stubbornly refuse to drop you at Rainforest Hideaway and will leave you at another resort and even though the town of Cape Tribulation is small enough to walk around a hike up the hill to Rainforest Hideaway with your suitcases may not be that comfortable.

Driving directions:

From Cairns: find Sheridan Street, the main road that goes through all of Cairns, and start heading north, Sheridan St. becomes the Cook Highway.
From Cairns airport or Port Douglas: turn right when you get to the highway and head north.
On the north side of Cairns you will go through at least a dozen roundabouts, if you are new to Australia remember that traffic entering the roundabout gives way to traffic that is already on the roundabout. On these roundabouts follow the signs for Mossman and Port Douglas.
After about one hour from Cairns you will pass Port Douglas on your right hand side, and another 15 minutes or so later you will pass through Mossman.
Keep heading north after Mossman and following the signs to Cape Tribulation. After 20 minutes or so you will see the sign below, indicating you will need to turn right to the ferry.
The return fare for this ferry is $24.- and EFTPOS/credit card facilities are only available during the day, from late afternoon it is cash only.

sign on the way to cape tribulation
On the highway about 25km. north of Mossman turn right at this sign
daintree ferry crossing on the way to cape tribulation
Cross the Daintree river on this ferry,
it runs continuously from 6 am till midnight.

Once you are across the Daintree river it is another 36km. to Cape Tribulation, due to the speed limits and winding roads this can take you close to an hour, even without stops. Keep your speed down to save the wildlife, especially the cassowary.
On arrival in Cape Tribulation you will first see the signs for the Cape Trib shop/info centre, and 500 metre further the sign "Welcome to Cape Tribulation".
About 200 metres past this welcome sign turn left into Camelot Close, there is a sign on the corner pointing to Rainforest Hideaway.
If you arrive at night keep an eye out for the Ferntree Resort sign, this is the only one lit up on this corner.
Proceed up Camelot Close past the Dragonfly and Ferntree until you see the sign Rainforest Hideaway and the frog mailbox on your left.

drive past here with your hirecar to cape tribulation
This sign will tell you that you have arrived in Cape Tribulation.
Because there is no main street with shops some people drive straight through!
turn right here with your hire car
200 metres further you will see this sign on your left on the corner of Camelot Close, at night the Ferntree sign next to this is lit up.
Turn left here.
entrance to rainforest hideaway B&B
Proceed up Camelot Close until you see this mailbox on your left


daintree treefrog at cape tribulation
daintree rainforest tree frog
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Rainforest Hideaway Cape Tribulation Accommodation & Sculpture Trail - 109R Camelot Close, Cape Tribulation 4873, Australia Ph: 0460 361346