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
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
CLICK HERE FOR THE MAPS PAGE
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?
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!
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.
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 capetribadventurebus.com.au
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
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.
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.
On the highway about 25km. north of Mossman turn right
at this sign
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
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
This sign will tell you that you have arrived in Cape
Because there is no main street with shops some people
drive straight through!
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.
Proceed up Camelot Close until you see this mailbox on