18 Best Things to Do in Cape Tribulation | 2023 Guide

The beautiful small town of Cape Tribulation, located north of Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, is one of the most eco-friendly destinations in all of Australia.

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It’s best known for being the only place in Australia where the rainforest meets the reef, but its secluded location and a plethora of outdoor activities make it a popular destination with backpackers and adventurous travellers.

With a lush and leafy rainforest on one side, the world-famous Great Barrier Reef on the other, and pristine beaches in between, Cape Tribulation is a natural gem.

Despite being such a wonderful place to visit, Cape Tribulation still flies under the radar as a tourist destination. In rare cases, you might find the place crowded, and on a lucky day, you may have the place to yourself.

There are so many great things to do in Cape Tribulation that it’s best to visit for at least a few days to really soak in the beauty and enjoy the tranquillity of this tropical paradise.

Cape Tribulation Beach
Cape Tribulation Beach, Tropical North Queensland, where the rainforest meets the beach.
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Things To Do In Cape Tribulation

Enjoy The Cape Tribulation Beach

For most, Cape Tribulation Beach is the biggest drawcard of the region. The stretches of sand are vast and generally see very few tourists, even in the high season. Since they are so long and stunning, it’s the perfect place to take a long walk.

Unfortunately, swimming on this beautiful beach is not recommended, as the waters in this part of Australia are full of dangerous jellyfish. Throughout the entire year, the crocodiles often casually cruise the ocean as a means of transit between the various creeks and rivers.

Alternatively, you have the option to explore Myall Beach. At the northern tip of this beach, you’ll have a clear view of the actual cape. A brief boardwalk leads to Myall Beach, providing you with an opportunity to enjoy a leisurely walk, relax beneath the swaying palm trees, and capture stunning photographs of the reef located just a short distance from the shoreline. However, it’s important to note that swimming in the area is not recommended.

You’ll also discover a nearby picnic at Thornton Beach area next to the small parking area, with covered seating and easy beach access right by the road. Unwind on serene Thornton Beach, bordered by tall coconut palms and lush foliage, providing a peaceful escape from the busier beaches near the cape. Swimming is permitted here but use caution.

Things to do in Cape Tribulation for Every Responsible Traveler
Cape Tribulation Beach, Tropical North Queensland

Try Horseback Riding

Since swimming isn’t recommended at Cape Tribulation, another great way to enjoy the beach is to go horseback riding on the sands. Even if you’ve never ridden a horse before, there are Cape Tribulation tours that are suited for beginners. Most routes will take you across Myall Beach.

Take A Night Walk

Night walks are one of the more popular things to do in Cape Tribulation, especially for wildlife enthusiasts. There are plenty of critters in the rainforest that only come out at night, and with an expert guide, you’ll have a shot at glimpsing some of them. Keep your eyes peeled for animals like snakes, bats, possums, and creepy crawlies of all kinds.

Hike Daintree Rainforest

The magnificent Daintree Rainforest is one of the main reasons why people visit Cape Tribulation. Near Cape Tribulation, there are plenty of paths through the jungle to explore. Many of them are covered with wooden boardwalks to protect the plant life below. 

Some of the best trails to hike on are the Marrdja Boardwalk, the Dubuji Boardwalk, and Mount Sorrow to the west.

READ NEXT: Guide to Visiting Daintree Rainforest 

Go Ziplining

Exploring the jungle’s canopy is best done from the harness of a zipline. It’s a fun way to see the rainforest from a different perspective! There’s a large network of ziplines in Cape Tribulation and many of them are linked together. A number of operators in the area offer half-day canopy tours suitable for all ages and experiences. 

Take A Trip To The Great Barrier Reef

No trip to Cape Tribulation is complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. Many visitors choose to take a day cruise on a local boat, but there are also some opportunities for snorkelling as well. On a good day, you’ll see bright corals, sea turtles, and thousands of colourful fish. The main providers of Great Barrier Reef tours in Cape Tribulation are eco-certified.

READ NEXT: The Best Great Barrier Reef Tour from Airlie Beach, Australia

Cool Off In Swimming Holes

Since the ocean near Cape Tribulation is pretty much off-limits for visitors, swimming holes have become a popular alternative. There are many in and around Cape Tribulation that can offer visitors a great way to cool down on a hot day. We particularly like Mason’s Waterhole, located near Mason’s Cafe. 

Ride Bikes 

Biking is a fun and eco-friendly method to explore the dirt paths of Cape Tribulation’s rainforest. You can rent e-bikes in town and spend the day cruising up and down the hills. If you’d rather get your adrenaline pumping, rent some mountain bikes and hit the more challenging trails. 

Things to do in Cape Tribulation
Road sign at Cape Trib

Take In The Views At The Alexandra Lookout

A stop at the Alexandra Lookout point is a must when visiting Cape Tribulation. From the top, you’ll have views of the rainforest, oceans, towns, and islands in the distance. It’s an easy drive to the top.

Alexandra Range Lookout, Daintree National Park
Alexandra Range Lookout, Daintree National Park

Drive The Coastline Of The Great Barrier Reef Drive

A road trip from Cairns/Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation is a reason in and of itself to make a trip up this region. There are lots of stops with amazing views along the way, but the drive itself only takes a couple of hours, so you can easily do it as a day trip. 

things to do in cape tribulation
The scenic drive going to Cape Trib

Cruise Down The Daintree River 

One of the best ways to see the Daintree Rainforest is to take a river cruise. Getting on the water with a trustworthy guide will get you up close and personal with some of the rainforest’s residents, such as crocodilessnakes, and birds. You’ll learn lots about these creatures and also have the chance to take some awesome photographs while relaxing from the comfort and safety of your boat. 

Things to do in Cape Tribulation for Every Responsible Traveler
Daintree River, Daintree National Park
Salt water crocodile resting on the banks of the Daintree River
Salt water crocodile resting on the banks of the Daintree River

Try Wild Meat

It may sound strange, but Cape Tribulation is one of the best places in Australia to sample wild meat. We discovered a great variety of “game meats” available at Mason’s Cafe, where you can try burgers made from emu, crocodile, camel, boar, and kangaroo meat.

Contrary to popular belief, eating wild meat is more sustainable than eating beef, chicken, or any other domestically farmed animals. So if you have been curious, this is THE spot to give these unique meats a try. 

Check Out Emmagen Creek

To cool off after activities near Cape Tribulation, consider stopping by a peaceful swimming spot away from the crowds, like Emmagen Creek. This freshwater swimming hole is situated a bit north along Cape Tribulation Road. 

While there are crocodile warning signs near the road crossing at Emmagen Creek, if you venture slightly upstream, you’ll encounter another fantastic, crocodile-free swimming spot with clear water and a rope swing.

Visit The Daintree Ice Cream Company

The Daintree Ice Cream Company goes beyond the ordinary chocolate and vanilla. The Daintree Ice Cream Company cultivates tropical fruits on their property and craft ice cream with the absolute freshest flavours. Imagine fruits plucked straight from their trees on their expansive tropical fruit orchard and transformed into ice cream right away, that’s the level of freshness you can expect.

Here, you can savour your delightfully exotic fruit ice cream beneath the very tree from which it originated. Then, take a complimentary self-guided tour through their Tropical Fruit Orchard.

Head Down to Cow Bay

Heading south from Cape Tribulation towards the Daintree River, you’ll discover Cow Bay Beach, a secluded rainforest beach. It offers a serene escape from the sometimes busy Myall Beach. Despite its name, there are no cows on the beach. The origin of the name remains a mystery, but if there were cows here in the past, they might have been snatched by crocodiles! Swimming here is also not recommended.

Taste Exotic Fruits At Cape Trib Farm

Have you ever been curious about trying a luscious mamey sapote or a zesty carambola, or maybe never even heard of them? Well, one of the most unique experiences you can have around Cape Tribulation and the Daintree is paying a visit to Cape Trib Farm for some exotic fruit tasting

Being situated right on the rainforest’s edge, plants here flourish at an impressive speed, and you’d never imagine that the farm was anything other than its thriving, lush self today.

Cape Trib Farm is conveniently situated near Myall Beach and cultivates a variety of seasonal exotic fruits. Their tours typically last about 1.5 hours, and it’s worth noting that they’re highly regarded for their accommodations in Cape Tribulation. As an added bonus, if you stay with them, you’ll receive a complimentary basket of exotic fruits every morning!

Hike The Alexandra Bay Waterfall

If you’re up for an adventurous journey off the beaten path, where you’ll wander through a pristine rainforest creek to a jungle waterfall, then make sure to include Alexandra Falls on your Cape Tribulation must-see list.

Alexandra Falls is a Daintree waterfall tucked deep within the Wet Tropics rainforest. This rainforest, part of the Heritage Listed Wet Tropics Region within Daintree National Park, stands as the world’s oldest rainforest and one of Australia’s most untamed areas. 

The waterfall itself is a true rainforest giant, nestled along Alexandra Creek. However, a word of caution: there’s no marked trail leading here, so you’ll need some solid bush experience to find your way.

Only 50 metres downstream from Alexandra Creek access lies the Cape Tribulation Blue Pools, a stunning spot with crystal-clear rainforest waters. However, swimming here is discouraged, as it holds cultural significance as a birthing site for Indigenous women.

Explore Daintree Discovery Centre Aerial Walkway

The Discovery Centre’s standout feature is the aerial walkway and the towering 23-metre-high canopy tour. This unique experience lets you explore the rainforest from various perspectives, and a deeper understanding of its rich biodiversity. The aerial walkway features various viewpoints for rainforest observation, and each level provides a wealth of information, from butterflies to spiders.

The park has an excellent layout and organisation. As you wander through the canopy, you’ll encounter recurring themes like cassowaries and Aboriginal culture. Beyond the aerial walkway and canopy tower, there are additional rainforest trails to explore. The Bush Tucker trail, for instance, educates visitors on how Aboriginal people utilised the forest for sustenance and medicine. 

While you’re there, don’t miss their restaurant. They offer a variety of vegetarian options and even a unique crocodile burger for you to try!

Things to do in Cape Tribulation for Every Responsible Traveler
Crocodile burger

Where To Stay In Cape Tribulation

If you are looking to spend a few days in Cape Tribulation, consider staying in town so you can be close to the activities nearby. Here are the best places to stay in Cape Tribulation for those looking for a more eco-conscious accommodation option!


For a luxurious and eco-friendly rainforest getaway, consider staying at Wildwood. Sleep in either an earthy cabin or a full-sized house right in the middle of the rainforest. Nestled in the heart of Cape Tribulation, Wildwood is situated on a rare exotic fruit orchard. 

Here, guests enjoy private access to the orchard, where they can freely wander among the 800+ fruit trees, picking and savouring the ripe fruits in season. Every room also offers a connection to a beautifully landscaped garden and cosy fire pits, perfect for sustainable outdoor cooking and stargazing.

Cape Trib Beach House

Cape Trib Beach House is a rustic, family-friendly property in the jungle that has a number of different accommodation options situated just north of Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest. Choose to stay in larger family rooms or dorms with bunk beds, all surrounded by nature. 

Cape Trib has direct access to a secluded beach and nightly bonfires for mingling with fellow travellers. This eco-hotel offers a distinctive Daintree rainforest experience. While the cabins have no AC, you’ll hardly require air conditioning in the jungle. 

Despite its compact size, the rooms are filled with character. The cabins cascade down a hill toward the beach, and each morning, you’ll wake up to the soothing sounds of birdsong and rustling leaves in the breeze.

Safari Lodge

Safari Lodge, formerly known as Jungle Lodge, is a great option if you’re on a budget and/or taking a tour with Ocean Safari, a reputable tour provider in Cape Tribulation, Tropical North Queensland. They’re eco-certified and offer great value for money. They also have campsites nearby.

Safari Lodge provides Safari Huts and campgrounds, along with a refreshing swimming pool and well-maintained facilities in the middle of the tropical rainforest. With the Turtle Rock Cafe and Ocean Safari on-site, it offers a comprehensive Cape Tribulation experience, including lodging, dining, and Great Barrier Reef tours.

Here you’ll find yourself in the middle of two World Heritage areas. Whether you prefer sleeping to the soothing rainforest sounds or catching the sunrise at nearby Myall Beach, Safari Lodge offers a crowd-free experience. 

Things to do in Cape Tribulation for Every Responsible Traveler
Cape Tribulation from above

Cape Tribulation, Australia might not be the most popular tourist destination near the ancient Daintree Rainforest but is definitely worth a visit. It’s the perfect place to connect with nature to experience the beauty of the rainforest and the beach! If you’re a lover of the outdoors, eco-conscious, and need a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the cities, you’ll love your time in Cape Tribulation!


Have You Ever Visited Cape Tribulation? What Is Your Favourite Thing To Do In This Region? 

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