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Exploring Daintree

Concord, New...
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Exploring Daintree

Hi,

We will be in Port Douglas for about a week at the end of August / beginning of September and have allocated 4 days to snorkeling the GBR and about 2 days to explore other interesting sights near the area. We are very interested in wildlife and beautiful natural scenery, so settled on spending the non-snorkeling part of our trip inthe Daintree area. We are thinking of doing 1 to 2 river cruises (debating between the Dan Irby's Mangrove Adventures, Solar Whispers Croc Tour and Daintree Boatman Nature Tour) and will do some self-driven tours ourselves. We would like to see a variety of different animals (cassowaries, kingfishers, tree frogs, crocodiles, etc.) and plan to have a rented car as well. Does anyone have suggestions as to how we should split our itinerary and if there are any guided tours that we should consider doing in addition to self-driving? Any advice on the river cruises we picked out relative to our interests, including whether they are very additive to the experience?

Are there any other things to do in the area that we had left off our itinerary but would be in line with our interests?

Thanks!

8 replies to this topic
Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Exploring Daintree

Wildlife is immensely difficult to spot in a rainforest on your own. Everything is camoflauged and there are all these pesky trees and plants in the way of everything!

Basically, I fully recommend the Cooper Creek Wilderness walking tour. It will show you all the critters you won't see yourself. A boat trip is also a good idea.

Seeing cassowary is hit and miss, for the best chance a stay at Cassowary House in Kuranda might work.

Concord, New...
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2. Re: Exploring Daintree

Got it, thank you. Do you have recommendations for whether we should do the 2hr, 4hr or 5hr+ combo walk / cruise tours with Cooper Creek?

Perth, Australia
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3. Re: Exploring Daintree

2hr is fine.

I wouldn't do the combo with the boat. Book the boat separately with one of the well rated Daintree river operators.

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: Exploring Daintree

As Waddler says, seeing wildlife in Daintree is hit-or-miss. But on one of the self-drive tours we have done in Daintree, we saw a cassowary near the picnic area of the Jindalba Boardwalk. (It actually walked right in front of us while we were on the boardwalk!) This is supposedly a place they frequent, so you might be n the lookout for them there.

Also, be sure to go to Mossman Gorge as well. We've spent several nice afternoons there on the loop walk and/or swimming in the natural pools.

Daintree, Australia
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5. Re: Exploring Daintree

One way to explore the Daintree on your own is to pick up a Self-Drive Audio Guide CD from one of the tour desks - they are only about $13 and give a very interesting commentary as you drive through the rainforest.

River tours leave from near the Daintree ferry and also further upstream from Daintree Village. (Dan Irby leaves from near the ferry - highly recommended). You have slightly different experiences from both locations - near the Village the river is narrower, more winding and with different scenery - from the ferry it is much wider and straighter with rainforest one side and mangroves the other.

Most important if you want to see crocodiles is to go at low or mid-tide as at high tide the banks are covered - this is where they are most often spotted as they lie in the sun to warm up.

You are coming at a prime time for birding in the Daintree with the arrival of our springtime birds for the breeding season! Although they are generally harder to see in the rainforest itself you should see quite a few as you drive around, especially if you take some side roads like our own Stewart Creek Road just beyond Daintree Village. We've spotted over 140 species at various times on our 30 acres in the valley. Ian (Sauce) Worcester - Daintree River Wild Watch - and Murray (Daintree Boatman) both do early-morning specialised birding tours from the Village ... but you would have to get up early to drive almost an hour from Port Douglas!

Concord, New...
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6. Re: Exploring Daintree

Thanks. Who would you recommend between Sauce and Murray / will they cater more or less to different types of interests? We are by no means birders but would love to learn more and see the ones that we, being very inexperienced, would easily miss on our own. If you have a sense of the differences in their tours, it would be great to hear about that to make a more educated decision since our time is limited.

Daintree, Australia
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7. Re: Exploring Daintree

Both guides are well-established experts so you can't go wrong with either of them! They are both on the river every day so they know it and it's wildlife intimately. Sauce started working with Dan Irby on the Daintree in the 90's. Murray bought Chris Dahlberg's well-renowned tour a few years ago.

From our guests' experiences Sauce will often extend his 2-hour tour if no-one is in a hurry, and will also go out even if he only has 1 or 2 customers. Murray offers the choice of an alternative tour on the Mossman River with it's different ecology.

I'm sure you will be happy whichever one you choose.

Concord, New...
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8. Re: Exploring Daintree

Thank you, that's very helpful.

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