Featured image: Bet you didn’t know you could do this off the Daintree Coast!
Dreaming of the Daintree? Perfect timing. Because although this ancient rainforest is exhilarating during the wet ‘green’ season (gushing waterfalls galore) we also love the cooler, drier months of May to September. So, if you’re keen to experience this luscious Tropical North Queensland wilderness with your love, here are 8 of our favourite Daintree ideas for two.
1. Escape to an eco lodge
Looking for a tropical Queensland holiday (that’s not the beach)? The lush Daintree region is dotted with glorious eco lodges and retreats which offer sustainable wild luxury in spades. Try the rainforest ‘bayans’ (treehouses) at Daintree Ecolodge and its beautiful Daintree Wellness Spa, or slip away to the elegant pavilions at Mist at Cape Tribulation. The excellent Silky Oaks Lodge is one to watch, set to reveal an exciting renovation in late 2021. And for a luxurious holiday home to call your own, try the local experts at Executive Retreats.
2. Do the Great Barrier Reef Drive
Love a good road trip? See one of Australia’s most jaw-dropping coastal drives which stretches from Cairns to Cape Tribulation. The Great Barrier Reef Drive packs a lot into its short but super scenic 140-kilometre trail, taking in Coral Sea vistas, charming townships, and plenty of rainforest magic along the way. Kick off with a photo op at Rex Lookout before winding on to the seaside enclave of Port Douglas and stopping for a swim at Mossman Gorge. Then you’re really heading off-grid. Look out for crocs as you cross the Daintree River on an old-school car cable ferry and disappear into the ancient rainforest riches of Cape Tribulation.
3. Roam through the rainforest
If you’re looking for a deeper connection to this 180-million-year-old landscape, stop by the Mossman Gorge Centre (gateway to the Daintree Rainforest) where you can learn more about the local Kuku Yalanji people and experience the forest close up. Our tip? Enjoy a guided Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk, which begins with a traditional smoking ceremony and ends with damper and billy tea, but also leave time to explore at your own pace on one of the self-guided trails. The chance to disappear beneath the rainforest canopy, chase electric-blue Ulysses butterflies through the trees, and take a dip in Mossman’s secret swimming holes, is priceless.
4. Take your love higher
To really appreciate the unique collision of rainforest and reef, take to the skies. In an experience best enjoyed hand-in-hand with your love, a scenic flight or private helicopter charter will glide you right over the region. Want more? Consider the World Heritage Highlights package from Nautilus Aviation which includes a scenic flight and Daintree River cruise followed by a 4WD trip along the Bloomfield Track, a swim at Emmagen Creek, and a photo stop at Cape Tribulation Beach. Epic. And while you’re in the area, consider our favourite heli-adventure for two: a romantic tryst on a private sand cay.
5. Explore on horseback
Cape Trib Horse Rides offers the only horse-riding experience in Cape Tribulation, and it’s a goodie. Weave your way through the magical Daintree Rainforest on horseback before arriving on the golden sands of Myall Beach for a splash through the ocean shallows. Giddy up!
6. Find a secret swimming spot
One of the most common questions about the Daintree is: can you swim here? And we’re happy to say, yes! Just give the ocean a miss and lace up your walking shoes to discover the rainforest’s secret swimming holes instead. The clear, bracing waters of Mossman Gorge are a must, or seek out the lovely Emmagen Creek in the Daintree National Park for a dip. We also like Cassowary Falls, tucked away in a valley near Daintree Village, and Mason’s Swimming Hole: a hidden freshwater gem behind Mason’s Cafe in Cape Trib (this is private land so don’t forget a gold coin for the honesty box here). If in doubt, remember this is croc country so do your homework or join a local tour before diving in.
7. Scream for ice-cream
All that adventuring is bound to work up an appetite so grab a sweet treat at Daintree Ice Cream Co. Their delish homemade ice cream, gelatos and sorbets are made using classic artisan methods and organic produce plucked fresh from their 22-acre tropical fruit orchard, just north of the Daintree Ferry. Foodies will also love the self-drive Daintree Food Trail which maps out some of the region’s top producers (think tropical fruits, spices, tea, chocolate, barramundi and honey) and local markets.
8. Dive into the Daintree Coast
Did you know you could swim with sea turtles just off the Daintree Coast? Ocean Safari offers an excellent half-day eco tour from Cape Trib which visits two snorkelling destinations at Mackay and Undine Reefs. The rainforest can often be seen along the mainland beach as you glide through the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef and get up close and personal with the region’s captivating neighbourhood of fish, sea turtles, eagle rays, giant clams, starfish, and coral.
All photos: Tourism and Events Queensland except where noted.
Find more adventures for two around this glorious region right here