Cape Tribulation is renown as the place where the world’s most ancient rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Cape Tribulation is a full day trip from Cairns and is accessed via a ferry. The ferry operates from 6:00 am to midnight.
To reach the ferry take the Captain Cook Highway north from Cairns and then the Mossman – Daintree Road for 102 kilometres (approx 1:30). Take the turn off to the Cape Tribulation Road to the ferry. The ferry cost is $30 return.
An accessible toilet is available on the Cape Tribulation side of the river.
Daintree Discovery Centre
The Daintree Discovery centre is located 10 km north of the Daintree River Ferry. Both the interpretive centre and 10m high aerial walkway are wheelchair accessible. At the end of the walkway is an observation tower that is accessible by steps only. The Interpretive Display Centre is a large, open plan complex with a variety of displays located on the spacious verandahs as well as inside the Centre itself. Interactive information kiosks with touch screens allow easy access to information suitable for all ages and the Climate Change theatre has flexible seating that can be moved to accommodate wheelchairs. The interpretive centre is located at the end of the aerial walkway.
The lower paths all require the use of stairs. The walkway is constructed of expanded metal with gaps of 25 x 50 mm. It may not be suitable for visitors using canes, mobility devices with thin legs or wheelchairs with small front castors. The walkway is suitable for visitors with vision-impairment with the lower section of the handrails and balustrades forming a continuous ‘shoreline’ along the length of the walkway. Disabled parking is available next the main entrance. Audio guides are available that have been fitted with a T switch. These are suitable for use with hearing aids. Guide dogs are welcome but it is recommended they have some form of feet protection to walk on the metal grate of the elevated walkway. The accessible toilet is located adjacent to the Reception area. Note there is no accessible toilet located at the Interpretive Centre.
There are three accessible boardwalks to experience the Daintree: Madja, Dubuji, and Kulki beach access and lookout at Cape Tribulation.
Marrdja is a 1.2 kilometre 45-minute circuit from the carpark. The path is wide and smooth made from a recycled plastic decking material with railings provided on the elevated sections. It is a stunning walk through the wet rainforest.
Dubuji is the second boardwalk along the trip. At this stop there is an accessible toilet and a picnic area. The boardwalk is another 1.2 kilometre, 45-minute loop. Made of the same recycled plastic material. The loop starts at the toilet facility and finishes at the beach. The two ends of the trail are linked by the gravel Myall Beach access track. The track has some coarse aggregate that is quite loose in places which would make the going difficult for wheelchair users with small front casters. The track slopes gently down from the car park to the beach. The final section to the beach is boardwalk with an observation area at the top of the sand. To gain access to the water requires traversing approximately 10 metres of soft sand.
Right at Cape Tribulation is the final accessible boardwalk, Kulki. Kulki offers both beach access, where the rainforest physically meets the sea and a 350 boardwalk to the lookout over Cape Tribulation. The gradient over the 350 metres is shallow and manageable for manual wheelchair users. It is constructed of the same recycled plastic decking material. The beach access is through the trees and over a series of boards before meeting the soft sand. The sand distance here is only 10 feet and is manageable with assistance or beach wheelchair with large front casters.
Mount Alexander Lookout
Alexandra Lookout offers some truly magical views of the rainforest and mouth of the Daintree River and surrounding coastline. It is best done on the return trip. The car park is sealed and the view is taken from the edge of the car park on a level surface.
The total driving time to Cape Tribulation is 2.5 hours. Each of the boardwalks require 45 minutes, the Rainforest Centre 2 hours and Mount Alexander Lookout 15 minutes. Allowing for the ferry a day trip to Cape Tribulation is 7-8 hours from Cairns.