I Like My Wildlife On The Wildside Road Trip

DAY 1: CAIRNS TO YUNGABURRA 68KM

When you arrive in Yungaburra take a walk to Peterson Creek – In the heart of Yungaburra – where you may be able to view platypus and a rare Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo, the unique ‘Lloyd’s Suspension Bridge’, historical objects and more.

During the day explore Lake Eacham –  a stunningly beautiful volcanic crater lake – go for a swim, or a 3km walk and see if you can spot the musky rat-kangaroo. Surrounded by World-Heritage Rainforest, this lake is a great bird watching area. Look into the weeping fig canopy at the lake side car park to view fig parrots. Listen for the distinctive calls of the catbird and tooth-billed bowerbird. Bring a picnic or use the free BBQs.

Tonight you could take your torch and do some night time spotting around the Curtain Fig Tree.

This rainforest giant has been wowing visitors for decades. See if you can spotlight tree-kangaroos and possums.

Or you could go for a paddle and do the Night Wildlife Canoeing Tour – Enjoy a moonlit paddle under the stars and through the rainforest at Lake Tinaroo. Did you know that 80% of Australia’s wildlife is active at night as it is feeding time! The night canoeing tour is the BEST way to spot unique nocturnal rainforest animals in their natural habitat.

Stay tonight at On The Wallaby – 34 Eacham Rd, Yungaburra, QLD, 4884

DAY 2: MAREEBA WETLANDS JABIRU SAFARI LODGE 60KM

On your way to Mareeba stop off at the Yungaburra Platypus Viewing Area on the Gillies Highway, located on the Atherton side of the village.  The best viewing times are morning and dusk.

MAREEBA TROPICAL SAVANNA AND WETLAND RESERVE
Set within the savannas of North Queensland, the Reserve, is a sanctuary for much of tropical Australia’s savanna and wetland flora and fauna. A series of 12 inter-connected lagoons, creeks and channels weave their way across the 5,000 acre Reserve. The reserve is home to 204 species of birds, over twenty mammal species, reptiles, frogs, fish and of course the freshwater crocodile. The open tropical savanna woodlands are home to much of Australia’s savanna fauna including eastern grey kangaroos, agile and whiptail wallabies, wallaroos, possums and gliders.

In the afternoon Fish feeding takes place at the Visitor Centre or you could try their hand with a fly rod if you are keen! Stay the night tonight at Jabiru Safari Lodge and listen to the calls of the wildlife snug in your cabin.

DAY 3 MAREEBA TO CAPE TRIBULATION 138KM

Up Early to continue on your journey through sugarcane country towards the emerald green mountains & friendly town of Mossman. Take a wander through the shops, art galleries and pubs along the main street. A short drive west of town is the striking Mossman Gorge which is well worth a visit.

Alexandra Lookout – A great spot to get your bearings

As the bitumen road winds towards its end at Cape Tribulation it is here that your wildlife of the wildside adventure truly begins.

You are in Croc Country Now!! And while there’s no crocs in the waters at Mason’s Cafe, if you’re brave, you’ll have opportunity to dine on them for lunch with the cafe’s signature croc burger. And if croc ain’t your thing then there’s emu, boar, buffalo or camel to tempt your tastebuds with.

Mason’s Cafe
A: 3781 Cape Tribulation Road, Cape Tribulation
P: 07 4098 0016

Check into your accommodation for tonight – Cape Tribulation Beach House

Now we get to see the real thing – Mangrove Croc Cruises Join the only tour boat permitted in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park on a mangrove discovery tour in search of the estuarine crocodile.  Wind your way from Cooper Creek’s coral sea mouth towards the panorama of Queensland’s third highest mountain, Thornton Peak, on a leisurely & informative cruise and exclusive access to 9 square kilometres of world heritage listed wilderness.

DAY 4 CAPE TRIBULATION

7:50am

The early bird catches the worm be up and ready to board the Ocean Safari Courtesy Bus from the front of Cape Tribulation Beach House at 7.50am. This morning get ready for an exhilarating ride to snorkel the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef off the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation.

After a fast 25 minute ride, you are ready to snorkel two fabulous locations at Mackay and Undine Reefs. On most days, you can snorkel alongside sea turtles, which are found in abundance swimming over reefs full of colourful coral, along with myriads of tropical fish, eagle rays, giant clams and starfish. Often the coastal rainforest of the Daintree can be seen along the mainland beach whilst snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef.

Ocean Safari
P: 07 4098 0006
W: http://www.oceansafari.com.au/

After a morning exploring the Great Barrier Reef, drop in for lunch at the Turtle Rock Cafe. Located just 400 meters from the beach.

Spend the afternoon finding bats, cassowary’s and insects by pottering around the following:

  • Cape Tribulation Bat House – Many visitors to Cape Tribulation will leave shaking their heads in amazement after having met one of the more fascinating inhabitants of the rainforest – a flying fox. As rainforest ambassadors, they are unrivalled – friendly, intelligent and definitely with personality plus. They are great show-stoppers and crowd pleasers, and great for getting visitors to start asking questions about the rainforests (as well as losing their fear of bats). http://www.daintreerainforest.com/daintree/attractions.2/bat-house-cape-tribulation.1136/
  • DINNER at Tides Bar & Grill
  • 20pm Jungle Night Time Walk – When the sun sets those who only come out at night start dancing in the dark. The rainforest heaves with the breath of dragons, the croaks and clicks of insects, the scurrying of bandicoots and the slow, deliberate slighter of snakes.Our guided night walks allow you to indulge your inner Attenborough and tune into all your senses –– just you, a torch, and your very own human Wikipedia to introduce you to the furry, feathery and scaly locals.The two-hour game of hide and seek starts every night at 7.30pm. This walk is best suited from ages 8 +. Please let us know if you have younger children and we will tailor a tour to suit. Jungle Adventures Night Walks/

DAY 5 RETURN TO CAIRNS – 145KM
After breakfast , how about one last stop to take it all in – head to Cape Trib Lookout – it is located on Cape Tribulation Beach. It takes around 45 minutes to walk there and it is a fantastic opportunity to see the beach and the rainforest. A simple walk, but one that is a favourite among visitors to Cape Trib.

Before you get to the ferry, stop by at Diwan for the Daintree Entomolgical Museum and see a world-class collection of butterflies, moths, beetles and insects. 31 Turpentine Rd Diwan QLD 4873. After your morning walk You should feel pretty entitled to sampling the vast array of flavours at the Daintree Ice Cream Company – all wildthings need their energy!!

Where the Reef meets the Rainforest