It was 7:05am on a Spring morning in Cairns when George came cruising round the bend. “Hop on” he said, “Nikki is it?” and we bumbled on to find the other passengers. They climbed in, from Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia. We were backpackers, families, and more mature travellers too – all keen to see the Daintree. Cruising along the ocean road, George began his quirky commentary, introducing us to the local crops and crocs, and most interestingly, personal history from growing up in the area.
Our first stop was the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat, where we could see the majestic and endangered Cassowary, sporting a stunning indigo and red neck. Also at this stop was a morning tea of fresh fruits, mini pastries and tea and coffee – with barista coffee and extras available for purchase from the cafe.
After morning tea, it was time to take the car ferry across the Daintree River toward Cape Tribulation – but don’t be mistaken – if you’re on this one day tour, you won’t be seeing the popular beach. Lunch is served at the one and only cafe in this tiny tourist centre – with options including vegetarian wraps, fries, or a muffin – and then it’s time to hit the trees!
Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours picked us up from the cafe and took us up the hill to the zip-lining starting point. We suited up and psyched ourselves up, then wandered up through the trees. Remember to have your cameras at the ready, and be prepared to take it all in, because it’ll be over in a flash! Four or five zig-zagging zip wires later and you’ll land back on earth.
After that adrenalin filled adventure, we made a quick stop to take in the view at Walu Wugirriga (Alexandra look out), then continued along with George’s tales to arrive back at the river for our next wild Australian activity.
Little did I realise when boarding the bus this morning I would be going Saltwater Crocodile spotting! It must have been in the itinerary but being the only tour that would take me ziplining from Cairns, I paid little attention to the rest of the day’s activities. Getting close to a Croc was never on my Cairns to-do list, but after considerable hesitation George convinced me to give it a go!
The shallow metal bottom boat and canary coloured life vests didn’t provide much comfort for the faint hearted – but the knowledge of our local guide made the Daintree River Cruise an educational feast. Apparently with more people wanting to move to the area, there has been increased pressure to control the Crocodile population. This is their home though, so if you don’t want Crocs in your waterways, Cairns probably isn’t the place for you!
Go Jungle Surfing is a full day Daintree experience operated by Jungle Tours and Trekking with pick up from Cairns, Northern Beaches and Port Douglas. It is the only day tour from Cairns to get you zip-lining through the rainforest with Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours. It was one of the best days I had in Cairns, and well well worth joining to see and do all these things in one day. If you’re not keen on any part of the tour (like Croc spotting), check if you can stay back with the bus – I doubt they would have any issue with this. Now go on and enjoy your jungle adventure!