A Day in the Daintree
Shortly before Australia went into Lockdown, I had a friend from England staying with me for a week, so I just had to take her to the Daintree Rainforest along with Conor. You may have seen my previous post: ‘A lovely day at Cape Tribulation‘, however there is so much to see and do there. This time we were a little shorter on time so we left home early and enjoyed some of the main highlights.
Bruce Belcher Crocodile Cruise
One of my favourite things to do in the Daintree Rainforest is spotting wild crocodiles in their natural habitat. They are fascinating creatures and these cruises allow you to observe them without interfering. Last time we did the Cape Tribulation Wilderness Cruise on Coopers Creek, however this time I opted for the highly recommended Bruce Belcher cruise on the Daintree River. I booked the 9:30am cruise to start our day.
This is a small, family-run business, with a reception area that you will reach before crossing over on the Daintree Ferry. At the time of writing, the cost is $30 per adult and $14 per child (up to 15 years old). Under 5s go free and there are discounts for seniors and students. There is also a family package for $75, and private charters are available. I assume that the cruises are not ruining at the moment, but usually they run seven one-hour cruises per day seven days a week. Most cruises include a complimentary tea or coffee. The lunch time cruises includes a free meat pie and can of soft drink, and the last cruise at 4pm includes a complimentary cold drink, beer, or wine, as well as nibbles, so choose your cruise wisely!
When we approached the reception area, I loved the rainforest vibes from the natural, tropical design and decor. We didn’t have time to get our coffee before the cruise, so we had a quick look around the gift shop before heading down to the boat. Bruce Belcher himself drove the boat and we could tell that he is an experienced local who knows the area well. He gave us plenty of interesting information on the crocodiles, the other flora and fauna , and the surrounding area in general. We caught a few glimpses or crocodiles swimming close to us, and also enjoyed watching a couple of close for several minutes.
When the cruise was over we had our free coffees in the cafe. There is even an old boat that you can sit on to have your drink. Overall we all thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and I would definitely recommend it. I may in the future do a post comparing the different crocodile cruises available in the area. However for now I will just say that I also loved the Cape Tribulation Wilderness Cruise that I did a while ago, and whilst the two are quite different they are both excellent.
The second part of our trip involved visiting Thornton Beach and Cape Tribulation beach. No one should come here and not walk on the golden sand, lined with dense tropical greenery. These beaches are peaceful and simply stunning. You can even see the Great Barrier Reef. However, don’t risk a swim here as there are jellyfish, crocodiles, and plenty of other dangerous marine life. If you do fancy a dip, there are several natural swimming holes where you can relax without the danger, one being our next stop.
By this point we were starving, so we headed to Masons – cafe, shop, and delightful waterhole. One thing about Masons Cafe that’s amazing for visitors is that they offer exotic meat burgers including kangaroo, crocodile, emu, buffalo, camel, and wild boar. They specialise in local produce, sourcing all ingredients as locally as possible. This time I opted for the less exotic hotdog, and it was delicious. The outdoor seating area is pleasant with scenic views, so it’s a lovely place to sit. I think Masons is an excellent place to stop for lunch in the Daintree. Although we didn’t swim on this particular day, we have in the past and we found the swimming hole to be refreshing and ideal for cooling off on a hot day. They just ask for a $1 donation to take a dip.
Daintree Ice Cream Company
We had to save room for ice cream, as I had been wanting to visit the Daintree Ice Cream Company for a long time. They grow all of their own fruit and other produce in their own orchard and make the most delicious ice cream on site. It had been highly recommended to me by several people and it did not disappoint. The signature cup features four flavours which change daily, and often may include flavours that you have never heard of before! The signature cup costs $7.50 for four delicious scoops.
When I visited the flavours were mango, black sapote (also known as the ‘chocolate pudding fruit’), coconut, and Wattleseed (an Australian seed with a nutty flavour). The wattleseed is apparently the most popular. I loved how the black sapote had a unique chocolatey taste, yet no cocoa was used to make it – just the natural flavour of the fruit. However my favourite had to be the mango – it was so fresh. After the ice cream we went for a walk around the picturesque orchard, where we saw the wide variety of plants growing. I have to recommend this to any ice cream lover who visits the Daintree.
With full tummies it was time to head back to Port Douglas. I’m so glad that we managed to fit in a lovely day out here before the lockdown, and I can’t wait to go back when everything re-opens.