I took a tour bus from Cairns, taking about 2.5 hours if you went non stop and only went as far as Cape Tribulation. My tour, which was the Adventure Company, took me up to Port Douglas first, where we were able to get off and explore the city a bit. I walked 10 minutes down to the beach, took pictures there and enjoyed the beautiful green mountain backdrop, large white sandy beach, and wonderfully clear and fairly warm water (maybe low 70s Fahrenheit during the month of September). Then we continued up to Mossman Gorge, which is just outside the start of the Daintree Rainforest. We took a little hike to see the gorge and take pictures, and then we went back to the bus and drove all the way through the Rainforest to get to Cape Tribulation. I heard from my old roommates that Cape Trib was just another beach, but for me it was much more than that. It really was where the “rainforest meets the reef”, as they say. Coral was literally on the beach, creating pockets of water where the same creatures that I saw at 20 meters down in the ocean were now on the shore. I even saw Christmas tree worms, a reef shark, and 2 stingrays when I was only knee-deep in the water.
I stayed overnight in the Rainforest at a hostel called the Ferntree Resort. During my stay, I went to Myall Beach (only a 10 minute walk from the hostel) and explored the reefs some more. I tried to lie down and tan, but the sand was very hard and uncomfortable. I was pretty bored for the 24 hours I was there because there was no internet, being in the middle of the Rainforest, and I’m pretty dependent on the internet. However, one very fun thing I purchased for around $80 more was horseback riding on the beach. THAT was one of the most fun things I have ever done, which was surprising because I’m not a huge horse person or anything. I rode through the jungle and on the beach on my horse Duke. Most of the time we were walking but in the second half of the 2-hour ride, we learned to trot and canter, which was EXTREMELY fun. I was literally screaming while cantering along the entire beach on my ex-race horse.
Once the tour bus picked me up again, we continued back down through the rainforest to get back to Cairns. Along the way though, we stopped for a crocodile cruise along the Daintree River, where we spotted 4 babies to medium-sized crocodiles along the coast and swimming in the water. I thought I purchased the tour that included aboriginal experiences, but I found out I was wrong when I asked the tour guide about it while in Cape Tribulation. That was the only bummer about the trip, but everything else was so much fun to experience at a pretty cheap price.