An inspiring travel guide to the absolute best Cape Tribulation tours and activities from Cairns, Port Douglas and within Cape Tribulation itself.
Are you looking for the best activities and tours in Cape Tribulation to make the most of your visit to the place where the rainforest meets the reef? If so, I’ve got you covered in this quick Cape Tribulation travel guide to the best day tours, reef tours and rainforest activities!
I’ve had the privilege of visiting Cape Tribulation several times during my time living in Cairns. Therefore, I’ve personally jumped on most of these tours and activities myself and am recommending them based on my personal experience.
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
The Best Cape Tribulation Tours (Reef & Daintree)
In this list, you'll find a few of the best organised day tours to Cape Tribulation from both Cairns and Port Douglas, as well as some bookable activities for those looking to drive the incredible Great Barrier Reef Drive to Cape Tribulation independently.
While you're here, make sure to also check out some of my other articles for this iconic region.
- Ultimate Guide: Best Things to do in Cape Trib
- Accommodation: Where to Stay
- Best Hike: Mount Sorrow
- My Favourite Swimming Hole: Emmagen Creek
- Best Croc-Tour: Solar Whisper (Review)
Best Cape Tribulation Tour From Cairns (Day Trip)
Only have a day to spare and looking for an organised tour to Cape Tribulation from Cairns? While there are dozens that you can book online, I've narrowed the search down for you to just two.
1. Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Tribulation Tour From Cairns
This 4.5/5 star trip from Cairns Adventure Group is the most popular Cape Tribulation trip from Cairns. It’s an action-packed, full-day activity covering many of the highlights on this list plus a few more.
This trip does a good job of combining the natural and cultural history of the Daintree, with rainforest guides and indigenous ceremonies being a part of the experience.
Here’s a roundup:
- A short visit to Mossman Gorge
- A wildlife river cruise (crocodiles)
- Daintree River Ferry
- Witness a traditional smoke ceremony by the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people
- Cape Tribulation Ice Cream
- Alexandra Lookout
- Rainforest boardwalk
2. Billy Tea Safaris (4WD Tour)
This second option is one of the most popular, small-group options that also a little unique. Billy Tea Safaris run a 4WD organised tour to Cape Tribulation from both Cairns and Port Douglas and are among the best in the region!
If you’ve been around Cairns and Port Douglas for a while, you might have spotted the iconic 4WD vehicles by Billy Tea Safaris. Their unique military-style 4WDs are a Far North tourism icon.
The 4WD trip differs from the one by Cairns Adventure Group. These trips include:
- 1-hour guided Daintree cruise
- Alexandra Lookout
- Lunch at the animal refuge
- Emmagen Creek
- Cape Tribulation Beach
Best Cape Tribulation Tour From Port Douglas (Day Trip)
If you're staying in Port Douglas and on the search for a day tour to Cape Tribulation, then you're in luck. Billy Tea Safaris also include pickups from hotel accommodations in Port Douglas.
Otherwise, there is a dedicated private tour for visitors to Port Douglas that is a little more personal. This has great reviews on Viator and includes:
- More personalised tour, choose from the Atherton Tablelands or the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation
- Includes a river cruise (croc spotting)
- Buffet lunch and hotel pickup/drop-off by luxury vehicle
- Daintree Ferry included
- Daintree Ice Cream Company
- Private swimming hole in Cape Tribulation
Best Half-Day Tours & experiences in Cape Tribulation
1. Ocean Safari Great Barrier Reef Tour
A trip out to the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best tours on offer in Cape Tribulation. Due to its geographic proximity to the reef, Cape Tribulation offers one of the best opportunities to see the Great Barrier Reef on a day tour.
One of the only companies operating snorkelling trips to the reef from Cape Tribulation is Ocean Safari. These guys run tours daily and provide everything you need to snorkel on the reef. They also get you out there in just 25 minutes, so you can make the most of your precious time in the tropics!
2. Solar Whisper Wildlife & Crocodile Tour
A visit to the Daintree just isn't complete without spotting an estuarian (saltwater) crocodile. These are the largest crocodiles on earth and one of the best places to spot them is on the Daintree River, just south of Cape Tribulation.
The best crocodile spotting tour is run by Solar Whisper. These guys are the only zero-emissions wildlife cruise in the Daintree, running silent, electric engines that allow your to get closer to the crocodiles without disturbing them in their natural environment.
Wildlife photography from my cruise: My Second Trip on Solar Whisper
You'll find the Solar Whisper boats right next to the Daintree River Ferry, which is perfect if you're planning to drive to Cape Tribulation yourself.
Secure a spot online: Solar Whisper Guided Wildlife Cruise ($30 online)
Car Rentals in Far North Queensland
Cairns is one of the most popular travel destinations in Australia and car rentals quickly book out!
I've missed out on cars before & recommend booking well in advance. I always use DiscoverCars as they compare the widest range of rentals across dealerships in the Far North.
3. Cape Tribulation Horse Riding Tour
Is a beach horse ride experience on your bucket list? Cape Tribulation is one of the best places in Australia to tick it off!
This Cape Tribulation tour departs twice daily and includes a guided horse ride through the Daintree Rainforest and on the golden sands of Myall Beach. This was one of my favourite bookable activities in Cape Tribulation and was surprisingly affordable too!
Photos from my trip: Cape Tribulation Horse Riding
4. Guided Night Walk (Wildlife Spotting)
The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest in the world and also one of the most biodiverse. Wildlife is a huge part of the Cape Tribulation experience and one of the most interesting ways to experience it is on a night walk!
You can either head down to one of the many boardwalks with a torch yourself or book a guided night-walk with a professional wildlife spotter. I'll be honest, I personally haven't done this particular Cape Tribulation tour but the reviews online seem to be outstanding.
5. Exotic Fruit Tasting
The tropical climate of Cape Tribulation and the Daintree makes for the perfect conditions for exotic fruit orchards to thrive. There are a few orchards in Cape Tribulation including Wildwood and Cape Trib Farm.
However, only Cape Trib Farm is open to visitors for tours to taste freshly picked exotic fruits for non-guests. The particular fruits on offer will vary by season. However, I almost guarantee that they'll have at least a few fruits you've probably never even heard of!
Where to Say at Cape Tribulation
Below I've included some tips on the best places to stay on your trip to Cape Tribulation. If you'd like more suggestions with photos, read my comprehensive accommodation guide to Cape Tribulation.
1. Wildwood Rainforest Cottages Luxury
Wildwood offers luxury rainforest cottages set on a rare exotic fruit orchard. Freely explore the 800+ trees on the property, picking & sampling any of the fruits in season
2. Daintree Crocodylus Hostel Budget
Located in Cow Bay, this hostel offers safari-tent style rooms that are built from wood and canvas, with high ceilings, fans and mosquito net.
3. Cape Tribulation Holiday House Family
The highest-rated holiday house in Cape Tribulation set on 5 acres of rainforest & includes a huge balcony, 2 bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen!
50+ More Cairns Bucketlist Items
- Visit the Cairns Islands
- Kuranda Railway & Skyrail
- Rusty's Markets
- Day trip to Cape Tribulation
- ... +51 more things to do in Cairns!
Far North Queensland Travel & Adventure Blogs
That wraps up this travel guide to the best Cape Tribulation tours and activities! I hope it's been a useful summary for you.
Remember, Cape Tribulation can be a busy place and booking online will secure your spot. I also get a small commission if you click through my links, which is at no extra cost to you and helps me run this blog and provide you with the best travel and adventure tips!
If you didn't find a tour or activity that tickled your fancy, check out some of the free options found in the dedicated posts below!
More: Cape Trib Story