Need help choosing the best Daintree crocodile tour or cruise between Cairns and Cape Tribulation? Read this honest review with tips and insights on how to make the most of your Daintree croc tour!
The World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest is the oldest in the world. This ancient ecosystem harbours a unique range of iconic Australian wildlife including, of course, the Australian Saltwater Crocodile.
The Daintree River is one of the the best places in Australia to spot a salty in the wild. However, you might be hard pressed to spot one yourself. Thankfully, there are several great local operators running Daintree crocodile tours and cruises, providing a safe, sustainable and fun way to spot crocodiles near Cairns, Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation.
In this quick guide, I’ll be outlining my favourite Daintree croc cruise with Solar Whisper. I’ll go into a bit of detail for why I believe they are the best, and include a short review and summary of my croc-spotting experience with photos.
Featured in: The 10 Best Cairns Tours & Experiences to Book
Choosing the Best Daintree Crocodile TOur
If you’re looking for a crocodile cruise near Cairns or Port Douglas, then you might be surprised to find out that there are absolutely heaps of tour operators!
However, my favourite and one of the best-rated on the Daintree River is a trip with Solar Whisper. These guys are the only zero-emission Daintree crocodile tour in the Daintree. Their boats are solar-powered and use electric engines, which means less pollution and of course, a quieter cruise that with much less impact on the crocs.
Below are a few reasons why I believe they are the best.
- Electric engines – no emissions, no loud petrol engine sound
- More chance of seeing a croc as they won’t be spooked by the motors
- One of the cheapest Daintree Crocodile Tours
- Office is conveniently located next to the Daintree Ferry – a perfect stop-over while you wait
- Great commentary and spotting guides
Book Now: 1-hour Solar Whisper Wildlife Spotting ($30 online)
As you can see, I’m a pretty big fan of Solar Whisper’s Daintree Wildlife and Crocodile Cruises. I’ve actually gone out with them twice! I’d recommend booking online to secure a spot.
Featured In: Best Things to do in Cairns
About the Solar Whisper Daintree Crocodile Cruise
How to Get Here
The Solar Whisper Daintree Crocodile Cruise departs from the large carpark adjacent to the Daintree River Ferry. This is approximately 122 kilometres from Cairns (1 hour 45 minutes) or 67 kilometres from Port Douglas (1 hour).
To get here, you’ll follow the Cairns to Cape Tribulation Drive, also know as the Great Barrier Reef Drive. This is one of the most scenic drives in Australia, and definitely one to add to your FNQ bucket list!
Below I’ve pinned the exact location of the Daintree croc cruise location to help you find it.
FEATURED IN: 20 Things to do in Cape Tribulation
The Solar Whisper Boats
If you’ve booked online in advance, then all you have to do once you arrive is check in at the office desk. Timings for Crocodile and wildlife tours vary by season, but when we went there were options for 9:30am, 10:45am, 11:45am, 2:15pm and 3:30pm trips.
The Solar Whisper Daintree boats are awesome. They are flat river boats with electric engines and a sun-roof for shade. What’s great about these trips is that they aren’t crowded boats, offering more of a small-group experience.
My Experience on the Solar Whisper Daintree Crocodile Tour
If you’d rather keep this Daintree crocodile-spotting trip a surprise, then I’d suggest just booking a trip and skipping this part. However, for those interested in what to expect, and what they might see on the Daintree, here’s a summary of my recent experience.
On our most recent visit to the Daintree, we picked the earliest, 9:30am crocodile and wildlife cruise as it lined up best with our drive up to Cape Tribulation.
RELATED TOUR: Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
Our guide, Marc Peter was super informative and a really good spotter. Less than five minutes out from the pontoon he’d already pointed out a large python hanging high up on the canopy.
Marc pointed out that the timing of this trip ended up being great for us as the sky was clear and the tide was quite low. We spotted our first croc, a 3-metre female basking on the banks just a couple of minutes after the python. Since Solar Whisper has a flat-bottom boat with electric engines, we could get much closer to the crocs without disturbing them in their natural habitat.
Just a few minutes upstream and we were also lucky enough to spot several native birds including a herron, a papuan frogmouth, two kingfishers and plenty of birds of prey flying overhead.
The main attraction of our Daintree crocodile cruise was Scarface, the dominant male of the Daintree River. Experts estimate this 4.5 metre saltwater crocodile as being over 70 years of age!
Marc explained to us that there is a very strict hierarchy in these river systems. The dominant male crocodile is the only one allowed to mate, but is sometimes challenged by younger crocodiles.
We also managed to spot another two more female crocodiles on our Daintree cruise, as well as a few very small baby crocodiles and an array of crab species and a couple of Radjah ducks once we got into one of the narrower creeks.
Overall, my experience on the Solar Whisper crocodile tour down the Daintree was really enjoyable. I’m not sure if we got very lucky or if spotting such a wide range of species is normal on these trips. Either way, based on my experience I’d recommend this crocodile cruise to anyone planning a trip up to Far North Queensland!
Don’t miss my accommodation guide for where to stay in Cape Tribulation if you’re heading north!
More Photography From The Solar WHisper Daintree Croc Tour
Below are some more photographs from my Daintree crocodile tour with Solar Whisper.
Tips for Making the Most of A Croc Cruise IN Cairns & Cape Tribulation
Still in the planning stages of a trip to the Daintree? Here are a few tips that will help you make the most of a crocodile boat tour and maximise your chances of spotting one!
- Seasons – Crocs are much easier to spot in the dry season. The cooler weather means they tend to sit on the banks to warm up. In the hot wet season of Tropical North Queensland, crocodiles tend to cool off in the water, making them harder to spot
- Weather – Try to pick a sunny day if you can. The warm sun encourages the crocodiles to get out of the water and bask on the banks
- Time of Day – Most of the crocodile river cruises on the Daintree time their trips to maximise the chance of spitting a croc. I’d say don’t worry too much about timing. However, low tide is a better time to spot crocodiles as the banks are exposed.
More Cairns Adventure and Travel INspiration
I hope you enjoyed this quick guide and review of my experience on the Solar Whisper Daintree Crocodile Tour. If you have any questions about planning a trip up to the Daintree, don’t hesitate to contact me. Otherwise, join in on the discussion below and share your experience in the comments.
While you’re here, also check out some of my other articles for Cairns and the Far North. I’ve written loads more articles to this incredible region, with lots of must-do’s and hidden gems to discover.
MY CAMERA AND PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT
- Mirrorless Camera: Canon R5
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- 360 Action Camera: Insta360 One X2
- Landscape Lens: Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L
- All-Round Lens: Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L
- Telephoto Lens: Canon RF 100-500mm f/f/4.5-7.1 L
- Long Action Pole: Insta360 Invisible Pole (BulletTime)
- Landscape Lens Filter: Hoya Circular Polarizer
- Camera Backpack: F-Stop Tilopa
- Favorite Photography Accessory: Peak Design Capture Clip
For a list of all my recommended photography gear (including what I use and why) check out my guide to camera gear for travel.