Cape Tribulation - Far North Queensland

Trip Start Jan 01, 2008
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Trip End Dec 29, 2008


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, May 12, 2008

Cape Tribulation is the most northerly point which can be reached in Queensland without a 4WD and, being stuck with a tiny Toyota Corolla, this was about as far as we could go.  We drove back up the coast through Cairns along the "Bruce" highway and then onwards along the Captain Cook highway, again, one of the world's great drives (I really wish I was on the Triumph now!)to Daintree where we crossed the Daintree River by cable ferry and then a short drive to Crocodylus, our youth hostel for the next couple of days. 

This hostel has won awards as one of the best hostels in Oz but quite honestly it is difficult to see how, the place was damaged by the cyclone a couple of years back and has definitely seen better days, which is perhaps why it is up for sale.  We decide against taking any of the organised tours, of which there are many, as they are very expensive.  Instead we head out in the car and take a few of the many walks through the rainforest and along the beaches. Again, the beaches are both really beautiful, virtually deserted and go on and on for miles. The plants and trees in the forest seem very familiar as many are giant versions of the house plants that are so common back home. I guess Captain Cook kicked off the trend for tropical house plants all those years ago.

Crocodylus hostel is a pleasant enough place to stay even if it has seen better days.  We have our own cabin in the forest which is built out of wood and green plastic netting to keep out the insects (no real walls) so as to allow in the sights and sounds of the forest.  The sounds are unbelievable as the nocturnal animals come to life and start howling and screaming.  It sounds as though they are either in the throes of passion or killing one another, or perhaps both?   Unfortunately, being a youth hostel, as the beers and wines consumed earlier in the bar by some of the younger guests take effect, the noise get even louder!

More walks on the beach and the rough the rainforest and we head up to Cape Tribulation itself, which is so named because apparently this is where Captain Cook's troubles first started when he discovered Australia. We took a quick walk to the lookout point and along more pristine beaches and then headed back to Crocodylus. 
Having had our fill of "home" cooking, consisting variously of beans on toast, salad, cheese etc. We decide not to eat at Crocodylus, but to head up the road to a typical Aussie pub for a bar meal.  When we asked for a beer the barmaid replied, 5 oz, 10oz, stubbie or schooner? Aussies like their beer really cold so it is quite common to order lots (and I do mean lots!) of small beers rather than a larger volume, just so it stays cold.  We are told that alcoholism is a big concern here which is perhaps why it is so expensive (Australian wine is less expensive back in the UK) and so difficult to purchase (booze it not sold in supermarkets but in specialist bottle shops).  Although to be fair many of these bottle shops are drive through, which does not seem to go with the very strict drink drive laws.

 After our two days in Cape Tribulation, we head back across the Daintree River on the cable ferry and back down the Captain Cook highway towards Port Douglas. It is impossible to get lost here as there are so few roads!
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