The Daintree rain forest is a national park in far north Queensland. It was founded in 1981 and it became a World Heritage Site in 1988. The park consists of two sections, with a settled agricultural area between them which includes the towns of Mossman and Daintree Village.
One entrance to Daintree National Park is located south of the Daintree River at Mossman Gorge where a visitor centre has been built from where tourists take a shuttle bus to the gorge, where they can take a walk or a refreshing swim.
The most spectacular and oldest part of the Daintree rain forest is north of the Daintree River. There is a range of boardwalks and untouched beaches to explore, and the endangered cassowary can be encountered anywhere.
Endeavour Falls is a waterfall on the Endeavour River just 30 Kms out of Cooktown. We take advantage of a camp site right on the falls. We are the only people there for 2 days. No power, no phones, no internet … perfect.
Cape Tribulation is 110 Kms north of Cairns and is within the Daintree National Park.
The Cape was named by Captain James Cook on June 10th 1770 after his ship scraped a reef north east of the Cape. Cook steered away from the coast into deeper water but at 10:30 pm the ship ran aground on what is now named Endeavour Reef. The ship stuck fast and was badly damaged, desperate measures being needed to prevent it foundering until it was re-floated the next day. Cook recorded “… the north point was named Cape Tribulation because here began all our troubles”.
The Bloomfield Track was completed in 1984 connecting Cooktown to Cape Tribulation. It is 30 Kms long and is impassable without a good four wheel drive vehicle. The road is only partially sealed and may be impassable after bad weather.
Part way down the track we stop at the Bloomfield Falls – quite impressive.
248 years to the day when Captain James Cook and his crew beached the Endeavour starting their 48 day adventure in Cooktown. Amongst others these were some of the significant historical moments :
- First meaningful contact between the British explorers and the natural inhabitants of this land
- Six recorded meetings between the two cultures
- 150 words of the local Guugu Yimithir language recorded
- First sighting and sketch of the gangurru (forever afterwards known as the kangaroo)
- First recorded act of reconciliation in Australian history
- Discovery of many new plant and animal species never before recorded
This re-enactment was a very moving experience for us.
This is one of the major parts of the Anniversary weekend and it was great fun as can be seen from the photos.
Cooktown. We have selected a campground and head straight there. Bad news – we have turned up at the start of one of the biggest tourist weekends in the Cooktown year – the anniversary of James Cook’s landing in 1770. And there is literally ‘no room at the Inn’.
So we make some desperate phone calls and, fortunately, find an unpowered site in a caravan park that turns out to be just perfect – very lucky.
From Undara we head to our most northerly destination on this trip – Cooktown. On the way we hit a significant milestone … literally – 250,000 Kilometeres on the Landcruiser odometer.