How to do the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation like the ‘Honey Badger’ Nick Cummins
While filming the most recent instalment of National Geographic’s documentary series Meanwhile in Australia, Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins, became best mates with this World Heritage-listed beauty where the rainforest meets the reef.
So, read on, load the 4WD and get on the burst with this 48-hour guide to discovering the beauty of the Daintree.
Consider these tot tips before you set off:
- Pack an esky in your 4WD with water, snacks and pre-made morning tea for day 1
- You’ll want to keep a hat, towel and swimwear with you at all times (there are many tempting swimming holes)
- Insect repellent and sunscreen will keep your skin free of bites and burn
9AM: FULL STEAM AHEAD
Your chariot (hire car) awaits at Port Douglas. From here your first stop is an indigenous experience like no other at Cooya Beach, only 20 minutes north.
Hot tip: Port Douglas is accessible via Cairns Airport. Board a direct domestic flight from Sydney, Melbourne, heck even Ayers Rock (Uluru) or a myriad of regional locations to Cairns Airport to start your journey to the adventure capital. The airport also happens to be Australia’s seventh busiest for international flights, so if you’re coming from abroad, welcome!
10AM: CONNECT WITH CULTURE
Led by Kuku Yalanji man and guide, Juan Walker, discover the culture of the Kuku Yalanji people by learning about their connection to the world’s oldest living rainforest.
You will even get to try your hand at Aboriginal hunting practices and, if you are lucky, catch a mud crab (or two) with Walkabout Cultural Adventures.
As Nick put it to Juan – “good company, good yarns, bit of learning, you’re a champion”.
PM: BLISSED OUT
When you stay at Daintree Ecolodge, the rainforest is your oyster! Do with your free time as you please. We recommend going on the Daintree River Wildlife Watch cruise with local guide Ian “Sauce” Worcester and admiring the sunset as you spot a croc or two.
It’s back to basics with relaxed dining and a drool-worthy feed at the Julaymba Restaurant.
9AM: UP AND AT ‘EM
As the Badger says ‘win the morning, win the day’.
Before you start today’s adventures, make sure you bog in and have some tucker at the Julaymba Restaurant at Daintree Ecolodge.
Using the freshest locally sourced and seasonal produce, just like Nick, you’ll be begging for a ‘three-kilo bowl’ of whatever’s on the menu.
12PM: GIDDY UP
Whip out your bucket list – it’s time to saddle up and channel your inner Daryl Braithwaite with Cape Trib Horse Rides.
Marvel at empty beaches where driftwood and shells wash up to form natural sculptures, feel the wind in your hair as you ride a horse from the beach to the rainforest.
In Nick’s words, you’re guaranteed to leave here with a total sense of relaxation’. If that doesn’t have you madly typing Cape Tribulation into Google and searching for this slice of paradise, let’s check that pulse of yours.
PM: MAXO RELAXO
To cap off your time in the Trib, bask in the golden hour and feel the breeze blowing through your hair, with a beverage in hand, as you soak up the rainforest air and watch the sky change colour like a chameleon.
Got time for a little more rainforest action before departing this tropical paradise? Take an early morning yoga class, go for a fish or have a private picnic among the green-hued surrounds of Daintree Ecolodge.
When the time has come for the 4WD to tear away from the rainforest and return to reality, aim to keep that state of nirvana intact.
Remember, there is no hooroo, it’s just see you soon!