I'm sure some people will think that there are only 5 things to do in Cape Tribulation rather than the top 5 things to do in Cape Tribulation, and yes, it is a very small place to visit. It may be small but you will most definitely not be bored, although the slightly batty female from my accommodation who opted out of a night walk in favour of watching The Bill on TV may feel differently. Cape Tribulation is essentially a mini village amongst the Daintree National Park and Rainforest but is increasingly becoming a destination to visit during your time in Cairns.
A word of warning, it's not a place to get your party on, the emphasis of Cape Tribulation is on relaxation and getting away from it all, but that doesn't mean that you are stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do, so here are the Top 5 things to do during your time in Cape Tribulation.
1. A Night Walk
It may be because I am the long suffering girlfriend of a wildlife geek but wildlife can be quite fascinating and Cape Tribulation has species of all things creepy and crawly that can not be seen just anywhere in Australia and more often that not cannot be seen in daylight so you need to get adventurous, wrap up warm and grab your flashlight. You can attempt to do your own night walk but unless you know what you are looking for this can be a argument-inducing experience. Get yourself on to a guided night walk and for 2 hours you will explore the rainforest in the dark both on and off the track spotting skin-shedding spiders, rainforest frogs, a surprising variety of bugs as well as some rainforest birdlife. It is quite a treat to find out what we share the rainforest with and just so that you know running your hand through the back of someone's hair in the dark is neither funny nor clever, and quite frankly, tough if you get embarrassed by 'unnecessary' screaming.
2. Breakfast on Cape Tribulation Beach
You do have to provide the breakfast yourself but at around 8.30 - 9am the beach is void of other visitors and a great place to just sit and enjoy. The Rainforest hits the sand and looks pretty much identical to the set of Lost, this beach is so unlike any other beach you will experience on the East Coast of Australia and will explain why Cape Tribulation is becoming more and more the place to visit, make sure you spend time walking along the beach and take a look at the stunning mangroves.
3. The Bat House
Just to make it very clear, The Bat House is the building you walk in to make your donation to and consists of one flying fox. For those expecting a house full of bats this can cause minor embarrassing situation. However, once you realise what you are experiencing it is quite an awesome little experience. The Flying Foxes that are there come from the nearby Bat hospital for varying reasons and are wonderful and friendly. Sammy, my new friend is a 16 month old flying fox who quite honestly stinks but this is apparently due to his age hitting puberty. I guess we should all count ourselves lucky. In the half an hour we were there I got to shake Sammy by the hand and in turn he showed me just how much he likes himself and I blushed very awkwardly whilst trying to maintain a conversation with the conservationist. A unique experience indeed but really quite interesting and a good way to give back to the Cape Tribulation community.
4. Jungle Surfing
The other flying fox in Cape Tribulation, Jungle Surfing is a course of 5 zip lines which you throw yourself down, all amidst the Daintree Rainforest. It's the adrenaline activity of Cape tribulation and is an immense amount of fun. Scream like a girl, laugh yourself silly and tip yourself upside down, Jungle Surfing is just good fun and another cool way to explore the rainforest.
5. The Cinema Cafe and the Whet Cafe
Lonely Planet got there first and hailed the Whet Cafe for all it's glory and with good reason, the food here is amazing and if you have the cash at the very least get coffee and cake. Or rather amazing Daintree coffee and amazing cake. If it's raining or you just fancy a couple of hours to chill out the cinema cafe shows some of the latest films throughout the afternoon. The perfect way to relax after a morning of kayaking, tramping or horse-riding the cinema cafe is pure luxury cosiness in the middle of the rainforest.
If you exhaust all of these options why not just chill out by the outdoor pool at your hostel located in the middle of a rainforest, which in itself is a pretty awesome experience for a backpacker. Whatever your budget or whatever you choose to do make some time to journey your way up to Cape Tribulation. With plenty to see and do on the way up from Cairns, Cape Tribulation offers the relaxation and chill out experience we could all use a little piece of.