February 6, 2013
The Daintree River has been described as majestic, exotic and alive. It is renowned as a bird-watchers paradise and is home to a diverse ecosystem, boasting a vast array of animal and plant life, including ferns, orchids, epiphytes, as well as butterflies, and the elusive ‘Estuarine’ Saltwater Crocodile.
Nature-lovers from around the world converge onto the Daintree River to experience its unique attributes.
For the devout fisherman, it is a paradise offering a range of lure, bait fishing and fly fishing.
Currently there is no bridge to enable crossing the river, so access is limited to the Daintree River ferry, a commercial ferry that traverses the river. This is the only ferry that operates on a cable system in a World Heritage area anywhere in the world.
The trip from the south bank to the north bank of the river takes about 5 minutes but with over 400,000 visitors per year using this ferry to enter the World Heritage Area, this is a major undertaking for operators therefore visitors are warned to expect delays.
Should you try and cross the Daintree River in the middle of a school holiday, public holiday or at some stages during our busy season the wait can be up to an hour.
For the scenery lovers, a Daintree River Cruise is a must, as high rainfall in the area during our ‘wetter’ months ensures a strong flow of water and while meandering through mangroves swamps, it presents the visitor with spectacular views. As part of our Daintree Rainforest experience, we are pleased to include a Daintree River Cruise. This is included in both the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation via Mossman Gorge tour as well as the Bloomfield Falls, Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation tour.
Why not try a tour with us and experience this magical River.
Daintree River Ferry
Daintree River Cruise
July 30, 2012
Tony’s Tropical Tours is pleased to advise that both our Daintree Rainforest Tours
TOUR”A” Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation via Mossman Gorge tour and
TOUR”B” Bloomfield Falls, Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation tour
have been endorsed as Advanced Ecotourism Certified products by Ecotourism Australia.
The Advanced Ecotourism Certification illustrates our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment and recognises our efforts in ensuring as minimal impact as possible to the Wet Tropics area of the Daintree Rainforest while still showcasing the best of the region to our guests.
This is the highest level possible in Ecotourism Certification and with it, we now also hold the ” Australia Accredited Tourism Business” Certification as well as the “TQUAL” Certification, a great honour and a fabulous endorsement of the quality of tours that we are delivering daily.
We have an ongoing commitment about conserving the environment so that people from all over the world can experience it now and in the future.
A big thanks to all our guides, Chris, Dave, Randall, Ross, Rob and Adrian, who are very passionate and are our key to success. Together with Tony, they are the driving force behind this.
Ecotourism Australia defines Advanced Ecotourism certification as:
“Australia’s leading and most innovative ecotourism products, providing an opportunity to learn about the environment with an operator who is committed to achieving best practice when using resources wisely, contributing to the conservation of the environment and helping local communities.”
The accreditation process is designed to identify genuine ecotourism operators in Australia, and provides visitors with an assurance that a certified product has a commitment to best practice ecological sustainability and the provision of a quality ecotourism experience.
The process of obtaining Ecotourism certification is extensive. Operators must be able to demonstrate that they achieve the required levels of performance. As the benchmarks of environmental best practice continually improve, so too does the EcoCertification tool, providing more stringent guidelines for environmental performance.
Our small company strives to continually improve upon these standards with a constant stream of improvement and implementation.
Are you visiting or intending to visit the Daintree Rainforest?
Want to help the environment while you are on holidays?
The ECO Certification logo is a globally recognized brand which assists visitors and assures that a certified product is backed by a commitment to best practice, is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and delivers of a quality eco tourism experience.
You can recognise ECO Certified products because they display the Ecotourism logo.
- Advanced Ecotourism Certified
June 19, 2012
As winter settles in many parts of Australia, the Far North Queensland is experiencing glorious warm days with temperatures averaging 25 °C.
We have certainly turned on some great weather for our visitors, who are all bathing in delight. Meanwhile, you can always spot the locals or should I say, long term residents. They are the ones all rugged up, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
The perfect clear days has spoiled us lately with an abundance of wildlife playing and foraging in the Daintree Rainforest. Ranging from the smallest insects to the largest animals, it is a delight for guides and guests to be in the Rainforest and Wet Tropics area of North Queensland.
Great bird sighting at present in and around Mossman Gorge and the Daintree includes the Little Kingfishers, Kookaburras and Satin Flycatchers. The Raptors are also around at present and eagerly waiting the start of the sugar cane harvest in search of snakes and rodents.
The Cassowary is becoming a daily sighting with many guides having record tallies of adults as well as juveniles.
We have joined the Daintree Region Cassowary Group to register our daily sighting and assist them with maintaining a Cassowary Database. If you happen to be in the area, please log on to the site and register your sightings,
Crocodiles are also out and about looking for warmer spots along the banks of the Daintree River to sun themselves, so in all it is a perfect time to be in Far North Queensland and visiting the Daintree Rainforest.
The greatest sighting though has been the elusive Platypus. This shy and intriguing monotreme only grows up to 50cm in length and can be quite difficult to spot. In general we seem to spot the platypus more so during this time of the year, so it is a real treat for guides and guests alike.
Our guide Ross, managed to take a couple of photos of the Platypus last week and you can view them on our facebook page
No holiday in Port Douglas is complete without a day trip to the Daintree Rainforest.
Drop us a line and let us assist you with the best tour.
Praying Mantid - Photo by Chris O'Dowd
April 8, 2012
Cassowary at Noah Valley
Planning a day trip to the Daintree Rainforest is generally on every guest’s agenda. Whether to go with an organised tour or self drive is the number one forethought.
There is lots of advice on the web on how to plan it on your own and there are also many companies vying for the business. While you could spend countless hours on the web considering each tour company and comparing inclusions, costs and fare discounting, some of the important things are often missed.
There is a lot more that a good Daintree Rainforest tour company can offer beyond a day out, a nice drive and great scenery. So before you leap into making a decision check all the little details and if unsure, have your questions answered.
From experience and emails, here are some common questions answered to assist you in making the best decision for a day trip to the Daintree Rainforest.
Should I stay in Cairns or Port Douglas if we want to visit the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest ?.. Port Douglas is the closest point to both therefore will save you unnecessary travelling time to both, giving you more time to benefit from your day. Why add in excess of two extra hours onto your day when you could be sleeping in and on your return have the extra hour to savor in the day’s experience.
I have found a cheaper alternative for a day tour to the Daintree Rainforest than yours, can you tell me why?..Consider the inclusions – Will you be going on an bus carrying up to 24 people or will you be joining a small group tour of no more than 8 (including yourself).
Does the alternative offer a world heritage listed private rainforest area for you to experience an interpretive walk with your guide or is it just an area that they have been given access to with not many Rainforest plant species.
Will you be taken to the point where the Rainforest meets the Reef or will you be visiting a beach along the way because the operator does not have a proper permit.
What will lunch include, a salad, a roll? or a full barbeque served with three salads, a damper and followed by a tropical fruit platter. We also cater for vegetarians, vegans and gluten/lactose intolerance.
How can you offer swimming in the Rainforest stream when others only swim in creeks and cattle properties or don’t swim at all? .. The Rainforest stream we access is in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest and it is not crocodile inhabited. We pay a fee for access to this world heritage listed private property to ensure our guests have as much privacy and are able to swim freely and safely.
Will you cancel if we are the only two people travelling? ..No, as long as we have two paying guests, we will travel… Are other companies willing to do the same?
Are your tour guides experienced?.. Yes, they are not bus drivers, they will not take you to the Daintree Rainforest, drop you off and ask you to be back in an hour, they will guide you, be there to interpret and make certain you have ample opportunity to take photos, appreciate and enjoy the day.
Some companies have told us that giving us free time to enjoy Cape Tribulation is what it’s all about?..You will have some free time at Cape Tribulation Beach to explore on your own, however the idea is that we are not a bus transfer company we are a group tour, to ensure you get the most out of your day at take you to all the must see stops along the way, not just Cape Tribulation.
I can do this myself and save a lot of money!…Sure, you can and in some cases we recommend that some guests do that. If you have very young children and wish to stop more regularly than a group tour offers and if they do not travel well with others, then we recommend just that. Otherwise you can join a group tour or if the children are under eight a charter is always an option. If you don’t like group tours, then self driving is best.
Can I access the areas you go to?.. Not the world heritage listed private property we visit. This is not open to the public. You can though, access other private areas that some other companies access. As a self driver you can visit the Daintree Store and they will give you directions to the same cattle farms/properties that other operators visit and you can do it yourself..
What about the Bloomfield Falls?..Unless you are able to hire a 4WD vehicle, you will not be able to drive further than Cape Tribulation.
Some things to take into account when self driving…One person will not experience the Daintree Rainforest as much. He/she will be too busy keeping their eyes on the road and missing most of what’s out there. If driving, please be very careful and do look closely for the cassowary. He is a icon of the Daintree Rainforest. If you do see one please visit www.daintreecassowary.org.au and submit your sighting details.
You will not have a guide by your side explaining the wonders of this world heritage listed area and pointing things out all day or spotting wildlife. You will miss most of it because unfortunately you will not know where to look.
You will need to take into account the cost of a hire car, fuel, ferry fees, entry to any centres, the cost of the Daintree River cruise, morning tea, lunch and the tiresome drive.
You will be competing with many hundreds of other self drivers for a rest stop and lunch spot as well as competing with the other tour companies that utilise these spots daily, because they don’t spend the extra to ensure that their guests have a wonderful private lunch and swimming area.
You will possibly not have a chance to swim in the Rainforest, as most of the local creeks are a ”no swim” area because of crocodiles and the beach is closed for swimming because of marine stingers during some months of the year.
You will however be able to stop when and where you like, without the care of other people in your group and you will hopefully still appreciate this wonderful eco system and leave just a little more enlightened with your journey.
We hope that this has been of assistance in answering the many questions we receive.
Our guides and company have earned us the “Certificate of Excellence” from TripAdvisor as well as “Best Daintree Rainforest Tour” award for two consecutive years. The feedback and opinions by many guests is that…
“The tour was the highlight of our trip to Port Douglas….”
We hope to see many of you on board with us.
Stingray Bay - Daintree National Park
March 14, 2012
With eight months to the date for the next Solar Eclipse, Port Douglas is gearing up to be a major magnet not only in the eyes of astronomy buffs, eclipse enthusiasts but many international and domestic guests who wish to be part of this extraordinary phenomenon.
It is rare for a total eclipse to be visible from land and with Port Douglas being the perfect place for viewing the eclipse, the town as well as surrounding area is bursting with excitement at being part of this significant natural event.
A Total Eclipse occurs when the sun is completely obscured by the Moon. As dawn breaks on the 14th November 2012 in Port Douglas, Queensland – Australia and the moon overtakes the sun and we plunge into darkness, the early chatter of birds and animals will be replaced by total silence. The temperature will drop and the animals will retire and roost in confusion that they have just experienced a very short day.
The solar eclipse will last just 2 minutes between 6.38am and 6.40am (Eastern Australian Standard time). The total time of the partial eclipse either side of the total eclipse is almost two hours. The longest part of the Total Solar Eclipse will occur over the middle of the South Pacific Ocean and will last over 4 minutes.
The total solar eclipse will be seen along a narrow strip of land about 200km wide which crosses the top of Queensland and the Coral Sea.
Far North Queensland is expecting many thousands of people to visit the region during this unique natural occurrence and many Port Douglas accommodation houses and resorts are already fully booked. Some boats are setting sail off Four Mile Beach Port Douglas, in the early hours to prepare for that ‘special’ exhibition. A festival is being organised in Port Douglas to coincide with the Solar Eclipse and major events are being planned such as the Solar Eclipse Marathon which is believed to attract up to 2000 competitors. The Port Douglas Marathon race will begin on Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas. Runners will take on a challenging but scenic course with vistas extending from the Coral Sea to The Daintree Rainforest.
This is set to be a truly amazing time to be in Port Douglas during Port Douglas Solar Eclipse 2012.
At Tony’s Tropical Tours, it will be ”business as normal” with Tours operating daily to the Daintree Rainforest. We are able to accommodate couples, families , singles as well as groups.
Please feel free to contact us with any enquiries.
January 10, 2012
History of Noah Creek property -Noah Valley- Daintree Rainforest
Located in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest, Noah Creek is entirely world heritage listed, being one of the largest privately owned world heritage reserves in the Daintree Rainforest – Wet Tropics Area and covering approximately 600 acres including Mount Emmett.
Some of the trails in Noah Creek offer exclusive access into untouched lowlands and mountainous rainforest areas. With some endangered species of plants and animals only known to this valley and the adjacent and nowhere else in the world, it is a very special place and hence a key piece of world heritage reserve.
Stories of local indigenous people tell that the valley was originally inhabited by a tribe that believed that the valley was the birth of their world. The meandering creek representing the serpent in the creation stories, with the head represented by the island (Struck Rock) just off the coast of Thornton’s Beach. Numerous artefacts have been located on the property such as cutting stones, grinding stones and various other tools. Significant sites also include the volcanic bouncing stones at the point north of Thornton’s Beach, well known as sacred ”women’s place” and talk of a ceremonial aboriginal corroboree dance ground on the Mount Emmett table top plateau.
Unfortunately the bouncing stone beach is now closed to the public. Too many stones were being souvenired. Interestingly many returned after stories of bad luck were attributed to their removal. Even today, the valley, especially inland, is considered to be a highly spiritual place. Local Kuku Yalanji people have told us that their people will not enter the area until special ceremonies are conducted asking permission for entry from their ancestors.
Prior to the 50′s access to the area was very restricted, no roads existed and there was no ferry over the Daintree River. The area virtually untouched with the exception of some small scale logging of cedar trees. Access and removing of timber out was by horse cart and barges by sea to the nearest rail transport at Port Douglas. Amazingly remnants of these small barge docking operations are still visible at the mouth of Noah Creek.
Joan and Ray Hancock were the first people to take up a ”Special Lease” at Noah Creek. The saw mill at Noah Creek was built by the Hancock’s. The old Lister diesel engine driving a belt to turn the saw and the train tracks used to manually run bogey carts pushing logs through the cutting saw.
The Hancock’s also tried their hand at cattle farming however the harsh damp wet environment meant the venture was of limited success.
The Hancock’s sold the lease in the early 70′s. At this time only a small car ferry existed to cross the Daintree, taking approximately 6 cars. The dirt track from the ferry took around an hour and half to get to Noah Valley, with approximately a dozen farm gates to open and close between the ferry and Cape Tribulation. In places, 6 foot high guinea grass grew up the middle of the road.
David Heweston stumbled upon the Daintree Rainforest area and the Noah Creek property while backpacking up the East Coast of Australia in the 60′s. Having spent some time in New Guinea and having developed a passion for tropical rainforest, he met the Hancock’s and immediately felt connected to the Noah Creek property. After some time the Hancock’s decided to move on and in the early 70′s they sold the lease to the Heweston’s.
In the late 70′s and 80′s the attitude towards clearing and subdivision of this area had completely turned around to preservation. This was the time of the infamous blockade at Cape Tribulation and introduction of world heritage reserves and land buy back schemes. Noah Creek was included in the World Heritage Listing in 1988 and some portions sold back to become National park soon after.
Tony’s Tropical Tours is proud to be able to showcase this very special part of the Daintree Rainforest to our guests. Our relationship with Noah Creek world heritage listed private property surpasses 10 years and our exclusive private rainforest walk is still unearthing new and interesting and unknown species of flora.
We welcome you on an all day tour visiting this world heritage listed private property in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest.
Noah Valley Old Mill Site - Daintree Rainforest
The Old Mill Site - Noah Valley - Daintree Rainforest
December 4, 2011
During his recent visit to Australia, US President – Barack Obama amused us by including some Aussie slang in his speech during his State dinner in Canberra.
“When Julia and I meet, we listen to each other, we learn from each other. It`s not just a lot of earbashing…( ear bashing: non- stop chatter- nagging),” he said.
“Through a century of progress and struggle we have stood together, in good times and in bad times. We’ve faced our share of sticky wickets…”(sticky wicket: A difficult situation).
Aussie Slang and Translations
The use of the Australian slang must have been lost amongst many overseas visitors listening to the speech, which got us thinking -
“How much does the overseas visitor really understand about our language?”
With this in mind we thought we`d write a short blog (survival guide) on Australian Slang, Phrases and Translations to help you understand our lingo..(lingo: language)
Banger/ Snag: A sausage
Beer o`clock/ wine o`clock: Anytime you feel like a drink
Beat around the Bush: Not getting to the point of a conversation
Big Smoke: A city (any city)
Blowie: Blow fly
Bottle shop/ Bottle O: Liquor shop
Brizzie/ Brisvegas: Brisbane, state capital of Queensland
BYO: Bring Your Own grog
Cozzie: Swimming costume
Damper: Bread made from flour and water
Deadset: True, a sure thing
Fair dinkum: True
Gone Troppo: Used when someone goes slightly mad during our warm humid tropical months
Good onya: Good for you, well done
Grog: Liquor, beer
Mate: Buddy, friend
Mossvegas: Mossman Town (location of Mossman Gorge)
Newso: Paper Shop
No worries: No problems
Ow ya goin: How are you going
Rapt: Pleased/ delighted
Roadie: A beer you buy to take away with you or before leaving the establishment
Sanger: A sandwich
Schooner: Large glass of beer
Servo: Petrol station
She’ll be right: It’ll be fine/ok
Slab: A carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer
Smoko: Smoke or coffee break
Ta: Thank you
Togs: Swim suit
Vee dub: Volkswagen
Woop Woop: A name given to a town that is far away/town unknown.
XXXX: Pronounced Four X, a Queensland beer.
Daintree Rainforest – Aboriginal Kuku Yalanji People
The first human inhabitants of the Daintree rainforest were the Aboriginal people. They were known as the Kuku Yalanji people. There are many words and phrases that have been adapted in the Daintree Rainforest by our Indigenous Daintree Custodians
The word ”Bama” (pronounced Bumma) means: An Aboriginal person
Marrdja is a Kuku Yalanji word meaning rainforest or jungle
Dubuji :meaning place of spirits
Jindalba: meaning foot of the mountain
Wujal Wujal: meaning many falls also known as The Bloomfield Falls
Enjoy the few we`ve chosen for you and we hope to see you on a guided tour to The Daintree Rainforest and Bloomfield Falls for a more personal experience.
Thongs: Flip Flops Courtesy of Australia Geographic
Aerial Ping Pong: Australian Rules Football - Courtesy Daily Telegraph
Aerial Ping Pong: Aussie Rules Football
Thongs : cheap rubber sandals/flip flops
October 30, 2011
On Friday the 21st October 2011, we were honoured to win the prestigious Port Douglas Magazine Tourism Awards for the Best Rainforest Tour.
This is our second consecutive win and we are once again very proud to be recognised as the number one rainforest tour company by the people that count – our guests. The award is a celebration of hard work, dedication, passion and commitment by all our guides. Without their enthusiasm on a daily basis this award would have not been achieved.
Over 5100 votes from 26 countries were counted by the team of tourismportdouglas and to be named in the final five in our category was quite gratifying but to win it two years in a row was nothing short of excellent. To have guests from all the world vote for us is very humbling and we thank them all. The award is especially welcomed and will boost our confidence overall and encourage us to keep striving for excellence in customer satisfaction.
Thanks again to all our guides. This is a team effort and without them we couldn’t have achieved this.
Award for the best Daintree Rainforest Tour
One particular guest took the time to vote, then send us a quick email to let us know.
Hi Tony and the team at Tony’s Tropical Tours.
I wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed our Bloomfield Falls tour with you. The stops at the Bloomfield Falls, Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, Stingray Bay, Noah Valley included some of the best scenery we experienced in Australia. The entire day was carried out very professionally, the lunch was the best that we had on any tour in Australia and your knowledge of the rain forest and good humour added to the day. A sensational day and one which we both wished we could repeat.
We also took your advice and did a self drive to Mossman the following day. It was amazing how much we remembered of what you told us on tour and how many things we were able to recognize. Thank you again, you’ve opened us up to another world.
October 6, 2011
The Great Barrier Reef township of Port Douglas is alive with festivals and activities to keep most restless traveller entertained.
Although Port Douglas is famously known for its laid back lifestyle, many locals are every bit inspired by sports, fun in the sun and a lot of play in between. We’ve put together a segment of what’s on and what’s to come in the Port Douglas and Daintree area to assist with your planning.
The Port Douglas Outrigger Canoe Club: Marlin Coast Challenge : October 15 2011 - Ellis Beach to Port Douglas race.
Photo Courtesy - Tourism Port Douglas and Danitree
Taste of The Tablelands: 16th October 2011 – A festival showcasing the best their region has to offer in the way of fine foods, wine, farmer’s produce, music and arts and crafts.
Sunset In the Park Music Festival: 30th October – 2pm start – Proceeds to charity.
Backstage at The Sunset In The Park Festival - Photo Courtesy of Tourism Port Douglas
Portoberfest: 29th October – is a popular one day beer festival
Portoberfest - Photo Courtesy Tourism Port Douglas
Australian Crocodile Trophy Cairns: 18th to 27th October 2011
1,200 kilometres, 12,000 metres of elevation. From Cairns to Cooktown over corrugated fire trails and the outback. Called the “hardest MTB adventure race in the world” by most, this year will see internationally renowned cyclists and champions as well as some of Australia’s most determined compete.
Whitelion Jungle Ride: 29th of October 2011 – Ride along where the rainforest meets the reef from Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation and back – a truly spectacular experience. Sealed road all the way, 180kms return ride.
Coral Spawning: Brilliant display on the reef for the avid diver occurring in November.
Port Douglas Marlin Challenge: 2nd to 7th November 2011 – A real escapade in fishing.
Great Barrier Reef Marathon: 12th November. The Festival will provide a unique running experience combining the elements of 4 Mile Beach, the Daintree Rainforest, a course taking in the historic access Bump Track with a in Port Douglas.
The Cairns Sit Down Comedy Club : 16th December 2011. Every month the Cairns Sit Down Comedy Club serves up the best local, domestic and international stand-up comedy and cabaret acts that they can lay their hands on. Check their website for up to date information.
We hope that when you visit Port Douglas you thoroughly enjoy your stay and plan a day to spend with us on a Daintree Rainforest Tour. Here’s what our recent guests had to say:
…Just wanted to leave a bit of feedback to compliment your tour, especially Chris, who went above and beyond as our guide. He seemed to know everything about the ecosystem and history of Daintree and made sure everyone on our tour felt a part of what was going on and giving us plenty of time at each site. We’ve been on tours all around the world and Chris was hands-down the best guide we’ve ever had. The tour (A) itself was fantastic as well, a full day, but neither too long nor too short. The river cruise and stream swim were a good way to break up the day and ice cream was the perfect way to end it. Thank you and thanks to Chris! Cheers, Larry and Angela California, USA