Holidays made easy
ROLLO and his Melbourne family Caroline, Sammy and Harry made a Great Escape to Port Douglas recently, and an even Greater Escape on a guided 4WD tour along the Bloomfield Track. They were, of course, escaping the Melbourne winter.
What do kids like Sammy and Harry enjoy most?
They love the bumpy ride along the Track (not so bumpy actually); 4WD crossings through water; the crocs on the Bloomfield River; colourful birds on the beaches and forest; zillions of soldier crabs at Cowie Beach; drawing in the sand; strangler figs and other strange plants; pretty flowers; swimming and face painting in the crystal clear waters at Woobadda Creek; a tour of the Wujal Falls with local Indigenous traditional owner, Francis Walker; and a chance to meet the artists and buy some Kuku Yalanji mementos at Yirriji Arts Centre, Wujal Wujal. Pretty easily satisfied, actually!
Kids also love hearing stories about our special rainforest animals. Real-life nature stories, where they can add their own spicy imagination.
Parents like Rollo and Caroline usually enjoy the dramatic views, the lush rainforest and an insight into the history and ecology of this special part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. As well as happy kids and the - not so bumpy - ride, of course.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the region. A nice day out visiting the area north of the Daintree River can start with an early breakfast before jumping into the car at about 8am for the beautiful drive north. Actual driving time from Port Douglas to Jindalba - the first boardwalk north of the river and next door to the Discovery Centre (with compelling kids’ interactive audio) - is about 60 minutes. The early start maximises the chance to see the morning birds and beats the mid-morning traffic on the ferry.
The ferry crossing itself is a very popular attraction and it’s actually the only way to get to Cow Bay and Cape Tribulation with their many beaches — Cow Bay, Thornton, Coconut, Myall and Cape Trib Beach are the most popular. Finding the wildlife sometimes is not so easy, so try Lynchaven’s free mini- zoo with kangaroos, colourful noisy parrots, snakes, and even a couple of crocs; the Bug House on Turpentine Rd has a wonderful and colourful world display of insects and butterflies; and the Snake House at Cape Tribulation provides an easier way to get up close with some inhabitants of the area.
Choose one of the three free fantastic National Park Boardwalks (Jindalba, Dubuji or the weird but fascinating Marrdja). September and October are the best time for orchids and we’ve spotted at least four different flowering orchids at Marrdja in the past few days.
Some of the beaches and boardwalks have picnic areas and there are cafes and eateries along the way.
SPLASHING: Harry and Sammy enjoying Woobadda Creek’s warm waters