5 Reasons Why you Need to do a Daintree River Cruise

Are you heading to the Daintree – that epic region where you’ll find World Heritage rainforest spilling off mountains to meet the Great Barrier Reef on an undisturbed coastline? Then take the time to pull over before the ferry crossing and board a Daintree River Cruise. Here’s 5 reasons why you need to do it…..

Daintree River Cruise

The Daintree River is worth taking the time to explore….

1. You can see a Crocodile in the Wild!

Crocodiles in their native habitat are riveting. They have fascinating stories to tell – territories to lord over, scars that tell of battles won and lost, girlfriends, boyfriends, plus the odd affair and even personalities.

Daintree River Cruise

“Can you see it??? A croc in the water right there…” (HINT: it’s that log looking thing on the right)

Choose your narrator (river guide) well  and they will give you an insight into the drama that unfolds daily on the ‘river’. We choose David from Solar Whisper who engaged us with the trials and tribulations of Scarface (the Lord of the Daintree River) and his numerous girlfriends and foes.

Daintree River Cruise

Scarface the crocodile has lots of stories to tell

David from Solar Whisper also has a 99% success rate for spotting a crocodile in the wild (if no crocs are sighted you can come again for free).

Daintree River Cruise

Can you spot Lizzie, Scarface’s favourite girlfriend (& can you spot the crab who wants to take her on!!)

2. You will make sense of the Habitat

Anyone who visits the rainforest or mangrove environment will tell you “it’s a jungle out there”.

Daintree River Cruise

A good river guide will help you understand the river environment

You’ll want a good interpreter to help make more sense of all those trees, those root systems and all that mud, and to help make it more interesting (especially if you’ve got kids in tow). Someone who can spin a good tale and give you some cool details to take home and impress others.

Daintree River Cruise

These root systems hide all sorts of secrets

3. You will spot Other Wildlife

I can honestly say that you could have sat me right down next to half the critters that David from Solar Whisper pointed out to us and I still would have not seen them. That includes the 3m Saltwater Crocodile on the river bank and the Green Tree Frog sitting on an overhanging branch.

Daintree River Cruise

I would’ve missed this baby croc (& his mumma) if it wasn’t for David’s knowledge

The great thing about the river cruise boats is that the guides communicate with each other and share amongst themselves where the ‘main’ characters are hanging out on the day. It also helps that by doing this daily they get to know the environment inside out.

Daintree River Cruise

The Solar Whisper’s croc cam means you can enjoy some real close-ups (without risking life & limb)

A bonus of the Solar Whisper is that they have a TV screen onboard (yes the kids will love this bit)! It’s a ‘Croc cam’ that allows the guide to zoom in on critters and show them on the big screen and it saves you getting out the binoculars for a close look.

4. You will support the Local Environment

For less than the cost of your average family lunch you can help conserve the area. By spending money with small local eco-operators you can directly show others (regional councils and farmers) that conserving this river system is important to the region.

Daintree River Cruise

Learning about the habitat may mean you (& your children) take more interest in preserving it

I also believe that from education comes awareness. Those that do make the effort to learn and interact with the Daintree habitat will be more likely to support conservation efforts in the region.

Daintree River Cruise

Can you believe this funky recycled art is made just from discarded objects found in the region (Images by David White)

It helps that the Solar Whisper is the real deal too. It’s a solar electric boat (quiet and clean) and David personally collects rubbish from the area and fashions it into funky art that is on display around the region. One of his sculptures is on display at the Council Chamber of Cairns.

5. The Tour won’t take up your whole day

Travelling up to the Daintree rainforest (which lies across the river) is a bit of a journey from Cairns (around 2-3 hours). If you’re travelling with kids you will probably welcome the opportunity to get them out of the car for a bit. Breaking the car journey up with a quick Daintree River Cruise can help.

Daintree River Cruise

EEEEK!!! A Croc on the loose 😉

You can burn a bit of energy out of the kids just by parking in the bay where the majority of the Daintree River Cruises depart. If your kids are anything like mine they will want photos of themselves in all the jaws of the crocodiles on display (which are thankfully pretend). I do however recommend you keep them away from the nearby river bank because you may end up with a photo of the ‘real deal’ (after all my kids did spot a croc from the floating pontoon).

Daintree River Cruise

Now where did those kids go again??

Of course the boat cruise will require you to sit down again but this time the entertainment (and views) should be enough to occupy the little ones for a while. This is another good reason to go with the Solar Whisper as they offer the BIG TV screen that can zoom in on the critters you come across. Another bonus is that the river cruise is only an hour long which leaves plenty of opportunity to squeeze other things into your day.

Daintree River Cruise

Everybody gets a window seat onboard the Solar Whisper

Good Things to Know about the Solar Whisper Eco Cruise:

  • Crocodiles are spotted with a 99% success rate – if no crocs are sighted you can come again for free.
  • There’s a ‘Croc Cam’ onboard that zooms in on animals and allows you to view a magnified image of the animal on the big screen.
  • Quiet, electric motors that are eco-friendly and emit no fumes or exhaust.
  • All seats provide excellent photo opportunities.
  • Cruises depart throughout the day.
  • Your fare helps support the World Wildlife Fund.
  • Tour operates in all weather conditions.
  • Travelling time from Cairns is 1.5 hours or from Port Douglas just 50 minutes.

Have you visited the Daintree region? Did you enjoy any Daintree River cruises? What was your favourite experience in the area?

We received our tour complimentary BUT all views, opinions and photos in this article are my own.

Click HERE if you would like to Book – Solar Whisper Daintree River Cruise.

5 Reasons to do a Daintree River Cruise via @adventuremumma


Can’t enjoy a Wildlife Cruise right now? Then don’t miss out!!! Check out Solar Whisper’s Social Media channels to find out what’s happening on the Daintree River right now. Trust me, it’s very entertaining……

HOT TIP – locals can get a ‘Douglas’ Card & receive FREE Ferry rides to the Daintree from Nov 1st – Feb 29th – Click HERE for more info.


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