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…..
The Daintree River is worth taking the time to explore….
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.
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.
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).
Anyone who visits the rainforest or mangrove environment will tell you “it’s a jungle out there”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Good Things to Know about the Solar Whisper Eco Cruise:
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.
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.