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Cape Tribulation Wilderness Cruises

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by Kerry Williams (subscribe)
Kerry Williams is a freelance writer from England, who is now living in Far North Queensland, Australia. To find out more visit
Published November 9th 2019
Cruise through crocodile-infested waters
Spotting crocodiles in the wild (from a safe distance!) is a popular activity in Far North Queensland. I have previously really enjoyed crocodile-spotting cruises, so I decided to give Cape Tribulation Wilderness Cruises a try. This is the only boat that has a license to do tours in the Cape Tribulation area, and given that the scenery is stunning, it's a wonderful advantage over other companies. They run three one-hour cruises per day, at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 2:00 pm.

Compared to crocodile cruises on the Daintree River, there's a very no-frills feel. They don't have a centre with restrooms and a gift shop, or anything like that. You simply walk down to the boat at Cooper Creek. This could be looked at as either a positive or a negative, but I felt that it made the experience seem more authentic. It's nothing more than a boat gliding through the peaceful landscape, spotting crocodiles in their natural habitat.

I realised as soon as I boarded the boat that I had made a huge mistake in forgetting to bring insect repellent spray, as I could feel sand flies biting me constantly. Fortunately, this subsided when we set off. The boat driver was very informative, telling us about the flora and fauna of the creek. I was amazed by how scenic the surroundings were, but for many, that's not reason enough to take the cruise.

After a little while, we were lucky enough to spot a female crocodile on the banks of the creek. The driver stopped so that we could all get a better look, and told us that there are 26 females and one male crocodile living there.

crocodile, crocodile cruise, cape tribulation, daintree rainforest, coopers creek
Can you spot the crocodile?

We continued onwards and all jumped when we heard an unexpected splash. The driver explained that this was the male crocodile, but that he doesn't usually jump into the water when he sees the boat we must have woken him up and shocked him. Moments later the large croc appeared on the other side of the boat, gliding towards the other bank just beneath the surface of the water. It was amazing to get such a close-up view.

I loved the experience of this cruise, and would definitely recommend it for the lovely scenery, informative tour guide, and the fact that I got a good view of two large crocodiles up close in an hour-long cruise.

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Why? Spot crocodiles in the wild
When: 10:30am, 11:30am, and 2:00pm daily
Phone: 0457 731 000
Where: Thornton Beach, 2571 Cape Tribulation Rd, Thornton Beach QLD 4873
Cost: $30 per adult, and $22 per child
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