Frequently Asked Questions
What will I see?
Crocodiles, tree-snakes, water dragons, butterflies and highly sought-after rare birds are seen on most tours. Key target birds include Great-billed Heron, Little Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Papuan Frogmouth, Black Bittern, Wompoo Fruit-dove and Shining Flycatcher amongst others. An average of 40 wildlife species are seen or heard per cruise. A wildlife checklist is available on board for guests to use. Birds seen on cruises are regularly reported to the worldwide bird reporting website eBird. Follow the link to research what has been seen on recent cruises.
You will also see the scenery of the main river and narrow tributaries including the very scenic area under Barratt Creek Bridge. Key flora is listed on the checklist and these will be identified on the cruise.
How do I make a booking?
A Book Now button can be found on the homepage index. Please just follow the form. A credit card can be used to confirm you booking. If there are specific birds or animals you are hoping to see please include in your booking. For a private cruise please add as much detail as you can, including preferred cruise date, potential alternate date(s) and species you hope to see. Conversely give me a call or email me to talk through your tour.
Where does the tour depart from?
Daintree River cruises depart from the public boat ramp at Daintree Village, 100 metres downhill from the Daintree Village Hotel. If using a navigation tool, nearest address is 1 Stewart St, Daintree Village. Transit time from Port Douglas is 45 minutes.
A map to the cruise departure point is located on the cruise page.
Driving time from Port Douglas is 45 minutes, Daintree River ferry 15 minutes, Julatten 55 minutes, Mossman 30 minutes, Cairns is 100 minutes.
When is the best time of year to see wildlife?
It depends on what you want to see. A good example is crocodiles. They are most commonly seen during the cooler months sun-baking on the bank particularly during a low tide.Great-billed Herons and Kingfisher also tend to be more reliable on a low tide. Little Kingfisher tends to be better during the cooler months. Black Bitterns are a summer migrant and are only seen during the warmer months. Paradise Kingfisher are only present in the summer but are more commonly heard than seen. Papuan Frogmouth are a little more likely during the second half of the year, typically nesting about October. To see what has been seen on recent cruises click on the eBird link.
What effect do the tides have?
Tides can also have an effect on the species likely to be seen. Wildlife-spotting is better on a lower tide. Tide is as important as time of the day with wildlife better on a lower tide in the afternoon than a fuller tide at dawn. Lower tides are particularly beneficial for spotting crocodiles and kingfishers. Other birds such as Great-billed Heron, Shining Flycatcher, egret, ibis are all more likely when the tide is low.
Do cruises go in all conditions?
Very rarely will a cruise be cancelled due to rain. On rare occasions of heavy rain by mutual agreement the cruise may be delayed to better conditions. Surprisingly good wildlife viewing, particularly for secretive bitterns and herons, often occurs in low light and drizzly conditions.
What should I bring?
Cameras, binoculars and a jacket. For those without binoculars there are some aboard to borrow. Bug spray is usually not necessary. Sunscreen is recommended for cruises in sunny conditions. Guests are welcome to bring a beverage or two for late afternoon cruises if they wish.
Where can we have breakfast?
The Daintree Village Hotel, just 100 metres from the boat ramp is open for breakfast and coffee immediately after the cruise. Rob’s Pie Shop also provides a good variety of pies and other meals.
Where are the toilets?
There is a toilet block 100 metres from the public boat ramp. It is located on the last corner before turning down to the river, directly across the road from the Daintree Village Hotel. For Mossman River cruises there is a public toilet block on the Newell Beach Esplanade about 1 kilometre from the cruise departure point.