The Daintree and Far-North-Queensland awaits with the new Great Barrier Reef Drive

The Daintree and Far-North-Queensland awaits with the new Great Barrier Reef Drive
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The Great Barrier Reef Drive opened over the weekend, providing a coastal route to Port Douglas and Daintree in addition the daily ferry service from Cairns and the scenic inland route via Mareeba and Mount Molloy.

    Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO, Mark Olsen said the reopening was a significant milestone in the recovery for tourism operators north of Palm Cove and would help to increase the number of visitors to the region.

    “Many tourism staff travel north for work, so the opening of the Great Barrier Reef Drive on the Captain Cook Highway also reconnects businesses in Port Douglas with their staff,” he said.

    “Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre has reopened giving visitors access to the southern section of Daintree National Park to see one of the world’s oldest rainforests on a Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk with a Kuku Yalanji guide.

    “Daintree Village is a popular touring option with lunch available at the Daintree Village Hotel while wildlife cruises on the Daintree River are operated by Solar Whisper and Croc Express.”

    Kuku Yalanji Elder Uncle Roy Gibson was a key figure in the development of the cultural centre and said the recent flooding had covered the Mosman River’s rocky bed in sand reminding him of his childhood days growing up in the Gorge.

    “When I was about seven years old every time we had a big rain and flood, the river always had sand in it,” he said.

    “As the years go by, the floods change the Gorge all the time and take away a lot of sand. It really came back with this big flood now, like it did 60 years ago.

    “I heard a lot of ticks moving at night like thunder which makes your heart beat more and it feels like the flight is right next to your bed because I sleep beside the Gorge. I could hear rumbling, boom, bang. I heard that a long time ago and I think, wow, I’ll never forget this. It’s unbelievable. The rocks have been moved.

    “The story we were told was about the serpent that comes along the river. Up in the mountain when it gets darker, that is the time the serpent comes out and that’s when the old people said don’t go to the river now, he is going to come along and take you. That story tells us not to go down there because there is going to be a flash flood.”

    To best experience all the Daintree has to offer, Tourism Tropical North Queensland has given a list of the best tour operators in town:

    • Back Country Bliss
    • Billy Tea Safaris
    • Cairns Adventure Group
    • Daintree Discovery Tours
    • Down Under Tours
    • FNQ Nature Tours
    • Reef Unlimited
    • Tony Tropical Tours
    • Tropic Wings
    • Uncle Brian’s Tours
    • Walkabout Cultural Adventures

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