Cairns to Cooktown and Daintree, Fishing, Camping and 4x4ing
Visiting the Daintree and Cairns to Cooktown including Mossman, Lakeland, Bloomfield, Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation and the Mulligan Highway? You have come to the right place. Travel north from
or south from
to visit this gorgeous part of North Queensland.
This very tourist oriented section of the coastline is worth checking out on your way to Cooktown and Cape York. The Captain Cook Highway is one of the most scenic roads in the country and the rainforest and beaches of the Daintree are world renowned. Mossman, Daintree, Mount Molloy and Port Douglas are all interesting little towns that are worth a look.
Photo: Mossman Rotary Park on the crystal clear Mossman River.
Spots of interest:
Mossman Rotary Park is on the northern side of town (N side of Mossman River) has shaded picnic tables, bins, toilets and river frontage. 16’27’119 S, 145’22’258 E
Photo: Driving through the layed back little town of Mossman.
Jindalba Boardwalk 16’14’3114 S, 145’25’936 E toilets and shaded picnic tables.
Marrdja Boardwalk 16’08’273 S, 145’26’436 E.
Myall Beach has a boardwalk through the rainforest to the beach. Near the car park you will find shaded picnic tables, BBQ’s, toilets and untreated tap water. 16’05’368 S, 145’27’773 E
Photo: The Daintree River is home to estuarine crocodiles, barramundi and plenty of river cruises.
Cape Tribulation/Lookout Point has toilets, picnic tables, track to the beach and a boardwalk to Lookout Point. 16’04’669 S, 145’28’192 E
Giant Fig Tree and short track to the beach. 16’02’364 S, 145’27’646 E Walking track and rocky bottom creek crossing at Emmogen Creek 300m past the fig tree.
Abattoir Swamp Environmental Park is a bird watchers dream. 2km Mossman side of Mount Molloy on the Mossman-Mount Molloy Road. It has shaded picnic tables, untreated tap water and a 200m boardwalk to the bird hide. 16’38’156 S, 145’19’551 E
Julatten Lookout on the Mossman-Mount Molloy Road east of Julatten (16’32’047 S, 145’22’887 E) provides great views over the coastline as does the lookout further east (16’31’980 S, 145’23’391 E)
Photo: Driving north through Daintree National Park
The small town of Lakeland sits at the Junction of the Peninsula Development Road and the Mulligan Highway. When heading south from Cape York the town of Lakeland is the first you hit once you are back on the sealed roads. It has a couple of service stations, pub and a caravan park. It is not advisable to head north of Lakeland on the Peninsula Development road unless your vehicle and trailer/caravan are up to the task of the sometimes very rough unsealed roads. Remember vehicle repairs can be costly and time consuming in remote areas.
Bloomfield Track and Falls
Wujal Wujal (previously known as the Bloomfield River Mission) has a population of around 500. It lies on the Bloomfield River a few kilometres in from the coastline about 30km north of Cape Tribulation and 60km south of Cooktown on the Bloomfield Development Road. This small town has a service station, health clinic, police station and a boat ramp near the mouth of the Bloomfield River.
Bloomfield Track is a mostly unsealed road from Emmogen Creek to Wujal Wujal. About 2km north of Emmogen creek is a steep drive over the Donovan Range. On the northern side of Woobadda Creek you will find a nice picnic spot.
Bloomfield Falls - heading north turn left after the Bloomfield River Bridge 15’57’119 S, 145’19’181 E (on the southern side of Wajal Wajal) and follow the dirt road for 1.2km to the falls. 15’57’694 S, 145’18’982 E
Bloomfield markets are held on the last Saturday of each month The small rainforest community of Rossville holds their community market every second Saturday of the month.
Cairns to Cooktown Fishing Tips & Spots
Cairns - Anglers have plenty to pick from around Cairns. Head offshore to the Great Barrier Reef, fish the beaches and headlands or head into the numerous creeks and rivers to target estuary species and mud crabs. Visit www.fc4magazine.com for more information on Cairns and the towns and cities further south.
Rifle Creek - On the northern side of Mount Molloy you will find the Rifle Creek Rest Area that sits on the bank of Rifle Creek. Sooty grunter and red claw crayfish can be caught in the creek near the rest area. You can walk down under the bridge or try to find your way along the bank to a fishing spot.
Port Douglas - If you are stopping for a look at Port Douglas and want to wet a line you have a few options. Land based anglers can fish from the main beach for salmon and whiting. From a boat you can fish around the rocky headland at the mouth of Dicksons Inlet or within Dicksons Inlet itself. Catch barra, jacks, golden snapper and grunter within the inlet. Fish the deep bends and creek junctions. Those with larger boats can head off shore when the weather allows for some top reef fishing or to chase sailfish and marlin.
Mossman River - This relatively small river system is only suitable for land based anglers and small boat owners. Land based anglers can head to Newell and fish from the jetty next to the boat ramp or into the deep channel off the sand spit at the mouth of the river for bream, mangrove jacks, trevally and queenfish. Sooty grunter, jungle perch and juvenile barra can be caught in the upper freshwater reaches of the river. Heading north from the mouth you will find shallow reefs along the front of the beach for about 10km to the ramp at Wonga. About 2km north of the mouth of the Mossman River you can access Saltwater Creek. Its shallow mouth means it can only be accessed on the top half of the tide. It is a good crabbing creek that can produce good estuary fishing.
Photo: The unprotected boat ramp at Dayman Point.
Daintree - A boat is needed to fish the tidal section from the boat ramp near the Daintree River Ferry down to the mouth. Barramundi, mangrove jacks, grunter, queenfish, trevally, cod, mud crabs and prawns are the main target species in the river. Fish hard up against the mangroves on the top of the tide, sandbar drop offs and creek junctions on the out going tide, holes, gutters and channels around the bottom of the tide and the sand flats on the rising tide. When weather conditions allow you can head out from the mouth to Snapper Island and Cape Kimberley to target pelagic fish and the occasional reef fish or go further offshore to fish the Great Barrier Reef. You can hit the GBR within 20km of the mouth but be aware you must pass through a green zone to get their.
Land based anglers can walk the beach north from Wonga towards the mouth of the Daintree River or south towards Dayman Point and Newell for trevally, queenfish, salmon, whiting, flathead and sharks. Work any holes or gutters you can find and look for signs of fish feeding. Light winds and the top half of the tide are the easiest to fish.
Freshwater anglers can use the boat ramp at Daintree Village to chase sooty grunter, jungle perch and juvenile barramundi. Use a silent approach and flick small lures at snags or trees overhanging the bank. Sight casting is possible during the dry season when the water runs clear. This is also a great way to check out the fantastic scenery of the Daintree River and to spot some wildlife including crocodiles and birds.
Photo: Looking towards the mouth of the Bloomfield River from the boat ramp.
Bloomfield River - The section of the Bloomfield River around the boat ramp and towards the mouth produces a variety of estuary fish. Work fish holding structures such as snags, holes, drop offs and creek junctions. Flick a line or two in the freshwater between the Bloomfield River Bridge and the Bloomfield falls for sooty grunter, jungle perch and small barra.
Cairns to Cooktown Boat Ramps
1. Thomatis Creek, Holloways Beach - Northern end of Holloways Beach on Acacia Street. 16’49’816 S, 145’43’981 E
2. Yorkeys Knob Marina - Top quality ramp. End of Buckley Street at Yorkeys Knob. Toilets and tap water 100m from ramp. 16’48’087 S, 145’43’094 E
3. Port Douglas - Quality ramp just past the marina on Wharf Street. 16’28’914 S, 145’27’664 E
4. Newell - Mouth of the Mossman River, via Newell Road and Rankin Street. 16’26’026 S, 145’24’268 E
5. Dayman Point - Mossman - Daintree Road. 16’23’233 S, 145’25’125 E
6. Wonga Beach Launch - East end of Wonga Beach Road. No driving on beach other than launch and retrieve. 16’20’834 S, 145’24’902 E
7. Daintree River - South bank of Daintree River near the ferry crossing. 16’15’711 S, 145’23’596 E
8. Daintree Township - Follow Mossman - Daintree Road through Daintree Village to the ramp. 16’14’940 S, 145’19’039 E
9. Thornton Beach/ Coopers Creek Bank Launch - No fishing, bait collecting or crabbing upstream of the national Park Boundary. Daintree Road. 16’10’518 S, 145’26’266 E
10. Bloomfield River - 8km north of the Bloomfield River Bridge on the side of the Bloomfield Track. 15’55’721 S, 145’20’936 E
Cairns to Cooktown Rest and Camping Areas
1. Speewah Camp - Speewah Conservation Park. Caravans not recommended. 5km off the Kennedy Highway, 33km west of Cairns. Well signposted. 16’52’937 S, 145’37’945 E
2. Davies Creek NP Camp - 6km off the Kennedy Highway. BYO Wood. Caravans not recommended. Fires in constructed fire places. 17’00’221 S, 145’34’163 E
4. Mareeba Lions Rest Area - 3km from Mareeba (Kurranda side) on Kennedy Highway beside the Barron River. 17’00’347 S, 145’26’344 E
5. Mareeba Rodeo Grounds Camp/ Kerribee Park - Cheap sites and hot showers. Bourke Development Road 3km west of Mareeba. 16’59’645 S, 145’23’757 E
6. Rocky Creek War Memorial Park (72hrs) - On the Kennedy Highway 5km Mareeba side of Tolga. 17’10’872 S,145’27’277 E
7. Rifle Creek Rest Area – Peninsula Development Road 1km north of Mount Molloy 16’39’928 S, 145’19’655 E
8. James Earl Lookout Rest Area - 100m east of the Peninsula Development Road 10km south of Lakeland. View over Byestown Range. 15’58’479 S, 144’49’734 E
9. Lakeland Rest Area – Southern end of Lakeland on the Peninsula Dev Rd. Vehicle wash down facility to stop the spread of weeds at the same location. 15’51’834 S, 144’51’494 E
10. Little Annan Rest Area - 50km N of Lakeland on the Cooktown Development Road. 15’40’874 S, 145’12’358 E
11. Mossman Rotary Park - Rest area on the Mossman River 1km north of Mossman. N side of river. 16’27’119 S, 145’22’285 E
12. Noah Beach NP Camping Area - 15 sites amongst the rainforest 50m back from the beach. Pre book by phone on Book well in advance as this is a very popular campsite 16’08’030 S, 145’27’155 E
13. Bloomfield River Rest Area - Pull up for a break on the northern side of the Bloomfield River Bridge 15’57’119 S, 145’19’181 E, at Bloomfield Falls 15’57’694 S, 145’18’982 E or at the Bloomfield River Boat Ramp 15’’55’721 S, 145’20’936 E. No facilities except picnic table at boat ramp.
14. Annan River Rest Area - 6km south of Cooktown on the north side of the Annan River. 15’31’261 S, 145’13’395 E
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