Daintree Ferry; a trip to paradise

There are no words that accurately describe the sheer beauty of the Daintree region in Far north Queensland, so I’ll let a few photos do the talking.

Nevertheless, if you want to get into the Daintree Forest, you can see a bit of it from the southern end, or drive around through to Cooktown and down again, or you can jump on the Daintree Ferry.

This service takes a number of cars, caravans, buses, trucks, pedestrians and bikes across every single day, and is quite well run. On our recent visit to Port Douglas, we hopped on the Daintree Ferry to explore part of the region, before heading back across later in the day.

The Daintree Ferry
The Daintree Ferry is a popular service

Where is the Daintree Ferry?

This ferry is located not too far from Daintree Village, on the river itself. It’s visible from all of the Daintree Crocodile tours that are very popular.

Crocodile tours on the Daintree
You’ll find the ferry not far away from the crocodile tour businessses

Do you have to use the ferry?

If you want to get across the Daintree River without driving the long way around (up to Cooktown, or down to just near Port Douglas) you have no choice but to use the Daintree Ferry.

Some people probably use their own boats but without transport on the other side you’re no better off.

Bloomfield Track water crossing
You can drive around and come back down from Cooktown via the Bloomfield Track

What does it cost?

We paid $45 return? For our 4WD, which we thought was fairly reasonable. Sure, South Australia has a few that are part of the road network and are completely free, but it could be worse; you pay a lot more to use the Jardine River Ferry!

Daintree Ferry Crossing
You need to stop and pay before you board the ferry

How does it work?

This ferry is essentially a punt, and pulls itself back and forth along a set of cables. When you arrive, you pay for a ticket at the check in office, and then drive up and wait in a queue.

The operator will direct you onto the ferry, in one of three lanes, and then you’re asked to stop in position, turn your vehicle off and have the hand brake on.

The whole thing is over in a matter of minutes, with everyone departing in an orderly fashion on the other side at the operators direction.

Driving onto the Daintree Ferry
Driving onto the Daintree Ferry, after waiting a short time

When does it operate?

The Daintree Ferry runs from 5AM to midnight every day, on all days (including Christmas Day!)

This is the first ferry we’ve put our Isuzu Dmax on, and it was a pretty smooth, simple experience. We did it with family to get to Cape Tribulation and do some of the tourist attractions, and thought it was pretty good.

Waiting on the Daintree Ferry
Chilling inside our car while the ferry took us across

You can certainly drive the long way around, and many people end up doing this anyway as the Bloomfield Track is limiting in what you can drive and tow. Sure, some people do it with Caravans, but its not recommended, and in all honesty is probably not respectful of everyone else.

If you’re looking to get into the amazing Daintree region, jump on the Daintree Ferry with your vehicle and have fun; it’s fantastic. Speaking of fantastic, on your way past, stop and do the Marrdja Boardwalk!

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