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Cow Bay beach

© Steven Nowakowski

Cow Bay beach

Picnic tables No picnic tables
Sheltered picnic tables No sheltered picnic tables
Toilets No toilets
No barbecues
No lookouts
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mooring points No mooring points
Anchoring allowed (conditions apply) No anchoring
World Heritage Area

Legend

Picnic tables No picnic tables
Sheltered picnic tables No sheltered picnic tables
Toilets No toilets
No barbecues
No lookouts
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mooring points No mooring points
Anchoring allowed (conditions apply) No anchoring
World Heritage Area
Wander along a perfect white sandy beach with a glorious backdrop of the iconic Daintree rainforest.
At Cow Bay Beach, watch for butterflies like this male Cairns birdwing.
At Cow Bay Beach, watch for butterflies like this male Cairns birdwing. © Wet Tropics Management Authority
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Park Daintree
Traditional Owners Traditional Owners
Park Ranger Park Ranger

Revel in perfection as you explore a white sandy beach in a long deserted bay where the rainforest-clad foothills of Mount Alexandra sweep down to meet the shore.

Once a cattle farming area, and now a popular destination for visitors, Cow Bay settlement is the first real evidence of 'civilisation' you'll encounter after crossing the Daintree River ferry and travelling north on the Cape Tribulation road. Take time out to stretch your legs on the beach and watch for birds, butterflies and cassowaries.

This park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, famed for its exceptional natural beauty, outstanding examples of the record of life, evolutionary history and remarkable diversity.

At a glance

Getting there and getting around

Cow Bay beach is in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park, 100–150km north of Cairns.

  • From Cairns, drive 104km north along the Captain Cook Highway to the entrance to the Cape Tribulation section of the park at the Daintree River crossing.
  • The Daintree ferry operates 6.00am–midnight every day with a reduced service on Christmas Day and occasional breaks in service for mechanical repairs or during flooding.

  • From the Daintree ferry, drive 27km north along Cape Tribulation road then turn onto Buchanan Creek Road and drive a further 5km to Cow Bay beach.

Road conditions

  • Beyond the Daintree River ferry crossing, the Cape Tribulation road is narrow and winding. Drivers should keep left and watch for wildlife, particularly cassowaries.
  • Conventional 2WD vehicle access is possible as far as Cape Tribulation, although high clearance is useful and caravans are not recommended.
  • North of Cape Tribulation the unsealed road to Bloomfield is suitable only for 4WD vehicles due to steep grades and creek crossings. The road may be closed after heavy rain.

Parking

Park at the beach access points.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

When to visit

Opening hours

The park is open 24hrs a day but access to the Cape Tribulation section is limited by the Daintree River ferry, which operates from 6am to midnight every day with a reduced service on Christmas Day and occasional breaks in service for mechanical repairs or during flooding.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Climate and weather

The Daintree region has one of the wettest climates in Australia. During the wet season, from December to April, there are heavy and frequent downpours. Some areas receive more than 6m of rainfall annually. Maximum temperatures through the wet season range from 27–33°C, with humidity often exceeding 80 per cent. The cooler, drier months from May to September are the best time to visit. The weather is pleasantly warm with reduced humidity. Maximum temperatures average 26°C.

Permits and fees

Organised events

  • If you are planning a school excursion or organising a group event such as a wedding, fun run or adventure training, you may need an organised event permit. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depending on location and activity type.

Pets

You can walk your dog on the beach because the intertidal area of the beach is not within the Daintree National Park.

Staying in touch

Mobile phone coverage

Unreliable. Check with your service provider for more information.

Tourism information

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Be prepared

  • Parks are natural environments and conditions can be unpredictable. You are responsible for your own safety and for looking after the park.
  • Read stay safe and visit with care for important general information about safety, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.

Drinking water

  • Drinking water is not provided. Bring your own drinking water.

Rubbish

  • Bins are not provided. Please bring rubbish bags, and take all recyclables and rubbish with you when you leave.

Walking

  • Take care around cassowaries. Stay well away or in your car, and do not feed them as they can be dangerous.
  • Be cass-o-wary!
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Boating and fishing

Around water

Last updated: 22 March 2018
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