Cow Bay is located about
11 km. north of the Daintree River and the first population centre you
will encounter. It will take you 1.5 to 2 hours to drive here from Cairns.
It is a large area of rainforest with a nice beach and a good choice
of accommodation places, some local tours like seakayaking and horse
riding, a pub, a couple of restaurants and a few attractions..
Travelers without their own car could find it a long hike between places
and might be better off finding accommodation
in Cape Tribulation, which is more compact.
There are two versions of the story of how Cow Bay got its name, one
is from the dugongs, or seacows, that swim around the coastline here,
and the other one is that passing sailors used to see cows on the beach.
This area has a lot of regrowth rainforest as in the past it was used
for grazing cattle.
On the way to Cow Bay your
first stop after crossing the Daintree river will probably be the Alexandra
Lookout, from where you get some magnificent views over Cape Kimberley,
the mouth of the Daintree River, and on clear days all the way to Port
Douglas and Cairns.
Descending from the Alexandra Range you will find the Daintree Discovery
Centre on your right, which is a good place to learn a lot about the
rainforest in a short amount of time, and when you get the date stamped
in the free booklet they hand out you can keep coming back to learn
more for the duration of your holiday in the Daintree.
Accommodation around the Cow Bay area
There is a complete range of accommodation options available
in Cow Bay; resort style, holiday houses, B&Bs and camping. As mentioned
above travellers without their own transport might find it a long hike
between attractions here, but Crocodylus runs a transfer bus on a regular
run, and Waitawhile and Cow Bay Homestay are the nearest to Cow Bay
Beach for an easy walk.
to find all the best discounted rates and special deals on accommodation
around Cow Bay..
Dorms and rooms
We are situated in the World Heritage rainforest area
of the Daintree National Park. Everyone is welcome at the Crocodylus
village, and will enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere. Our jungle
restaurant provides beautiful homely meals.
Cabins and camping
Rainforest walks around the camping grounds allowing you to see
the flora and fauna undisturbed.
The amenities building has hot showers and a well equipped laundry.
An under cover camp kitchen with gas BBQ, hot plates, washing facilities,
cooking utensils etc, along with 4 wood fire places/BBQ's.
Bed and breakfast
Cow Bay Homesaty is a timber pole home designed for
the tropical climate, rooms and verandah provide magnificent views
over the Alexandra Range and the hills of Daintree National Park.
Cow Bay Homestay is only 1.5 km from pristine Cow Bay Beach and
borders on the Dantree National Park.
A While, Cow Bay
Wait A While holiday home is a stunning timber pole
home only 600 metres from Cow Bay Beach.
The home offers private and secluded accommodation for up to 6 guests
This is one of the most beautiful houses in the Daintree Rainforest,
designed by award-winning, South African architect Gavin Paddock,
and modelled on the traditional New Guinean long-house.
Daintree Cascades contains two self contained cottages.
The Round House comfortably sleeps four people, while The Cottage
is primarily aimed at couples or young families. If you have a large
party, you may wish to rent both houses and enjoy your stay in style.
Daintree Wilderness Lodge
A small intimate lodge offering tranquillity amongst
the World Heritage rainforest, the eco-tourism award winning Daintree
Wilderness Lodge is the most natural hideaway ever created. Its
luxury style bungalows offer complete privacy and a viewing roof
to allow you to experience the wonder of the rainforest canopy from
Rainforest Retreat, Cow Bay
The motel suites reflect the environment in which
we live, with bright airy decore, high ceilings with fans, kitchenette,
comfy queen size beds or lounge chairs and cane chairs on the verandahs.
We also have a large saltwater swimming pool open till 10:00pm.
If you are lucky enough to bring back a Barramundi or a Reef fish,
make use of our free gas B.B.Q.
Magic, Cow Bay
This holiday home is surounded by the World Heritage
From the verandah enjoy ocean views or take a short walk to the
This luxury timber house sleeps up to six people, and includes facilities
like T.V entertainment room, Pay T.V and DVD's, B.B.Q, and a corner
Tours in Cow Bay
The only tours based locally in Cow Bay are the overnight
seakayaking tour to Snapper Island run by Crocodylus,
the Cow Bay horse riding tour at the airstrip, and some nightwalks run
and the Wilderness Lodge.
Most other tours are based at Cape Tribulation, and you will need to
find your own way up there, they only do the free courtesy transfers
in Cape Tribulation.
See more info on the Cape
Tribulation tours here, and there is also the crocodile spotting
tour on Cooper Creek, about ten minutes north of Cow Bay at Thornton
Other things in Cow Bay
Opposite Buchanan Creek Road, the turnoff to Cow Bay Beach,
there is a car mechanic who is also the local RACQ depot, handy if you
develop some car trouble. Around this turnoff are also Floravilla where
you can sample home made icecream, the Cow Bay Hotel where you can have
a beer and meet some locals, and an airstrip, if you like to fly in
or out then you can land small planes here.
Cow Bay Beach is at the end of Buchanan Creek Road and
has three secluded bays perfect for relaxing, swimming and snorkeling
on the inshore reefs and also fishing and beach walking. There are always
shady spots on these beaches. Guided sea kayaking can be booked locally
at Crocodylus Village. To see the beach from the air click the Google
map below to satellite view, this will also show you how much rainforest
there is here.
You can experience some rainforest by visiting the Jindalba
boardwalk near the Daintree Discovery Centre.
Just north of Cow Bay is the Daintree Icecream Company,
where they make icecream out of exotic fruits with flavours you have
probably never heard of.
A little further north again just before Cooper Creek is the Daintree
Entomological Museum, where they have an awesome collection of insects
and butterflies on display.
If there happens to be a cricket match on while you are
there go and check it out to taste a bit of local flavour. There has
been long running rivalry between the Cow Bay and Cape Tribulation cricket
teams and the mix of cricket and alcohol makes an entertaining day.
Map of Cow Bay
This is a cutout of the map published by Mason's Cape Trib Shop
to help you get your bearings in Cow Bay.
Click map to open a larger version that you can print.
Most car rental places in Cairns will also give you a copy of
this map when you pick up your hire car.
A Google map of Cow Bay to find your way