Dawn Cruise | From$ 65

Live availability, instant booking

Sensational 2 hour dawn cruise on the Daintree River in a small comfortable boat to see stunning scenery and wildlife. Crocodiles, snakes and highly sought-after birds are seen on most cruises. More
Select Date

Late Afternoon Cruise | From$ 65

Live availability, instant booking

Sensational 2 hour late afternoon cruise on the Daintree River in a small comfortable boat to see stunning scenery and wildlife. Crocodiles, snakes and highly sought-after birds are seen on most cruises. More
Select Date

About Daintree Boatman Nature Tours

Specialised Daintree River Cruises

Specialised Daintree River Cruises

Premium Small-group Birdwatching & Wildlife Cruises

Daintree Boatman Nature Tours is a small tour business, owned and operated by professional nature guide Murray Hunt, offering premium small-group wildlife cruises on the Daintree River.

Cruises are a special experience, with highly sought-after birds, crocodiles and snakes seen on most cruises. Cruises are professionally conducted in a small open comfortable vessel which enables a quiet intimate exploration of the river with close views of wildlife. Cruises explore the narrow shallow tributaries of the Daintree, where the big boats can’t go.

Two-hour cruises are conducted at dawn and late afternoon when the river is at its most picturesque, sunlight is at its best for photography, and birds are at their most active.

Private cruises are available for those with a special interest such as wildlife photography or simply wish to experience the best of the river in a smaller group. Private Photography cruises, 2.5 hours in duration, conducted at dawn and dusk, are perfect for keen photographers. For families or small groups of friends, hoping to avoid the crowds, the boat is available for charter on a hourly basis throughout the day for quick private ‘Daintree Highlights’ cruises.

  • Boat has a collapsible roof for shelter when needed.
  • Maximum of just 10 passengers.
  • Discount for repeat cruises.

Dawn Cruise

Dawn Cruise

Dawn cruises provide the best conditions for those wishing to see the river at its most stunning, as well as the greatest chance to see some of the most sought-after birds of the river. Referred to in many ‘birding’ reference books, this famous cruise has been in operation for more than 20 years. Key target species include Great-billed Heron, Papuan Frogmouth, Little Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Black Bittern, Saltwater Crocodile, Green Tree Snake, Water Dragon and butterflies.

Dusk Cruise

Dusk Cruise

Great experience to cap the day.

Floating on the water, enjoying the late afternoon light, watching wildlife foraging before sunset, there are few better places to be than out on the Daintree River. Late afternoon cruises give an opportunity to see the river in lovely light, sometimes with the setting sun colouring the sky, often with a multitude of egrets flying home to roost for the night. Crocodiles, snakes, and birds such as kingfishers, flycatchers, and herons are commonly seen.

Wildlife - Gems of the Daintree

Wildlife Gems of the Daintree
  • Azure Kingfisher 

The Azure Kingfisher is the most commonly seen & photographed kingfisher on the Daintree River. It is common along creeks and rivers in northern and eastern Australia. It is seen on 99% of cruises, sometimes within metres.

  • Little Kingfisher

The Little Kingfisher, at just 13cms, is the second smallest kingfisher in the world. It inhabits waterways through northern Australia and PNG. It is most easily observed on lower tides during the cooler winter Dry Season.

  • Great-billed Heron

The Great-billed Heron is the most sought-after bird on the river. This secretive bird is a resident of rivers in northern Australia and South-east Asia. Lower tides offer the best chance of observation. It is seen on about 90% of cruises.

  • Saltwater Crocodile

The Saltwater Crocodile, aka Estuarine Crocodile, is the world’s largest crocodile and world’s heaviest reptile. In good conditions, 3 or 4 crocs should be seen on a river cruise. Best conditions are a low tide on a warm winter’s day.

  • Papuan Frogmouth

Papuan Frogmouth perch motionless during the day relying on their mottled grey plumage to look like a branch and avoid detection. They are found on most cruises particularly during the second half of the year.

  • Shining Flycatcher

The Shining Flycatcher is sexually dimorphic. The female is cinnamon brown and white whilst the male is black turning shiny blue in direct sunlight. They are seen on 99% of cruises. Leaden Flycatcher are also present on the river.

  • Green Tree Snake

The Green Tree-snake, aka Common Tree-snake, is a non-venomous colubrid commonly found on cruises, particularly on warm winter mornings. Common prey items include frogs. Amethystine Python are also found less frequently.

  • Water Dragon

The Eastern Water Dragon, superficially similar to an iguana, is a common insectivorous reptile regularly found on Daintree cruises. They are common on the east coast of Australia. Males are larger and more colourful.

  • Black Bittern

The Black Bittern is a highly sought-after migrant arriving from South-east Asia in October to nest over the summer in riverine Water Gums. Striated Herons, also present, are similar but smaller with a dark cap.

  • Wompoo Fruit Dove

The Wompoo Fruit-dove is quite commonly seen sitting on tiny untidy nests. Particularly in winter they can be seen raiding fruiting trees such as Blue Quandong, often in association with Pied Imperial Pigeons and Topknot Pigeons.

  • Spectacled Fruit Bat

Spectacled Fruit Bats play a vital role in maintaining the health of the rainforest. Sometimes they are seen at roost during the day, more often they are seen emerging at sundown for a busy night foraging for rainforest fruit.

  • Amethystine Python

Amethystine Python are occasionally seen on cruises. They are commonly 2 to 3 metres in length, sometimes more. They are often found lurking near the roosts of their favourite prey items, Cattle Egrets and Flying Fox.

Daintree Boatman Nature Tours Reviews


0 Jenna Rumney

Excellent operator! Wholeheartedly recommend this tour. Murray's knowledge of the river and small boat size means that you can explore areas where others can not go. A wonderful experience for amateur nature enthusiasts and dedicated birders alike.


0 Dave Pinson

Lovely late afternoon cruise on the river. Murray is extremely knowledgeable, personable, engaging, and caters the narrative to passengers on the boat on the day - rather than 'off the card spiel' that some tour operators practice. We saw Crocodiles, Frogmouths, Kingfishers, numerous waterbirds, and a Python, followed by a beautiful sunset. What's not to love. Highly recommended.


How to get to Daintree Boatman Nature Tours

Enquiry Form