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Cape Tribulation Beach Walk

This beach has the most diverse coastal vegetation anywhere in Australia for several reasons. As a tropical rainforest, its vegetation is richer; it is protected by the nearby fringing reef and headland, and has never been developed.

Plants were used by the Kuku Yalanji people for food, medicine, fishing craft and tools. Beach almonds are edible, have medicinal potential and, apparently, are aphrodisiacs.

Beach hibiscus provided spears, fire-sticks and a versatile string. Sea lettuce fruit juice was an eye cleanser.

Clusters of coastal giants - reclining beach mahoganies are standout heroes, with their huge twisted trunks and branches reaching out almost horizontally across the shore and out to the sea. Once used as canoe trees, their branches provide shade, while twisted roots interlock and expose ongoing erosion by the high tides.

You'll often see mound-building brush turkeys and scrub fowl; lace monitors (a large goanna); ghost and sand bubbler crabs and their food-sifted sand turned into pellets.

Just out from the shoreline and visible at lower tides is the fringing coral reef, where small sharks, turtles and occasional dugongs are seen.

Further out, imagine where Lt James Cook sailed past on his route charting the east coast of New Holland in 1770. Having crashed on the reef further north, he later called the headland Cape Tribulation, “where my troubles started.” Be careful of the tides, and don't walk through little Rykers Creek with water in it. A little croc often lurks there.

The beach has two major access points. Kulki car park and Cape Trib Beach House.

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