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Daintree self-drive

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Daintree self-drive

We're staying in Port Douglas later this year and are keen to visit the Daintree. We'd prefer to do it ourselves by rental car rather than take an expensive tour, if possible.

However, we've been told by the travel agent (Austravel) that you can't take rental cars across the Daintree River because this counts as "off-road" and you won't be covered by the insurance. They say that all the car hire companies follow this rule and the only way round it is to take a guided tour.

Does anyone know of a local car hire company that will allow you to drive into the Daintree without invalidating your car insurance? Any other suggestions?

Thanks very much!

Edited: 2:49 pm, January 23, 2011
Takapuna, New...
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1. Re: Daintree self-drive

Most, if not all of the rental car companies have a clause excluding insurance cover if the car is "partially or totally submerged in water". This would be a factor on the ferry crossing the 50 metres of Daintree River. Once across the river you are again covered, up until the unsealed road begins at Cape Tribulation. However, there are so many other exclusions to the insurance cover (tyres, windscreens, overhead, underfloor, interior) that the Daintree Ferry crossing would be the least of your worries.

I wonder how many rental cars were submerged in the recent Queensland flooding?

Daintree, Australia
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2. Re: Daintree self-drive

To clarify some important points here:-

Seems some car companies are way behind the times as the road from the Daintree ferry to Cape Tribulation has been fully sealed for many years now. There is also a new bridge over the notorious Coopers Creek crossing which used to regularly flood and close the road during the wet season.

The Daintree ferry itself is a large 30-vehicle vessel and you certainly won't get your feet - or your tyres - wet on it!

The Daintree River is very much more than 50 metres wide - I'm not sure the exact width but would imagine maybe 500 metres - the ferry takes about 10 minutes to cross.

Australia
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3. Re: Daintree self-drive

We did a self drive tour 5 months ago. Had no problems just hired a small sedan. You can go at you own pace. Road is sealed and quite safe, bit narrow in a few sections but most drivers on road were very patient and took their time so we didnt feel pressured.

We took our time going up and stopped at a few places. you can get a map marked with look outs. We arrived about 12pm so if you intend to stay there for a while make sure you take some lunch. We had to travel back down road to find a cafe for some food.

On our way home we stopped at an ice cream place before getting ferry back. it was cheaper for us to hire a car for 3 days and do our own itinery rather than take tours. We did daintree, cape tribulation, and another gorge over the three days.

Takapuna, New...
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4. Re: Daintree self-drive

The Daintree River Ferry to Cape Tribulation is a cable ferry, carries a maximum of 16 vehicles, and takes about 5 minutes to cross the river. It operates from 0600 until midnight, seven days a week. The chances of getting your vehicle submerged is very remote.

Daintree, Australia
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5. Re: Daintree self-drive

Sorry to be pedantic wigwam3 but the current ferry is very much larger than previous models and takes about 30 vehicles - this means shorter queuing times during our busiest seasons. In the old days you sometimes had to wait an hour or more! Driving on to driving off takes about 10 minutes.

Australia
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6. Re: Daintree self-drive

Yes access to ferry ,vehicle capacity and waiting time is a big improvement.

I did a tour about 15 years ago in a a full 4 wheel drive bus, it was slow and bumpy,so It was great to go back and see it again as a couple in our own hire car

The ferry and road has really opened up the area for any one to access it

and spend more time there so 10 points for the work completed.

Takapuna, New...
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7. Re: Daintree self-drive

That's OK sunbird, you're allowed to be pedantic. I last did the trip about 18 months ago and I reckoned on about 15 vehicles but the Daintree Tourism site says 16 so I guess thet are out of date too. And if it is half a kilometre across it must have been moved when the new ferry was put into service or maybe the river was widened somewhat. I've only ever made the crossing during the July to October months so maybe it is much wider in the wet season. I guess Google Maps Satellite image was also taken during the dry season .

The important thing for the OP is that the chance of having the rental vehicle submerged in the crossing is very remote and once across it is insured up until the unsealed portion at Cape Trib.

Daintree, Australia
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8. Re: Daintree self-drive

I stand corrected, wigwam3, I've just measured the distance on GoogleEarth and it is actually .29km - almost 300m ... !

Daintree, Australia
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9. Re: Daintree self-drive

Also meant to add that the ferry definitely takes a lot more than 16 vehicles - we live here and use it regularly.

We never tire of the experience - crossing the magnificent river then the beautiful drive through the rainforest towards Cape Tribulation.

(Make sure you make a short detour to quaint little Daintree Village on your way to the ferry - river cruises, galleries, 8wd Argo tours, scenic drives and a variety of accommodation.)

ny, ny
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10. Re: Daintree self-drive

If you havent gone already... We just came back... Stayed in PD for a few days and rented a care for a a few more to self-drive through daintree up to cape trib... so much better on our for this trib... there are self guide maps available all over and the walking tours are very well marked... the road after the ferry is a bit nutty but fun with amazing views... just keep eyes on road... after cape trib the road is dirt and wouldn't venture to far in the rental car.