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Weather in Cape Tribulation / Daintree region

Cape Tribulation's weather varies quite a bit throughout the year,
from torrential rain to postcard perfect sunny weather.

Below is a guide to what to expect at what time of year;

daintree coast accommodation at cape tribulation
Off grid eco accommodation in the Daintree

One frequently asked question by guests is about the weather, what is the weather going to be like, and what is the best time to come and stay in Cape Tribulation weather wise?

Cape Tribulation has a tropical climate with a average annual temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit).

32 31 31 30 27 26 25 27 28 30 31 32
90 88 88 86 80 79 77 80 82 86 88 90

The Kuku Yalanji aborigines, the original inhabitants of the Cape Tribulation area, identified five distinct seasons:

Kambar: Late December to March - rain
Kabakabada: April to May - cool with rainfall easing
Duluruiji: June to September - cooler & dry with some rainfall
Wungariji: October to November - hot & dry
Jarramali November to December - hot & stormy

The rainforest works like a big natural airconditioner, the dense canopy filters most of the sunlight, and evaporation of water from the vegetation brings down the temperature, therefore temperatures at Rainforest Hideaway are always a lot more pleasant than out in the open country, and definitely far better than in Cairns or Port Douglas where all the concrete holds the heat. During the warmer months we place fans in the rooms to keep the air moving to keep you cool, and rooms are fitted with screens and adjustable louvres to allow for natural cooling.
Air-conditioners are not needed and out of the question as Rainforest Hideaway runs on solar panels and batteries that can not supply the thousands of watts to run air-conditioners. It would not take an executive MBA or a masters in education to tell that air-conditioning would not be the best use of resources in an environment where they're not necessary. North of the Daintree river only the Mayor (now ex-) and his neighbours enjoy mains electricity brought in via a cable, the rest of us have to improvise with expensive solar panels and batteries and polluting generators.

One thing to remember is that you want to come and see the rainforest, and rainforest can not survive without rain, and although places like Darwin might have a guaranteed dry season, in Cape Tribulation you could get a shower any time of year. If it does rain during your stay here don't let it ruin your holiday, appreciate it, the rainforest looks at its best during the rain, the leaves are shiny, the frogs croak, the creeks and waterfalls are running, it's all alive!
There is nothing more revitalizing than to go for a swim in a running creek in the rain, like at the swimming hole at Mason's shop. After all, you are gonna get wet when you swim anyway!

I'll try and give you some advice on the Cape Tribulation weather and when to come here, just from my personal experience over the 14 years I have lived here;

Personally I think the best time to visit is late August to early November, as by then the winter has passed, the south east trade winds have slowed or disappeared, and there is little chance of rain and conditions are perfect for snorkelling trips to the Great Barrier Reef.

Somewhere in November the box jelly fish may arrive, so unless you have a stinger suit you are restricted to swimming in the swimmingholes in the beautiful freshwater creeks, the pool at your accommodation, or take a reef trip; box jellyfish only live close to shore so out there you are safe. November and December are warm and dry months, although many tourists think that the wet season has started then the opposite is the case, it gets so dry that most years many houses around Cape Tribulation run out of water! Towards Christmas it gets a bit hot, but around this time we usually get the first refreshing showers.

January continues to be warm to hot, with the occasional shower, during this time of November to February there is usually very little wind, creating the blue mirror smooth oceans that you always see on the postcards and brochures, a perfect time for scuba diving in the clear waters and sea kayaking.

February and March are traditionally months where torrential rains can hammer down for days on end, but with the changing of climates worldwide the last few years this has not happened and also these two months had the beautiful warm and dry weather most of the time.

April and May are a bit hard to predict as anything can happen, normally the wet season is over by now but in the last two years we have had cyclones hitting the coast, too far from Cape Tribulation to do wind damage, but they did bring rain. Temperatures are cooling down now.

June can also be a temperamental month, alternating periods of sunshine and periods of rain can keep life interesting, temperatures are getting lower as we are getting closer to winter.

July and August is the time of year when most people come to the Daintree, and unfortunately this is also a time when south east trade winds can blow and we can still get showers, if your work commitments allow try to put your visit off till September, as the place will be less crowded and the weather conditions will be better for beach and reef trips.

The above is only the observations of your host at Rainforest Hideaway, no responsibility accepted should the weather during your holiday not be as promised above! Below are some more links to current weather and historical weather data to help you find what you are looking for;

Click for Cairns, Queensland Forecast
The current weather in Cairns, the nearest city to Cape Tribulation

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a website where you can check up on weather and warnings for Cape Tribulation and every place around Australia. can tell you the weather in just about any location in Australia simply by typing the name of the location in this search box;

Click here for Cape Tribulation's current weather, and also a listing of historical data on minimum and maximum rainfall, temperatures, moon and sunsets etc.

Planning a snorkelling or scuba diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef? Click here for the Cape Tribulation marine forecast, wind speeds, tides etc.

Click here to see a radar image of the north Queensland coast that will show you where it rains right now.

Cape Tribulation's average rainfall is around 4.2 metres, although we have had a dry year where it only rained just over two metres and in the year 2000 we had close to 7 metres!
(That is 275 inches!) There are a few occasions in recent history where it rained a metre a day, in 1996 the upper catchment area of the Daintree river received 1.5 metres in 36 hours, which resulted in the river rising above the banks, the ferry cable broke on the northern side and by the time the waters subsided the ferry was sitting high and dry on the riverbank and it took a week to get it back into action again. Also there was metres of riversand on the road on the southern side and sections of bitumen had lifted off the road and washed into the sugarcane fields.

After years of requests by residents the local council has finally raised the Myall Creek and Thompson Creek causeways at Cape Tribulation so these creek crossings do not flood during the wet season anymore. Previously just about every year a few cars used to get washed down these creeks in the wet season;

radical cape tribulation weather very wet cape tribulation weather

This is a landslide that happend a few years ago after heavy rain:

extreme cape tribulation weather