Operating hours

The Daintree Ferry operates daily between 5am and midnight. EFTPOS is available at the ferry all hours.

There is a priority lane for locals and this operates between 9am and 4.30pm during the peak season.

The Daintree Ferry will operate on Christmas Day between 7:30am to 5pm

Douglas Card – Free Daintree ferry travel for FNQ locals

Douglas Shire Council offers residents from Cardwell to Cooktown, including the Atherton Tablelands, free travel on the Daintree Ferry from November 1 until  the end of February annually with a free “Douglas Card”.

This includes the following Council areas:

  • Douglas Shire Council , Mareeba Shire Council, Cairns Regional Council, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council, Tablelands Regional Council,  Cook Shire Council, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council and Cassowary Coast Regional Council

**PLEASE NOTE – lodge or mail forms to Douglas Shire Council office in Mossman only**

The card also provides discounts to local attractions including two free adult tickets for the Mossman Gorge shuttle bus.

Use of the Douglas Card is restricted to fare categories Motor Car and Utilities (private use), Pedestrians and Bicycles and Motor Bikes.

To obtain a free Douglas Card, applicants need to provide photographic identification and additional proof of residency with their application to confirm local status at any one of the above local government areas. Application forms are available HERE.

Daintree Ferry Contract Renewal – July 2021

From July 2021, a new Daintree Ferry contract will commencing bringing with it a much wanted second ferry to operate during the peak tourism season. The new contract has been awarded to local company, Sirron Enterprises Pty Ltd which has been operating the ferry service since 2006.

The operators will build a new, hybrid solar-powered ferry with a 36-vehicle capacity which will operate in the main channel, with the current 27-vehicle ferry operating downstream in a second channel to alleviate traffic congestion during peak tourist season.

Other enhancements expected with the new contract include rolling out online ticketing, camera technology and a dedicated website.

In the coming weeks, Council will release a tender for the design of new roads, barge ramps, pylons and a second river channel before it submits plans to the State Government for approval.

In preparation for the new service in 2021, Council has allocated $250,000 from the Daintree River Ferry Reserve towards these infrastructure upgrades.

Daintree Ferry Contract Renewal Community Engagement Page

Daintree Ferry Concessional Travel

Council provides concessional travel on the Daintree River Ferry to all persons who fulfil the eligibility criteria, subject to the terms and conditions of the Daintree River Ferry Concessional Travel Policy being adhered to.

Concessional travel cards cost $17 for residents and ratepayers of the Douglas Shire or $40 for residents of Wujal Wujal and residents and ratepayers of the Cook Shire bounded by the Bloomfield River and the Black Mountain turn-off.

Application forms a concessional travel card are available from Council’s Mossman Administration Building, the Mossman Library or the Port Douglas library kiosk. A Visitor Tickets book of 55 is also available to concessional travel card holders for $17. You can also click HERE to download an application form.

Concessional travel cards are valid until April 30, 2021, and are available from Council’s Mossman Administration Building, 64-66 Front St, Mossman.

Statistics and Information

The monthly statistics for the Daintree Ferry date back to 2004 to provide local businesses with ferry usage compared to previous years. The latest statistics are detailed in Monthly vehicle traffic statistics for the Daintree Ferry – December 2019.

Fees for travel on the Daintree ferry are outlined in Daintree Ferry Fees 2019/20. 

The Daintree River Ferry is a cable ferry across the Daintree River and is the only cable ferry operating within tropical Australia. The ferry is situated some 50 kilometres north of Port Douglas, and gives access to the northern section of the Daintree National Park and to Cape Tribulation and north. The ferry provides the only sealed road access to this area.

The ferry carries a maximum of 27 vehicles, and takes about five minutes to cross. The ferry is operated by a commercial contractor on behalf of the Douglas Shire Council. A fee is charged for the crossing.

During the peak tourist season there are often delays crossing the ferry. Particularly between 10am and noon travelling north and between 3pm to 5pm travelling south. If you want to avoid the queues, plan to travel before 10am and spend the whole day exploring the rainforest and beaches, have dinner at one of the many restaurants and travel back in the evening. The ferry operates right up until midnight.