*COVID-19 NOTICE – Due to the Federal Government’s advice against non-essential travel, the Douglas Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) is restricting access at the Daintree Ferry to local residents and essential services only from 12 noon Thursday, March 26More information here.

The Daintree River Ferry is a cable ferry that crosses the famous Daintree River. It provides sealed-road access to the northern section of the Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation and allows people to travel onwards to Cape York via the Bloomfield Track. It is the only cable ferry operating within tropical Australia and is situated some 50 kilometres north of Port Douglas.

The ferry is is operated by a commercial contractor on behalf of the Douglas Shire Council. It carries a maximum of 27 vehicles and takes about five minutes to cross the river.

The Daintree Ferry operates continuously between 5am and midnight, daily.

Fees for travel on the Daintree ferry are outlined in Daintree Ferry Fees 2019-2020

Operating Hours

Operates continuously between 5am & midnight, daily
There is a priority lane for locals & this operates between 9am & 4:30pm during peak season.

Fees & Charges

Fees for travel on the Daintree ferry are outlined in Daintree Ferry Fees 2019-2020 above.
EFTPOS is available at all hours.

Travel Tip

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.

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.

For the latest announcements and updates, visit the 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 for a concessional travel card are available from Council’s Mossman Administration Building, the Mossman Library, the Port Douglas library kiosk or you can download a form, here. A Visitor Tickets book of 55 is also available to concessional travel card holders for $17.

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

Statistics 

Council has been collecting data on the usage of the Daintree Ferry since 2004. Below you’ll find graphs depicting total annual ticket sales of one-way and return traffic for the two most popular vehicle types using the ferry.

Council also records data for a variety of other vehicle types, concessional travel and multi-day tickets.

Additional Information

All aspects of operating the ferry are the responsibility of the contractor, including the ferry driver, traffic controllers to load and unload vehicles, and staffing of the ticket booths.

Ferry fees and charges are set by Douglas Shire Council each year and the revenue collected goes to Council.

Douglas Shire Council is responsible for maintaining the channel across the river to accommodate the ferry.

Dredging of the channel is done under a permit from Department of Environment and Science.