Cape Tribulation, Queensland

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Cape Tribulation
Cape Tribulation from the South Beach 1.jpg
Cape Tribulation
Cape Tribulation is located in Queensland
Cape Tribulation
Cape Tribulation
Coordinates16°02′05″S 145°25′09″E / 16.0347°S 145.4191°E / -16.0347; 145.4191Coordinates: 16°02′05″S 145°25′09″E / 16.0347°S 145.4191°E / -16.0347; 145.4191
Population118 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density0.939/km2 (2.433/sq mi)
Area125.6 km2 (48.5 sq mi)
LGA(s)Shire of Douglas
State electorate(s)Cook
Federal division(s)Leichhardt
Suburbs around Cape Tribulation:
Degarra Bloomfield Coral Sea
Bloomfield Cape Tribulation Coral Sea
Noah Thornton Beach Coral Sea

Cape Tribulation is a headland and coastal locality in the Shire of Douglas in northern Queensland, Australia.[2][3] In the 2016 census, Cape Tribulation had a population of 118 people.[1]


The locality is 110 km (68 mi) north of Cairns. It is within the Daintree National Park and the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. It is within the local government area of Shire of Douglas (between 2008 and 2013, it was within the Cairns Region).

The locality contains a small number of bed and breakfast eco lodges, tourism resorts and backpacker hostels. A few very rare plants can be found on Cape Tribulation.[4]


Kuku Yalanji (also known as Gugu Yalanji, Kuku Yalaja, and Kuku Yelandji) is an Australian Aboriginal language of the Mossman and Daintree areas of North Queensland. The language region includes areas within the local government area of Shire of Douglas and Shire of Cook, particularly the localities of Mossman, Daintree, Bloomfield River, China Camp, Maytown, Palmer, Cape Tribulation and Wujal Wujal.[5]

Yalanji (also known as Kuku Yalanji, Kuku Yalaja, Kuku Yelandji, and Gugu Yalanji) is an Australian Aboriginal language of Far North Queensland. The traditional language region is Mossman River in the south to the Annan River in the north, bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the east and extending inland to west of Mount Mulgrave. This includes the local government boundaries of the Shire of Douglas, the Shire of Cook and the Aboriginal Shire of Wujal Wujal and the towns and localities of Cooktown, Mossman, Daintree, Cape Tribulation and Wujal Wujal. It includes the head of the Palmer River, the Bloomfield River, China Camp, Maytown, and Palmerville.[6]

Cape Tribulation was named by British navigator Lieutenant James Cook on 10 June 1770 (log date) after his ship scraped a reef north east of the cape, whilst passing over it, at 6pm. Cook steered away from the coast into deeper water but at 10.30pm the ship ran aground, on what is now named Endeavour Reef. The ship stuck fast and was badly damaged, desperate measures being needed to prevent it foundering until it was refloated the next day. Cook recorded "...the north point [was named] Cape Tribulation because "here begun all our troubles".[7]

In the 1930s some European settlers started arriving in Cape Tribulation, but they found the rainforest environment an extremely challenging one within which to establish a settlement. Various ventures such as fruit and vegetable farming, fishing, cattle, and timber cutting were started and abandoned over the years, and having weekly barges as the only transport in and out was another limitation. In the 1960s a rough track was bulldozed and the first vehicle access created, although the road remained a four-wheel drive track until the early 1990s. In 2002, the road was finally sealed all the way to Cape Tribulation and in early 2011 the last bridge was built creating year round all weather access to Cape Tribulation for the first time.[8]


In 1983, Cape Tribulation became widely known because of the blockade on the Bloomfield Track. Local government had decided to bulldoze a road through the rainforest north of Cape Tribulation to complete the coastal road to Cooktown. Protesters tried to stop the bulldozers and occupied trees to prevent their destruction.[9] While wild scenes with a large police and media presence ensued at the southern end, the road was completed in three short weeks as the road builders approached from northern end and flanked the protestors.[10] By now the state and federal governments had started to realise the value of this ancient rainforest and despite protests from the local council the forests surrounding Cape Tribulation were given World Heritage Listing in 1988.[11]


Mount Sorrow, viewed from the main highway.

The average annual rainfall for Cape Tribulation is 3,900 mm.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Cape Tribulation (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Cape Tribulation". Gazetteer of Australia online. Geoscience Australia, Australian Government.
  3. ^ "Cape Tribulation – locality in Shire of Douglas (entry 48561)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  4. ^ "About Cape Tribulation". Department of Environment and Resource Management. 6 April 2011. Archived from the original on 15 September 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  5. ^ CC BY icon-80x15.png This Wikipedia article incorporates CC-BY-4.0 licensed text from: "Kuku Yalanji". Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages map. State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  6. ^ CC BY icon-80x15.png This Wikipedia article incorporates CC-BY-4.0 licensed text from: "Yalanji". Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages map. State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Cook's Journal: Daily Entries". Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Mayor Val Schier opened the Cooper Creek Causeway". Stonewood Retreat. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  9. ^ Lines, William J. (1991). Taming the Great South Land: A History of the Conquest of Nature in Australia. University of South California Press. p. 257. ISBN 0-520-07830-6.
  10. ^ Lines, Nielsen L. (1997). Daintree – Jewel of Tropical North Queensland. Lloyd Nielsen.
  11. ^ "Wet Tropics of Queensland". World Heritage Conservation. UNESCO. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  12. ^ Shilton, Peter (2005). Natural Areas of Queensland. Mount Gravatt, Queensland: Goldpress. p. 52. ISBN 0-9758275-0-2.

External links[edit]