A small community in a rainforest environment
Early settlers grew crops in the area in the 1880's – the Chinese crew dry rice, and maize and sugar-cane were grown. At various times bananas, pineapples and other fruits were tried but were unsuccessful
A true 'deserted beach' experience
At low tide you can walk north round the headland to even more isolated beaches.
After crossing the Alexandra Range visitors encounter the first bit of ‘civilization’ north of the Daintree River at Cow Bay, located halfway between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation and offering great beach and rainforest experiences.
The turn off to Cow Bay Beach is at Buchanan Creek Road. On the way you can observe the hills of the Alexandra Range (on the right) with its dark rainforest vegetation. Watch for birds, butterflies and cassowaries in this area.
The three secluded bays of Cow Bay Beach are perfect for relaxing, swimming and snorkeling on the inshore reefs and also fishing and beach walking. There are always shady spots on these beaches.
Cow Bay is not a township but a place name derived from the farming of cattle in the area in the early days. The other idea is that Cow Bay is named after the dugongs (sea cows) which come to feed on the seagrass beds in the bay. Cow Bay had a colorful past of farming, logging and grazing. Today tourism is the main industry and sustainability is the main aim of the local community.
Local businesses in the Cow Bay and Diwan region offer various types of accommodation - resort style, backpacker, holiday houses, apartments, B&Bs and camping. There is the Daintree Discovery Centre, home-made ice-creams, restaurants, cafés, art and craft, rainforest tours, tea growing, horse riding, guided walks and the RACQ depot.
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