Local Boat Ramp Information
Public boat ramps are available at Daintree Village and at the Daintree Ferry on the Daintree River, at Rocky Point (just south of Wonga Beach), Newell Beach and Cooya Beach, and on Dickson Inlet at Port Douglas.
Car access is good for all ramps and normal rules apply. All boat ramps are sign posted with crocodile warnings and also if box jelly fish are possibly present.
Never swim or wade at these locations and definitely do not clean fish or leave scraps at the ramps. The coastal boat ramps have signs indicating where the local reef and river green zones (no fishing) are located and if new to the area it does pay to pay attention to the information on offer.
Port Douglas and southern Newell Beach Ramps also offer a station where day trip log sheets can be posted. This is important information to supply if you end up requiring emergency assistance.
Below is a brief overview of each ramp and a few tips on each one.
Port Douglas: Probably the best boat ramp in the region with a 3 lane access to the water. It has quick access to the Dickson Inlet, Mowbray River, Muddy Creek, Sandfly Creek, Low Isles and the outer reef. It is suited from small craft up to 20ft vessels. There is ample car parking space adjacent to the ramp with a public toilet facility nearby, however Sunday's can be hard to find a space to park due to the Sunday Market activity. There is an alternative car park across the road to the entrance. The ramp is completely concreted and has a tap terminal, however you need to take your own hose & connections. The ramp has clear visibility in the water, but do be careful on a low tide as the ramp surface can be very, very slippery. It is conveniently located next to the local DPI & Coast Guard offices if you require any further information on the local fisheries. The bonus of this ramp is that it is right next to the legendary Combines Club, which is an ideal spot to sit on the verandah overlooking the inlet & mountains with a cold beer after a hard days work fishing !
Cooya Beach: Located at the northern end of the beachside community, it is a single lane concrete ramp suited to small craft only. It accesses the south Mossman River which runs into the Mossman River main. It can be a difficult launching place on a very low tide as it is a shallow section of the river. Visibility into the water is mostly fine, except after a big rain. It has a public toilet in the adjacent car park area and probably not the ideal place to leave valuables in the car as this area receives little traffic.
Newell Beach: This beachside community has two boat ramps. The southern ramp is a single lane concrete ramp on low tide & a two lane ramp on a high tide. It is suited for craft up to 16ft and accesses the Mossman River and is close to the mouth entrance which accesses Muddy Creek, Saltwater Creek inshore & outer reefs. Visibility is mostly good into the water except after a big rain. The river mouth is a shallow one and turning left immediately after the entrance and heading north for a couple of hundred metres gives you the deepest water, especially on a lower tide. The ramp has ample car parking space and has a tap, yet you need to take your own hose & connections.
The northern ramp is not a ramp as such but is a shallow section of the Saltwater Creek which allows small craft only to be launched. The surface is a mixture of rock and sand and not susceptible to bogging. Visibility into the water is mostly good except after big rain. Can be a tight fit to launch a vessel on a high tide as the mangroves are close by. Car & trailer space is limited to only a few and not a good spot to leave valuables in the car as this area receives little traffic. Normally used by those wanting direct access to Saltwater Creek, however the mouth entrance is close by for those wanting to explore the inshore reefs in a small vessel. The mouth entrance does vary with sands shifting, so do take care.
Rocky Point (South Wonga Beach): This is a very narrow single lane concrete ramp which has a big rock bar protecting it from south easterly winds. Being able to competently back a trailer backwards is necessary. It is suited for vessels up to 16ft and has quick access to the Daintree River mouth, Snapper Island and the outer reef. Visibility into the water is good except in a strong northerly wind. Extreme caution should be taken when leaving or entering near the rock bar particularly when it is windy. Northerly winds are very difficult to launch vessels from this point. The ramp has plenty of car parking space and has tap facilities with more times than not, a hose connected. There can be a waiting period when the ramp is busy because it is so long and narrow.
Daintree Ferry: Located near the Ferry Crossing of the Daintree River, this a single lane concrete ramp suited to vessels up to 16ft. Being a relatively narrow steep ramp, it can be a difficult one for first timers to negotiate as it runs on an angle. Just go slow and you should be fine. Can be a slippery ramp on low tide and do be careful as the concrete suddenly finishes and drops about a foot into the river sand. Visibility into the water is normally murky. This ramp is great access to the expansive Daintree River, the river mouth and Snapper Island. Be very careful travelling this river as there are many shallow sand banks. Car parking is ample however you can expect some waiting period to launch or retrieve when the ramp is busy.
Daintree Village: This is a single lane concrete ramp and suited only to small craft to 14ft. It accesses the upper reaches of the Daintree River and ideal for those wanting to explore freshwater/ brackish fishing options. Visibility is mostly good into the water except after rain periods. There is plenty of car parking space and it is quite a picturesque location to launch a boat. Toilet facilities are close by and this is a stress free ramp and not used by many.
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