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“A slice of paradise”

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Cockatoo Hill Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Diwan
Reviewed 7 February 2008

I will begin my review by saying that I completely agree with all the glowing reviews that have been submitted for Cockatoo Hill Retreat. It truly is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for a romantic, relaxing stay in the canopy of the oldest rainforest in the world.

My boyfriend and I stayed here as the final stop on our month touring round australia which we undertook before returning to the UK having been working in Sydney for the last two years. We therefore wanted to treat ourselves to an end to remember and Cockatoo Hill exceeded all our expectations.

The bamboo huts (of which there are only 4) sit on top of the rainforest so to speak and have been perfectly designed - the bed with the under floor lighting at night is so romantic - and the view out to sea when the sun is setting is a wonderful way to end the day.

We were overwhelmed by the rainforest itself and Carmen suggested great tours and visits for making the most there is to see in the area.

Even just lying by the pool sipping a cold beer and catching some rays was special.

We ate each evening with Carmen and Gilles who were such delightful company - our compliments also to Gilles who cooked such delicious meals.

Our memories are still so vivid (as i write this it has been 2 months and its a grey wintery day here in the UK) - i dont think we could have asked for a better ending to our two years in Australia. I even shed a few tears as we drove away!

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank dollyblanket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 - 129 of 137 reviews

Reviewed 3 January 2008

it's difficult not to be impressed by everything on your first trip the Daintree, but the Cockatoo Hill really is something special.

Out thatched tree house was tastefully and comfortably furnished, (no aircon, just a fan and mosquito nets) with huge windows and a furnished terrace with a wonderful view over the rainforest towards Thornton's peak and the Coral Sea, the perfect place to watch the sunrise, or just take in the sights and sounds of the amazing rainforest.

The owners Carmen and Gilles were absolutely delightful. Gilles with his hysterical anecdotes and eccentric jokes, and Carmen with her endless knowledge of the rainforest, its flora and fauna and excellent recommendations for day trips, evenings out or just short forays into the wilderness.

The retreat is a real magnet for wildlife with stunning butterflies, tropical birds and the cutest tree frogs ever. And Carmen knows exactly what each one of them is!

The location is great - although the approach to the retreat is a little steep and on an unmade track so could be difficult in the wet season.

One of the highlights had to be floating on our backs in the candlelit rainwater pool after a legendary meal with fellow guests and gazing at the millions of stars that you just don't get to see when you are anywhere blighted by big city light pollution.

A wonderful place to stay.

  • Stayed: January 2006, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Conchwillow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2007

Girlfriend and I stayed at Cockatoo Hill's other property "Riverside Retreat" which is a single storey house not far from the Cockatoo Hill retreat itself and owned and operated by the same people - Carmen and Gilles.
Firstly let me begin by saying that after reading a previous review about the property we were a little apprehensive. I can tell you for sure after just arriving back in Sydney that we have enjoyed the most relaxing time we have ever had. We stayed for 6 days and had a ball.
Things we just loved.
1) Privacy and isolation from the rest of the world - the property is on a huge block decorated with tropical plants and singing birds in the trees, there is a creek running down the side with about 25 turtles and swimming fish. You can swim with the animals for sure - I did and there are no dangers at all.
2) The house itself is full of character and charm. There is everything you need for a stay in the rainforest. Fully stocked kitchen, beautiful bathroom - good pressure on the taps, lovely varandah with a hammick which we spent countless hours in, we sometimes fought over who's turn it was to have the hammick - quite funny. Lovely bedroom, great comfortable bed, there is a telephone in the house as well which is handy - don't know what else to say about the house except it is just right.
As per previous review we certainly did not see any snakes on the verandah or spiders for that matter. I'm sure they are out there but not in the house! It's all birds, turtles and butterflies - the odd fly buzzes around too.
3) The owners Gilles and Carmen are the most wonderful hosts and you would not find more lovely people anywhere, they are always around for tips, tour guidance and advice if you need it.
4) Cecko(I think that's how you spell it). The bird that arrives on the verandah for it's feed. You get some food from the owners and you feed the bird when it arrives - you know it's around it makes an interesting call. Also waking up at 5.30am and listening to the most amazing chanting of birds I have ever heard - that's a good thing!!
Other tips for you for the Daintree Area we think might help.
Visit Bungy and Bec, they do helicopter rides around the area. Our 30 minute chopper ride was the highlight of the trip - Bungy the pilot did some tricks in the chopper and it was just amazing!!
Visit the outer reef for snorkelling and diving, I wouldn't bother with Fitzroy Island which we stopped at first, just get a day trip to the outer reef on the Reef Magic.
Go to dinner at the Whet Cafe - on par with any good Sydney Restaurant.
Checkout the Daintree IceCream place - natural fruits frozen into iceceam - just great.
We toured the Cockatoo Hill retreat and although we didn't stay at the place we certainly would recommend based on what we saw - it was beautiful!!
Hope this helps.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Perfect_Holidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2007

We choose Cockatoo Hill for the rainforest leg of our honeymoon and stayed in one of the Tree Houses. We were very impressed with the beautiful netted bed, polished wooden floors, swimming pool and balcony within the rain forest, but it was the personal touch from Gilles and Carmen that made our three night stay so special. We had wonderful meals around the snake shaped table were Gilles made sure our wine glasses never emptied. One night all the guests (three couples) decided to eat out at a local restraunt recommended by Carmen upon our return in the dark, they had lit little lanterns along the pathways to each of our tree houses. Carmen took time out each breakfast to explain the locally sourced food and make sure we were booked on any exursions we fancied (crocodile spotting / horse riding etc). Leaving was difficult and we hugged and kissed our hosts before they waved us off on our travels.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NigelKaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2007

To start, the secenery is beautiful. Absolutley breath taking. The oldest rainforest in the worl is what surrounded this amazing hotel and aview of the coral sea was to be seen from our room. There was NOTHING to complain about. We went out for lunch everday. The whet cafe is a VERY VERY good restraunt however do not go to the dragonfly cafe. It is dirty, fatty and I did not have a very pleasent lunch there. I ordered a sandwich and when I opened it up I found a dead fly. Don't go there. However i would reccomend Jungle surfing. Cockatoo Hill is a great place with perfection written all over it.

Stayed: August 2007
1  Thank Travelerr101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2007

Cockatoo Hill Retreat is not only a beautiful boutique resort, it is a very unique destination. Once you cross the Daintree River by ferry you are immersed in the oldest rainforest in the world. The paved road to the retreat cuts a swath through dense ferns, vines and trees.

The treehouses are positioned in a clearing, surrounded by a tropical garden, and perched on the edge of a hill overlooking the canopy of the rainforest. Waking up each morning and seeing the forest and coral sea from your floor to ceiling windows is breathtaking. The only sounds you hear is birdsong.

The treehouses are well furnished with a beautiful bed draped in netting, bamboo chairs, table and mini bar. The sliding doors open to a private balcony. The thatched roof cabins are well positioned to allow the sunshine in which is particularly important as the rainforest can be very dark. I noticed other resorts in the area were dark and gloomy as they were surrounded by trees on all sides.

A lovely breakfast is served in the main building and dinner around a hand carved mahogany snake shaped bar. All the buildings, pool and gardens were designed and built by the owners who have paid particular attention to the details. The result is a luxurious retreat in a remote part of the world where you are well taken care of by the charming owners.

We enjoyed many of the activities in the area. Jungle surfing, a guided walk through the rainforest, a cruise down the river to spot crocs, exotic fruit tasting, exploring the beaches and a day trip to Cooktown. We were even lucky enough to spot a cassowary twice, the forest dragon, the neon coloured tree frogs and the electric blue butterfly.

A truly unique and memorable holiday. Made even more special by the warm owners who make every effort to ensure you enjoy your time in their slice of paradise.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
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2  Thank gingerCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2007

We stayed four nights in one of the treehouses and absolutely loved it. Two sides of the room were almost completely glass, with sliding doors and windows that opened completely to the elements. Surprisingly, insects were not a problem, and the temperature in the room was perfectly comfortable the entire time (there was also a fan in the room for warmer days). The location is stunning and the views are incredible. Gilles and Carmen were terrific hosts. We enjoyed a very good three-course dinner with them one evening with delicious wine, which cost extra but we thought was worth it (scallops served with their roe, and Tasmanian salmon). They were very helpful in recommending local activities and booking them for us, as well as suggesting restaurants in the area. The small pool was refreshing, and we saw lots of birds and butterflies around the property. Breakfasts were delicious. We highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lisak12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cockatoo Hill Retreat

Address: 2060 Cape Tribulation Rd | Daintree Coast, Diwan, Cape Tribulation, Queensland 4873, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Daintree Region > Cape Tribulation > Diwan
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Diwan
Price Range: £163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Cockatoo Hill Retreat 2*
Number of rooms: 4
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cockatoo Hill Retreat Daintree Region/Cape Tribulation
Cockatoo Hill Retreat Hotel Daintree

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