Bowl of exotic tropical fruit - Exotic Tropical Fruit - Cape Tribulation Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm at Cape Tribulation
Bed and Breakfast accommodation on the edge of the Daintree Rainforest  at Cape Tribulationand white-lipped tree frog
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About Alison and Digby Gotts - Cape Tribulation


We are committed to ecotourism:

'Ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation'.

Our Bed and Breakfast and the Exotic Fruit Tasting are both ECO Certified products. To achieve eco certification, we have been required to go through an accreditation process and our products are audited by an independent organisation, Ecotourism Australia.

You can recognise ECO Certified products because they display the Ecotourism and Green Tick logo. This accreditation process is designed to identify genuine ecotourism operators in Australia, and provides travellers with an assurance that a certified product has a commitment to best practice ecological sustainability and the provision of a quality ecotourism experience.

Listed below are some of the ways that we have demonstrated our commitment to ecological sustainability.

Energy Efficiency

There is no mains/grid power at Cape Tribulation. We are committed to being as energy efficient as possible. Our power is solar panels and batteries with a generator back up. We implement as many energy saving strategies as possible and ask our guests to help us do this. Each cottage has

• a design which enables excellent cross flow ventilation, through louvre windows and high gable venting, so that air conditioning is not needed,

• a minimum thermal mass construction with lightweight timber,

• a low energy fridge,

• low energy lights,

• instant gas hot water

• a gas burner to boil water.

There is no air conditioning and no electrical appliances which generate heat can be used, such as an electric jug. All the sheets and towells from the cottages are washed in a commercial laundry for greater efficiencies.

We do live quite happily with no dish washer and no air conditioner, and guests are pleasantly surprised at how effective the rainforest is, in providing natural air conditioning.

We have developed an information sheet for guests who wish to travel by public transport to Cape Tribulation. We have also produced an information sheet ‘Cape Trib on Foot’ which describes all the options for exploring the Cape Tribulation area, without a car. We also have two mountain bicycles available for guest use at no charge.


We try to reduce, re-use and recycle wherever possible. There is no garbage disposal service. Once a month, recyclables are transported to the recycling depot. Some of our strategies:

• composting of fruit and household scraps which are then fed to the chickens which produce the eggs for the B&B breakfasts.

• glass, plastic and metal are separated and recycled.

• cardboard is used around the fruit trees as mulch

• use of recycled paper where possible

• limited use of brochures with a main emphasis on publicity via the website

Water conservation

There is no town water supply at Cape Tribulation. All our water is pumped from an underground stream about 30 metres below the surface. This uses diesel fuel to pump the water so we try to limit the water usage. Some of our strategies:

• sheets and towels are laundered by a commercial laundry, not done on site

• guests towels are only changed every second day, if required

• dual flush toilets

• encourage people to stay for longer through our pricing structure - less washing of sheets and towels.

• Greeting guests on arrival and explaining the water and energy conservation requirements of living here, and asking for their support in conserving resources. We provide this information on the website to encourage people to stay who are committed to conservation practices, and try and put off those who have resort expectations.

Social Practices - Inclusion into the World Heritage Area

When we first came to Cape Tribulation in 1988, the boundaries for the new Wet Tropics World Heritage Area were being determined. The decision had been made not to include private property within the boundaries, as this was too difficult politically. We wrote to the Wet Tropics Management Authority and asked that they include our property within the World Heritage area. They agreed, and the boundary was adjusted so that all our rainforest now lies within the protected area. Less than 1% of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is made up of private property.

We have now entered into a Co-operative Management Agreement with the Wet Tropics Management Authority to manage our land, to ensure its protection. This has been an important decision for us, and it means that whatever happens after we die, the land will be protected. Approximately half of our property (4 ha) is in the World Heritage Area. We have built our B&B cottages right on the edge of the world heritage area, overlooking the creek, and provided self guided walking trails through the forest so that our guests can enjoy the forest.

Social Practices - Organic farming using a permaculture philosophy

We have chosen to set up an organic farm and apply the philosophy of permaculture to Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm. We needed to develop a system which copied the rainforest and provided a supply of nutrients to the orchard trees in rotting material and vegetative matter. To this end large numbers of legume trees and legume ground covers were planted through the orchard to provide a nitrogen supply for the plants.

We are currently undergoing organic certification for our orchard, and do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides on the farm, as these are water soluble and can be washed out on to the Great Barrier Reef.

We provide farm produce from our farm for breakfast for the guests. This includes a tropical fruit platter, free range eggs, and herbs and greens from the vegetable garden.

Social Practices - Supporting local ecotourism and local community

Ecotourism is the lifeblood of the Daintree Coast, and we encourage visitors to stay for a few days in the area, rather than visit just for a day, through our B&B pricing structure. We encourage our guests to visit local attractions and do local tours with local guides, so they contribute to the well-being of the local community.

Other ECO Certified tours and attractions on the Daintree Coast include:

Eco Certified — Advanced Ecotourism

  • Cooper Creek Wilderness
  • Daintree Discovery Centre
  • Daintree Rainforest River Trains

Eco Certified — Ecotourism

  • Paddletrek Sea Kayaking
  • Exotic Fruit Tasting

If you stay with us a few days, and share our lifestyle, you will develop an appreciation of living in an area of high environmental value, and how you can reduce your own impact on that environment.






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Last updated November 6, 2014