Local News

Daintree Ferry Traffic Modelling Report Released


A traffic modelling report, that assessed four different options for the Daintree River crossing and the ability to reduce wait times for the next 17 years, is now publicly available.

Douglas Shire Council CEO Mark Stoermer today presented the results from the Daintree Ferry traffic report, which analysed congestion and used microsimulation to assess future traffic conditions, at a public meeting in Cow Bay.

Council commissioned and funded the report that investigated the efficiency of four future options: do nothing, two ferries, a larger ferry and a bridge.

The full report is available on Council’s website and will accompany tender documents when they are released to the market.

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the new report provided clarity about queues at the Daintree Ferry and analysed the effectiveness of possible solutions.

“We now have very reliable data and traffic modelling predictions that we can refer to when making decisions about the Daintree Ferry,” she said.

“At this stage, we know there needs to be changes at the Daintree River crossing and a second ferry is putting a strong case forward, but the ultimate decision will be a complex
balancing act between what the market can offer, what our community wants and our requirements as a Council.

“We are all enthusiastically heading into this tender period with an open mind and look forward to seeing some detailed, innovative solutions that industry experts can propose.”

The tender documentation is designed to get the market to respond to key issues such as wait times, maintaining local employment and improving the tourism appeal.

Council will assess tenders alongside the key factors below:
- Service efficiency (Queuing, wait times)
- Financial (Revenue, expenses, capital investment)
- Environment
- Experience (Tourism experience)
- Availability (Downtime, disaster recovery)
- Safety (Traffic and loading, crocodiles. exiting vehicles)

A 57-page Daintree Ferry Community Engagement report has been downloaded more than 210 times since it was published on Council’s website in February this year.

The report was compiled after consultation activities that attracted 117 responses from an online survey, 10 submissions via email and 40 residents attended the forums.

Visitor attitudes were also gleaned from 370 TripAdvisor reviews over the past three years as well as from anecdotal evidence provided by residents and those who work in the tourism industry.

“Council staff have wrapped up a thorough community engagement process, we have delivered the traffic modelling report and now is the time for the market and industry ex-
perts to have their say on the future of the river crossing,” Mayor Leu said.

Council expects tender documentation to be finalised and released to the market shortly

To view the full traffic report, visit


Scenario #1 - Do nothing:
- Base case
- Enhancements (eg ticketing, loading)
Peak season queues by 2036:
• Northbound (AM) – 938 metres
• Southbound (PM) – 706 metres

Scenario #2 - Bridge:
- Two way bridge, 4 metre-wide lanes
- Estimated cost: $45 million
- Depreciated over 100 years
Peak season queues by 2036:
• No queues

Scenario #3 – Larger Ferry:
- 50 vehicles, 78.6 metres in length
- Double loading times
- Slight increase in crossing times
Peak season queues by 2036:
• Northbound (AM) – 380 metres
• Southbound (PM) – 300 metres
Scenario #4 – Second Ferry:
- 27 capacity each
- Simultaneous movement
Peak season queues by 2036:
• Northbound (AM) – 562 metres
• Southbound (PM) – 297 metres