The Daintree Rainforest is a precious resource and gem located in the Far North of Queensland. It is the oldest and largest contiguous tropical rainforest in the world.
It is estimated to be 140 million years old – and is a real treasure for the local Aboriginal people who have lived on the land for thousands of years, as well as a fantastic holiday opportunity for visitors.
You can hire a car in Port Douglas and head north for 86 km to the Daintree Rainforest and Daintree National Park. Inside the boundaries of the national park are the rainforest, the Daintree Village, Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation and a few mountains, and beaches.
It is one of the only places in the world where the rainforest meets the ocean. What makes it even more unique is that it is where two World Heritage-listed sites meet on the coast, the World Heritage-listed Wetlands World Heritage Site ends where the Great Barrier Reef National Park begins!
Things to do in the Daintree Rainforest
There is so much to do in the Daintree Rainforest and Daintree National Park. You can definitely make an entire vacation there in the tropical paradise of the rainforest. Though, if you only have a short time to spend here, it’s recommended to join a Daintree Forest full-day tour to make sure to catch the highlights.
Otherwise, here are some amazing Daintree Rainforest attractions that you should consider visiting!
1. Mossman Gorge
It’s here, on the steep valley side of the Mossman River which runs through the rainforest, that fun activities like swimming, hiking, bird watching, and picnicking will await you. Learn about the history of the gorge with a walking tour from the Kuku Yalanji Mossman Gorge people.
2. The Daintree Village
This “Village in the Rainforest” is where you will find overnight accommodations, restaurants, spas, riverboat tours, crocodile tours, shopping, and plenty of Aboriginal culture from the original landowners of these lands. If you’re looking for a rich cultural experience, this is a must-see item to add to your itinerary.
3. Cape Tribulation
Cape Tribulation is in the northern region of the Daintree National park and is at the coast, where the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. As mentioned previously, this is one of the most unique places in the world since it is the only spot where two different World Heritage-listed sites meet.
This means you can visit two of the world’s most precious locations at the same time. When you are planning your holiday in the Daintree Rainforest, you should absolutely set time aside to see the Great Barrier Reef, too!
4. Daintree River Cruise
There are many different estuaries and rivers throughout the Daintree Rainforest, along with river cruises that you can rent. A river cruise can be relaxing or exciting, depending on what you want to do. You can sit back, relax, and cruise through the rainforest, or get up close and personal with the crocodiles while you remain safe and sound in the boat.
Regardless of which type of Daintree River Cruise you choose to take, it will likely be informative. This is because the tour guides in the region are great at sharing their wealth of knowledge about the Daintree Rainforest, history, biodiversity, and immense culture of this region.
5. Nocturnal Tours in the Daintree Rainforest
While most people think of visiting the rainforest during the day, nocturnal tours are available. This is so that you can see the other side of the rainforest, which comes alive at night with different nocturnal creatures. Flashlights are provided along with knowledgeable tour guides to help you explore the Daintree Rainforest throughout the night.
6. Aboriginal Culture Tours
The traditional landowners of the Daintree Rainforest land are the Kuku Yalanji people. They offer tours so that they can proudly share their history and culture during guided tours of their homeland.
7. Fishing Charters
Fishing charters are available for hire in the Daintree Rainforest. Freshwater and saltwater fishing charters are both available. You can take a calm water riverboat fishing expedition or a trip to the Coral Sea in a deep-sea fishing adventure.
8. Bird Watching
Bird watching is a popular activity throughout Australia; but here in the rainforest, it is pretty much required. There are rare birds to be seen here, including the Cassowary bird. This is one of the few places where these close relatives to dinosaurs still exist in their natural habitat.
9. Hiking Trails
There are plenty of hiking trails and walking tracks available in the Daintree Rainforest. When you explore the rainforest on foot, you will have the unique opportunity to see the biodiversity in great detail.
10. Water Sports
In addition to fishing, there are plenty of other water sports available on the rivers, creeks, estuaries, and streams of the rainforest. Any water sports you can’t do in the rainforest can be done in the Coral Sea just on the other side of the Daintree. Try out canoeing, paddle boarding, snorkelling, SCUBA, and other types of boating.