At an estimated 180 million years old, the Daintree is the oldest rainforest in the world, and it should not be missed by anyone living in or travelling to Australia. Located in Far North Queensland, this is the only place on earth where two world-heritage sites meet: the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef. If that’s not a good enough reason to add it to your bucket list, there are plenty of other reasons why this vast area of stunning natural beauty is well worth a visit.
There are 18 rainforest aboriginal tribal groups in the area, and the rainforest has a lot of history and spiritual and cultural significance. This makes it a great place to get in touch with Australia’s history. The traditional owners of the land are the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people, who understand the rich array of flora and fauna in the Daintree, and have used this knowledge to find food to survive. The rainforest is home to a wide range of exotic plants that you won’t find elsewhere. Not only that, but you may spot some exotic wildlife on your travels. Mammals living in the Daintree include the platypus, the echidna, marsupials, possums, bats and more. The rainforest also hosts over 430 species of birds, including the endangered cassowary. Reptiles in the area include crocodiles and snakes, and there is also a diverse range of rainforest insects living here.
The Daintree rainforest begins at Mossman Gorge, about an hour north of Cairns. This area has a rich, cultural heritage story and is also a beautiful place to explore and relax, with walking tracks, exotic flora and fauna, and the gorge itself: a natural waterhole where you can swim surrounded by stunning rainforest scenery.
The rainforest then continues towards the Daintree village: the area’s original settlement, and home to a small community, on the banks of the Daintree River. In the village, you will find accommodation, restaurants, and shops featuring locally made souvenirs. It’s a great base to enjoy river cruises where you can spot crocodiles, as well as exploring the local waterfalls, scenic motorbike rides, and walking tracks.
If you continue through the rainforest, you’ll arrive at Cape Tribulation: where the rainforest meets the reef. This region is renowned for its scenic landscape and stunning remote beaches. The area was named by Captain Cook because this was where his troubles started. Here you can enjoy fantastic views of the mountains, rainforest, and the reef, relax on the beautiful beaches, go kayaking, or take a scenic walk or motorcycle ride.
These are just a few of the best sites worth seeing in the Daintree. If you want to wind your way through the lush rainforest on a motorbike, then book any one of our tours – each offering various amounts of time in the Daintree combined with other attractions.