From the dramatic jungle-clad gorges, wild rivers, and tumbling waterfalls of Daintree National Park to the deserted coast of Cape Tribulation along the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest is Australia’s largest stretch of rain forest, covering 460 square miles (1,200 square kilometers). A protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and a hiker’s paradise, the rainforest is renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity.
The Daintree National Park is an adventure playground for nature lovers. Book a guided tour to get the most out of the rain forest. Most tours set out from Cairns or Port Douglas and take in highlights such as the Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation, or Marrdja Boardwalk. Adventurers can also discover the region’s rich Aboriginal culture, zipline through the rain forest canopy, take a 4WD safari, spot crocodiles on a Daintree River cruise, go horseback riding, or hike through the ancient rainforest.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Temperatures can reach upwards of 86°F (30°C) in summer, so pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, as well as insect repellent and comfortable shoes.
- Facilities at the Daintree Rainforest Discovery Centre include restrooms, a shop and cafe, audio guides, and free WiFi.
- The Daintree Rainforest Discovery Centre offers wheelchair-accessible boardwalks, aerial walkways, and lookout towers, but not all park activities are accessible to those with limited mobility.
How to Get There
Daintree Rainforest National Park is located in North Queensland, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Cairns and 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Port Douglas. The best way to visit is by car or as part of an organized tour by 4WD or coach. The park is split into two main sections—south of the Daintree River, entered via the Mossman Gorge, and north of the river (crossed by cable ferry), where the main entry point is at the Daintree Rainforest Discovery Centre.
When to Get There
The most popular time to visit the Daintree Rainforest is during the dry season (April to October), when the weather is cool and less humid—it’s best to make an early start during this time. To bypass the crowds, visiting in wet season (November to March) is a possibility, although flash floods and landslides do occur, and box jellyfish can appear along the coast.
Wildlife Spotting in the Daintree Rainforest
As one of the oldest stretches of tropical rain forest in the world, the Daintree Rainforest harbors some 430 bird species, more than a third of Australia’s mammals, and an impressive number of rare and endemic species. Top sightings include the endangered cassowary, Macleay's honeyeater, Boyd's forest dragon, white-lipped tree frog, paradise kingfisher, Bennett’s tree-kangaroo, and spectacled flying fox, while you might also spot echidna, platypus, and saltwater crocodiles.