The Daintree Rainforest is one of the best Australian tropical places to visit for a holiday.
The Daintree Rainforest is over 180 million years old, making it the oldest rainforest in the world! The rainforest has wildlife, scenic viewpoints, untouched beaches, and so much more. You will want to spend at least a couple of days exploring the rainforest and visiting the best parts of the area.
How to get there
A great way to get to the Daintree Rainforest is by driving. You can drive your car or hire a car. It will take around two hours from Cairns to reach the Daintree.
You can also book a sightseeing tour that visits the Daintree Rainforest. These tours are a great option if you’re short on time but still want a chance to experience the ancient rainforest.
One of the top attractions to see in the rainforest is the Daintree River. The river weaves itself through the rainforest and you can discover more by taking a river cruise. Going on the cruise is a great opportunity to spot out all types of wildlife, one being the saltwater crocodile.
The Daintree Rainforest has boardwalks where you can learn more about the plants and spot some wildlife. You will want to explore the Daintree as it is the oldest rainforest in the world.
Marrdja Boardwalk takes you through the different eras of plants in the last 400 million years. The boardwalk is just over a kilometre long and there are information signs along the way, so you know what era you’re walking through.
The Jindalba Boardwalk is about 45 minutes long as you walk along the rainforest floor in Mount Alexandra. You’ll walk above the rainforest creeks and by the tall trees where there may be tropical birds sitting in them.
The Daintree Rainforest has a variety of species to spot during your rainforest getaway. There are colourful tropical birds, lizards, snakes, and many other wildlife to discover.
Be alert when exploring the rainforest as some of these animals are deadly and it’s best to avoid them when possible. But don’t let that stop you from a once in a lifetime opportunity to discover the ancient rainforest!
The southern cassowary is a very large ancient bird that resides in the Daintree Rainforest. It’s believed these big birds have been evolving for around 60 million years and share some characteristics with dinosaurs!
If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these, it’s best to keep away from them as they can be deadly. The cassowaries have very sharp talons (claws) that can cause injuries.
Saltwater crocodiles are another animal that calls the Daintree home. The saltwater crocodiles are mostly in the Daintree River, with about 70 adult crocs living there. Go on the Daintree River cruise and spot the crocs in the water or by the riverbanks.
Musky rat kangaroo
The musky rat kangaroo is the smallest kangaroo and can be found in the lower areas of the rainforest floor. These creatures do very much look like a larger rat but have features of a kangaroo.
Eastern water dragon
Australia’s largest dragon lizard is spotted through the Daintree Rainforest. The eastern water dragon can be on the trees, running along the rainforest floor or in the water.
Mossman Gorge is the best place to start when exploring the Daintree Rainforest. You will have the chance to learn about Kuku Yalanji people who have lived here for over 50,000 years. Within Mossman Gorge, there is the rainforest, streams, and stunning waterfalls.
There are guided walks where you learn about the plants, flora, and herbs that the Kuku Yalanji people used for medicines, food, and more. There are also selected self guided walks through the area that you can take during your own time.
Daintree Discovery Centre
The Daintree Discovery Centre is a great introduction to the Daintree Rainforest. The discovery centre allows you to explore parts of the untouched rainforest. There is a lot to see from the Jurassic forest, walkways, different circuits or trails, and the 23 metre tall canopy tower.
Cape Tribulation is a very special site due to it being the only place in the world where two UNESCO Heritage Sites meet. Cape Tribulation is where the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef connect. Around the area, there are pristine beaches, walking trails, and breathtaking views.
Lookout points allow you to stop for a moment and take in some of the most breathtaking views. The lookout points in the area overlook the rugged mountains as they stretch out to the gorgeous blue waters of the coral sea.
Rex Lookout overlooks Trinity Bay where you see the green forest alongside the coral sea. You can reach this lookout as you’re on the way towards the Daintree Rainforest from Cairns.
Mount Alexandra Lookout
Nearby the Daintree River is Mount Alexandra Lookout, a viewpoint with a breathtaking view. At the lookout, you will overlook the Daintree River mouth and the lush rainforest as it reaches out to the Great Barrier Reef.
The eateries are often around the main towns or at attractions. There are plenty of options to choose from in Cape Tribulation, Cow Bay, Diwan, and Mossman.
Daintree Teahouse Restaurant
Enjoy a meal right by the Daintree River in the middle of the rainforest. The Daintree Teahouse Restaurant has a selection of all kinds of foods to try like kangaroo, barramundi, pasta, and even some fruit.
Lync-Haven offers delicious lunches and dinners and a cold drink. You can stop by the cafe near the Daintree River in Diwan. You can expect to find all kinds of food from stir fry, chicken schnitzel, spaghetti bolognese, and much more.
On The Turps
On The Turps is between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation. The restaurant is in the middle of the rainforest with lush trees all around. The restaurant offers a lunch and a dinner menu (along with some dessert of course). The menus include a selection of soups, fish, lamb, kangaroo, and so much more.
Daintree Ice Cream Company
The Daintree Ice Cream Company offers ice cream, gelatos, and handmade sorbets. A selection of exotic fruits is made into delicious cold desserts like durian, black sapote, and jackfruit. Don’t worry though, there are classic flavours like chocolate, vanilla, and mango.
The Daintree Ice Cream Company is in Diwan and is near the Daintree River.
Wanting to spend a few days in the ancient rainforest? Luckily there are plenty of accommodation options to pick from so you can spend as long as you need exploring.
PK’s Jungle Village
PK’s Jingle Village is in Cape Tribulation and is a budget resort. PK’s has shared dorms, cabins, and a campground. Onsite there is also a swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant for guests to use.
There’s no better way to spend a few days than being in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest by the Daintree River. The Daintree Ecolodge has tree house style cabins with no TV or Wi-Fi, so you really feel connected to the rainforest.
Have your own holiday home and stay at Daintree Seascapes in Cow Bay. The home has views of the rainforest, mountains, and even the ocean and the beach is only a short walk away! The home has three bedrooms and in total can sleep up to seven guests and it’s fully equipped.