The Daintree Rainforest has been listed as the oldest tropical rainforest in the world, but how old is it?

The Daintree Rainforest is an emerald canopy filled with waterfalls, tall trees, and a diverse array of wildlife. Spanning 1200 square kilometres across the northern parts of Queensland, the Daintree has been around for more than 180 million years!

Remarkably, the Daintree is much older than the famous Amazon Rainforest and it also outlived dinosaurs! There was a range of dinosaurs that once lived here, including the ripper lizard, giant thunderbird, and the diprotodon.

All different exotic plants date back to the Jurassic period too, showing just how old the rainforest is.

Getting to the Daintree

The Daintree is about a two hour drive north of Cairns where you can enjoy coastal views and mountains along the way. The best way to get to the Daintree is by hiring a car or joining a tour. There are plenty of car hire options in Cairns and tours that offer pick up from there.

Things to do in the Daintree

With the Daintree being the largest continuous rainforest in the country, there are plenty of activities and sights to explore!

  • Cape Tribulation

A unique feature of Cape Tribulation is it’s the only place in the world where two World Heritage sites meet. Here is where you’ll see the Daintree meet with the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Daintree River

The Daintree River winds through the rainforest, making it a popular attraction. The best way to experience it is by joining a cruise lasting from one to one and a half hours. Knowledgeable guides provide insights about the river, the local area, and its wildlife.

  • Wildlife To See

The Daintree is home to a vast array of wildlife, including many rare and endangered species. Visitors can spot the stunning Ulysses butterfly, crocodiles, the large white lipped tree frog, and the elusive southern cassowary.

  • Swimming Spots

There are several beautiful waterfalls and rock pools throughout the Daintree where visitors can swim and admire the scenery. Some of the best swimming spots include Emmagen Creek and Cassowary Falls.

Around 400,000 people visit the Daintree Rainforest every year to experience this spectacular part of Australia. To fully appreciate its main attractions, visitors should aim to spend around two days exploring the area. However, if you’re short on time, there is this tour that is great for all travellers to get an excellent overview of the Daintree highlights.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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