Daintree Rainforest: Must-Know Information and Guide (Updated 2021)
Located in a place down under, you can find a beautiful forest in apristine condition called Daintree Rainforest, reputedly known as a place where ‘the rainforest meets the reef.” It was named after Richard Daintree, an Australian geologist and photographer.
The rainforest can be traced as early as 180 million years ago, making it the oldest surviving tropical rainforest in the world. It is a part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland Rainforest that expands adjacent to the Cairns region.
The said rainforest consists of national parks and privately owned lands, which is being used to maintain and conserve the area to protect it from being converted to any commercial infrastructures. It occupies a big chunk of Australia, about 0.2% of its landmass.
It’s diverse biodiversity can be proven with the rainforest being a home 90% of Australia’s bats and butterfly species. Another commonly known living creature in the Daintree Rainforest are the marsupials. 7% of the country’s bird species and over 12,000 insects reside in the jungle as well.
Constructed in 1988-1989, it was previously named as The Daintree Rainforest Environment Centre. Privately funded, it became a hit, attracting thousands of people not just within the country, but around the globe as well. It is greatly acknowledged as a highly viable tourist attraction.
The traditional owners of the area were the eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people. It provided them with wealthy choices of plants and animals for reliable sources of energy. A large number of population can be found on the lowlands as it can be a productive area to help sustaining lives. What helped them find the food based on the surroundings is that they understood how the weather would run.
Making their mark on the area are gold miners, explorers, timber – cutters, and farmers. During the year 1873 George Elphinstone Daltymple led the very first exploration into the Daintree River valley. Internationally recognized with the name of Daintree National Park, it was listed as a Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in 1988.
By 1989, Senator Graham Richardson opened the rainforest to the public.
Daintree Rainforest Transportation and Activities
With its mysterious characteristics, many people are curious and have been wanting to visit the area and see the beauty of the forest with their own eyes.
To pay the Daintree Rainforest a visit, from the city of Cairns, Australia, there is a two-hour drive to the north or if you are opting to use the ferry, it is an hour’s travel from Port Douglas. If you are planning to stay for a long period of time, there are nearby towns and villages, such as the Mossman or Cap Tribulation, that offer accommodations for tourists. If not, day tours are also available by 4WD or a coach depart from Cairns and Port Douglas that are available all year round.
Once you have arrived at the Daintree Rainforest, you can start your adventure by stopping by the Discovery Centre, where you’ll be able learn in-depth information about the rainforest. If you are interested in the aquatic area, you can hop on a cruise to experience and see the saltwater crocodiles residing in the area.
They provide tours lasting for a couple hours to days depending to your liking. You have the option to explore the place by strolling on their boardwalk under the rainforest canopy which will also provide shade from the sun. Upgrade your experience by exploring the award-winning ancient landscape Dreamtime Walk through Mossman Gorge.
One of the greatest experience you’ll ever get in visiting the Daintree Forest is to see and try the daily life of the Aboriginal Kuku Yalanji people who inhabit the Daintree region.
You get to learn how they treat the sick in the past using medicines that can be found in nature. If you want to get that luxury experience, stay in their tree house placed high above the rainforest at Silky Oaks Lodge and get a beautiful overlooking view of the Mossman River.
A number of activities are also provided from helicopter tours to their hot air ballooning. To get a souvenir to remember your stay at the beautiful Daintree Rainforest, they have a village where you can find local arts and crafts such as handmade pottery, textiles, produce, and fashionable tropical clothing.
To see the meeting of two World Heritage Sites, you can head to the village of Cape Tribulation to witness the great sight of the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.
Having the chance to visit the rainforest would also give you an experience to see the stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and refreshing rainforest walks.
The Daintree Rainforest sure is a must to visit but even though it’s a popular tourist attraction, we can never deny the fact that it is a natural rainforest and anything natural is unpredictable.
Exploring through the first can be dangerous activity if you don’t come physically prepared and with the right resources with you. With hundreds of plant species that are yet to be examined and discovered, it is highly advisable to be careful when planning to touch these mysterious plants.
The big area of the forest can also be menacing if you are hiking alone, with that, it is recommended that you travel the site with a group.
There will be long hours of hiking and for sure, it will be exhausting so don’t forget to bring water and some protein snacks that can help you energize along the way. Mosquitoes and insects are also significantly present so bringing a mosquito or insect repellant will be a big help.
It is also advised to refrain from swimming or venturing into creeks and rivers as to avoid animals that might be lurking under the waters.