A walk back in time
North of Cairns lies what is believed to be one of the oldest rainforests on the planet. Over 135 million years old, the Daintree Rainforest is part of the Daintree National Park and home to the largest range of plants and animals on earth. The area spans approximately 1200 sq km. The Daintree coastline is one of the closest stretches of the Queensland mainland to the outer Great Barrier Reef. Nowhere else in the world can you experience two natural wonders side by side – where World Heritage listed reef and rainforest actually meet.
Enter the spellbinding wonderland of the Daintree
The Daintree wilderness is an unspoilt natural habitat and home to an abundant and diverse range of wildlife. The forest contains 30 percent of frog, marsupial and reptile species in Australia, such as Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Eastern Water Dragon and the deadly Estuarine Crocodile, also known as the saltwater crocodile or ‘saltie’ to locals.
The Rainforest is also a haven for 65 percent of the country’s bat and butterfly species. Visitors can view the Grey Albatross Butterfly, Ulysses Butterfly, the Emerald Moth and other species that are not found elsewhere in the world. Bird enthusiasts will be delighted to experience birds such as the endangered Southern Cassowary, Victoria’s Riflebird and Lovely Fairy Wrens.
The Daintree River runs through the national park and is mostly known for its wildlife, in particular the estuarine crocodile, the largest reptile in the world. Thirty species of the world’s 38 types of mangroves can be found along the shores of the river. The Daintree River flows past Daintree Village which was first settled by timber-cutters in the 1870’s and is now home to numerous local artists’ studios, shops and restaurants.
Tucked away in the heart of the Daintree lies Cape Tribulation, one of the few places where the rainforest runs right down to the water. Beautiful, secluded beaches dot the coastline in the region.
The Daintree Rainforest was named after Richard Daintree (1832-1878), an English geologist and photographer, who migrated to Australia and was the first government geologist for North Queensland. Read more about Richard Daintree.