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Plan your Daintree experience

Discover the world’s oldest rainforest

Immerse yourself in a timeless ancient paradise

The World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park is an area of 1200sq km between Mossman Gorge and the Bloomfield River north of Cairns in Far North Queensland. Estimated to be an astonishing 180 million years old, this is the world's oldest living rainforest. Described by Sir David Attenborough as “the most extraordinary place on earth”, the Daintree is a complex ecosystem of unique ancient plants and thousands of species of birds, animals and reptiles.

Visitors to the Daintree step back in time to be awed by this breathtaking, untouched landscape. Days are spent discovering the many trails and boardwalks through the forest, swimming in refreshing Emmagen Creek or kayaking along the peaceful Mossman River. Wildlife is at every turn, with cassowaries busy in the undergrowth and crocodiles cruising along the Daintree River. The Daintree is paradise on earth, a must for any intrepid traveller. Connect with nature and discover an intriguing ancient world in the Daintree and Cape Tribulation.

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Connect to an ancient land in the Daintree

Considered to be tens of millions of years older than the Amazon, the Daintree is a 95 km stretch of land that starts an hour’s drive north of Cairns at Mossman Gorge. The region includes Daintree Village, the Daintree River (where you can take a relaxing river cruise), the rainforest of Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation and some of the legendary Bloomfield Track as it heads north towards Cooktown.

The Daintree is a remote part of Queensland, and visitors should be prepared for that. Phone reception is limited, making it the perfect excuse for a digital detox. Connecting with nature is the priority here.

Discover the world’s oldest rainforest
Discover the world’s oldest rainforest

Plan your Daintree trip

You can explore the Daintree on your own or join a Daintree eco-tour to learn about the region with an expert guide. Day trips to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation are available from Cairns and Port Douglas. There is a lot to be discovered here. Ancient rainforests, pristine beaches, lush valleys, crystal clear streams, magnificent rivers and rolling farmlands fill this remote region.

To connect with Indigenous culture, spend some time with the Kuku Yalanji people who have lived in the Daintree for 50,000 years. An Indigenous guide will reveal the history of the Daintree Rainforest and give you an insight into bush tucker and traditional medicine.

Frequently asked questions

What wildlife can you spot in the Daintree?

The Daintree is a bird-watchers paradise with abundant birdlife to look out for. Other wildlife to be aware of are cassowaries and crocodiles. Always be ‘crocwise’; obey crocodile warning signs, never swim in water where crocodiles may live, and be extra vigilant during breeding season from September to April.

When is the best time to visit the Daintree?

The best time to visit the Daintree is during the dry season, from May to September. The rainforest can be hot and steamy in summer, making for uncomfortable walking conditions.

Where can you stay in the Daintree?

Those planning to stay in the Daintree should stock up on food and essentials before heading north, as supplies can be limited. Several accommodation options cater to everyone, from backpackers and budget dwellings to unique, sustainable eco-luxury resorts. 

How old is the Daintree?

The Daintree Rainforest is often referred to as one of the oldest rainforests in the world, with an estimated age of around 180 million years. Its ancient origins predate the existence of many other rainforests, and it is recognised for its incredible biodiversity and unique ecosystems. The Daintree is part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland, a World Heritage-listed site that preserves the natural wonders of this ancient and ecologically significant rainforest.

Are there platypus at Daintree?

While the Daintree Rainforest is not typically associated with platypus sightings, these fascinating monotremes are more commonly found in freshwater habitats such as rivers and streams. If you're interested in observing platypuses in their natural environment, you may want to explore nearby freshwater locations or rivers in the region, as platypuses are known to inhabit certain waterways in Australia.

What is special about the Daintree?

The Daintree Rainforest is special for a multitude of reasons:

Ancient Heritage: As one of the oldest rainforests globally, the Daintree is a living testament to the Earth's ancient past, providing insights into the evolution of flora and fauna over millions of years.

Biodiversity: The Daintree is a biodiversity hotspot, hosting an incredible array of plant and animal species, including rare and endemic ones. It is home to diverse ecosystems, from lush rainforests to mangrove swamps.

Unique Wildlife: Visitors can encounter unique and iconic Australian wildlife, such as the endangered Southern Cassowary, tree-dwelling kangaroos, and various colourful bird species.

Cape Tribulation: The Daintree is home to Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. This convergence of ecosystems provides a rare opportunity to experience both environments in close proximity.

Indigenous Culture: The Daintree region has cultural significance to the Kuku Yalanji Indigenous people, who have lived in harmony with the land for thousands of years. Visitors can learn about their rich cultural heritage through guided tours and experiences.

Mossman Gorge: A highlight within the Daintree, Mossman Gorge offers crystal-clear waters, ancient rainforest, and Indigenous-led experiences, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.

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