Daintree Rainforest, Queensland
Guide to the Daintree Rainforest
- Getting to the Daintree Rainforest
- When to visit
A forest so spectacular, Sir David Attenborough called it “the most extraordinary place on Earth.”
The creeping vines and emerald canopy of the Daintree Rainforest have been growing for more than 180 million years. That’s right – it’s the world’s oldest tropical rainforest by an impressive 10 million years, so it’s no wonder that visitors can feel the ancient energy with every step. Just as special as the forest itself are the experiences you’ll find within it, from crocodile spotting to spear fishing. Indulge in the healing properties at a luxury spa, float gently down the river on a raft and soak up generations-old knowledge from the area’s traditional custodians, the Kuku Yalanji.
There are two parts to Daintree National Park, home to the Daintree Rainforest: the mountainous Mossman Gorge area and the coastal Cape Tribulation section. Mossman Gorge is around 22 kms (14 mi) from Port Douglas or 77 kms (48 mi) from Cairns, with the Cape Tribulation section a further 40 kms (25 mi) to the north.
- Cairns Airport (65 kms/40 mi from Mossman Gorge); international and domestic arrivals
- Hire cars are available at Cairns Airport, Cairns city and Port Douglas
- Private and group tours to the Daintree Rainforest depart from Cairns and Port Douglas
- Access to the Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree Rainforest is by car ferry across the Daintree River
The Daintree Rainforest unsurprisingly gets a lot of rain – with some areas experiencing up to 6 m (19 ft) of precipitation in a year. In the wet season, from December to April, you’ll encounter high humidity and frequent rainfall, but you’ll also experience gushing waterfalls and the rainforest at its most lush. The relatively mild and cool dry season, which extends from May to September, is ideal for long hikes in the national park.
- High season: Late autumn to early spring (May to September)
- Low season: Summer and early autumn (December to April)
- Don’t miss: An Aboriginal-guided walk through the rainforest departing from Mossman Gorge Centre at any time of the year