Experience a 140 million-year-old tropical rainforest at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park at Cape Tribulation, just north of Port Douglas.
At around 2600km² (1003mi²), the Daintree is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest on the Australian continent.
The park consists of two sections, Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation, which are separated by a settled agricultural region that includes the towns of Mossman and Daintree Village.
The main entrance to Daintree National Park is located south of the Daintree River at Mossman Gorge, home to some of the best rainforest in the park. This section covers 565km² (218mi²) of rainforest and mountain woodland.
Stroll the 400m-long river circuit track to viewing platforms and a suspension bridge over the Mossman River or take the 2.7km (1.6mi) rain-forest walking track that snakes past giant strangler figs, fan palms and epiphytic plants overlooking the river.
Along the way look out for eastern yellow robins or blue ulysses butterflies as they flitter through the canopy above the crystal clear water cascading over large granite boulders.
Then cool off with a refreshing swim in a nearby rock pool, and perhaps spy a Boyd's rainforest dragon sunning itself on a mossy rock. Or try to spot tree and musky rat-kangaroos, scrub fowl and turtles.
More than 430 bird species have been spotted in the Mossman Gorge, along with 18 species of reptile and 12 species of amphibian.
You can also take 90-minute guided walk through the rainforest led by Aboriginal guides from Kuku-Yalanji Dreamtime to see cave paintings among other special sites; you may also try a night fish-spearing tour.
Or join a night-time croc-spotting tour on the Daintree River, take an early morning cruise to see the rich bird life or head off on a guided 4WD day trip to the picturesque Bloomfield Falls.
To learn more about the rainforest, head to the Daintree Discovery Centre, a multi-award-winning attraction accredited by the Wet Tropics Management Authority.
The centre offers easy access to this unique rainforest wilderness via elevated boardwalk tours, a 23m-high canopy tower, an aerial walkway and a comprehensive display centre featuring interactive information kiosks and an audio visual theatre where you can learn more about the rainforest’s flora and fauna.
The Cape Tribulation section contains Australia's last extensive stands of lowland rainforest and stretches along a narrow coastal strip covering 170km² (65mi²).
The Daintree National Park's traditional owners are the Eastern Kuku-Yalanji Aboriginal people. Many of the natural features of the landscape hold spiritual significance for the traditional owners, including the bouncing stones at Thornton Beach.
The Daintree National Park is located around 30km (18mi) north of Port Douglas and 100km (62mi) northwest of Cairns and contains the Daintree River, Bloomfield River and Mossman River.
Location: Mossman Gorge is around 20km northwest of Port Douglas and 100km (62mi) northwest of Cairns; Daintree Discovery Centre is around 56km (35mi) north of Port Douglas
Phone: Daintree Discovery Centre – 07/4098 9171; Kuku-Yalanji Dreamtime – 07/4098 2595
Admission: Free; Daintree Discovery Centre A$28; Kuku-Yalanji Dreamtime Walks A$35
Hours: Daily 8:30am-5pm (except Christmas Day)
Latest update: Daintree National Park attractions: 19 January, 2021
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