The Daintree Rainforest is a place like no other, boasting a rich history stretching back millions of years. It is the oldest intact tropical lowland rainforest in the world, and its biodiversity is unmatched - with the greatest diversity of plants and animals found anywhere in Australia. This spectacular rainforest region is home to 13 of the world’s 19 primitive flowering plant species and hosts 28% of frogs, 65% of ferns, 40% of birds and 34% of mammals in Australia. Little wonder that Sir David Attenborough calls it the most spectacular and diverse rainforest region on earth!
The landscape is simply breathtaking, with magnificent mountain ranges, fast flowing streams and waterfalls, deep gorges and dense rainforest. And the coastal scenery is no less stunning - with the Daintree offering the rare combination of tropical rainforest, white sandy beaches and fringing reefs just offshore. It's no wonder that this region has been dubbed a 'living museum'.
The Daintree Rainforest is easily accessible - located just a 2-hour drive north of Cairns and Port Douglas. As you journey from Cairns to Mossman along the Cook Highway, you'll be treated to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in Australia - from secluded palm-fringed tropical beaches to hidden coves, rugged headlands, lush sugar-cane fields and rainforest-covered mountains.
Daintree Rainforest Tours from Cairns
We offer a range of tours to the Daintree Rainforest from Cairns, depending on the type of adventure you're after. Our tours include air-conditioned coach rides, hiking tours, wildlife cruises, and four-wheel drive excursions. Some tours even give visitors a chance to view crocodiles up close in their natural environment, and to taste the natural fruits that grow in the rainforest.
The Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park is renowned as the place where where two spectacular World Heritage sites meet - the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching from Cow Bay to the Bloomfield River, Cape Tribulation itself is a headland that juts out into the Coral Sea. The Kulki Boardwalk is a short 400m walk up the headland with great views of the mountain backdrop and Cape Tribultion Beach. A beautiful long beach walk links Myall Beach and Cape Tribulation Beach. The view from the southern side of the Cape is spectacular. The fringing reef at Coconut Beach is a great place to explore at low tide. Thornton Beach is also a great place to walk and experience ‘where the rainforest meets the reef’.
Cape Tribulation has so many activities on offer including bush walking, kayaking, horse riding treks, snorkelling, exotic fruit tastings, zip lining through the rainforest canopy and 4WD safaris. There are also many walks taking in the beaches and rainforest. Cape Tribulation is where the bitumen ends and a Four Wheel Drive is needed to venture further north.
Mossman is the gateway to the southern section of the Daintree National Park which incorporates Mossman Gorge, one of the most beautiful and accessible tourist sites in the Port Douglas region. Mossman Gorge lies 20km north of Port Douglas and approx 2km from the township of Mossman.
This area of National Park is part of the traditional homeland of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people.For the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people many natural features of the landscape have spiritual significance including Wundu (Thornton Peak), Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi), Wurrumbu (The Bluff) and Kulki (Cape Tribulation). Mossman Gorge is of particular significance to their culture with its water, mountains and rainforest holding many indigenous stories handed down through each generation of elders.
Mossman Gorge remains mostly untouched and in pristine condition with crystal-clear waters that cascade over granite boulders, dense rainforest canopy and more than 100 species of trees, shrubs and vines with the fig trees and their flying buttresses being one of the most popular attractions. A suspension bridge runs across Rex Creek close to where it enters the Mossman River, linking a 2.4-kilometre circular rainforest walk.
A "must do" for every visitor to Mossman Gorge are the indigenous guided Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks, conducted by the traditional owners of the Gorge, the Kuku Yalanji people. (Nar-di-gul) meaning stories and legends from a long time ago, takes visitors on a journey along private, easy graded tracks, visiting special places and culturally significant sites and over rainforest streams.
A Daintree River cruise provides superb wildlife viewing opportunities. An average of 40 birds and animals are seen on each tour including crocodiles, snakes, and rare birds. Cruises are provided in a small vessel which enables an intimate exploration of the river banks and wildlife in the trees and sky above. There are a number of river cruise operators who depart from various locations along the banks of the Daintree River, there is also one exclusive operator that departs in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park, and travels from the mouth of Cooper Creek towards Thornton Peak.
The north and south banks of the Daintree River are linked by the Daintree Ferry. The Daintree ferry is the only cable ferry operating within tropical Australia. It makes continuous crossings of the Daintree River throughout the day, which takes about 5 minutes to cross the river. A fee is payable to use the ferry service prior to boarding. The ferry operates 6.00am until midnight every day with a reduced service on Christmas Day. After crossing the Daintree Ferry you will travel through lowland and tropical rainforest passing road junctions for Cape Kimberley and Cow Bay.
There are plenty of walks in the Daintree - Cape Tribulation area where you can submerge yourself in rainforest. No matter your level of fitness or mobility, young or old, experienced hikers or casual strollers, there are walks to accommodate all. Simple walks include Kulki - Cape Tribulation Beach Lookout (10mins), Marrdja Botanical Walk (45 mins), Jindalba boardwalk (45 mins) and Dubuji Boardwalk (45mins), or for the more experienced hikers Jindalba circuit track (1.5 hrs), Emmagen Creek & Beach (5 hours) and Mt Sorrow Ridge Walk (6 hours).
Jindalba boardwalk—650 m return (45 mins) Grade: easy
The Jindalba (meaning ‘foot of the mountain’) boardwalk explores tropical lowland rainforest. Quiet walkers may be lucky enough to see a tree-kangaroo or cassowary. There is a large picnic area with toilets and tables. Wheelchair access to the creek is from the exit end only, near the disability access parking bays.
Jindalba circuit track—3 km return (1.5 hrs) Grade: moderate
Near the entrance of the Jindalba boardwalk is the start of the Jindalba circuit track. This forest walk is well marked but is stony in places and crosses rainforest creeks. A reasonable level of fitness is required.
Marrja boardwalk—1.2 km loop (45 mins) Grade: easy
The Marrja (meaning ‘rainforest’ or ‘jungle’) boardwalk allows visitors to experience both rainforest and mangrove communities, without getting muddy. Along the walk learn about the plants found in each of these environments. There are no toilets or picnic areas at this site.
Dubuji boardwalk—1.2 km loop (45 mins) Grade: easy
The Dubuji (meaning ‘place of spirits’) boardwalk travels through lowland rainforest swamps and mangroves. Signs explain the survival strategies used by rainforest plants and animals. The site is close to Myall Beach and has large grassed areas with picnic shelters and toilets.
Kulki—600 m return (10 mins) Grade: easy
Kulki day-use area has a boardwalk leading from the picnic area to a viewing platform overlooking the ocean and beach. A short walk from the Kulki car park takes you to beautiful Myall Beach. Toilets and picnic tables are provided.
Mount Sorrow ridge trail—7 km return (6-7 hrs) Grade: difficult
This is a steep and difficult trail and walkers need to be fit, self-reliant and well-prepared. The trail climbs from the coastal lowlands of Cape Tribulation, up the rainforest-clad ridge of Mount Sorrow to a lookout offering views of the beautiful Daintree coastline, Snapper Island and beyond.