Home of the world's oldest rainforest, tropical North Queensland's Daintree National Park is a living remnant of prehistoric times with rare flora and fauna found nowhere else on the planet. The stunningly beautiful coastal lowland rainforest covers an area of around 8,900 hectares and is situated in the Wet Tropics UNESCO World Heritage site around 45km drive south of Port Douglas.
The biodiverse lush environment of the Daintree traverses eucalypt woodlands, swamps and mangroves and tropical rainforest canopies and a plethora of indigenous fauna. You can spy rare tree kangaroos, endangered quolls, and the Daintree River ring-tailed possum, which is only found around Thornton Peak and the upper areas of the Mossman and Daintree Rivers. Elsewhere you might see some of the hundreds of bird species that reside in the Daintree including the flightless southern cassowary, colourful kingfishers, scrubtails, bowerbirds and much more. The Daintree is also the traditional land of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal tribe and contains several sacred sites including Thornton Peak, Mount Demi, The Bluff and Cape Tribulation. Indigenous-led guided tours can enlighten visitors about the medicinal plants and bush tucker, culture, history and folklore of the area.
For the most pleasant experience in the tropics, the best time to visit the Daintree is the dry season (May to October) however the wet season, from November to April, is also beautiful with lush flowering vegetation. The north and south banks of the Daintree River are linked by the Daintree Ferry - the only cable ferry in tropical Australia, and the best way to get around the area is by car or you can also hire bicycles.
To visit the Daintree from Port Douglas (a one-hour drive), follow the Captain Cook Highway/State Route 44 onto Mossman-Daintree Road. Turn right onto Cape Tribulation Road and take the Daintree Ferry to cross the Daintree River to Forest Creek - AU$23 for cars for a return trip. Continue straight to stay on Cape Tribulation Road.