Spread across a total area of 1,200 square kilometers, which roughly comes to 460 square miles, Daintree rainforest is the accessible part of the largest tropical rainforest in the Australian continent. This essentially means that the actual rainforest is much much bigger, while the area that is accessible to tourists is named Daintree. Moreover, the whole tropical rainforest, of which Daintree is a part of, is called the Wet Tropics Rainforest. It is so vast that it spans across the whole of the Cairns region. And reportedly, the Wet Tropics Rainforest is the most enduring tropical rainforest in the whole world. Further down, the North coast of the rainforest, the trees have grown right till the edge of the sea. This in itself offers a stunning view, and definitely opens room for some excellent photographs.
About Daintree Rainforest
The Daintree rainforest has been named after ‘Richard Daintree’, who was an Australian geologist and photographer. He lived from 1832 to 1878. This is an excellent rainforest to visit as here we see how, apart from the flora, the wild and human can coexist. And how, if various agencies are interested in the same output, i.e. the preservation of the rainforest, they can work together. We stress on this, mainly because, the rainforest is not functioning under one single administration, and yet it is being so properly preserved, and life within it is thriving like never before. The whole of Daintree rainforest includes the ‘Daintree National Park’, parts of Australian State Forest, and some proprietary land, of which, apart is a residential community of more than 5 people. To the North of the Peninsula region, some proprietary land is being purchased under a government scheme in steps. This is being done with an attempt to further conserve the rainforest. Parts are also being privately procured by private conservation agencies.
Apart from conservation and ownership, let us talk life in the rainforest. Under the canopy of the huge trees, Daintree rainforest is filled with life. In fact, it has some major portions of Australia’s combined wildlife. The forest has 30% of Australian frog, reptile, and marsupial species. As huge as 90% of Australia’s bats and butterfly species have called the rainforest their home. 7% of Australia’s bird species have made a base in the rainforest. On top of that, over 12,000 kinds of insects can be found in the Daintree rainforest. All these will be extremely well enjoyed in one of those organized Daintree rainforest walks.
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How To Get To Daintree Rainforest?
It is fairly easy to reach the Daintree rainforest. However, the best option is to first reach Cairns. There on, you can reach the rainforest through any of the three primary modes of travel; air, water, and road. And trust us, any of the three you choose, you will be presented with a different unique set of views. A drive to the rainforest from Cairns takes roughly around 2 hours, and it will take you through probably the most beautiful coastal roads, called the Cook Highway. Further ahead, you will pass by the Port Douglas, and you will be witness to the beauty of the Coral Sea, with a rainforest towards your left. If you are not going to rent a vehicle for yourself, you can opt for either one of the bus tours or a boat tour. The boat tour will again present you with a different set of views. If you are short on time, Cow Bay Airstrip is the answer for you. It will take you close to your destination, with yet another set of amazing views.
Where To Live In Daintree Rainforest?
You might choose to return back to Cairns after going on a day-long trip to the rainforest. But it gets tricky when you decide to live in the Daintree Village, right next to the rainforest. It is a tiny village with a few eco-friendly lodges, some self-contained cabins, and a few breakfast and motels; whereas, the number of people wanting to stay in the village is huge. So, it will be a must for you to book accommodation in the village way in advance if you want to spend a few hassle-free nights by one of the most stunning rainforests in the world.
However, if you go over to the other side of the Daintree River, towards Cape Tribulation Beach, there is an abundance of accommodation facilities. Hotels, backpackers’ hostels, low-cost motels, holiday houses and resorts, boutique lodges; you name it and the beach has it. However, the feel of the rainforest nearby will be missing in any of those accommodations.
What To Do In Daintree Rainforest?
While one can never cover the whole expanse of the Daintree rainforest, we have listed herein a few places and experiences that you must not miss out on while in Daintree.
1. Visit Daintree National Park
But, by getting lost, we are asking you to lose yourself to your surroundings. Believed to be around 110 million years old, and home to the widest variety of animal species in the world, the National Park is home to some very strange, yet adorable, animals from around the world. So, you must lose yourself to enjoy the 430 different species of birds, colorful butterflies, croaking frogs, and many different varieties of marsupials and reptiles, to the fullest. It is noteworthy that most of these marsupials are indigenous to Australia, and are found only in these areas. Wonderful sights along the walk in the National Park also include the Mossman Gorge, the Manjal Jimalji trail, Mount Sorrow Ridge trail.
2. Ferry the Daintree River
The Daintree River practically isolates the Daintree village from the rest of Australia; If not the whole of Australia, at least the ‘Cape Tribulation’ area. The river runs right through the rainforest and is home to a number of salt and freshwater animals. Of those animals, the giant saltwater crocodiles are ones to look out for. The only way to cross the river is by the Daintree River Fairy, which operates from 6 in the morning till midnight. It is so mighty, that it can carry up to 40 vehicles at once. The Fairy operates throughout the week. This ride is probably a good way to enjoy the Daintree rainforest climate.
3. Visit the Daintree Discovery Center
If you intend to study the rainforest inside out, if you are interested in its functioning, its structure, you must make a visit to the Daintree Discovery Center. The center houses an Audio Visual Theatre, in which you can experience the beautiful environment of the rainforest through a number of educational DVDs. Once done with the series of DVDs, you can climb up the rainforest canopy. Boardwalks have been made 400 meters above the ground, which will allow you to walk through the towering trees, much closer to the canopy. The much higher Canopy Tower will allow you amazing views of the rainforest. The Tower has a number of viewing platforms that will take you to the tip of the trees.
4. Cape Trip Exotic Fruit Farm
We are not asking you to get lost only in the beauty of Daintree National Park. As a matter of fact, you must have a Daintree rainforest map on your person at all times and visit the nearby areas as well. Not directly in relation with the Daintree rainforest, but pretty close in Queensland, this farm is the best place to know some of the most unique exotic fruits in Australia. The fruit tasting tours start at 2 PM every day and go on till about 3:45 PM. Here, you will find trees and fruits found nowhere else on earth. So, you might want to take a look.
The Daintree rainforest stands out from any other rainforest for a reason. It is not just a vast expanse of trees and the wildlife. But the Daintree houses thick rainforests to national parks, to beaches. It also houses a river and has grown till the edge of the ocean. Summarily, it is the perfect escape for the nature lovers, and is a haven for the ones that want to lose themselves into nature, and do not mind getting their hands dirty a little. If this sounds like you then you should plan your trip to Australia now!
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