No Australia itinerary is complete without a trip to Daintree National Park. Why? Well, besides it being the only place in the world where two natural World Heritage sites meet: the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree National Park is the oldest rainforest in the world at over 180 million years old. It's older than the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.
Those two facts alone should warrant a visit, however Daintree's unique and complex ecosystem and wildlife is the true icing on the cake. At over 1200 square kilometers, and divided into two sections: Mossman and Cape Tribulation, exploring Daintree can be a daunting task! So, to help we've put together this massive Daintree guide to make planning and experiencing this ancient beauty a piece of cake.
Mossman Gorge. Located in the southern half of the park, Mossman Gorge is a great introduction to the Daintree National Park. It was here that we did one of my favorite walks in all of Daintree; the 4km Rainforest Circuit track. To access the Mossman Gorge park, you must take a shuttle from the visitors center to the entrance, where the adventure begins. Don't expect to rush through this place as there are plenty of things to do at Mossman, including three boardwalks, a rainforest track, and waterholes to swim in.
Another recommended activity to do at Mossman Gorge is the guided Dreamtime Walk, where a local aboriginal guide takes you through a private section of the rainforest where you can partake in a smoking ceremony, learn about traditional plants and how to identify bush food, as well as listen to Dreamtime stories about the rainforest.
Daintree Discovery Centre. Just a few minutes drive after the ferry crossing, this stop offers an educational aspect to this trip. Here you can learn about Daintree, the wildlife you'll probably encounter, as well as go on several small walks and enjoy views from the 23 meter canopy tower. The entire time you'll have an audio guide with you guiding you through the center. The Daintree Discovery Centre is a great activity for families.
Daintree River Cruise. A great way to explore the Daintree National Park and it's wildlife is on the water. This popular activity in Daintree takes you on a 45-60 minutes cruise along the Daintree River where you will not only learn about and see birds, frogs, and snakes, but also crocodiles. The best time to see crocs is in the dry season when they are out of the cold water and sunbathing on the river banks.
Relax On the Many Beaches In Daintree. As mentioned earlier, Daintree and Cape Tribulation are blessed with gorgeous beaches along their coast, but unfortunately these beaches are more for enjoying the views, the atmosphere, and for relaxing, not swimming. Nonetheless, we highly recommend visiting one or two as these beaches are part of what makes Daintree such an astonishing place to visit. Some popular beaches include Cow Bay Beach, Myall Beach, Thornton Beach, and Cape Tribulation Beach.
From dense jungles and mountain ranges, to flowing rivers and waterfalls, this pristine and unspoilt rainforest is a nature lover’s paradise and hopefully this guide provides you with everything you need to know to discover the ancient beauty that is Daintree National Park.