The Daintree Rainforest – part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area – is of great importance and unimaginable beauty. As the last remnant of the oldest surviving rainforest in the world, (estimated to be 40 million years older than the Amazon), the Daintree gives visitors a rare chance to experience a pocket of forest that once covered more than half the land surface of the planet.
A pleasurable way to enjoy the ancient tropical rainforest is in a small group with a knowledgeable guide. Daintree Discovery Tours operate a personalised full day tour to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation with a maximum of eight people and a skilled guide with expertise on the unique flora and wildlife. For the more adventurous, Tony’s Tropical Tours has a small group 4WD day trip to the Daintree, Cape Tribulation and Bloomfield Falls or you can opt for a Wilderness Safari full day tour with Reef and Rainforest Tours, which has a maximum of nine people. For your convenience, all tours will pick you up from The Newport on Macrossan, your Port Douglas accommodation
Whilst the Wet Tropics World Heritage area extends from south of Cooktown to Townsville and covers an area of 894,420 hectares, the Daintree Rainforest makes up 120,000 hectares (1200kms) of this region. The Daintree is the largest portion of tropical rainforest in Australia and it is predominately National Park and State Forest but privately owned pockets of wilderness fall within its boundary. It is widely believed that the rainforest has been inhabited by the Kuku Ylanji (the indigenous owners) for the last 9000 years.
Considered an evolutionary cradle for much of Australia’s wildlife, the Daintree Rainforest has managed to persevere for 135 million years. The forest is the origin for what we find in the rest of Australia, it is the ancestral stock of all native flora and fauna. Moreover the Wet Tropics rainforest habitat is home to 13 of the Earth’s 19 families of primitive flowering plants, 12 of which are found in the Daintree Rainforest. The shady rainforest canopy is up to 45 metres above the forest floor, some of its most distinctive symbols include the slow growing fan palm, and cycad. (get pics)
The Daintree is a place of contrasts and concealed among the lush vegetation are endangered birds including the cassowary, rare insects, giant tree frogs and marsupials such as the tree kangaroos. A compelling attraction for nature lovers, the Daintree Rainforest is best appreciated with the insight of a well informed guide who can reveal much of the mystery surrounding the ancient plants, significant ecosystems and hidden wildlife.
In addition to being an exceptionally biological diverse area, the Daintree is also famed for where the rainforest grows right down to the shore. This is the renowned area of the Daintree where the “rainforest meets the reef”. Two World Heritage areas side by side an exceptionally rare combination anywhere in the world.
In what is an otherwise arid country, the Daintree National Park in Queensland, is a breathtaking fertile region of complex forests, surging streams and plunging waterfalls.
Even the most indifferent human will feel a connection to the land when visiting the delicately balanced natural masterpiece that is the Daintree Rainforest.