Daintree National Park

Travel Guide Oceania Australia Queensland Daintree National Park



Daintree is a national park in Far North Queensland, Australia, 1,502 kilometres northwest of Brisbane and 100 kilometres northwest of Cairns. It was founded in 198 and is part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland. In 1988 it became a World Heritage Site. The park consists of two sections, with a settled agricultural area between them which includes the towns of Mossman and Daintree Village.

The main entrance to Daintree National Park is located south of the Daintree River at Mossman Gorge. However, the words 'Daintree National Park' have been painted out on all street signs in Mossman by the previous Douglas Shire council, in order to direct visitors to the tourist area north of the Daintree River.

Daintree National Park is valued because of its exceptional biodiversity. It contains significant habitat for rare species and prolific birdlife. The name is derived from the Daintree River, which was named by George Elphinstone Dalrymple, an early explorer of the area, after his friend Richard Daintree.



Sights and Activities

Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation also lies in the park. Originally the cape belonged to Cape Tribulation National Park from 1981 but was amalgamated into Daintree National Park in 1983. This section covers 17,000 ha including the coastal range (Thornton's Peak, Mt Hemmant, and Mt Sorrow, going north from the Daintree river) and contains Australia's last extensive stands of lowland rainforest. It has extensive (and relatively) unspoiled beaches from Thornton beach to Cape Tribulation beach - fringed with the increasingly rare littoral (beachside) rainforest. The Daintree river is the southern boundary for the region - reinforced by the need to take a cable ferry across the Daintree river.

Flora and Fauna

Much of the national park is covered by tropical rainforest. The Greater Daintree Rainforest has existed continuously for more than 110 million years, making it possibly the oldest existing rainforest. The persistence of this rainforest is believed to be a product of a fortuitous continental drift; after the breakup of its parent supercontinent a portion drifted toward the pole to become Antarctica, disturbing ocean currents and becoming quite chilly, while other portions were moved to hotter and drier locations. The rainforests of the parent continent preserved its climate, and so also its original trees. Tree species, once thought to be long extinct, have only relatively recently been discovered here.

The park supports more than 430 bird species. The wompoo fruit-dove is one of six species of pigeon that live in the park as well as significant populations of the endangered cassowary, a flightless bird of substantial size. The buff-breasted paradise kingfisher is a seasonal visitor. Mammals include the striped possum, Daintree River ringtail possum, brown bandicoot, long-nosed bandicoot, musky rat-kangaroo, Bennett’s tree kangaroo, swamp wallaby, platypus and short-beaked echidna. At least 23 species of reptile and 13 species of amphibian can be found in the park. Among the reptiles present are Boyd's forest dragon, eastern water dragon, chameleon gecko, northern leaf-tailed gecko, the scrub or amethystine python, keelback, and the green and northern tree snakes. Frogs found in the park include the Australian lacelid, white-lipped treefrog, green-eyed treefrog and common mist frog. The introduced cane toad is also present in the park. We need our flora to protect our fauna. The Daintree Rainforest protects our threatened species.



Opening Hours

The area usually is open year round, though as the name suggests wet conditions can cause temporary problems in reaching the area from November to March.



Getting There and Around

It's easiest to get around by car, but buses run from Cairns and Port Douglas all the way up to Cape Tribulation. Many companies offer packages of accommodation and transport to the area.

Some of the hostels rent bicycles which is a pleasant way to get around Daintree Village and see the sights while you're there. The ride from Cow Bay to Cape Tribulation is about 25km each way and a nice daytrip, although a bit hilly in the Noah Range area.

The road is sealed all the way to Cape Tribulation and all rental companies allow cars to travel as far as the Cape. 4WDs are required only for the Bloomfield Track.




There are significant crocodile numbers in the Daintree River and other creeks in the region, as well as in the ocean itself. Sometimes the riverbed will have a warning sign, but not everywhere. Stay away from the shore of the river and other creek beds. Attacks on visitors do occur, with a tourist being killed during a late night swim on Thornton Beach in May 2016.

Marine stingers are present in the water during the summer season. Some beaches are signposted with warnings for this.

You can bushwalk up to a spectacular view at Mount Sorrow in the Noah Range, but take care when you do the walk (approximately 6-8 hours - please check). Leave early in the morning with plenty of time left in the day to ascend and descend while it is still light. Walkers have gone missing on the trail.




Try some native Australian cuisine at Julaymba Restaurant & Grill. Rainforest salad is great, with native ingredients.

Daintree Ice Cream Company has natural fruit ice creams which are delicious and made from fruit growing in the orchards just behind. Also, Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm runs tours and has local tropical fruit to buy (fresh passionfruit: delicious!)

Daintree tea is also available to buy at shops and restaurants in the village and at Cape Tribulation.

There are a number of small shops in the Daintree area. There is one at Wonga Beach, one at Daintree, one at Cow Bay and two at Cape Tribulation. Mason's Store at Cape Tribulation has takeaway alcohol, groceries, and even a cafe. Check out the swimming hole there too. Being a remote rainforest destination, there are no Coles or Woolworths, so if you require the services of a multinational, go there before you come to the area!




There is a pub somewhere in Daintree, but some locals have said it's a bit dodgy.

Most of the lodgings will serve alcohol.




Enjoy unique spa treatments and aboriginal culture experiences at Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa.

There are a couple of hostels at Cape Tribulation (Cape Trib Beach House and PK's Jungle Village) as well as Crocodylus Lodge about 20 kilometres south of the Cape at Cow Bay.

Ferntree Backpackers Lodge and Jungle Lodge, Cape Tribulation is set back in the heart of a lush coastal rainforest. Ferntree Backpackers is an affordable tropical getaway for backpackers and travellers.

Located across the road from the Cape Tribulation ‘village’ - Jungle Lodge is a perfect option for backpackers & travellers on a budget. Safari tents, powered and unpowered camp sites are available for hire on a daily basis.

There is also Coconut Beach Resort at Cape Tribulation.


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This is version 4. Last edited at 13:32 on May 29, 19 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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