The Daintree National Park, located in North Queensland’s tropical wilderness, boasts a vast expanse of rainforest and lots of native animals to experience.
Daintree National Park Queensland Information
The Daintree Rainforest itself has a very biodiverse ecosystem with a high concentration of animal and plant species found nowhere else on the planet. It is also one of the oldest jungles on this earth.
It has a total area of 1,200 km2 and is one of the most beautiful manifestations of Mother Nature in the world, let alone in Australia. It was designated a national park in the early 1980s in Northern Queensland and is a significant section of Queensland’s Wet Tropics. It was accorded World Heritage status a few years after it opened and continues to be a showcase for Australia’s most spectacular landscapes and most attractive flora and animals.
The park is mostly covered with a tropical rainforest that has been living for more than 110 million years.
The forest is assumed to have formed as a result of a fortunate continental drift when it separated from the supercontinent that occupied the southern hemisphere millions of years ago. It moved via ocean currents and fell in temperature as it drifted away towards Antarctica, while other portions rushed off to warmer regions. The rainforest parts of the supercontinent, such as the Daintree, are assumed to have kept their native climates as well as their original tree species. In fact, numerous previously thought-to-be-extinct tree species have lately been uncovered in the park.
It gets its name from the Daintree River, which runs through the forest and was named for Richard Daintree, a companion of keen explorer George Elphinstone Dalrymple.
The park is divided into two portions, with a lowland swath connecting the two. The picturesque communities of Mossman and Daintree Village, both nestled away behind the green-carpeted countryside, may be found here.
Daintree National Park’s Animal Life
More than 430 different bird species may be seen in the park, ranging from little, colourful variations to bigger, more prehistoric-looking species. Keep a look out for the wompoo fruit-dove, one of the park’s six pigeon species, as well as the cassowary and the buff-breasted paradise kingfisher.
On the forest floor, you could see striped possums, ringtail possums, brown bandicoots, and numerous tree kangaroo species. There are also many native Australian animals, such as the swamp wallaby, platypus, and short-beaked echidna.
As if that weren’t enough, the forest is home to around 23 reptile species and 13 amphibians that migrate between drinking holes and dry ground. You may see forest dragons, water dragons, chameleon geckos, pythons, and other tree snakes, as well as rare frog species such as the Australian laced, white-lipped treefrog, and common mist frog.
The variety of wildlife and plant species in the Daintree National Park Rainforest is very beautiful, and you can be certain that you’ll see at least a few of the park’s local critters. Keep your eyes alert when roaming beneath the thick canopies and discovering historic landscapes to avoid missing out on wildlife sightings.
Some of the species that live there are only found in this little area, and it is home to a diverse range of fauna that is otherwise exceedingly uncommon or near extinct in other areas of the world.
Discover Daintree National Park.
The Daintree National Park’s breathtaking beauty and plethora of charming species make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. It provides an unequalled hotspot for outdoor vacations in Australia, with tourists able to enjoy jaw-dropping hiking paths, camp beneath the brilliant green canopies, cool down in natural rock springs, and enjoy breathtaking views from uninterrupted vantage locations. There is an abundance of eco-friendly lodging in the neighbourhood, as well as a variety of cafes that emphasise local, fresh food.
The Daintree National Park, which was once controlled by the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people, is endowed with a fabled spiritual significance that weaves through the vivid undergrowth. This blend of ancient history and a contemporary sense of growth and sustainability is what makes the Daintree National Park so appealing – that, and the great wealth of species and breathtaking vistas.
When Is the Best Time to Visit the Daintree Rainforest?
The Daintree National Park Rainforest, which has tropical temperatures, may be visited all year, however, you may prefer particular periods of the year depending on the weather or people.
The drier and colder months of May to September are ideal for exploring Daintree National Park. During this period, you may expect comfortable temperatures, low humidity, and little rain. Because the busy season corresponds with the dry season, expect crowds and increased prices.
During the “wet season,” which lasts from November to April, the temperature rises with regular heavy rains, making the area vulnerable to flooding and storms. However, most of the rain falls during the night.
If you travel during the wet season, you’ll be rewarded with the rainforest at its best: lush and green with rushing rivers and waterfalls, fewer visitors, and reduced pricing.
How Much Does the Daintree National Park Entrance Fee Cost?
The Daintree National Park has no entrance fee. To access the national park, though, you must bridge the Daintree National Park River. The Daintree River Ferry is the only means to cross. The five-minute Daintree ferry trip costs AU$30 per car return. If you plan on staying for a few days, the multi-day permit, which enables up to five return visits and costs AU$59 per car, is a better alternative.
The park’s features
The Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people’s native land is the Daintree National Park (CYPAL). The national park is divided into two sections: Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation.
The Mossman Gorge
The rocky, mainly inaccessible slopes of the Main Coast Range, as well as the Windsor and Carbine tablelands, make up much of the Mossman Gorge part of Daintree National Park (CYPAL). These high mountain ranges hold precipitation blown in from the ocean, providing frequent rainfall and, as a result, supporting the rainforest and eventually feeding the Mossman and Daintree rivers.
The lowlands are covered with tall, lush rainforests, whereas the mountaintops are dominated by stunted, windswept montane rainforests. On the drier western slopes of the Main Coast Range, open forests and forests flourish. A diverse range of rainforest wildlife, including tree kangaroos, musky rat-kangaroos, Australian brush turkeys, and Boyd’s forest dragons, call the park home.
The Mossman River has created a steep-sided valley from its higher reaches to the coastal lowlands over millions of years. Crystal-clear water rushes through this valley among enormous granite boulders pushed down from the hills during periods of major flooding.
The Cape of Good Hope
Long sandy beaches, rocky headlands, and high mountain ranges pierced by numerous creeks and rivers characterise Cape Tribulation, and Daintree National Park (CYPAL). This area has one of Australia’s remaining large stands of lowland rainforest. Impenetrable slopes that rise sharply from the shore are covered in lush highland rainforests that host many ancient flora and animals.
The Cape Tribulation area of Daintree National Park (CYPAL) (about 17,000ha) runs in a narrow, discontinuous band from the Daintree National Park River in the south to the Bloomfield River in the north. The western limit is formed by the McDowall Range, which rises sharply from the shore.
A visit to this area provides a unique opportunity to witness two of Australia’s most significant World Heritage sites: the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics. Both are prized for their extraordinary biological variety.
Daintree National Park Camping | Camping Daintree National Park
From lush lowland rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef’s white-sand beaches and coral-fringed shoreline. A boat journey over the Daintree River connects the two portions Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation. Try a rainforest walk along the Mossman River, go off-road in a 4WD or on a Dreamtime walk to learn about the Ngadiku people’s traditional culture. Take in the vistas from Mount Alexandra’s viewpoint, go crocodile-spotting on a Daintree River tour, or go horseback riding along the beach in Cape Tribulation. The park’s single camping area, Noah Beach, offers tree-shaded gravel spots for tents, camper trailers, and compact campervans a short walk from rainforest paths and the beach.
Daintree National Park Rainforest Village, which is also positioned before the road becomes too rough for caravans and 2WDs, is the ideal blend of the caravan park and campsite to base yourself on while visiting the Daintree. It also provides caravan storage, so you may leave your caravan here if you trek into the harsher, deeper Daintree.
The community, which has restrooms, a laundry, a camp kitchen, fire pits, an onsite general store, and a fuel station, is truly a one-stop shop.
How to get there and how to navigate around
The Daintree National Park (CYPAL) is located between 80 and 150 kilometres north of Cairns. Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation are the two components of the national park (CYPAL).
The Mossman Gorge Daintree National Park
Drive 80 kilometres north on the Captain Cook Highway from Cairns, then turn left into Johnston Road just before Mossman town centre and continue for 2 kilometres to the Mossman Gorge Centre at the park’s Mossman Gorge part.
Shuttle buses depart from the visitor centre every 15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 5.45 p.m., bringing guests on a 2-kilometre trek inside the park (fees apply(external link)). Visitors can also enter the national park (CYPAL) on foot or by bicycle at any time of day.
The Cape of Good Hope
Drive 30 kilometres north from Mossman to the park’s Cape Tribulation entrance at the Daintree River crossing.
The Daintree ferry(external link) operates daily from 5.00 am to midnight, with limited service on Christmas Day and occasional service interruptions for mechanical maintenance or floods.
Traditional two-wheel-drive vehicle access is accessible from the Daintree River ferry crossing to Cape Tribulation, albeit high clearance is required and caravans are not suggested. This stretch of the park’s road is small and twisty. Drivers should stay to the left and keep an eye out for animals, particularly cassowaries.
To the north of Cape Tribulation
The Cape Tribulation-Bloomfield road continues beyond Cape Tribulation to the park’s northern boundary and onto Bloomfield. Due to the high gradients and creek crossings, this route is only appropriate for four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles.
Read 4WD with caution for vital information on 4WD safety and low-impact driving.
Check park notifications for the most up-to-date information on accessibility, closures, and conditions.
Access to the sea
Although boats may moor off the shore between the Daintree River and the Bloomfield River, it is not recommended owing to poor anchoring.
Daintree National Park Wheelchair accessibility
Section of Mossman Gorge The Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre and shuttle bus, as well as the Mossman Gorge day-use area, bathrooms, and the elevated boardwalk (Baral Marrjanga trail) through the rainforest to the Mossman River, overlook, are wheelchair accessible.
The Lower River route, the beach area, and the Rex Creek bridge track are all inaccessible to wheelchairs.
The section on Cape Tribulation
Three of the four short boardwalks are wheelchair accessible: the Madja boardwalk, the Dubuji boardwalk, and the Kulki boardwalk. The wheelchair-accessible stretch of the Dubuji boardwalk offers a glimpse of the beach. Wheelchair access to the creek is only available from the exit end of the fourth boardwalk, Jindalba boardwalk, near the handicapped accessible parking spaces.
Keeping safe in Daintree National Park
Please use caution when visiting this park.
Take precautions when near cassowaries. Please drive slowly through their habitat and keep an eye out for cassowaries and their chicks on the roadside. These huge birds have the potential to cause significant harm or death. Stay away from cassowaries and never feed them.
Being cassoWARY Avoid touching stinging trees. They may reach a height of 4m, have huge, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges, and are commonly found along jungle boundaries. Touching any area of the plant’s leaf causes a stinging sting. Seek medical attention if you have been stung and your symptoms are severe.
Walking in Daintree National Park (CYPAL) requires appropriate footwear because track surfaces might be uneven.
The Mossman Gorge
- Swimming at Mossman Gorge may be perilous at any time. People have died and been gravely hurt here.
- Water conditions are erratic.
- Water levels can increase quickly and unexpectedly.
- This river is risky to access due to strong currents, deep water, and buried stones.
- Do not plunge or jump into the river.
- To be safe, avoid entering the water.
- Read water safety to learn how to keep safe in and around water, as well as how to care for parks.
The Cape of Good Hope
Depending on your cell provider, there may be a mobile phone signal within around 5 km of Cape Tribulation settlement, but only limited reception farther in the national park (CYPAL).
Road conditions might swiftly worsen and become slippery. Take spare tyres in case of a flat tyre or a breakdown.
Dangerous stinging jellyfish can be found in coastal waters at any time of year, although they are more common during the warmer months. If you do decide to go swimming, a full-body lycra suit or comparable may give adequate protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Remember to be croc-aware when visiting Croc territory. For the most up-to-date safety and first-aid information, go to marine stingers.
On long hikes, make sure to drink enough of water and protect yourself from the sun. Wear proper attire and sturdy shoes.
Take Croc precautions in Daintree National Park
Crocodiles are potentially lethal. In crocodile habitats, never take needless risks. Please follow this advice and be Crocwise when in Croc territory since you are responsible for your own safety.
Follow crocodile warning signals; they are designed to keep you safe.
- Even if there is no warning sign, never swim in water where crocodiles may be present.
- Always stay a few metres back from the water’s edge when fishing, and never stand on logs or branches overhanging the river.
- Never clean or dump fish leftovers or bait near the water’s edge, campers, or boat ramps.
- Keep a safe distance from any crocodile slide markings. Crocodiles might be nearby and approach humans and boats.
- Dangle your arms or legs over the edge of a boat at all times. If you fall out of a boat, you should get out of the water as soon as possible.
- Never provoke, harass, or meddle with crocodiles, no matter how little.
- It is unlawful and hazardous to feed crocodiles.
- Camp at least 2m above high water and 50m away from the water’s edge. Avoid drinking areas for native animals and domestic cattle.
- Leave no food, fish leftovers, or bait at your campsite. Check to ensure that prior campers have not left these behind.
- Never cook, wash dishes, or do anything else near the water’s edge or nearby sloping banks.
- Keep an eye out for crocodiles at night and during the mating season, which runs from September to April.
Why is the Daintree National Park so well-known?
The Daintree is one of the world’s most ecologically varied jungles. It is home to a large proportion of the country’s animal population. This comprises 30% of Australia’s frog population, 65% of butterfly and bat populations, and about 12,000 insect species. The creatures are not only different but also one-of-a-kind.
What is the world’s oldest jungle?
The Daintree Rainforest in Australia is the world’s oldest rainforest. It’s a tropical rainforest on Queensland’s northeast coast that’s been there for over 180 million years. It occupies just more than one-tenth of Australia yet is one of the most varied locations on the continent.
What is the Daintree Rainforest famous for?
The Daintree Rainforest is a stunningly diverse landscape. From lush rainforests and mountain ranges to fast-flowing streams, waterfalls, and gorges, there is something for everyone. There is a rich and vibrant world waiting to be found here, with such a diverse assortment of flora and animals set against gorgeous surroundings