Set within North Queensland’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Daintree National Park is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity, home to a prolific birdlife and a number of endemic species found nowhere else on earth. It is also home to the oldest rainforest on the planet and the closest living example of the rainforests that once covered the ancient supercontinent of Gondwanaland.
The area that is now occupied by the Daintree National Park belongs to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people, with many sites of spiritual significance. More than 18,000 plant species have been recorded within the park, together with an impressive wildlife that includes flightless cassowaries, musky rat kangaroos, Boyd’s rainforest dragons and crocodiles.
The park is divided into two sections, with the towns of Mossman and Daintree Village situated within an agricultural area between the two. The Mossman Gorge is home to a visitors center that provides one entrance to the park, while the older section of the Daintree rainforest is found north of the Daintree River. The wooden boardwalks and pristine beaches of this section are accessed by an old-fashioned cable ferry across the river.
Port Douglas, which is situated just to the south of the park, is a popular base for arranging rainforest wilderness safaris and guided tours of the Daintree National Park. Alternatively, you can hire a car in Port Douglas or Cairns to explore independently, although you should keep in mind that the road is only sealed as far as Cape Tribulation Beach. You can purchase the Daintree Self-Drive Audio Guide to enhance your experience, which will give you a running commentary about the wilderness and its inhabitants as you explore, as well as a map, plant and animal guides.