4 Ways To Explore The Daintree Rainforest
As the only place in the world where two World Heritage listed sites co-exist, Port Douglas is not only beautiful, but also a haven for reef and rainforest adventures. Up here in Far North Queensland, an hour north of Cairns, lies the magnificent Daintree Rainforest. The world’s oldest living rainforest is nearly 900,000 hectares in size with a huge biodiversity of flora and fauna, some that are entirely unique to the area.
Hiding 180 million years of secrets, there’s loads to explore and with so much to see and do, it can be hard to know where to start. It’s why we’ve rounded up four ways to explore the tropical Daintree Rainforest with something to suit every type of traveler.
Cruise along the Daintree River
One of the world’s most diverse river ecosystems, the Daintree River starts 50 kilometres north of Port Douglas and is the perfect water highway to explore the lush area. Expect to see saltwater crocs, frogs, snakes, butterflies and birds in their own stunning natural habitat while hearing about the history of this vibrant river ecosystem.
There are half a dozen operators who cruise the mighty Daintree River including Daintree River Cruise Centre, Daintree River Cruises, Solar Whisperer, Daintree River Wild Watch and Crocodile Express. Take a look at each operator to choose a one- or two-hour classic cruise, or find a special sunset cruise or after-dark tour to see the animals come out to feed.
Connect with the local Kuku Yalanji people
For more than 50,000 years the local Kuku Yalanji people have been living in harmony with the Daintree Rainforest. Journey into Dreamtime legends and unearth the magic of indigenous culture with a musical and cultural feast. Be taken deep into the rainforest, where an open-air ballroom awaits complete with candle lit surrounds, chandeliers and welcome champagne.
Feast on a sumptuous banquet of fresh local produce, sip wine and listen to dreamtime stories and the haunting sounds of the didgeridoo. Try kangaroo and bush tucker fruits at the award-winning Flames of the Forest, a cultural highlight in Far North Queensland that combines a spectacular outdoor setting with local culture and food.
Wujul Wujul with the Walker Family
For a unique experience focusing on the ancient traditions, heritage and culture of the Kuku Yalanji people, join the Walker family who have called the Daintree Rainforest home for tens of thousands of years. Wujal Wujal is a small Aboriginal community and their lands encompass the spectacular Bloomfield falls (of which they are named after) near Mossman.
Join a trek to the falls via the rainforest track where plants, animals and birds will be identified and unique bush tucker and medicinal foods explained. From using tree bark as a tranquiliser to stun fish in a billabong, to the super vitamin C hit you can get from licking a green ant’s bottom – this tour will fascinate, educate and enchant as the gentle and passionate guides at Adventure North Australia proudly show you around their home.
Get a scoop at the Daintree Ice Cream Factory
A great drive that the whole family will love is a trip to the Daintree Ice Cream Factory. Head north from Port Douglas to the Daintree River ferry crossing to cross the mighty Daintree river by car. Another 14 kilometres drive north through pristine rainforest will take you to tropical ice-cream heaven.
Homegrown and homemade, all ice-cream here is made onsite using tropical fruit grown in the family orchard. Flavours include a tropical North Queensland selection of regular favourites such as banana, lychee, mango and mulberry, but also an exotic selection with lesser known varieties including soursop, mangosteen, yellow sapote, rollinia, sapodilla, jackfruit, malay apple, mamey sapote, breadfruit and davidson plum… just to name a few!
Wander through the tropical fruit orchard and plant nursery, pick up a souvenir gift, or just take your time considering the flavours. A special tasting cup is available for those that find it impossible to choose just one.