The World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest is Australia’s tropical paradise. Learn more about the wet tropics and how you can discover it yourself.
The Daintree Rainforest – Australia’s Heritage Listed Rainforest
The UNESCO World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest is Australia’s tropical paradise.
The Daintree is the largest continuous rainforest in Australia spanning 1200km2.
Just like coral reef systems of the world contain the densest marine life populations in the ocean, tropical rainforests contain the densest wildlife populations in the world… And the ancient Daintree is no exception and is a must do experience for anyone visiting Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
The Daintree Rainforest, coupled with the Great Barrier Reef, is the only place on Earth that you can experience two World Heritage sites in the same location.
Cairns Tour offers several tours options to suit all preferences and budgets.
Daintree Rainforest History
The Daintree Rainforest is the ancient remnants of a tropical rainforest that spanned across the country millennia ago when the world climate was much more humid.
As the climate became temperate and Australia became the arid “Wide Brown Land” that it is today, the rainforest receded to the area it covers today.
This ancient forest is still home to many ancient plant and animal species.
The rainforest was originally home to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people and are considered the traditional owners of the land.
Since European discovery in 1770, the rainforest has been called home to; gold miners, timber cutters and farmers.
Larger settlements were established from 1880 and since World War 2 the timber industry grew and much of the forest was cleared until the area was declared a Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in 1988.
Daintree Rainforest Wildlife
The rainforest is home to a huge population of Australian reptiles, birds and mammals… some more iconic than others.
There are many reptile species that have called the rainforest their home since ancient times, the most well known being the Estuarine (or Saltwater) Crocodile. Of the roughly 70 crocodiles that call the Daintree River their home, the largest are known to be up to a massive 5 metres in length and weighing in at up to 1,000kg!
As well as these fearsome creatures, there are also a wide variety of species including; Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Eastern Water Dragon, Major Skink, Firetailed Skink, Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko, Eastern Brown Snake, Taipan, Death Adder, Red-bellied Black snake, Amethystine Python, several goannas and frog species.
Of the many bird species that call the rainforest home, the most unique and iconic to the regional being the Cassowary. This magnificent creature, its neck and wattle adorned with blue, purple and red is one of the few large flightless bird species in the world, standing taller than most people at 2m tall.
Unfortunately the Cassowary is an endangered species due to the human settlement and domestic dogs in the area.
There are hundreds of other recorded bird species to be spotted including; Azure Kingfisher, Paradise Kingfisher, Pied Imperial Pigeon and Orange Footed Scrub Fowl to name just a few.
Most of the mammals living in the Daintree Rainforest are nocturnal so are often more difficult to spot than the reptiles and birds. If you are lucky enough you may see several possum, kangaroo, wallaby and quoll species.
The Daintree River Ringtail Possum won’t be seen anywhere else in the world.
The Spotted Tailed Quoll is an endangered species so a sighting of one would be very rare indeed… Be sure to have your camera at the ready.
Unlike most kangaroos and wallabies that spend their life on the plains and forest floors, Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo spends almost its entire life high above in the branches of the large ancient trees.