Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts

On this page you have some Daintree tropical rainforest facts. 

Daintree rainforests are the most famous tropical rainforests in Australia.

They are not in any way better than Australia’s other rainforests in Wooroonooran National Park, Kuranda, Atherton Tablelands, Misty Mountains, Mission Beach, Girrigun National Park or Paluma Range, but somehow they pull more travellers. Here is some information about endangered rainforest animals, tropical rainforest food chain and tropical rainforest plants; and in the end of the page is a map of the area.

Stream in a Forest, Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park, Queensland, Australia
Daintree Rainforests. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Tropical Rainforest Ecosystem

Rainforests are, along with coral reef, one of the species richest ecosystems on the earth. It is interesting then that both biomes are poor in nutrients. In the rainforests, soils are leached quickly by abundant rains. But heat and humidity, two of the most important factors for plant growth, make so many plant species thrive and grow so lush that they keep up the productivity (of dead plant matter on the ground) and compensate the lack of nutrients deeper down in the soils.

Roots of a Giant Tree, Daintree National Park, Queensland, Australia
Daintree Rainforests. Poster by AllPosters
. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Plants Compete for Light

Such forest grows so thick that soon there will be not enough light and in the competition about light, the most successful tropical rainforest plants grow very tall. Rainforest trees grow 50-60m high and their thick canopy will leave the rest of the rainforest species in the shade. Different plants try different methods to get to the light. Epiphytes grow high up on the tall trees. Vines climb up along the trunks of the tall trees to cover their canopy. Most of the rainforest ground is very empty of plants where the forest canopy is thick, but as soon as the canopy is broken by a fallen tree of damage of a tropical cyclone (hurricane) and the light can reach the ground, smaller plants start growing there. Tropical rainforests are in that way adapted to the tropical weather – just as the eucalypt forests in southern Australia need bushfires, tropical rainforests are adapted to a cyclone to open the canopy every now and again.

River Flowing through a Forest, Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park, Queensland, Australia
Daintree Rainforests. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Tropical Rainforest Plants

There are countless species of rainforest plants in the Daintree National Park. Different species of rainforest palms, cycads, ferns, orchids, vines and lianes, mosses and lichens all compete with each other about light and space. Mangroves and large rainforest trees grow buttress roots (mangroves also have other root strategies) to cope with tides and floods. Strangler Fig is an interesting tree that climbs up a tree trunk and by the time it is high up it has often killed the tree because it has run out of nutrients. Many rainforest plants are also poisonous or stingy so it is not recommended to go touching or tasting plants you don’t know.

Buttress Roots, Daintree National Park, Australia
Buttress roots. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to

Here are some great ways to experience Daintree while saving time and hassle.







Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Endangered Rainforest Animals?

There is also a large number of species of animals in the tropical rainforest. There are some endangered rainforest animals, and some of them are endemic to Australian rainforests. Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo and the masked white-tailed rat are endemic to the park, while others include rainforest possums, musky rat-kangaroos, spectacled flying foxes and saltwater crocodiles. There are over 400 bird species in Daintree, including the southern cassowaries (they are endangered), imperial pigeons, fruit doves, paradise kingfishers, little kingfishers and great-billed herons.

Southern Cassowary (Casuarius Casuarius), Daintree National Park, Queensland, Australia
Cassowary. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

These tours go even further north to the infamous four wheel drive Bloomfield Track, and Cooktown - the most interesting town in Cape York, surrounded by lush tropical rainforests..




Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Mossman Gorge

Daintree National Park covers a large area and has a few different sections. The southernmost one is Mossman Gorge – just west of the small town Mossman north of Port Douglas. Mossman Gorge covers 56,500ha but most of it is inaccessible. The most accessible part of it is in south, next to the Mossman town where a 10 minutes walk from the car park you come to the Mossman River Lookout, and Rex Creek Suspension Bridge.

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Here is the beautiful Mossman River that has carved a gorge into the mountains and the water cascades large granite boulders surrounded by dense green rainforest vegetation. Going to the water is dangerous as the rocks are slippery and the water is cold – people have drowned here. Across the bridge is other, longer, bushwalk called rainforest circuit track which may take you an hour. There are no camping grounds in Mossman Gorge, but if you want to camp in this, more remote section, you have to contact EPA. The closest places to stay are Mossman, Port Douglas and Cairns.

Rainforest, Daintree National Park, Queensland, Australia
Mossman Gorge. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Daintree Village and Daintree River
North of Mossman Gorge is the Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree National Park. There is first a turnoff to Daintree Village – a small township with some shops and cafes, and then you come to the Daintree River - the place to go on crocodile-spotting tours - an excellent way to see large crocodiles in the wild.

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Tour operators that take you on croc spotting trips on the Daintree River are based in the Daintree Village – so turn in there and try Daintree Rainforest River Trains, Daintree Connection, Electric Boat Cruises, Peter Cooper’s Mangrove Ecosystem Tours or Chris Dahlberg’s Specialised River Tours. A few places to stay in the Daintree Village are Red Mill House, River Home Cottages, Daintree Valley Haven, Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa and Kenadon Homestead Cabins.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - North of Daintree River

Back on the main road, you will have to cross the Daintree River on a ferry to get north to the Cape Tribulation. North of the Daintree River is a turnoff to Cape Kimberley, and after that you come to Mount Alexandra Lookout, where there are some nice views over the ocean.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - North of the River

North from Cape Kimberley is Jindalba, a short but nice boardwalk through some tropical lowland rainforest. Here is also the excellent Daintree Discovery Centre where boardwalks take you to different levels in the rainforest. On the rainforest ground you can see cassowaries walking around, a bit higher up there are vines and epiphytes, and highest up you can discover the species of birds and butterflies that live in the tree canopy. It is an excellent place and very informative with lots of information about all the species and how they work together in tropical rainforest food chain.
The Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation National Park, Queensland, Australia
Tree tops. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Mangrove Communities

Further north is Cow Bay Village and the turnoff to Cow Bay on the coast, and north from there are Thornton Beach, Mount Emmett and Marrdja, where there is a 1.2km loop boardwalk through rainforest and views over mangrove forest.

Daintree River, Cape Tribulation National Park, Queensland, Australia
Mangroves. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Mangrove Habitat
North from Marrdja is Noah Beach, and further north is Myall Beach, where there is Dubuji – a 1.2km boardwalk through lowland rainforests and mangrove swamps. There are also informative signs about tropical rainforest plants and animals species around here, as well as picnic tables, toilets and barbeques.
Daintree Rainforest in Cape Tribulation National Park, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Rainforest in Cape Tribulation. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Cape Tribulation Beach
North from here you’ll come to the Cape Tribulation Village where there is an eatery and a few shops, and from the car park you have a nice boardwalk to the Myall Beach through some nice mangrove communities. From the picnic area at the Kurki Visitor Centre there is another, 800m boardwalk to a lookout point overlooking the beach and the ocean.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Upland Rainforest
Inland from her is the Mt Sorrow Ridge Walk – a 7km return walk to the top of Mount Sorrow. It starts in a lowland rainforest valley with dense vegetation with large trees with buttress roots and as it goes up into upland rainforest, the vegetation changes to feather-leafed palm trees and finally wattles. On the top, you have a lookout point at 680m with some great views across the ocean, Snapper Island and coral reef. There is no camping up here and you have to make the walk back the same day so make sure you start early. And be aware that it is a demanding walk which recuires good fitness levels and careful planning – only experienced bushwalkers should do this walk.
Queensland,, the Beautiful and Very Diverse Daintree Rainforest, North Queensland, Australia
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Tours

There are a few tours you can join in the Daintree Rainforests. You can go on guided rainforest walks with Jungle Adventures and Mason’s Tours, horse riding with Wundu Trailrides, and flights with Gondwana Aviation.

Cape Tribulation is close to the Great Barrier Reef, so Rum Runner will take you out to the coral reef, and Tropical Paradise B&B offers sea kayaking. River cruises are popular even here, and you can go on a trip along Cooper Creek with Cooper Creek Wilderness Cruises.

Accommodation south of Daintree River:

Cockatoo Hill Retreat

Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa

Daintree Escape B&B

Daintree Riverview Lodges and Campground

Daintree Valley Haven B&B

Red Mill House B&B

Daintree Tropical Rainforest Facts - Accommodation
Accommodation in Cape Tribulation Village includes cheap camping, middle-range motels and more expensive B&Bs. You can go camping quite cheap at Lync-Haven on Cape Tribulation Road, Noah Beach Camping Area in Noah Beach and Club Daintree in Cape Kimberley. There are cheap dorms in Crocodylus Village, Cape Tribulation Beach House, Ferntree Hostel and PK’s Jungle Village.

A bit more expensive places are Cockatoo Hill Retreat, Cow Bay Hotel Motel, Daintree Escape Bed and Breakfast, Rainforest Retreat Motel, Daintree Valley Haven Bed and Breakfast, Daintree Deep Forest Lodge, Red Mill House Bed and Breakfast (Daintree Village) and Daintree Manor Bed and Breakfast on the way to Cape Tribulation; and Bloomfield Lodge, Tropical Paradise B&B, Daintree Heritage Lodge, Daintree Rainforest Retreat Motel, Cape Tribulation Retreat, Cape Tribulation Resort & Spa, Daintree Wilderness Lodge, Rainforest Hideaway, Jungle Treehouse, and Cape Trib Farmstay in Cape Tribulation. One of the most expensive places is Daintree Eco Lodge.

Accommodation north of Daintree River including Cape Tribulation:

Bloomfield Lodge

Cape Tribulation Beach House

Cape Tribulation Resort & Spa

Daintree Heritage Lodge

Daintree Rainforest Retreat Motel

Daintree Wilderness Lodge

Ferntree Rainforest Lodge

Jungle Lodge

Wait a While Retreat

Here's a map of Daintree rainforests where I have tagged the places that I mentioned on this web page. You can click on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.

View larger map

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