Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift By
Posted 23 Jan, 2014 | 3 Comments
Posted in: Places

When on holiday in Australia, just about everyone has the Great Barrier Reef on their list of must see places. What you may not know is that just about a 2 hour drive north of Cairns (the main port city for the Great Barrier Reef) is one of the most unique and lush tropical rain forests in the world. The Daintree Rainforest should not be missed and should be added to your vacation bucket list immediately. There is overnight camping available as well as hotels, bed & breakfasts, resorts, and hostels so that you can spend more time in the Daintree region no matter what your budget is.

Some fun facts about the Daintree Rainforest:

  • It’s the largest continuous rainforest in Australia.
  • It’s the oldest rainforest in the world.
  • The Daintree Rainforest has the most biodiversity with the largest variety of plants per square metre on the entire planet.
Photo By: Killerscene via Wikimedia Commons
Photo By: Killerscene via Wikimedia Commons

There is plenty to see and do in the unique tropical landscape. If you decide to take a road trip to the Daintree region, we recommend a 4WD from Budget Car Hire to be able to easily and affordably traverse the rugged terrain of the region. Once you arrive, you can book one of the many eco-tours with guides who help you navigate the rainforest and see everything first hand while responsibly conserving and ethically preserving this precious land. Tours include different walking tours for all ages and abilities, wildlife and bird watching tours, and other outdoor adventures in nature. Self-drive and self-guided tours are also available.

Daintree Skyrail

Daintree Sky Rail

Skyrail Photo Credit:

The Skyrail is one of the most popular and exciting things to do in the Daintree Rainforest. The Skyrail cable cars give you a view of the rainforest canopy from high above. The cable car descends below the canopy for some of the trip so that you can get a bird’s eye view and a close up look at nature. A round trip is available, or you can choose to only travel the Skyrail one way and get out and explore each location.

Things to Do in Daintree Rainforest

Here are 10 highlights of exploring Australia’s raw beauty in the Daintree Rainforest and surrounding region:

  • Day & Night Tours are available so that you can take advantage of camping overnight in the rain forest.
  • Boating and Kayaking are available both in the Daintree River and the ocean along the Daintree coast with views of the rainforest from the ocean.
  • Fishing Charters are available on the Daintree Coast for salt water fishing.
  • Hiking Trail Tours allow you to choose from botanical walks, beach walks, bird watching, nocturnal wildlife, or a number of other scenic trails. Hike tours last anywhere from 30 minutes up to 6 hours with nature guides that are fun and informative.
  • Aboriginal Culture Exploration and Learning Tours educate you about the original native inhabitants of this land.
  • Daintree River Cruises can range from a relaxing ride through the tranquil forest or wildlife adventure cruises into crocodile territory.
  • 4WD Tours are available in guided or self-drive packages.

Image Credit:

  • Watersports including snorkelling and SCUBA diving along the Daintree Coastline or kayaking and boating in the Daintree River.
  • Aerial Tours are available via plane and helicopter.
  • Wildlife Experiences are a great way to catch a glimpse of the diverse wildlife living in the Daintree Rainforest. There are cruises, as mentioned above, that are specifically geared towards wildlife in the area. There are also wildlife expeditions which are guided tours that get you up close and familiar with fauna of the rainforest.  In the same way that the Daintree Rainforest has diverse are rare flora, this is the largest concentration of animal species that are rare or threatened in the world. You can see the likes of Estuarine Crocodiles, the Cassowary bird, Musky Rat-Kangaroos, the magnificent blue Ulysses Butterfly, Sugar Gliders, Goannas, and the Giant Tree Frog.

So if you’re planning a trip to The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, you should definitely consider a side trip to Daintree Rain Forest where you can have plenty of amazing experiences which are all a good value. If you want to experience the great outdoors of Australia, there’s no better place. Get your boots and binoculars ready, because you’re in for an amazing trip!

Have you ever been to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia? What side-trip did you take? Please share with us below!


Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra and in many cases you receive a special discount. We appreciate your support!

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Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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3 thoughts on “Daintree Rainforest: A Side Trip from the Great Barrier Reef

  1. Beautiful photos guys!! This brings back mostly wonderful memories. We did this day trip from the Great Barrier Reef several years back when we were living in Australia, just before we got married in Melbourne.

    Unfortunately I had waaay too much to drink the night before and was ill when we picked up the rental car. My now Aussie wife’s license had expired so my very hungover American self had to do the driving.

    It was stunning, but totally spoilt given that I had to periodically pull over on the windy roads to be well, a little ill 🙂

    Cheers guys and keep on enjoying Mexico! 🙂

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