What are the best tropical forests you have learned about for many years?
You guessed it right! It’s the Amazon Rainforest or even the rainforests of Borneo.
However, you must undoubtedly admit that these are some best rainforests but are ultimately not the only rainforest found across the globe.
Subsequently, in the Australian Continent, you may have known that the place is best suited for its beautiful deserts and beaches.
But you might be astonished that this arid country boasts a rainforest in its continent, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed since 1988 and one of the world’s most spectacular rainforests.
Well, it’s the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia!
If you have missed it in your upcoming tourist itinerary to Australia, make it a top priority to visit before you step off the Australian shores.
And before you go there, ensure to glue your eyeballs until the end of this article to get adequate information that an entire library can offer you!
So, stay tuned as we zoom into this unique and exciting landscape…
1. The Daintree in Queensland, Australia: A Spectacular Coverage
With creeping vines, an emerald thicket of trees and exceptional biodiversity, the Daintree is one of the oldest rainforests that existed millions of years ago.
Even today, the forest offers magical ancient energy to every visitor who steps into the place.
You can find that Sir David Attenborough, a 20th-century naturalist, has commented that the forest is
the most extraordinary place on Earth
as the forest remains spectacular to view and immerse yourself in the lush canopy of nature.
So, like its unique geography, there is some fantastic stuff to enjoy, from immersing yourself at a luxury healing spa, crocodile spotting, and river rafting to soak into the knowledge contained within the rainforest for generations, from the locals to spearfishing.
Interesting fact: Did you know? This lush wonderland sprawling over 750 sq miles served as an inspiration for James Cameron to film Avatar.
However, though this rainforest is unlike an experience at the Great Barrier Reef, it’s worth it to top your bucket list to time travel backward to the ancients and enjoy some exotic wildlife of Australia!
2. How Big is the Daintree Rainforest?
Considered a precious resource and a rare gem, the Daintree spans around a 1,000 sq mile landscape. It is the only tropical rainforest that is situated in a continuous area on the Australian Continent.
It grows like a continuous chain in the Daintree River’s Northern coastline up to the sea’s edge. This is the only peculiar rainforest in the world that grows meeting the ocean!
Astonishing Fact: Did you know? The Daintree has two World Heritage- Listed Sites meeting the coast. One is the end of the Wetlands World Heritage Site and the start of the Great Barrier Reef National Park!
3. Where is the Daintree Tropical Rainforest Located?
The rainforest is situated in Tropical North Queensland and is divided into two sections by a small agricultural land.
The Northern part of the rainforest, known as the Daintree Coast or The Daintree, occupies the low-lying coastal areas between the Bloomfield and Daintree Rivers, meeting the reef.
Subsequently, the Southern part of the Daintree region extends from Mossman Gorge’s rainforest walks on the North Mossman River up to the Daintree River. This area is also inclusive of
- Rainforested coastal ranges
- Pristine beaches
- Tropical farmlands
- Wildlife sanctuary
- Tropical gardens
- Minuscule, historic Daintree Village, where descendants of the earliest pioneering families occupy
If you wish to take a tour here, the best mode of transportation is renting a car from Port Douglas and driving 86 km North to the Rainforest and the Daintree National Park. From Cairns, it’s a two-hour drive.
The rainforest, Daintree Village, Cape Tribulation, and Mossman Gorge are within the park boundaries, with numerous mountains and beaches.
So, as you drive through to the spot, keep your eyes open to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the rainforest-covered mountains, secluded palm-fringed tropical beaches, hidden coves, lush sugar-cane fields, and rugged headlands.
4. Why is the Daintree Rainforest Important?
The Daintree is one of the oldest, most famous, and unique rainforests you can ever find across the globe. Here’s why this tropical wonderland is so important;
4.1 The Size of the Rainforest
This is the rainforest that runs continuously across precisely 1,200 square kilometres. It is obviously the largest rainforest in Australia and has ranked third place in being the largest in the world.
Situated between Port Douglas and Cooktown, this rainforest can contain 16 times the country of Singapore within it!
4.2 The Age of the Rainforest
You might have an interrogation popping in your mind about how old is the Daintree Rainforest.
This is normal for anyone enthralled by the breathtaking beauty of the place. Now, ready to be spellbound as this rainforest dates back 180 million years, older than the 10-million-year-old Amazon Rainforest!
So, this is the only rainforest that allows us to trace the evolution of plant life on Earth over the Amazon.
4.3 The Wildlife of the Rainforest
As a result of its existence since the foundation of planet Earth, this Rainforest has a complex ecosystem housing 50% of plants and animals worldwide. Also, the rainforest has primitive flowering plants, which scientists believe to obtain records of the evolution of the species of flowering plants.
Records show that 12 out of 19 primitive species of primitive plant species on earth are found in this rainforest, along with 77 exotic threatened species of Daintree Rainforest plants.
For instance, the Idiospermum australiense (aka the Idiot Fruit) grows only in this rainforest and is the rarest primitive flowering plant species. Also, the vulnerable species of Trailing sundew (Drosera prolifera), near-threatened species of Yellow siris (Archidendropsis xanthoxylon), and the endangered species of Mangrove orchid (Dendrobium mirbelianum) are found only in this rainforest.
Fact time: Did you know? The Idiot Fruit that litters this rainforest dates back to when Dinosaurs roamed the planet. Also, you can find trees towering as tall as the Statue of Liberty up to forty-four meters in this rainforest.
Subsequently, looking at the Daintree Rainforest animals, this place holds a sizeable fauna population than the rest found in Australia. The rainforest comprises 30% of Australia’s frog inhabitants, 65% of butterflies and bats, 18% of the total avian species, and around 12,000 distinct insect species.
You can find the rare endangered Cassowary, Bennets Tree-Kangaroo, the Ulysses butterfly, and the White-Lipped tree frog.
Finally, many plant and animal species are endemic to the rainforest and are unsuitable to grow or breed in any part of the world!
4.4 The Mountains in the Rainforest
The mountains comprising the coast of the Daintree region comprise metamorphic rocks. These were produced as a series of pushes by the granites in that coastline.
Interestingly, the Great Dividing Range, one of Australia’s significant mountain ranges, extends further to Queensland and the Daintree. These ranges have similar flora you find in the Daintree.
The highest mountain peaks of the Daintree are Mount Sorrow (743 meters), Mount Hemmant (1040 meters) and Thornton Peak (1374 meters).
4.5 The Daintree Rainforest Climate
The rainforest experiences a tropical climate throughout the year, with varying temperatures and precipitation between summer and winter.
In winter, the days drop to 26°C, with nights taking a significant dip in temperature. You can experience this climate in July, one of the coolest months in the region.
Consequently, the temperature shoots up to 32°C in summer, and you can experience this climate in January or February.
4.6 A Gateway to Tourism
It’s a great natural attraction and a famous tourist spot for millions of visitors annually. The mesmerizing landscape offers beautiful mountains, beaches, rivers, rainforests, gorges, and waterfalls.
Most dazzling landmarks are accessible, and it would be of great worth if you could make it to them on your upcoming trip!
Insider tip: Don’t forget to step on the shores of Cape Tribulation, walk the white sandy shores, enjoy the crystal waters, and horse ride along the beach. Also, immerse yourself in the breathtaking views below after trek up to Mt. Sorrow.
Ultimately, these are a few of the many features of this peculiar rainforest amidst an arid country like Australia. There are so many parts that are yet to be explored!
5. The Dainty Daintree History: Where it All Began?
Existing for 180 million years, the history of the Daintree dates back to the arrival of the Indigenous peoples of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji tribe. They were the traditional rainforest owners of the rainforest.
However, since the rainforest was extensive and thick, 18 Aboriginal groups camped there and are connected with the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. However, the Kuku Yalanji tribe co-existed in the rainforest to survive and thrive.
They had significant knowledge about the rainforest, lived on vegetation, and hunted local animals.
Mind-Blowing Fact: Did you know? The Kuku Yalanji tribe had gathered poisonous or toxic vegetation for survival. But they knew how to remove the toxicity from them!
This tribe existed in the rainforest for more than 9000 years until the European invasion of Australia in the 1800s.
With the discovery of gold in the rainforest, the British colonisers attacked the indigenous locals and began mining the rainforest. In 1988 the first village was introduced.
As a result, a significant part of the forest was destroyed. However, you must note that the years before 1988 did not have a village.
Later after the discovery of the primitive flowering plants, the region became a World Heritage Listed Site and a popular tourist destination since the 1950s.
6. Unbelievable Stories from the Heart of Daintree
Being one of the most fascinating and unique rainforests in the world, the Daintree is the best place to visit to enjoy as a family!
So, keep reading these marvellous Daintree Rainforest facts that will surely itch your wanderlust to take a trip to this extraordinary World Heritage Listed Site hailing since the Jurassic period.
6.1 It was Named After a Prominent Geologist and Photographer
The name of the rainforest was given in honour of Richard Daintree, a renowned 19th-century Australian geologist, and photographer. To begin a career, he initially ventured into prospecting for gold.
Being the first Government approved geologist for Northern Queensland, he recorded the gold mines and coal seams for further exploration as time progressed. Also, he was a photography pioneer who photographed the locals and their communities on his trips.
As a result, his work became an allure to attract British emigrants to take over these colonies.
6.2 This Old Rainforest Stood the Test of Time
Apart from the major world events and the many other rainforests Australia had earlier, the Daintree has outlasted and remains to date to take a trip.
Initially, Australia was blanketed by lush rainforests that were dwindling with a shifting environment and increasing to an arid climate over time. Today, they are over the landscape of Australia as a desert or bushland, and you can consider the Daintree a scene of earlier Australian Geology.
6.3 Some Plants Can Glow in the Dark
The Daintree is also known as a place to experience bioluminescence marvel. If you stroll through the forest at night, you might be lucky to find a glow of bioluminescent fungus, moss, and even glow worms!
Interestingly, you can spot fireflies drifting through the trees with bursting bright lights after a shower in the rainforest at night.
6.4 The World’s Tallest Tropical Trees are Found Here
Numerous trees tower above the forest thicket and are considered even the tallest in the world! One such kind is the Bull Kauri, a conifer species that grows up to 50 meters tall and 2.7 meters wide.
These trees are also known as emergent trees, which have a great potential to tap maximum sunlight and attract pollinators.
6.5 The Rainforest Offers Space to Celebrate the Rich Indigenous Culture
Through the eyes of 18 Aboriginal tribal groups, you can get a first-hand experience of rich and diverse Indigenous culture.
A visit to the Mossman Gorge Centre and its Dreamtime Walk, some ancient sites drowned in heritage.
To top it all, you must take the Walkabout Cultural Adventures, operated and owned by the Kuku Yalanji tribe at Cape Tribulation.
6.6 Trees, Trees, and Trees that are Unique and Abundant
Every hectare of land in the rainforest houses distinct trees that are not found in the totality of the United Kingdom. Take a trip to the Daintree Discovery Centre to get the best glimpse of the unique plant life on the 23-metre Rainforest Canopy Tower.
6.7 The Daintree Food Trail
Enjoying just the green expanse of the rainforest is the ultimate thing to do at the Daintree. You can take an edible adventure by visiting the Daintree Food Trail.
This trail celebrates the people and their produce of the Douglas Shire and Daintree. Take an authentic guide map to give your tastebuds a taste of the exotic fruit orchard, the exotic flavours of the Daintree Ice Cream Company, and the 2,500 species of Cape Trib Farm.
7. Final Verdict
Learning about the Daintree Tropical Rainforest has certainly whetted my travel appetite to return. I hope they have inspired you to visit and explore the exotic spheres of nature in this fantastic rainforest!
By the way, don’t forget to explore other informative and enlightening articles from us here!