'The Daintree' refers to the coastal lowland area stretching between the Daintree and Bloomfield Rivers, home to the most diverse range of plants and animals on the face of the planet. Driving through the lush rainforest, you may not realize that this region is also a beach lover's paradise, and you will often find long expanses of golden sandy beaches, largely deserted. Oh, you want to see crocodiles?
PLEASE READ THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION BELOW ABOUT GETTING TO THE DAINTREE, AND USE THE LINKS ABOVE TO VIEW THE RANGE OF DINING AND ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS, AND THE SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE IN THE AREA.
NOTE: In this region, visitors should be particularly careful venturing near riverbeds or creeks. This is most definitely CROCODILE TERRITORY. Only swim from a beach or elsewhere if it is signposted as being safe to do so. For more information on crocodile safety, and other potential dangers, please visit our
SAFE TRAVEL page.
The World Heritage listed rainforest of the Daintree area is the largest expanse of rainforest on the continent, covering over 1,200 square kilometres. Many of the plant species found here are believed to date back to when Australia was part of Gondwanaland, and was covered with dense rainforest... over 135 million years ago. As Australia's climate changed, there were fewer and fewer places where the rainforest could survive, but the Daintree region provided one last refuge for this unique ecosystem. This is a true nature lover's paradise, abundant with tropical birds and butterflies. The Daintree is home to over 3,000 plant species, and about a third of Australia's 315 mammal species - 13 of which are found nowhere else in the world. But of course, the most famous (or infamous) resident of these forests is the giant saltwater crocodile.
Most visitors stop and visit the Daintree on the way to Cape Tribulation. For nature lovers, the Daintree will simply blow your mind, and if you explore the area a little, you will soon appreciate why movie producers have chosen this location for the filming of some of your favourite
. Taking a river cruise is essential and this is the most likely place to see a saltwater crocodile in the wild (keep your toes out of the water).
Public transport in this part of Tropical North Queensland is somewhat limited, to say the least, and we recommend visitors consider hiring a car so they can enjoy the splendour of the Daintree region at their own pace, stopping where and when they choose. Fill out the enquiry form on our page, and we'll do your research for you, finding you the absolute best deal available on the rental vehicle you need. CAR HIRE
Driving from Cairns, motorists should allow an hour and a half to reach the Daintree River crossing (or from Port Douglas, one hour). You will pass through the laid back little sugar farming town of Mossman, where a left hand turn and a pleasant fifteen minute drive will take you to beautiful Mossman Gorge, where the Mossman River emerges from under the rainforest canopy, cool and clear in a series of swimming holes. Mossman is the main commercial hub of the region, and as such the traveller should be aware that many services available in Mossman may be in short supply once you head further north.
For example, Mossman has a hospital, and a number of pharmacies. You will find a pharmacy and a health clinic north of the Daintree River but no banks, newsagencies, major supermarkets or hardware stores until Cooktown. There are ATM's at the Wonga Caltex Service Station and Daintree Palms Beach Resort. NOTE: There is no longer an ATM at the Daintree Store, but there are EFTPOS facilities. There is also no grid-connected electrical power to the Daintree - Cape Tribulation area and there are over 200 households rely on renewable energy systems such as solar power.
From Mossman, you will wind your way through vast expanses of canefields, and during the June to November season, you may have to stop occasionally at the cane-train crossings. The highway forks just south of the Daintree River, left to Daintree Village, right to the ferry crossing and on to and (if you have a four wheel drive vehicle) CAPE TRIBULATION . When you leave the ferry, you will have a much more enjoyable drive if you allow the local traffic to overtake you. COOKTOWN
Daintree Village itself is a tiny community of no more than 100 people, a sleepy village on the southern bank of the Daintree River. Originally the base for gold rush pioneers and those timber-cutters who came to the area in search of the red cedar which once were a distinctive landmark, Daintree Village is a very laid back town with a rural atmosphere. Until 1933, when the road to Mossman was complete, the village could only be accessed by the river. For the visitor, Daintree has a choice of cafes and restaurants, and a couple of souvenir stores and arts and crafts galleries. There are also free electric barbeques in the village's pleasant little Pioneers Park. In addition to the caravan park there are seven other accommodation properties in the Village area including B&B's, a world-famous eco-resort, farmstays and tropical retreats.
It seems that no matter where you go in Australia, big things are bound to be found eventually. North Queensland is no less and boasts a few big things of its own. Daintree is home to the Big Barramundi, a testimonial to the most desired fish in the area. The Big Barramundi is perched above the entrance to the Big Barramundi Barbecue Gardens. If you want to find out where the rest of the are in North Queensland, follow the link. BIG THINGS
NOTE: The Daintree River Ferry operates from 6:00am until midnight. It costs $18 for a return ticket. Fuel is not available in Daintree River, so fill up at Mossman or Wonga on your way north.
ATTRACTIONS AND THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN THE DAINTREE
If you're like most of us, you've come to The Daintree to see man-eating crocodiles! Australia's saltwater crocodiles are a living dinosaur, a massive apex predator that is best viewed from the safety of a boat. Once again, we stress the importance of staying clear of riverbanks and creeks while you are in the Wet Tropics. Crocodile attacks on humans are thankfully rare, but they do happen!
There are a number of experienced and dedicated tour operators running nature cruises on the Daintree. Some of them operate from a spot just a few hundred metres south of the ferry crossing, and others operate out of, and near to, Daintree Village where the River is narrower and more winding and offers a somewhat different experience to the majestic open expanses further downstream near the ferry.
There are many different cruises, so you can be sure you will find one suitable for your and your family´s taste. Some Daintree River cruises capture the ambience of a tropical river system during early morning or dusk. Others pack in the crocodile spotters, by the busload, during the day. One outfit specialises in wildlife at dawn and yet others concentrate on fishing and photography.
But there's much more to the Daintree Rainforest than croc spotting. Activities include horse-rides, guided rainforest walks, and 4WD Argo tours up the valley hillside to experience incredible 360 degree views of the whole region. Fishermen and birdwatchers will have the time of their life. About one third of Australia's 190 or so species of endemic freshwater fish can be found in this area throughtout the year. Gobies, Rainbowfishes, Perchlets and even Barramundi can be found here.
SOLAR WHISPER WILDLIFE CRUISES
Phone (07) 4098 7131
Daintree River wildlife cruise on a quiet, clean solar electric boat. Get closer to nature- hear, smell & experience without noise and fumes. For camouflaged wildlife, we zoom in with 'Croc Cam'. Crocodiles spotting success rate of 99%, if none spotted, cruise again for free.
BRUCE BELCHER'S DAINTREE RIVER CRUISES
2856 Daintree Road, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 7717
Bruce has operated since 1987!
Welcome to our boutique facility on the banks of the Daintree River. We are all Queenslanders and are keen birdwatchers and have a good eye for crocodiles and tree snakes.
* View wildlife & Crocodiles UP CLOSE with binoculars provided.
* No loud speakers
*Small personal groups with Bruce's 29 years experience on the Daintree River.
*Crocodiles spotted 98 per cent of trips (particularly in cooler months).
More than just a one hour cruise....come and relax in our tropical garden with the birds and butterflies and listen to nature with the Aussie owned operators.
ABORIGINAL CULTURAL TOURS AND ACTIVITIES
Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa
20 Daintree Road
Phone (07) 4098 6100
Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa offers a series of different Aboriginal experiences for their guests, from Aboriginal guided rainforest walks to art classes and Dreamtime story telling.
5 Stewart Street, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6120
Crocodile Express operates a one hour, one and a half hours or a two and a half hours cruises on the Daintree River. Their guides are local naturalists.
DAINTREE RIVER ELECTRIC BOAT CRUISES
Daintree Road, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6103
A relaxed cruise on the prettiest part of the river, Daintree River Electric Boat Cruises run personalized tours with a maximum of just twelve people.
DAINTREE RIVER AND REEF CRUISE CENTRE
PMB 4, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6115 / Fax (07) 4098 6208
Departing early morning or late afternoon, Daintree River and Reef Cruises will take you to the most charming part of Daintree River.
DAN IRBY'S MANGROVE ADVENTURES
Phone (07) 4090 7017
Dan Irby's offers Daintree River cruises which are very personal and informative for both the amateur and professional visitors. Join Dan for a Daintree River Tour and you will see and learn about the interaction and importance of the fascinating plants and animals found only here.
JAMES BEITZELS FISHING
Public Wharf, Daintree
(400 metres before the ferry crossing)
Phone (07) 4090 7638
Whether you are a novice fisher, experienced fly fisher, young or senior, naturalist, photographer, or a family group, you can be assured of a personalised, relaxed and easy going charter with Jamie and his enthusiastic personality.
Upper Daintree Road, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6000
Get off the beaten track with Tranquility Tours and experience a piece of the Daintree rainforest that only a few have the opportunity to see. Take a journey into the world's oldest living tropical rainforest and immerse yourself in nature with this guided Daintree rainforest tour.
DAINTREE DISCOVERY TOURS
Phone (07) 4098 2878 / Fax (07) 4098 3716
The Daintree Discovery Tour will show you the most significant areas of the Daintree National Park, including the township of Mossman and the Daintree River, where you will enjoy a fantastic cruise. The tour will also take you to Cape Tribulation, where the Rainforest meets the Reef and to the heart of the oldest continual living rainforest on earth.
DAINTREE MANGROVES WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Phone (07) 4098 7272
The Sanctuary is a great day out from Port Douglas or Cairns for families, individuals and groups wanting to see, touch and photograph wildlife set within wetland reserves and purpose built aviaries with first class amenities for your comfort.
MUSEUMS & ART GALLERIES DAINTREE TIMBER GALLERY
Phone / Fax (07) 4098 6224. Open from 10:00am to 4:00pm, seven days a week.
The Timber Museum, if you want to learn more about the town's timber milling history, with photos of the massive red cedar trees that timber cutters cut down, is worth a visit. The museum also holds an exhibition of carpenter's tools and techniques as well as a woodworking shop where you can purchase beautiful pieces of wooden furniture made with local timbers.
NATURAL SITES PIONEERS PARK
Pioneers Park, in the main street of Daintree Village and close to the jetty, is a perfect spot to enjoy an Aussie style barbecue while spotting birds. You can start the day by having breakfast along with the birds and other animals in the park, where you can make free use of one of the electric barbecues available and refill with water as many bottles as you want from the free tap. The village received a Tidy Towns award for its clean water.
Once you have finished your breakfast and are full of energy, you can take one of the two of Daintree's walks that start at Pioneers Park. One of them is the Daintree Village natural walk which takes you along Stewart's Creek Road, take the first track to the left, on the edge of Pioneers Park and go past the water treatment plant. The walk will offer you magnificent views of the Daintree Village and the Daintree River. The other walk is aimed more for birdwatchers, also along Stewart's Creed Road.
Hundreds of bird lovers arrive to the area every year to see more than the 430 different species of birds that either inhabit or pass through the area. This number is more than half the bird species for the entire continent. Lesser Sooty Owls, Macleay's Honeyeaters, Pied Monarchs, Victoria's Riflebirds, Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers, Great-billed Herons, Little Kingfishers, Black Bittern, Mangrove Robin, Lovely Fairy-wren, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Red-necked Crake and of course, the Southern Cassowary, classified as an endangered species, are some of the birds that can be spotted. The Cassowary Husbandry Workshop is a must for everything you ever wanted to know about captive cassowaries. For more information about birdwatching in Daintree, please refer to our birdwatching section. BIRDWATCHING
We recommend you to wander around the village early in ther morning or in the late afternoon, the best times to see the amazing birds that inhabit this area. Have a look at the power lines, where you will spot Sacred Kingfishers and White-breasted Woodswallows. If you go for a stroll in the night, you won't miss the Blue-winged Kookaburras and Bush Stone-Curlews, and, occasionally, a Papuan Frogmouth. These are just a few of the birds that can be seen around Daintree Village, but there are many many more.
The Daintree River is famous among locals for its amazing birdwatching possibilities. There are a number of tours available to take you along the river and discover for you the fantastic birds that have made of this river their home. Among the species that can be found are the Great-billed Heron, Little Kingfisher, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Black Bittern and so on up to 40 or 50 different ones.
STEWART CREEK ROAD
This road is a birdwatcher's favourite, allowing any of you to see even 50 different species of birds along the way. Some of the ones that can be spotted are Spotted Catbird and Victoria's Riflebird, plus Kingfishers, the Black Bittern when in season, Papuan Frogmouth and Lesser Sooty Owl, these last two only seen at night.
UPPER DAINTREE ROAD
From Stewart Creek bridge, the upper Daintree Road travels for another 10 kilometres until it reaches the Daintree River at Baird's Crossing. Different birds have made this area their home, some of them, among others, are Kingfishers, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Cuckoo-Shrikes, Fairy-wren, Flycatchers, Monarchs, Grey Whistler, Honeyeaters, etc.
The Daintree region is internationally recognised as one of Australia's most spectacular locations to see and enjoy different species of animals. From birdwatching to fishing, from butterfly to crocodile spoting, the area is a haven for all the visitors that want to experience nature at its best. WILDLIFE
But fish and birds are not the only animals that can spotted. Butterflies spoting is a beautiful way of spending a relaxing afternoon, keep an eye for the male Birdwing butterfly, with its colorful wings where gold, black and green are combined to form spectacular designs. And in the Lower Daintree River Estuary, one of the most gorgeous eco-systems in Australia, an amazing diversity of terrestrial and marine animals co-exists together. An experience not to be missed!!!
However, the stars of the area are the Crocodiles that can be found in the Daintree River. Although there are two species of crocodiles in Australia, only the "salties", freshwater crocodiles, inhabit the river. The population of crocodiles is around 70 and the largest one found is about 5 metres long. The best time to see them is during the dry season, in winter, when the water is cold. You can take one of the many tours available to spot crocodiles and other reptiles that are present in the area as well, such as lizards and snakes. And birds as well!
ACCOMMODATION - DAINTREE
Daintree accommodation varies from affordable motel rooms to modern resort accommodation. There is also a great range of home style bed and breakfast accommodation in Daintree, not to mention a caravan park with cabins, and a number of spacious, family friendly holiday homes. Scroll down or use the buttons on the right to choose your style of Daintree holiday accommodation.
HOTELS AND RESORTS
DAINTREE ECO LODGE AND SPA
20 Daintree Road, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6100 / Fax (07) 4098 6200
Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa - offers award winning, unique tree house style resort accommodation in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest World Heritage region, just 40 minutes drive north of Port Douglas on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
DAINTREE RIVERVIEW CABINS
Stewart Street, Daintree Village
Phone / Fax (07) 4098 6119
Daintree Riverview Cabins are inexpensive Daintree Village accommodation in the form of en-suite cabins in an elevated position with uninterrupted views of the Daintree River, Daintree Valley and the rainforest-clad mountains beyond
DAINTREE BEACH HOUSE
44 The Esplanade, Wonga Beach
Phone (02) 4098 7116
Mobile 0413 120 405
Large open Kitchen, Lounge, Game Area, Foyer and Verandah allow views to the Pool and beyond to the lush green and blue vista of the Coral Sea. With Four Bedrooms allowing bed configuration for three couples and two singles or two couples and four singles this house never feels crowded. Two modern Bathrooms have been designed for the easy use for families with children or for a romantic getaway.
TRANQUILITY ON THE DAINTREE
Upper Daintree Road, Daintree
Phone / Fax (07) 4098 6000
Set on a secluded 450 acre private property, Tranquility on the Daintree is more than just accommodation - it is an exclusive self contained accommodation experience that allows you to experience everything the Daintree has to offer.
BED AND BREAKFASTS
RED MILL HOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST
Red Mill House, Daintree Village
Phone / Fax (07) 4098 6233
Choice for birdwatchers for many years.
Red Mill House in Daintree Village, Tropical North Queensland offers deluxe Daintree accommodation to travelers who are interested in nature, wildlife and conservation. Red Mill House Bed and Breakfast combines an historic Queenslander home with a modern, tasteful addition that has an AAA 4 star rating. Daintree accommodation at Red Mill House includes ensuite queen and king bed rooms which are spacious and comfortable with wide verandahs overlooking the extensive tropical and rainforest gardens. A two bedroom family unit, sleeping four, is also available for families. Rooms are air-conditioned and with a ceiling fan. A large saltwater swimming pool is available for cooling off in the warmer months.
DAINTREE VALLEY HAVEN
Stewart Creek Road, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6206
Tranquil, Secluded Tropical Retreat
Daintree Valley Haven is the perfect hideaway for couples, birdwatchers, honeymooners and nature-lovers - or to simply escape and relax for a while during a busy holiday schedule. Three self-contained, air-conditioned B&B rainforest bungalows on a lovely secluded 30-acre property near Daintree National Park. Designed for couples, each has a queen-size bed and convertible sofa for one extra person, ensuite with shower, cooking facilities, comfortable lounge and dining area and private verandah overlooking a wetlands-dam. Walking tracks, tropical gardens, jacuzzi, barbeque - a birdwatcher's paradise - yet handy for all the region's attractions. Daphne and Peter, owner-managers of Daintree Valley haven, keep a fascinating blog of their rainforest life at
DAINTREE ESCAPE BED AND BREAKFAST
17 Stewart Street, Daintree Village
Phone (07) 4098 6021 / Fax (07) 4098 6023
Daintree Escape accommodation is a blend of lush tropical gardens, deluxe tropical cabins, casual sophistication, modern amenities and warm, friendly hospitality. Enjoy the rustic guest lounge, bar and kitchen facilities conveniently locacted next to the pool.
DAINTREE WILD BED AND BREAKFAST
Phone (07) 4098 7272
Great value B&B for visitors interested in wildlife, no matter the season, no matter the weather. Awake to the view of World Heritage Daintree Rainforest on one side and the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on the other.
KENADON HOMESTEAD CABINS
Phone (07) 4098 6142
Kenadon has just seven fully self-contained accommodion cabins, sleeping up to five people. Kenadon Homestead Cabins are suitable for couples or a whole family looking for a Daintree escape. Each cabin offers comfortable accommodation and is fully self-contained.
CARAVAN PARKS AND CAMPGROUNDS
DAINTREE RIVERVIEW CABINS
Stewart Street, Daintree Village
Phone / Fax (07) 4098 6119
Daintree Riverview Cabins also have a camping ground on the lower area by the river - the ground is level with lush lawns, shady trees and 2 free undercover BBQ's
DINING - DAINTREE
DAINTREE TEA HOUSE RESTAURANT
Mossman-Daintree Road, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6161
Rainforest dining at its very best. The longest-established restaurant in the Daintree area. Serving local produce of the highest standard. Open for lunch all day, seven days per week.
Stewart Street, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6146
Affordable quality meals. "Relax and enjoy the difference" on our outdoor veranda, where you can sit back and admire the beauty and serenity of the surrounding coutryside. All our meals are prepared from the freshest ingredients for your dining pleasure.
JULAYMBA RESTAURANT AND GALLERY
Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa, 20 Daintree Road, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6100
Taste the sensations of the Tropics! Australian cuisine infused with gourmet bush tucker. Fully licensed a-la-carte restaurant. Open for breakfast and dinner. Devonshire Teas available.
DAINTREE CAPE TRIBULATION CROSSROADS CAFE
Daintree Road, Lower Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 7658
Light meals and take aways are available. Home-made ice creams. Local crafts and souvenirs.
3-5 Stewart Street, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6173 / Fax (07) 4098 6173
Small but comprehensive menu offering anything from a simple, home baked Aussie beef pie or fish and chips to contempory Australian Pacific cuisine with an Asian influence. Try crocodile wontons, sugar cane prawns or Barramundi steamed with green ginger and eschallots.
BIG BARRAMUNDI BBQ GARDENS
12 Stewart Street, Daintree
Phone (07) 4098 6186
Specialising in traditional Australian tucker such as barramundi, seafood, crocodile and kangaroo on a patio with natural timber tables overlooking the rainforest.
GETTING TO DAINTREE
As we mentioned above, public transport is quite limited throughout the region and it is generally recommended that visitors who do not have their own vehicle should hire a car. Why don't you let us sort out this for you and save yourself the hassle? Visit our page and we will do all the hard work for you. After all, you are coming to Tropical North Queenland to relax, aren't you? CAR HIRE . . Both banks of the river are linked by a 21-vehicle car ferry. The Daintree Ferry is the only cable ferry operating within Tropical Australia and its daily hours of operation are between 6am and midnight. It only takes a few minutes to cross the river and there are around 140 crossings each day. Cost is $18 per vehicle return as per December 07.
SUN PALM EXPRESS
Phone (07) 4087 2900
Sun Palm Express runs a number of services every day from Cairns to all points north as far as Cape Tribulation, picking up and setting down at all accommodation houses, hotels, air, bus, train and shipping terminals.
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In case of
. In all other cases, phone the local service for Mossman:
Ambulance (07) 4098 1100 or 131233
Hospital (07) 4098 2444 or (07) 4098 1211
Police Mossman (07) 4098 1200