Daintree is about 3 hours north of Cairns, 1-2 hours north of Port Douglas (PD). It is much quieter than either Cairns or PD, owing to the distance, crossing the Daintree river (a ferry may take cars and buses across, for a toll), conservation efforts and being off the power grid. The Daintree region is in flux regarding conflicting demands of population and economy growth and preservation of the spectacular natural environment.
The quiet environment makes for a very pleasant, laidback tropical stay, somewhat distanced from the mass tourism of Cairns and Port Douglas although Cape Tribulation is a popular daytrip for visitors and amenities for tourists abound.
Flora and faunaEdit
The park consists largely of broadleaf lowland tropical rainforests and upland tropical rainforests, although there are also significant mangrove and fan palm communities. The rainforest is an amazing array of biodiversity. Look out for the cassowary, a large non-flying bird with a "helmet" growth on its head to protect it as it runs through the forest. Of course, as with all of far northern Australia, saltwater crocodiles are present.
Tropical climate with moderate seasonal variations. The summer is the rainy season.
The most accessible way to the world's oldest living rainforest is via car, using the Captain Cook Highway (State Route 44), passing through Port Douglas and then Mossman. There is also the Daintree River ferry, although you'll need to get to the town of Daintree first. To get to the discovery centre, turn at Lower Daintree onto Cape Tribulation Road, and take the ferry from there.
No trains to Daintree though.
Fees and permitsEdit
There are no fees to enter into the park. However, tour buses may charge a fee, including the Visitor centre run bus.
You will need camping permits if you plan to camp at the grounds.
Some of the hostels rent bicycles which is a pleasant way to get around Daintree Village and see the sights while you're there. The ride from Cow Bay to Cape Tribulation is about 25 km each way and a nice daytrip, although a bit hilly in the Noah Range area.
The road is sealed all the way to Cape Tribulation and all rental companies allow cars to travel as far as the Cape. 4WDs are required only for the Bloomfield Track.
- 1 Walking or 4WD Tours by Mason Tours, 3781 Cape Tribulation Road, Cape Tribulation, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 10:30AM - 5:30PM. Why mention a boutique tour company? Well, Mason's Tours started at the same time as the national park, and has been a small family run tour company since 1932. The current family generation runs tailored walking tours around the National park, ranging from 2hr walks to overnight 4WD tours at Jowalbinna Bush Camp. Bookings are essential and must be made early. Cost Varies.
- 2 Canopy Ziplining (Jungle Surfing), 3922 Cape Tribulation Road, Cape Tribulation, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 8AM-5:30PM. Who doesn't want to see the Rainforest from the view of a bird? This activity gets close. No previous experience necessary. $109 Adults, $99 child.
There are several operators running riverboats so you can spot crocodiles on the banks of the Daintree River and also Cooper Creek.
Ocean Safari runs great 1/2-day tours to the Barrier Reef from Cape Tribulation.
Lemon myrtle oil is produced by tropical plants native to the area. It has a pleasant lemon scent and is said to have antimicrobial properties. Lemon myrtle essential oil and bath products are available (and marketed as an Australian-made product for visitors to purchase) to purchase at the Daintree Spa and some other businesses in the area. Lemon myrtle products are cheaper and easier to find up here than in Cairns or other areas of Australia.
- 1 Daintree Ice Cream Company, 1819 Cape Tribulation Rd, Diwan. noon-5PM. Has natural fruit ice creams which are delicious and made from fruit growing in the orchards just behind. Also, Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm runs tours and has local tropical fruit to buy (fresh passionfruit: delicious!)
- 2 Julaymba Restaurant & Grill, 3189 Mossman Daintree Rd, Daintree, ☏ . 7:30AM–5PM. Try some native Australian cuisine at this restaurant. Rainforest salad is great, with native ingredients
- 3 Daintree Teahouse Restaurant, 3225 Mossman Daintree Rd, Daintree, ☏ . 10AM–4PM. It's mostly the classics of Australian cuisine that's served in this restaurant along with the tropical fruits grown in the Daintree.
Daintree tea is also available to buy at shops and restaurants in the village and at Cape Tribulation.
There are a number of small shops in the Daintree area. There is one at Wonga Beach, one at Daintree, one at Cow Bay and two at Cape Tribulation. Mason's Store at Cape Tribulation has takeaway alcohol, groceries, and even a cafe. Check out the swimming hole there too. Being a remote rainforest destination, there are no Coles or Woolworths, so if you require the services of a multinational, go there before you come to the area!
There is a pub somewhere in Daintree, but some locals have said it's a bit dodgy.
Most of the lodgings will serve alcohol.
Enjoy unique spa treatments and Aboriginal culture experiences at Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa 
There are a couple of hostels at Cape Tribulation (Cape Trib Beach House and PK's Jungle Village), and Crocodylus Lodge about 20 km south of the Cape at Cow Bay.
- 1 Ferntree Rainforest Lodge, 36 Camelot Close, Cape Tribulation, ☏ , email@example.com. Set back in the heart of a lush coastal rainforest, this is an affordable tropical getaway. Located across the road from the Cape Tribulation ‘village’. Dorm from $30, Private rooms from $150.
- 2 Cape Trib Farmstay, 3939 Cape Tribulation Rd, Cape Tribulation, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10:30AM. A B&B in a tropical orchard and offers fruit tasting as well with some of the rare tropical fruits grown in the area.
There are significant crocodile numbers in the Daintree River and other creeks in the region, as well as in the ocean itself. Sometimes the riverbed will have a warning sign, but not everywhere. Stay away from the shore of the river and other creek beds. Attacks on visitors do occur, with a tourist being killed during a late night swim on Thornton Beach in May 2016.
Marine stingers are present in the water during the summer season. Some beaches are signposted with warnings for this.
You can bushwalk up to a spectacular view at Mount Sorrow in the Noah Range, but take care when you do the walk (approximately 6-8 hours - please check). Leave early in the morning with plenty of time left in the day to ascend and descend while it is still light. Walkers have gone missing on the trail.