Daintree is a small tourist centre for some of North Queensland's most beautiful tropical rainforest. Situated on the banks of the famous Daintree River, the village is clean, green and picturesque. The Daintree Village Jetty is a short stroll downhill from the Daintree Hotel in the main street.
Location: 111 km north of Cairns; 56 km from Port Douglas. Daintree Village (Pop >100) is 20 kms by sealed road, into the valley, from its entrance at Wonga Beach. Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is almost 2000 kms to the south-east. Starting with Port Moresby there are in fact three other capitals closer than Brisbane. The others are Darwin, Noumea and Jayapura (Irian Jaya).
Places of interest: McDowell Ranges; Daintree River; Daintree National Park; 'Big Barramundi'; Daintree Rainforest Discovery Centre; Timber Museum
Look out for the March 1996 flood level as you walk down to the Daintree Village Jetty. To get an idea of how much a river can rise with one and a half metres of rain in 5 days, stand alongside the toilet block, on the corner of Stewart and Dagmar Streets, and imagine starting your river tour there instead of where the Jetty is.
The closest old growth rainforest walks to the village are on the north side of the river. Experience the world's oldest rainforest by walking it.
There are some truly magnificent views to be had from lookouts over the river along the last 4 kms of the Daintree Road approaching the Village. The two southernmost ones afford good looks from Humbug Reach and from the northernmost one you can see the mouth to Barratt Creek and the length of Windy Reach.
Mackay and Undine Reefs are two two very different snorkel destinations, each with its unique and extraordinary array of Marine life and coral species. On a clear day you can see the rainforest along the mainland beach whilst snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, home to an abundance of marine life as well as beautiful hard and soft corals.
Enjoy the breathtaking Cape Tribulation scenery as you meander your way through the oldest living rainforest in the world on horseback. Ride through crystal clear mountain streams, through paddocks and along riverbeds until you reach the spectacular Cape Tribulation Beach . One of the few places in the world where you can stroll along the beach and ride along the ocean edge on horseback, soaking up the atmosphere of the pristine beaches of Cape Tribulation. On the way back you will stop at a private swimming waterhole where you can enjoy morning or afternoon tea and take a refreshing swim This tour will truly be one of the most memorable things you can do in Australia.
Sea Kayaking with Paddletrek allows you to take in the natural beauty from a completely different perspective, seeing the amazing marine life, fringing coral reefs and the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park. Cape Tribulation Sea Kayaking Tours has morning and afternoon tours daily. The tour is designed with leisure and enjoyment in mind.
The Clink Theatre is located in Port Douglas which is only 45 minute drive from the Daintree Village. The Clink hosts around 4 plays per year and is also the venue for live music from visiting performers. Diane Cilento's Karnack theatre is in the Wyanbeel Valley north of Mossman. Some may remember Diane as the Award Winning actress and ex-wife of James Bond--Sean Connery. Widow of Anthony Shaffer internationally acclaimed playwright of work such as Sleuth which became a Hollywood movie. Phone 4098 8194.
Travelling around Australia you have probably come across the "bigs" whether it is a big banana, big pineapple or a big prawn. Daintree has it's own, the Big Barramundi, in the main street. Of the many species of fish to be found in the Daintree River, Barramundi is probably the most sort after for tag and releases or eating. Large Barramundi have been caught from the Daintree Village Jetty with the simplest of hand lines. The Daintree Store and Caltex Service Station at Wonga Beach carry bait and tackle.
Coconuts are everywhere and have hundreds of uses. They are also potentially dangerous. Do not go under nut laden trees especially in strong wind. Again most are on public land and so fallen nuts are free. To get to the inner nut is hard work if you don't have the right equipment, like a pick concreted into the ground, a kind local may give you a hand. In the early summer months the mangos ripen and fall from the trees near the esplanade areas of Wonga Beach and alongside most roads. They are almost always on public land and free for the taking.
Daintree Village is a good place for birdwatching. One of the best walks can be done from the Village. Start at the beginning of Stewart's Creek Road alongside Pioneers Park. This follows the river upstream and has very light traffic, be careful of it. The road will take you along the cliff above the river and then down through some rainforest, across a creek, more rainforest and then out onto the grass covered floodplain and along to the Stewart's Creek bridge. Not only look out for birds but listen for them as well, especially in the rainforest parts.
The Daintree Bird Walk is an early morning guided walk with the Birdman of Daintree for a small fee. During the night often a distant wailing sound can be heard close to the Village. It is the call of the nocturnal Bush-stone Curlew. They sleep by day on the ground just back from the bank of the river downstream from the Jetty. A stealthy walk from the lower carpark will let you see them and if you are quiet and don't go too close no harm will be done.
Ospreys are universal sea hawks and great symbols of conservation. They are found in every continent, except Antarctica, and it was in the eggshell of Ospreys that DDT was first found. Loosely translated this chemical was sprayed to kill insects which were then eaten by fish which were then eaten by Ospreys and the chemical then concentrated at the end of the food chain. One noticeable symptom was the seriously weakened eggshell. DDT was eventually banned because of this remarkable find. Ospreys thrive in Australia. There are 2, easy to find, nests. One is in the telecommunications tower near the entrance to the Village. This nest was first built in 2001.
On winter morning the sun shines on the northern bank of the river at Humbug Reach right opposite two of the lookouts. If the tide is lowish sandy patches emerge. With those conditions, very often a crocodile can be viewed, by the naked eye, lying in the sun. The clues are; winter (May to Aug), lowish tide, and sun. During the last four winters crocodiles have also been seen, on the far side of the river, from the Daintree Jetty during the day. And it is not unusual to see one at dawn or dusk swimming.
One of the most spectacular Daintree nature shows is from the Windy Reach lookout, in late Spring/early Summer, at dusk, if the Spectacled Flying-foxes have set up their maternity camp in Barratt Creek. The flying-foxes at this time of year fan themselves for most of the day. They become very dehydrated and right on dusk they fly down to the water in Windy Reach, just in front of the lookout, drink on the wing and then fly off into the sunset. Crocodiles are more active at this time of the year and may lie in wait for the flying-foxes as they come down to drink. Be early the twilight is quick, for times just check the time of twilight on the day before.
Historically Daintree was first settled in the late 1870s and early 1880s by timber cutters who were searching for cedar trees in the rainforest. At the time there were large stands of red cedar near the river and the loggers moved the felled timber down the river by constructing rafts from the logs and some of their original tools may be viewed in the Daintree Timber Gallery. For over 25 years, the Timber Gallery has sought out only the most unique species of wood to create their world famous vases, bowls and other natural works of art.
Explorer George Dalrymple discovered the Daintree River in 1873 and wrote at that time; "no river in North Australia possesses surroundings combining so much of distant mountain grandeur with local beauty and wealth of vegetation" and this still holds true today. Daintree was first settled in the late 1870s and early 1880s by timber cutters who logged the large stands of cedar trees then found in the rainforest. They were followed by dairy and beef farmers, though today the mainstay of the local economy is tourism.
Origin of name: derived from Daintree River, which was named by George Dalrymple (1826-1876) explorer, public servant and politician, on 6th December 1873, after Richard Daintree (1832-1878) geologist and photographer who was also Queensland's Agent-General in London.
Daintree Village, being the only main centre for miles in the late 19th century, is steeped in history. The Village was supplied by boats using the high spring tides to get them up the shallow river. It wasn't long before there was a bridle path to Mossman and ultimately a road. The oldest building still standing is the Timber Gallery in Stewart's Street which was built in 1925. It is made from timber milled at where, stands today, the Daintree Riverview Lodge and Camp Ground. An important part of the eco systems here are the termites which eat timber. It is quite amazing that these buildings are still standing. There are now some photosigns sprinkled around the Village.
The Daintree Cape Tribulation Rainforest in North Queensland Australia is one of the most diverse and beautiful examples of Mother Natures work in the world. This ecologically unique rainforest is home to the most extensive range of rare plants and animals on earth, and all are found within an area of approximately 1200 square kilometers the largest chunk of protected tropical rainforest in Australia.
The Daintree Cape Tribulation rainforest is a World Heritage Listed area and contains the highest number of plant and animal species that are rare, or threatened with near extinction, anywhere in the world. The Daintree Cape Tribulation Rainforest is a unique area, precariously balanced between the advances of development and the warnings of environmentalists. There are so many things to do and things to see in the Cape Tribulation & Daintree Rainforests, you have the choice of a Day Tour or Overnight Accommodation and spend a few nights in a luxury eco resort or wilderness lodges or simply glamping or backpacking with a few mates.
The beaches of the Cape Tribulation Daintree Rainforest region are rated among the most spectacular in the world. The tropical warmth combined with dazzling sunshine and crystal clear calm water makes you wonder if this is what heaven could be like. One of the most wonderful features of Daintree beaches is the lack of people. Stretching for miles, you can cast your eyes along the golden sand and not see a single soul, just the trees waving at you in the breeze.
The tropical rainforest is home to the most diverse range of plants and animals on earth. The Daintree Cape Tribulation region supports species of plants and animals that have existed for millions of years and are integral to the ecosystem not just of the Daintree Rainforest, but of other areas around the world too. As difficult as it may be to imagine, what happens in the Daintree Rainforest affects what happens on the other side of the planet.
Infortmation courtesy of daintree.info/