10 Amazing Daintree Rainforest Facts

The Daintree Rainforest is an enchanted world of unique and amazing lifeforms and spectacular scenery.

There are ancient giants, known to be some of the world’s tallest trees, small spiny insects that are masters of camouflage, dinosaur-like birds that are flightless, there are even plants that glow in the dark!

It is a place of wonder the entire family will enjoy visiting. Our Daintree Rainforest cabins provide ideal family accommodation or for couples to relax after a long day exploring the amazing Daintree Rainforest.

Here are some fascinating facts about the Daintree Rainforest which are sure to impress!

Where is the Daintree Rainforest Located?

The Daintree Rainforest is a region on the northeast coast of Far North Queensland, Australia, north of Cairns and Port Douglas.

It takes about 2 hours to drive from Cairns to the Daintree Rainforest along the scenic coastal roads of the Cook Highway.

Amazing Fact #1 - It's the only place on Earth Where Two World Heritage Sites Meet


The Daintree Rainforest stretches out to the Coral Sea, home to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef. You can see evidence of the two World Heritage sites meeting as you wander along some of the local beaches at a low tide where fringing reef is exposed. A good example of this is at Coconut Beach pictured above.

The reefs offshore Cape Tribulation mark the spot where Captain Cook crashed the Endeavour into the reef!

Great Barrier Reef snorkeling tours are available from Cape Tribulation, ask about tour bookings at Heritage Lodge reception.

Amazing Fact #2 - The World's Oldest Rainforest

The Daintree Rainforest is at least 135 million years old – possibly even as old as 180 million years!  It is the world’s oldest tropical lowland rainforest. The Daintree rainforest has outlasted the dinosaurs, the last Ice Age and other major events which have transformed the world and is still home today to at least 12 of the world’s primitive flowering plant species.

Amazing Fact #3 - The Daintree Rainforest is a Biodiversity Wonderland


The Daintree is home to an amazing 65% of all of Australia’s bat and butterfly species, 28% of frogs, 40% of birds, 34% of mammals and 65% of ferns in Australia.

There are also over 12,000 types of insects thriving in the Daintree Rainforest, and well over 200 species of land snails.

Amazing Fact #4 - It's Massive!


The Daintree Rainforest is the largest area of continuous rainforest in Australia.

It stretches from Mossman Gorge, north past Cape Tribulation up to Bloomfield and west to the Great Divide. View locality map here.

The Daintree Rainforest covers an area of 1200 square kilometers, that’s equivalent to 25,000 football fields!

Amazing Fact #5 - It's Named After a 19th Century Geologist

In 1873 a Scottish geologist George Elphinstone Dalrymple discovered the Daintree River. He decided to name it after an English-born Australian geologist and photographer, Richard Daintree.

Richard Daintree was the first Government geologist for North Queensland discovering gold fields and coal seams for future exploitation. He was also a photography pioneer, using the new technology to capture a glimpse of early settler life during his field trips.

Amazing Fact #6 - There are Glow-In-the-Dark Plants

Daintree Fungus

The Daintree Rainforest is a bioluminescence marvel! If you take a wander through this spectacular rainforest at night you may be fortunate to spot the glow of bioluminescent moss, fungus and even glow worms! You may also spot the bright bursts of light created by fireflies drifting through the trees especially after rain.

Amazing Fact #7 - There be giants!

Daintree Forest Trees

The Daintree Rainforest has some of the world’s tallest tropical trees! Including the impressive Bull Kauri a species of conifer which can grow up to 50 meters tall and 2.7 meters in diameter.

There are also many other tall trees in the Daintree forest that tower above the canopy. These massive trees are called ’emergent trees’ and their height gives them an evolutionary advantage where they gain maximum sunlight and attract pollinators.

Amazing Fact #8 - Beloved by a 20th Century Naturalist!

The famed Sir David Attenborough has described the Daintree as “the most extraordinary place on Earth.”

Watch the video above where he discusses the Daintree Rainforest as being one of his favourite places.

Amazing Fact #9 - Home to many rare and endangered species

Ulysses Butterfly

With the abundance of incredible plants and wildlife of the Daintree Rainforest, it’s not suprising there are many species found here which are rare or endangered.

Including the giant Southern Cassowary, elusive Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo and the White Lipped Tree Frog, the world’s largest frog.

Some of the animals which call the Daintree region home, can only be found here and nowhere else on Earth. These endemic species include the Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Spotted-Tailed Quoll and the bright blue coloured Ulysses Butterfly.

Amazing Fact #10 - Over 400,000 visits each year!


The incredible natural beauty and immense wildlife diversity of the Daintree Rainforest attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year.

We’re sure you will find your visit to the Daintree Rainforest – AMAZING!

Our unique Daintree Rainforest cabin accommodation is a great spot to immerse yourself in the heart of the forest, kick back, relax and absorb the serenity. Heritage Lodge… in the Daintree, is ideally located in the heart of the forest and is close to boardwalks, beaches and swimming holes. Find out more about our Daintree accommodation here.

Author picture

Article and photography by Gemma Heggie Digital Spice on behalf of Heritage Lodge in the Daintree.

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