10 Amazing Facts About The Daintree Rainforest

One of the most fascinating forests in the world can be found in the northeastern part of Australia. It holds some incredible secrets and a remarkable record as well.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some fun and interesting facts about the Daintree Rainforest, an incredible piece of nature that attracts visitors from all around the world!

1. It’s located just north of a city in Queensland

The Daintree Rainforest is a wonderful piece of nature that stretches along the east coast of Australia in the state of Queensland. This is situated in the northeastern part of the country.

The closest city in the region is Cairns which is located about 100 kilometers (61 miles) to the south. The rainforest stretches along the coast up to Cape Tribulation, a prominent headland and small village in the Shire of Douglas region of northern Queensland.

Cairns Queensland
Cairns in Queensland / Frances76 / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

2. It was named after a famous Australian geologist

The forest was named after Richard Daintree (1832-1878), an Australian geologist and the first government-appointed geologist in Queensland.

He’s famously known as a pioneer in the field of photography and discovered numerous gold and coal fields for the local government.

In return, multiple features in northern Queensland were named after him, including the Daintree Rainforest, the Daintree River, the Daintree village, and the Daintree National Park.

Richard Daintree in 1875
Richard Daintree in 1875 / Wiki Commons

3. It’s part of a larger tropical rainforest in the region

The Daintree Rainforest covers an area of about 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles), all the way from the town of Mossman in the south to Cape Tribulation in the north. The oldest and most interesting part of the forest is situated north of the Daintree River.

The larger area is referred to as the “Wet Tropics of Queensland” and covers an area of 8;940 square kilometers (3,449.64 square miles). This area is so unique that it has been designated as a natural UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988.

Daintree rainforest view
View of the rainforest / Kyle Taylor / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

4. It’s one of the most amazing rainforests in the world for this reason

One of the most fascinating facts about the Daintree Rainforest is that it’s considered to be the oldest continuously growing tropical rainforest in the world. This means that this is a completely untouched piece of nature that features a unique and fascinating biodiversity.

There are very few pieces of nature in the world that come close to this area as only the rainforests in Madagascar and New Caledonia feature a comparable level of endemic plant and animal species.

Daintree rainforest inside
Inside the rainforest / Wiki Commons

5. The region features more incredible natural landmarks

The other remarkable facts about this particular rainforest are its unique combination of dense forests with white sandy beaches. To top it off, just off the coast we can find marvelous reefs as well.

All of this makes this one of the most amazing places in the world to visit for nature lovers, which is exactly why the area has become a popular tourist destination.

Luckily most parts of the forest are protected since 1981 as the “Daintree National Park” in order to preserve the unique biodiversity of this fascinating place.

Daintree rainforest beach

6. It has an extremely diverse concentration of animals

The number of animals living in the rainforest is literally astounding. On this relatively small piece of land which covers just 0.12% of land in all of Australia we can find:

  • 30% of all frog, reptile, and marsupial species in Australia.
  • 90% of all bat and butterfly species in Australia.
  • 7% of all bird species in Australia.
  • 12,000+species of insects live here.
Musky-rat kangaroo
The endemic Musky-rat kangaroo / PanBK / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

7. It’s home to a wide variety of bird species

The trees of the rainforest are populated with hundreds of different types of beautiful bird species, including the endemic tooth-billed and golden bowerbirds, lovely fairywrens, Macleay’s, and bridled, yellow-spotted, and white-streaked honeyeaters.

This is the main reason why it became part of the “Daintree Important Bird Area,” an area of about 2,656 square kilometers (1,025 square miles) important for the conservation of birds.

There are also some incredibly grumpy and dangerous birds roaming around in these forests, including the endangered Southern Cassowary, one of the 3 extant cassowary species.

Southern cassowaries daintree rainforest
Southern Cassowaries / Brian Gratwicke / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

8. Some of the oldest land plants in the world grow here

While the fauna of the rainforest is extremely diverse, the flora is even more fascinating. It features some ancient plant species which are considered to be some of the oldest land plant species in the world.

These include various families of ancient ferns, including the:

  • Marattiaceae (giant or king ferns).
  • Osmundaceae (royal ferns).
  • Schizaeaceae (comb ferns).
  • Gleicheniaceae (coral ferns).
Daintree rainforest flora
Plants inside the rainforest /

9. The forest was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015

The amazing coastal scenery of rainforest stretching all the way to white sandy beaches and the fringing coral reefs just off-coast is quite remarkable.

This has resulted in the Daintree Rainforest being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as an integral part of the larger Wet Tropics of Queensland.

15% of this entire region which covers an area of 893,453 hectares is protected by national parks. Apart from the Daintree National Park, these are part of the larger area as well:

  • Barron Gorge National Park
  • Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park
  • Cedar Bay National Park
  • Edmund Kennedy National Park
  • Girringun National Park
  • Kirrama National Park
  • Kuranda National Park
  • Macalister Range National Park
  • Wooroonooran National Park
Daintree national park and rainforest
Daintree National Park / Wiki Commons

10. A mountain nearby provides fascinating views of the forest

Inside this amazing rainforest, we can also find various retreats and lodges for tourists who want to explore the region, many of which are located right inside the oldest part of the rainforest, just north of the Daintree River.

In case you intend to visit the area you definitely must hike to the top of either Mount Peter Botte or Thornton Peak, some of the highest mountains in the region.

These peaks offer astounding views of the entire area which is definitely one of the most fascinating natural spots in the world!

Thornton Peak Daintree rainforest
View of the forest from Thornton Peak / Goldenbowerbirds / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en