165 million years old, Daintree Rainforest is the world's oldest continuously surviving tropical rainforest and a world heritage site. In late July 2018, we flew to Cairns and picked up a car and continued our journey north to Daintree Rainforest.
It's about 2 hours drive from Cairns. But it took us much longer as we paid a quick visit to Port Douglas and Palm Cove on our way. Both of the two towns are popular tourist/resort towns in their own right, with beautiful beaches and sophisticated tourist facilities. We could have stayed for a couple of days in both of them, maybe next time.
When we finally arrived at our guest house, it was dusk already. The guest house owner showed us around the property which turned out to be a mini rainforest by itself. The most intriguing thing is that the owner carved and thoughtfully placed over 100 statues in his forest, forming an enchanting sculpture trail. We spent over an hour meandering around pathways, discovering and appreciating statues. It was so unexpected but so much fun!
In the following couple of days we went on several hikes at Mossman Gorge, Daintree Discovery Center and Cape Tribulation to intimately explore and experience this ancient rainforest. Many creatures call the lush jungles home and we were lucky enough to meet some of them: a colourful Boyd Forest Dragon hanging onto a tree so still that we almost missed it right in front of our eyes and most excitingly a cassowary, which is the third tallest bird in the world, wandering around at an off-the-beaten track. We also did a cruise on the Daintree River and spotted a number of saltwater crocodiles which were 3-5 meters long, baking in the warm sun on the river bank (they don't like to stay in the cold water for too long in winter). We learned from our guide that a saltwater crocodile can live up to 70 years old!
From Daintree Rainforest, one can easily go visit another world heritage site, the Great Barrier Reef as the two are connected. That's why it's such a special place!