Visiting the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia

by Tonya Staab

Staying in Cairns, Australia? Then you need to do a day trip to the Daintree Rainforest. We’ve got tips for a self-guided tour with kids.

I’m back with more photographs from our amazing down under vacation. I”m sharing our self-guided tour through the Daintree Rainforest.

I decided against booking a guided tour, primarily because I cannot sit on a bus for a long period of time, especially with kids. I also wanted to be able to stop whenever we saw something of interest. We also wanted to stop on our way back to Cairns for dinner in Port Douglas.

We drove to Cape Tribulation for the day, which is about 2 1/2 hours from Cairns. To get to Cape Tribulation you need to cross the Daintree River by ferry. You are then free to drive around and make stops whenever you want. Our first stop was the lookout at Mt Alexander. The view was breathtaking.

The view from Mt. Alexander at Cape Tribulation

Daintree Rainforest Discovery Center

From there we wound our way around to the Daintree Discovery Centre which I thought would be a fabulous spot for the kids to explore. There is an audio guide so you can learn about everything there, which we used on and off during our walk. We then enjoyed lunch in the cafe.

Daintree Discovery Center

The aerial walkway and boardwalks wind around the Discovery Centre and through the rainforest. At the back is a 23-meter high structure that takes you to the canopy and several viewing platforms.

greenery at the Daintree Rainforest Discovery Center
trees and ferns in the daintree rainforest
ferns and a creek in the daintree rainforest
looking over the daintree rainforest from the discovery center lookout

Below are Metallic Starlings, they construct the most amazing communal nests.

metallic starlings and their communal nests in trees
metallic starling communal nests in trees in the daintree rainforest

This may look like an egg, but it is actually a Cassowary Plum, which is the favorite food of the Southern Cassowary.

a cassowary plum on the ground in the daintree rainforest
an insect nest on a plant with an ant on a leaf

After exploring the Discovery Centre we drove to the Jindalba Boardwalk, which is a quick 45-minute walk. That’s where you can really get out into the rainforest and listen to the sounds of the native birds. If you get lucky, as we did, you’ll spot a snake or two as well.

Jindalba Boardwalk

a black snack on the ground off the Jindalba Boardwalk in the Daintree Rainforest
Kids walking on the Jindalba Boardwalk in the Daintree Rainforest

We then drove further north to the Mangrove Boardwalk which is just south of the main town. It’s only a very short walk from the parking area, past the mangroves and out onto the beach, but it’s lovely just the same.

Mangrove Boardwalk

the path along the Mangrove Boardwalk in the Daintree Rainforest
mangroves along the mangrove boardwalk in the daintree rainforest
a small crab with red claws on the mangrove boardwalk
trees and mangroves along the mangrove boardwalk
coconuts in a tree
the beach at the end of the mangrove boardwalk in the daintree rainforest
looking up at coconuts in a tree in queesland

Daintree Icecream Company

By the time we were ready to leave it was mid-afternoon and we had a bit of a drive back to the ferry and then to Port Douglas. We had passed a sign for the Daintree Icecream Company on our way to the Mangrove Boardwalk, so we headed there for afternoon tea. It is well worth a stop. Not only do they make the most delicious ice cream, but you can wander through their orchard to see all of the exotic fruit trees.

daintree icecream company

I think my next post will be about Kuranda Village, train ride and skyrail. Stay tuned.

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2 comments

Jamie January 17, 2014 - 8:10 pm

I really enjoyed your pics when you were in Australia. I’m not sure if I ever shared this with you but I was there my junior year of high school for about a week and a half. A trip I will always remember. From Seeing Live Kangeroos to touching a Kangeroo to snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef and seeing my first Rainforest..

Seeing your photos brought back so many memories =) I’m glad you were able to visit home and be around family for the holidays. Was this your kids first time in Australia?

Reply
Tonya Staab January 20, 2014 - 4:33 pm

Okay completely ignore my last question :).

This was the kids 4th trip to Australia. We try to go as often as possible so they can spend time with family and so I can see my friends as well. This was their first trip to Queensland though, normally we head straight to Melbourne.

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