The Daintree Rainforest is one of the oldest undisturbed forests in the world. Thanks to its isolated location, it has remained both continuous and reasonably unchanged for tens of millions of years (the exact length of time is unknown). A large part of the rainforest is located in the Daintree National Park, which is now part of the Wet Tropics, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Aborigines have inhabited the area in and around the Daintree Rainforest for tens of thousands of years. Europeans probably first spotted the forest by boat sometime in the 17th century, but it was not more extensively explored until well into the colonial era. After its ecological importance was realized, the area became protected in a national park in 1981.
The Daintree Rainforest is an immense ecological treasure. The remnant of a great forest that has survived for millions of years, there are species of plants and animals here that are extinct everywhere else (in other words, it is the oldest relatively unchanged ecosystem on the planet). In addition, it is an area of incredible and diverse beauty, with the forest climbing from the seashore to the mountainsides.
The Daintree Rainforest is one of Australia’s most beloved natural sites, but also one of its most carefully protected. Because of this much of the park is inaccessible. It is actually in two sections separated by a small developed area with two villages, and access to the forest is through this area. Web: www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/daintree (official website).