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Daintree National Park was founded in 1981 and became a World Heritage Site in 1988 because of its exceptional biodiversity. The southern and larger part of the park is called the “Mossman Gorge section” while the northern part is called the “Cape Tribulation section”.
The name of the park comes from the Daintree River, which was named after pioneering Australian geologist and photographer Richard Daintree.
The Daintree Rainforest is likely the oldest continuously existing rainforest on the planet. It is estimated that it is more than 110 million years old.
The park houses more than 430 bird species, several rare mammals, at least 23 reptile and 13 amphibian species.
Most importantly: There is absolutely no swimming in the ocean due to crocodiles, poisonous jellyfish and other hostile sea creatures in the water!
There are multiple companies offering day trips to Daintree, but you can self-drive if you like.
The drive from Cairns to the Mossman Gorge Centre was about 1h 15min.
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The Mossman Gorge section covers 56,500ha of mostly inaccessible rainforests and mountain woodlands. Coming from Cairns, you will enter Daintree National Park near Mossman Gorge.
At Mossman Gorge Centre you can board a shuttle bus that brings you to the gorge where you can see the Mossman River and all the rounded rocks it has created. Swimming is permitted but can be dangerous.
Your next stop could be the Daintree River Cruise Centre for a 1h Daintree River cruise where you can spot large saltwater crocodiles.
The next stop is the Daintree River Ferry, which is the only operating cable ferry in tropical Australia.
After the ferry, the wilderness starts and the road narrows and you will soon enter the Cape Tribulation section of the park.
The Cape Tribulation section covers 17,000ha including Australia's last extensive stretch of lowland rainforest. Originally, this section was its own separate park, called “Cape Tribulation National Park”, but it was absorbed into Daintree National Park in 1983.
The next stop is the Mount Alexandra Lookout.
The last stop is the Kulki Boardwalk that leads to Cape Tribulation Beach. Alternatively, you can take Myall Beach track or Dubuji Boardwalk to Myall Beach.