The Daintree River is an exquisite river that carves through the lush surroundings of the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland. Situated around 100km northwest of Cairns, it boasts a tropical climate rich in vegetation and fauna. Back in 1988, the river was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO, and today it remains a hugely popular tourist attraction in the region.
Set amongst kilometres and kilometres of wet, tropical landscape, the Daintree River is a hive of animal and plant life just waiting to be discovered. But it also harbours a fascinating history that weaves through the twists and turns of the scenery.
The Kuku Yulanji Tribe
At one point in time, the area was inhabited by the Kuku Yulanji people. This indigenous tribe were hunter-gatherers who used all the resources of the surrounding land. Living in small groups of around ten people, they set up camp along the river and created recipes using the local wildlife. It is thought that these tribespeople inhabited the area more than 9,000 years ago, but they remain a very important part of its history.
The Flora and Fauna of the Daintree River
The Daintree River and its surrounding landscape is known for having some of the most exciting and exotic plant and animal species in the world, thanks to its wet, tropical climate and abundance of greenery. Surrounded by a mountainous horizon, the region is sheltered and protected, proffering the perfect environment for numerous species to thrive.
You can expect to find an abundance of unique plant life around the Daintree River, including the She-Oak, a tree from the pine family that is the only remaining species of the Gymnostoma plant group in the whole of the country. These days, it can only be found in the wetland surrounding the river. This isn’t an isolated case, either. In fact, there are a large amount of plant, tree, and shrub varieties that can only be found around the Daintree River.
Animal lovers will enjoy the landscape, too, which is home to a handful of quirky creatures. One of the five species of ringtail possum can only be found in the Daintree area, thriving amongst the dense vegetation and refreshing river scenery. Known as the Herbert River ringtail possum, this species was thought to be extinct back in 1989 before they were sighted in and around the Daintree River.
You can also find a large number of saltwater crocodiles along the length of the river, so it’s important to stay away from the banks and avoid swimming in the river at all costs.
To explore the life along the Daintree River, book one of our Daintree Rainforest Tours.