How was the Daintree Rainforest created?

How was the Daintree Rainforest created?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/22/2019

Reading time: 4 mins

Step inside the Daintree Rainforest and be welcomed with a charming natural paradise in Queensland.

The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest on the entire planet. The Daintree stretches over 1000 square kilometres with trees towering 50 metres above our heads. But how did this vast greenery of life come to be and why here in Queensland, Australia?

How the Daintree started

Millions of years ago, Australia was a warm humid climate with continuous rainfall (not much has changed either)! Due to the type of climate, rainforests flooded the entire country, even in the red centre where Uluru is.

Over time, the climate was slowly changing. Parts of the land became drier and parched from how hot it was and extinguished the rainforest lands, except for one. Queensland remained the ideal climate for one tropical rainforest to keep flourishing, the Daintree Rainforest.

Today, the Daintree Rainforest is now 180 million years old making it the oldest rainforest in the world, beating the Amazon Rainforest by 10 million years!

Daintree Rainforest

The history with humans

There were around 18 different Kuku Yalanji groups of people living within the Daintree Rainforest over 50,000 years ago. They co-existed with the rainforest, depending on the vegetation within to survive. They had used the plants and trees for shelter and ate the wildlife and plants, with some providing fruits.

The Kuku Yalanji people were existing in the Daintree Rainforest until the European settlers arrived in Australia. The potential for gold attracted the Europeans to the Daintree where they were mining the area and attacking the Kuku Yalanji people.

Due to the Daintree having such a high diversity of flora and fauna, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.

Threats to the Daintree

Climate change is the biggest threat to the Daintree Rainforest that it can’t defeat. Due to humans continuously harming the earth, we are starting to see what the damage is doing to our environment.

Greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, leading the Earth’s temperature to rise. The Daintree needs the right temperature for it to continue to be suitable for the plants and wildlife. Without enough moisture, the rainforest will suffer droughts which will eventually kill all plant life. With the loss of plants will lead to a food shortage for the wildlife and humans and soon resulting in species becoming endangered and extinct.

What things can I do in the Daintree Rainforest?

Emmagen Creek

There is so much to see in the Daintree where you could easily spend a week exploring the world’s oldest rainforest. But we always don’t have time, so around two days can be best to see the Daintree’s highlights.

Daintree River

The Daintree River is the main river system in the rainforest that weaves through the Daintree and out into the Coral Sea. You can go on a Daintree River cruise where you might be lucky enough to spot a saltwater crocodile in the water or on the riverbank.

On the cruise, the river guide who will tell you about the Daintree, while pointing out any of the Daintree wildlife that might be around.

Swimming holes

The Daintree Rainforest has so many refreshing swimming holes you can cool off in. Some of the best places to swim in the Daintree include Emmagen Creek, Mason’s Swimming Hole, and Mossman Gorge.

Walking trails

There isn’t a better way to see the Daintree Rainforest other than walking through it! There are different lengths of walking trails you can take through the rainforest that is either a short or long walk.

For enjoyable walks through the Daintree, we recommend taking the Rainforest Circuit Track or Madja Boardwalk. If you’re looking for remarkable Daintree and coastal views, Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail has it all.

Only have a day to see the Daintree? No problem at all, you can join this incredible one-day Daintree Rainforest tour that includes Cape Tribulation and Mossman Gorge!

Related article: Is the Daintree Rainforest the Oldest in the World?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.