Is the Daintree rainforest dangerous?

Is the Daintree rainforest dangerous?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 03/21/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

Before marching into the unknown at Queensland’s rainforest of Daintree, first, you must find out the risks.

This lush greenery may be outstandingly beautiful but inside there a few things to watch out for.

Animals to stay clear of

  • Crocodiles

    Australia’s Saltwater Crocodiles are truly unique creatures. Massive reptiles covered in green, brown, and white scales, sinking deep into the rivers and watering holes throughout the Australian tropics. They are very strong and fast, using their camouflaging powers to snatch their prey effortlessly. Unfortunately for us, we fall under the category prey with these creatures, with numerous deaths and injuries throughout history, with an average of two fatal occurrences per year. Daintree is swarming with crocs, all looming in rivers, watering holes, and the nearby ocean. Make sure to always check for signs or with a professional guide before approaching the water, let alone swimming in it.

  • Snakes

    Although snakes get a bad reputation, not all of them are dangerous. Despite this, staying clear of most is probably best, as even if they aren’t poisonous, they can still bite you if threatened. There are around 43 different snake species in the rainforest, all ranging in colour, attitude, and habitat. Most of the time snakes will duck out of the way when they hear you coming, but if you happen to come across one, stand completely still until the snake passes.

  • Ticks

    Although they are tiny, Ticks pack quite a punch. They burrow themselves deep in the skin and feed on the blood of mammals, birds and sometimes reptiles, and will defiantly find a human a tasty treat. A large amount carries tick-borne diseases, so make sure to wear long sleeves and pants, or carry a pair of tweezers just in case you need to yank any out of your leg.

  • Leeches

    Leeches are the creepy mascot of moist rainforests, found in watering holes, damp land spots, and even puddles. Shaped like black slugs, they attach themselves to bar skin to drink your blood. To avoid getting sucked in the first place, spray vinegar or insect repellent on your skin. If your unlucky and they have already latched on, remove them with salt, alcohol, or even fire.

Plants to stay clear of

  • Tree Sap

    Some sap from certain trees can cause skin irritations and rashes. To avoid this don’t brush or lean against any trees with sap showing as well as not pulling foliage off plants.

  • Stinging Plant

    With fine poisonous hairs that stick out from its heart-shaped leaves, the stinging plant suits its name completely. When brushing against these plants, the thin sticks penetrate the skin and cause severe irritation, sometimes even lasting up to two months after the sting. If you do happen to get unlucky with this plant, remove the hairs with either depilatory wax or adhesive tape.

Tips and Tricks

  • Always stay on the paths

    One of the main tricks in avoiding the most dangerous areas and things in the rainforest is to stay on the man-made paths. These paths rarely have any dangerous plants boarding them to avoid any harm to come to visitors.

  • Go on a Tour

    If you are still a bit hesitant, why not go with a professional. These guides travelling in and out of the rainforest every day and know every safe and dangerous place around. Feel comfortable following your guide while you hear the amazing facts and history of this area.

Related article: The Pythons of the Daintree Rainforest

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.