Discover Queensland’s Amazing Rainforest Experiences

Daintree National Park

Top Rainforest Experiences In Cairns Australia

Many travelers come to Cairns because of its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef.  But if you’re looking for a eco-vacation stop with lush, mountainous rainforests where you can go for picturesque walks, Cairns is a great choice.  Cairns, a city located in Australia’s northern Queensland region is famous for its World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park.  In this article, we will focus on the rich rainforest experience offered by the city of Cairns.

1. Daintree National Park

Without further delay, let’s delve into the most popular woodland attraction in Cairns: the World Heritage site Daintree National Park. You can reach the famous greenwood area by driving roughly two hours north of Cairns, and once you are there it is strongly recommended to stay a day or two to fully explore and appreciate the perks of the wilderness.

Daintree National Park

Wikimedia Commons by Dhx1

Recognized as one of the three oldest rainforest systems in the world, Daintree National Park is home to a great diversity of plant and animal life. Tourists usually stay at least overnight to have time to enjoy everything, and there are several outstanding lodges available just outside the forest area to choose from. There are also a number of tours and cruises offered in the region if you want a professional guide to show you around, or you can also traverse the forest on your own for a more authentic ranger feel.

Inside the forest, you can find rare animals native to Australia like the endangered tree-kangaroos and the notoriously popular cassowary, also known as “the world’s most dangerous bird.” Be alert and careful if you do spot one, as the cassowary got its moniker because it has been known to cause serious, sometimes even fatal damage to people if provoked.

If you want an authentic and native experience, Daintree National Park serves daily tours with the local Kuku Yalanji aboriginals as your guide. The Kuku Yalanji indigenous people have lived in the region for thousands of years, and this program gives tourists the chance to immerse in their culture and enjoy the forest through their perspective. The tour includes tasting their local delicacies, viewing their homes and observing their daily activities, among others.

2. Daintree Rainforest River Cruise


Daintree National Park offers a river cruise for tourists interested in getting a close-up view of the local wildlife of the rainforest. The Daintree River is one of the most highly populated coastal bodies in the entire world and is home to several rare and endangered species of marsupials, crocodiles, snakes, birds, frogs and butterflies, among others. A lot of people take the tour just to see estuarine crocodiles up close and in their natural habitat, with expertly-trained rangers making sure the interaction is perfectly safe.

Daintree River is also an ideal location for fans of bird watching. The natural composition of the surrounding area – mangroves, wetlands, grasslands and open spaces – draw different kinds of birds for the diverse habitat offerings. As such, many birdwatchers across the globe treat this as one of the best spots internationally if you are looking to score the best-looking pictures of rare bird breeds.

3. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Cairns Skyrail Rainforest Experience

Amayagan [CC0]

Want to enjoy the beautiful views of the rainforest without having to go deep into the woods? You can try Kuranda’s iconic Skyrail Rainforest Cableway instead to take delight in the unique sights and sounds of nature while using a special viewpoint from the top. The skyrail experience allows up to six people to ride a gondola and glide across up to 8 kilometres of woodland canopy, taking in pleasant and attractive scenes of nature along the way.

The skyrail program usually takes four to five hours to finish, but every minute on the ride is worth your time. There are multiple stops included in the trip: the first stop at Red Peak Station allows tourists to learn more information about tropical rainforests and their preservation, while the Barron Falls Station invites travellers to explore historical displays and visit their Rainforest Interpretation Center for a hands-on, interactive learning experience about the Daintree’s history and legacy. The entire program is also relatively affordable at just AUD $77 per person, which already includes the fees for a professional ranger to guide you.

4. Fitzroy Island

Located just across the coast of Cairns is Fitzroy Island, a peaceful tropical island perfect for travellers looking for physical exploration and adventure. Just like Daintree National Park, this island paradise is full of tourist attractions and activities, and it is suggested to stay at least one full day to better appreciate what the island has to offer. The local island resort is a good place to check into, as the facilities are comparatively new, well-designed and regularly maintained.

Fitzroy Island Australia

ogwen [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Fitzroy Island is a haven for active travellers, with many tracks for walking and hiking available for people of different fitness levels. For instance, if you are only looking for a casual and relaxed walk across the rainforest area of the island, the Nudey Beach Track is the best option for you. As an added reward for your trip, the trail will lead you straight to the breathtaking views of Nudey Beach, which was recently recognized as the number one beach in all of Australia for its white sand and clear blue waters.

For tourists looking to sweat a little while still enjoying a good view of the forests, locals endorse the not-so-hidden Secret Garden Track found at the western side of Fitzroy Island. This track normally takes no more than forty-five minutes to accomplish, and that’s at a leisurely pace already. The track will lead you to a small rainforest area in the island’s jetty, giving you a sample of the greenery just as beautiful and relaxing. A helpful tip: the track leads into giant granite boulders towards the end, so if you see them after some time walking on the trail then it means you are on the right path.

If you are looking for a more challenging time, you might want to try the Summit Track instead. Recommended only for people who are physically fit, this track is composed of a combination of upward and downward trails which take up to three hours on average to be completed. The track starts as you climb your way up the Boulder Trail and into the heart of the rainforest, giving you a close encounter with the abundant vegetation, tall trees and exotic flowers inside. The trail continues along the path of the coastal woodlands and culminates as you get nearer to the summit, where you can adore and savour a glorious view of both the island and the beaches.

Your vacation in Cairns will not be complete if you don’t try at least one of these local attractions, so make sure to find time in your itinerary to explore them.

About The Author:  Sophie is passionate about solo travelling, always hunting for a new adventure and experience. She prides herself on finding the best local hotspots and untouched secrets anywhere she goes.

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