All throughout the Daintree Rainforest you will find plenty of beaches, viewpoints, nature, and wildlife to enjoy. You will also find plenty of Daintree Rainforest walks, hikes, boardwalks, and trails to take part of during a visit.
Whether it is walking through the rainforest, hiking alongside a beach, or heading up to a lookout point, there are plenty of options to choose from. So, if you are looking for a short easy trail or a more demanding mountain hike, the Daintree offers it all and more for its visitors.
This guide will go through the top 10 Daintree Rainforest walks to enjoy during your time exploring the area.
1) Daintree Rainforest Things to Know
Before diving into the walks themselves, I did want to mention some helpful tips and things to know as you prepare for your visit to the Daintree Rainforest.
1) There is barely any cell service in the Daintree Rainforest. To help get you from place to place, I recommend downloading offline maps to your phone before you go (either on Google Maps or through an app like maps.me).
2) To get to most Daintree attractions, you will need to cross the Daintree River. The car ferry goes back and forth constantly but do expect a wait time during peak hours. The round trip cost is $39 AUD and runs from 5AM – 12AM.
3) There are limited stores in the Daintree north of the river. If you are coming in for a few days, I recommend bringing/buying anything you would want from Cairns/Port Douglas. One of the grocery stores for essentials inside the Daintree would be the Friendly Grocer Convenience Store.
4) Beyond the Daintree River there are very limited gas options. In case you are running low on gas you can head to the Daintree Rainforest Village. I would however recommend to fill up your tank before you head out.
5) The cassowary is the one animal you will hear about most in the Daintree. It looks like some sort of prehistoric dinosaur bird with its colorful head, and is known to be dangerous if you get too close. So if you do see one, be sure to step back and keep your distance.
6) Even though the beaches of the Daintree are quite stunning, the waters of the Coral Sea are not as inviting. During the summer season (November to May), there are stingers (jellyfish) that roam the waters. Getting stung by one of these will not be a good way to spend your trip, especially because you will be a bit removed from emergency care.
7) While stingers just come out during those months, there are also sightings of salt water crocodiles in the waters too. There have been incidents over the years, so it is not recommended to take chances.
→ If you would like to learn more about the area, feel free to take a look at a couple guides up on the site such as the top things to do in the Daintree Rainforest and the best Daintree Rainforest beaches.
2) Where to Stay in the Daintree
While a day trip into the Daintree is what many people do when visiting the region, I would highly recommend spending 2 or even 3 days exploring all that it has to offer. This will give you the chance to take things a bit more slowly and enjoy even more that the Daintree has to offer.
If you decide to head into the Daintree and stay for a night or two, below are some highly rated options to choose from:
3) Map of Daintree Walks
Below you can find the list and a map of the 10 Daintree walks, trails and hikes that I will covering in more detail throughout this guide:
1) Dubuji Boardwalk
2) Madja Boardwalk
3) Jindalba Boardwalk
4) Mossman Gorge
5) Daintree Discovery Centre
6) Cape Tribluation Kulki Lookout
7) Cow Bay Beach
8) Emmagen Creek
9) Mason’s Swimming Hole
10) Mount Sorrow
4) Daintree Rainforest Walks
The Daintree Rainforest truly is one of the most pristine and beautiful places to visit in Australia. It is the only place in the world where two natural world wonders collide as the rainforest touches the Great Barrier Reef. Not only that, but the Daintree is also the oldest rainforest in the world!
What better way to enjoy this place than to take in some walks exploring the ins and outs of the rainforest. During some of these walks you will feel like you are in a whole other world as you are surrounded by this majestic rainforest all around.
Below you can find the 10 walks along with some helpful hiking details, a short description, photos, and even links to more in-depth guides.
There are three main boardwalk trails in the Daintree Rainforest with the Dubuji Boardwalk being one of the them. Dubuji is one of my favorite trails in the rainforest as you get to enjoy the Daintree itself and then end up on the nearby Myall Beach.
There are two loops to consider when heading on the boardwalk. The short loop is around 20 minutes of walking while the longer loop is closer to 40 minutes of walking. The short loop is essentially part of the longer loop, so you will just be seeing additional rainforest on the longer loop.
Both loops also have direct access to Myall Beach. So, instead of just taking part of a rainforest walk, you can also spend time on the beach itself before completing the loop.
The trees, plants and wildlife are just surreal to take in as you will be constantly be surrounded by some of the most unique nature there is.
→ Learn more | Dubuji Boardwalk
The second boardwalk of the Daintree is the Madja Boardwalk. It is located right off of the side of the main Cape Tribulation Road near Noah Creek.
The word Madja translates into Rainforest and that is exactly what you will get to enjoy all along this 1.2 km pathway. The boardwalk heads through the lowland rainforest and mangrove creek as you get to enjoy some of the unique flora of the Daintree. The trail is circular with its midpoint being right near the opening of Noah Creek.
Throughout the boardwalk you will also find some helpful information boards that will teach you a bit more about the various nature surrounding you. After visiting the boardwalk you can head a bit further up the road and enjoy some time on the nearby Noah Beach.
The third Daintree boardwalk is the Jindalba Boardwalk, located just next door to the Daintree Discovery Centre (more on that soon). At Jindalba (translated to “foot of the mountain”) you will find a 0.7 km boardwalk in addition to a longer 3 km circuit track.
Depending on your interest, you can decide to just head on the out and back boardwalk, or you can make the circular route all along the circuit.
The short boardwalk gives visitors just a taste of the Daintree as you enjoy viewpoints and the elevated walkway at the base of Mount Alexandra. If you are keen on a longer and more demanding track, then head onto the circuit. Here you will go deeper into the rainforest on a hiking trail as you cross over some rainforest creeks along the way.
While all of the other walks mentioned in this guide are north of the Daintree River, the Mossman Gorge is located south of it. At the Mossman Gorge, there are a few different tracks to take part of including a 0.5 km boardwalk, 0.4 km river circuit track, and a longer 2.4 km rainforest circuit track.
Most visitors just head on the boardwalk and river circuit track. This can easily be done in a loop as you head out on one of them and then return on the other.
The boardwalk ends at the Mossman Gorge Lookout, where you can enjoy a great view of the gorge and the surrounding nature. From there, you can return back to the starting point (via the boardwalk or river track), or head onto the longer rainforest circuit.
This longer track is quieter than the other portions of the Mossman Gorge area as you get to dive deeper into the Daintree’s nature. There are plenty of massive trees, river lookouts, and even small creeks to enjoy along the way.
Note there is an entrance fee associated with the Mossman Gorge & the Daintree Discovery Centre mentioned next.
→ Learn more | Mossman Gorge
Daintree Discovery Centre
The Daintree Discovery Centre is one of the most educational parts of a visit to the Daintree. While many of the walks and trails do have informational boards along the way, the Discovery Centre has a ton of helpful educational parts to it.
Within the property you will find 5 different main sections to explore including an aerial walkway, canopy tower, cassowary circuit, bush tucker trail, and Jurassic forest. Everything is signposted throughout and you should have no trouble getting yourself around.
In addition, with the purchase of a ticket you will get an audio guide and 68-page guide that will give you a ton of useful information about the Daintree and its history. Depending on how much you want to see within the Centre, you may spend anywhere from 1-2+ hours exploring the various sites.
→ Learn more | Daintree Discovery Centre
Cape Tribulation Kulki Lookout
One of the more famous parts of the Daintree Rainforest is Cape Tribulation. Here you will find a beautiful beach, where you can also enjoy a sunrise and sunset if staying overnight. In addition to the beach, there is the Kulki Lookout track.
You can decide to just head up from the parking lot, along the boardwalk and then up to the lookout point. Or you could also follow the track in the opposite direction towards Myall Beach, on the Myall Beach track.
The walk from the parking lot up to the lookout point is quite short, so anyone visiting Cape Tribulation should also add on Kulki as well.
Cow Bay Beach
While you can find many beaches lining the Daintree Rainforest, Cow Bay Beach is a must add to an itinerary. Any beach can be turned into a walking track, but I did find Cow Bay to be one with the most potential.
As you arrive at the main entrance of the beach, you will immediately be welcomed to a vast beach landscape in either direction. Following the beach northbound and you will come across some tree swings and a waterway spilling out into the sea.
If you continue walking all the way to the end of the beach on the northern end, you will come across a little known pathway. This pathway takes you up and over some rocks that open up into another bay. It is a perfect spot to have all to yourself as you enjoy yet another beautiful beach in the Daintree.
While swimming in the sea can be quite dangerous due to stingers and salt water crocodiles, there are swimming holes to cool off in instead. One of the top spots to choose from is Emmagen Creek. The creek is located at the most northern end of the 2WD accessible road of the Daintree.
Once you reach the roadside parking, you can enjoy just a 5 minute trail towards the creek itself. At the creek you will find water that is safe enough to swim in, as well as a great rope swing to launch yourself into the water with.
Mason’s Swimming Hole
The second swimming hole to speak of is Mason’s Swimming Hole, just next door to Mason’s Café. The entrance to the swimming hole costs just $1 and from the café it is also just a few minute walk along the path towards the swimming hole itself.
Wrapping up this guide is the most intense of Daintree Rainforest hiking trails. The Mount Sorrow Ridge walk is a 7 km trail that gains nearly 700 meters of elevation. The trail requires a high level of fitness but does reward hikers with some of the best views in the region.
From the top of Mount Sorrow you will get great 360 degree views as you enjoy the Daintree from above. Expect to spend around 4-6 hours out on the trail and be sure to head there on a day when the weather is best.
→ Learn more | Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail
To recap, you can really find a whole variety of Daintree Rainforest walks, hikes, trails, and boardwalks when visiting the region. If you just wanted to get a small taste of the rainforest or if you wanted to explore it more deeply, there will be an option for you.
If you have any questions or comments about the trails, feel free to add them in below. Also, don’t forget to check out the other Australia itineraries and guides up on the site like this 3 Week Australia Itinerary.
Have fun out there and safe travels!