Far North Queensland is marketed as the place where the reef meets the rainforest. So, while the Great Barrier Reef is the first thing that comes to mind, a visit to this part of the world would be incomplete without experiencing the World Heritage Listed rainforest too.
As with the reef there are several different Cairns daytrips that enable you to experience the rainforest. Your choice depends on how adventurous you want to be and how much money you want to spend.
1. Jungle Surfing(Cape Tribulation, 3 hours north of Cairns)
No doubt this is the most exhilarating and fun way to see the Daintree Rainforest as you swing along flying-fox ziplines high above the canopy of the trees.
Completely safe and under the guidance of a professional, you glide along with a birds-eye view of the rainforest and Cape Tribulation beach. You stop at five tree top platforms so there is a chance to catch your breath and take some photos, before weightlessly flying through the air again.
This can be done as a Cairns day trip but it’s a long day. Port Douglas is closer and cuts the journey by about an hour. Children can jungle surf from about the age of three years if they’re brave enough.
(Note: Hanging upside down is optional!)
2. White Water Rafting (Tully, 2 hours south of Cairns)
If you’re not keen on heights but you want a more active way of experiencing the rainforest, the White Water Rafting Cairns day trips to Tully are also a great fun day out.
3. Mamu Tropical Skywalk (90 minutes south of Cairns)
About a one-hour return walk through the rainforest along walking tracks and connecting elevated walkways high above the treetops, the panoramic views here are spectacular. And if you are lucky you might spot some wildlife on your travels.
The highlight is definitely the 37 metre-high observation tower, which has two viewing decks and a breathtaking view of North Johnstone River gorge from the very top of the tower.
By far, one of the most impressive views of the rainforest is from a Skyrail carriage as it heads up over the Kuranda range. You can see all of Cairns below and the views of the Barron River as you come in to Kuranda are just as spectacular.
5. Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda Scenic Railway meanders through the rainforest and stops off at the Barron Falls for passengers to hop off and take photos.
It is a very pleasant scenic trip as you leisurely follow the train tracks through the hills, rainforest and countryside.
Skyrail and the Railway offer packages so you can go up to Kuranda on the train and back down on the Skyrail or vice versa.
6. Daintree Discovery Centre (2 hours north of Cairns)
Not only does this eco-tourism attraction allow you to see the rainforest at every level from the floor to the canopy but it is also every educational.
There are elevated boardwalks and a tall 25 metre canopy tower with five viewing levels, as well as an interpretive display centre with touch screens, audio guides and a 20-seat theatre.
For anyone interested in the flora and fauna associated with the Daintree Rainforest, this is definitely well worth visiting.
Top photo thanks to Tourism & Events Queensland