The Daintree Rainforest
Cairns is described as the gateway to the tropical north, and it doesn't take too much to figure out why — with the southern reaches of the Daintree rainforest just an hour's drive out of town, along one of the most glorious stretches of highway you'll ever see.
A few years back my younger brother went on a holiday to Cairns, he loved it so much he decided to stay. So now a trip to visit my brother doubles as a tropical getaway, and you'll hear no complaints from me about that. I recently journeyed up north to visit my brother and his fiancée, and made the most of the long weekend by sneaking in a quick day-trip out to the Daintree.
Daintree Day Trip
The Daintree is part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland, "is the largest part of the entire Australasian region where rainforests have persisted continuously since Gondwanan times," according to UNESCO. The Wet Tropics were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1988, an honour that recognises the area's rich biodiversity and outstanding natural beauty.
At the southern end of the Daintree National Park is Mossman Gorge. At around 80km from Cairns, or just 20km from Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge is a great way to experience the Daintree as a day-trip when visiting Far North Queensland.
How to Get to Mossman Gorge
The drive to Mossman Gorge is via the Captain Cook Highway, which is an experience in itself — the Captain Cook Highway is one of Australia's most scenic drives. It follows the coastline, winding its way up north between the rainforest and the ocean. This is one drive where you'll want to factor in plenty of time to pull off to enjoy the view!
Once you arrive at Mossman Gorge, there's parking at the visitor centre, and a shuttle bus to take up to the Gorge itself. From there you can swim in the river and wander through the forest.