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Why you should add the world's oldest living rainforest to your travel bucket list
Located on the northeast coast of Queensland, the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest encompasses a rare combination of white sandy beaches and coral reef alongside its canopy of ancient trees. It is also the world’s oldest rainforest, giving visitors the chance to see wildlife and fauna found nowhere else on earth. And, after exploring the rainforest and the Coral Sea, Queensland also has plenty to offer in terms of indulgent spas and fine dining; the perfect mix of adventure and luxury to add to your travel bucket list.
Below are our recommendations for where to stay, eat and explore while you're there:
Tour the rainforest with a local guide
Spend a day really getting to know Daintree’s history with an Aboriginal tour guide. Juan Walker’s Walkabout tours will teach you all about the Kuku Yalanji people’s local legends and beliefs, on an in-depth tour of the rainforest and Cape Tribulation – the only place on earth where the rainforest meets coral reef. Of course, no trip would be complete without a spot of crocodile watching on the Daintree River; it’s not for the faint-hearted as you’re also likely to spot some snakes curled up in the overhanging trees.
(Full day sight-seeing tour from £119 per person, including lunch. Visit walkaboutadventures.com.au)
Stay in your very own treehouse in the rainforest
Silky Oaks Lodge and the Healing Waters Spa just downstream from Mossman Gorge is the perfect tranquil location to unwind among the world’s oldest living rainforest. As an advanced eco lodge, it ensures your stay has a minimal environmental impact on the surrounding rainforest while still offering a luxury experience. Explore Daintree National Park via several trails leading from the resort, unwind in the award-winning spa, or just appreciate the stunning views from your treehouse balcony overlooking the Mossman River.
The Treehouse Restaurant also offers seasonal, local produce throughout the day, which includes delicacies such as crocodile and kangaroo - though if you’re looking for something less daring on the menu, the Daintree barramundi is a must-try.
(Rooms from £280. Visitsilkyoakslodge.com.au)
Take Australia’s only river snorkelling tour through the rainforest
Get up close and personal with the sights of the Daintree Rainforest on a river drift snorkelling tour. Snorkel and/or raft along with the current on Mossman River and keep an eye out for fish, turtles and the occasional snake along the way. It’s a lot more relaxing than it sounds, and is actually the perfect way to introduce yourself to snorkelling before heading out to the Great Barrier Reef.
(£56.50 per person for river snorkelling and rafting half day tour with Back Country Bliss.)
Experience Australia’s only rainforest dining experience
Enjoy a truly unique fine dining concept with Flames of the Forest’s six-course tasting menu, in the stunning surroundings of the rainforest. Entering underneath a canopy of trees lit by torches along the way, guests will enjoy an evening of delicious food, music and dancing in a setting unlike any other restaurant they’ve been to.
(Aboriginal Cultural Experience from £125 per person, Rainforest Dining Experience from £110 per person. Visit flamesoftheforest.com.au.)
How to get to Queensland
Fly London to Cairns via Singapore, with fares starting from £760pp one way, with Singapore Airlines. They also offer free city tours departing from Singapore Changi, enabling customers with a longer stopover to see the city before catching their onward flights.
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