The Daintree rainforest meets the pristine beaches of
the Great Barrier Reef
So, what is "Daintree"?
The Daintree is an extremely
special part of our planet, starting about an hour's drive north
of Cairns in north Queensland.
It contains spectacular scenery and some of the last surviving ancient
rainforest, which according to the scientists has been virtually
unchanged for at least 120 million years. The Amazon rainforest
might be more world famous, but is "only" about 20 million
The Daintree rainforest contains many plants and animals that are
rare, endangered, or live nowhere else than here, such as the cassowary
on the right.
Some trees have been discovered that were previously thought to
be extinct for millions of years!
The Daintree adjoins the Great Barrier Reef and UNESCO has recognized
both as outstanding areas of scientific value and spectacular beauty
and listed both the Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier
Reef as World Heritage Areas.
World famous nature enthusiast Sir David Attenborough has seen a
lot of amazing places around the world but the Daintree is at the
top of his favourites list, hear
him tell you what he thinks of the Daintree...
Visit some of the links in the green bar on the right to show you
how beautiful the Daintree region is, and consider a holiday there
to treat yourself, and help support the local community.
There are several definitions of the word "Daintree":
1. The Daintree National Park, this is made up of
several sections, starts at Mossman, and ends north of Cape Tribulation,
see map on right.
2. The Daintree Rainforest, this includes both the
National Park and the rainforest on private land.
Apart from some walks at Mossman Gorge and Daintree Village, most
of the accessible rainforest is north of the Daintree river.
To fully appreciate the ancient Daintree rainforest you really need
to get across the Daintree river, do some of the boardwalks, enjoy
the drive through the rainforest, and even better spend at least
one night at Cape Tribulation and do a guided day or night walk
to learn about this amazing eco-system.
Map showing the sections of
the Daintree National Park
3. The Daintree Region, this is an area without exact boundaries,
but runs roughly from Daintree Village to Cape Tribulation and includes
the Bloomfield Track.
4. Daintree, or Daintree Village, a small town on the southside
of the Daintree river, it had a booming timber industry in its early days
so nowadays it is surrounded by fields with grazing cows, the forest is
Some history of the Daintree region
The area north of the Daintree River is of spectacular beauty,
but has been the centre of much corruption, controversy, scandals and
debate over the years, and still is today.
For roughly 120 million years the Daintree
was the domain of dinosaurs, crocodiles and cassowaries, until about
40 000 years ago Aborigines started moving through the area.
Then in 1770 James Cook sailed up the coast, and made history by
crashing his ship on a reef which very nearly caused it to sink,
the last point he saw before it got dark he named Cape Tribulation,
which has now become a tourism icon and a very popular place to
The fist white settlers started arriving in the 1920s, although
it took until the 1960s for a rough track to reach Cape Tribulation,
hippies discovered the place in the 1970s and lived there, and then
more people followed.
For many years the rainforest had been considered a bunch of nasty
weeds in the way of growing the holy sugarcane, but in the 1980s
opinion changed (in some) and protestors gathered in Cape Tribulation
to stop the bulldozing of rainforest to create a road up to Bloomfield.
Thanks to copious numbers of cops the protests failed and the new
road was pushed through which is now known as the infamous Bloomfield
Thanks to the area's spectacular natural beauty it became more
and more popular as a place to live, and as a place to holiday,
and at some point some fairly harsh legislation was introduced to
protect the area from being over-developed.
Mayor at the time Mike Berwick shocked many residents with a two
year building moratorium, followed by a restrictive townplan, blocks
of land had their development rights reduced or taken away, without
much realistic compensation, and several policemen had to protect
Mike at a meeting where he explained the new laws to residents.
He was also one of the driving forces behind the 'Electricity
Supply In The Daintree Region Policy' , which is legislation
prohibiting any grid power in the area starting from north of his
house up to Cape Tribulation. He managed to make himself very unpopular
in the Daintree region with restrictions and electricity denial
which all started north of Forest Creek Road so his own residence
was never affected while the rest of the Daintree turned into the
Bermuda Triangle of property investment.
The dark green on the map roughly shows the area
where subsequent governments have denied basic services to their
citizens to keep them poor and drive them out.
A “Three Point Plan” was developed by regional stakeholders
in 1999 to both conserve the rainforest and reassess the provision of
power north of the Daintree River.
Points One (town plan) and Two (rainforest buyback) of the Plan were specifically
designed to control development and thereby protect the values of the
Point Three suggests a reassessment of the provision of power to the Daintree
region could occur should effective development controls be emplaced.
Green Study confirms that the first two elements of the Three Point
Plan are now in place.
But the Labor government was unwilling to lift the ban on grid power,
condemning a whole population to living in energy poverty, and polluting
the environment with noisy smelly generators and mountains of lead acid
batteries, while solar subsidies are only given to people elsewhere already
on the grid.
Fortunately the LNP took power in 2012 and they made the first step to
resolve this issue, and later committed to building the infrastructure
needed, but unfortunately an election interrupted this and now we are
back to a Labor government with a Premier who wants to keep the Daintree
in the dark ages, and a local state member who only makes the news with
scandals and can never be found to do anything for us.
Two very different aspects of The Daintree
Your own beach !
The area north of the Daintree River is of spectacular beauty,
and thanks to (some say overly) protective government policies it
is still quite undeveloped.
There are no high rise hotels or concrete structures. Resorts, restaurants
and houses are mostly of designs to fit in with nature, and buildings
are hidden away in the rainforest
In a world gone crazy with traffic jams and over-development the
Daintree is an oasis of peace and quiet and scenic beauty where
you can still have a pristine beach all to yourself or come face
to face with a cassowary.
The ferry over the Daintree River is the gateway and as soon as
you drive off the ferry you will find yourself in a different world.
But all this protection has come at a high cost for the local residents
and businesses, some have gone bankrupt or have left, others struggle
on. The cost of generating your own electricity is high, and no
subsidies for renewable energy are available in this area.
Hypocritical politicians who talk about a greener world ignore the
hundreds of generators that roar in the Daintree, and the mountain
of dead lead acid batteries that piles up.
An exploded battery bank of a solar system
You can support the local community by taking a holiday
in the Daintree to help residents pay for their high energy costs.
Stay in the area north of Forest Creek Road, as this road and Daintree
Village are connected to the grid and don't need your support as
much as the people off the grid from Cow Bay to Cape Tribulation!!
DAINTREE IS A FASCINATING PLACE OF SPECTACULAR BEAUTY, TREAT YOURSELF
TO A DAINTREE HOLIDAY AND SUPPORT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY: