Essential guide: The Daintree Rainforest for families

Fact-finding missions on our World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest are comparatively easy.

We all know, for instance, that it’s the oldest rainforest on our planet, that it meets the Great Barrier Reef at Cape Tribulation and that Sir David Attenborough as soon as described it as ‘the most extraordinary place on Earth’.

“Yeah, but are we going to go and see nothing but endless trees?” my daughter jumped in, making the purpose that in the case of unearthing a few of the Daintree’s extra diverse, household pleasant actions, issues turn out to be slightly extra murky. “What, besides bushwalking, is there for kids to actually do?”

One Tropical North Queensland household journey later and my quick reply is, ‘Plenty!’. My extra detailed response? Don’t miss the next actions with the youngsters:

Feel the joys (and a correct drenching) of an Ocean Safari

Ocean Safari is nice for thrill-seekers of all ages.

At what level does an in any other case accountable father or mother assume it’s alright to signal her motion-sick kids up for a 25-minute thrill journey on a 12-metre semi-rigid inflatable wired for velocity? When there’s the lure of snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef’s pristine Mackay and Undine Reefs on the opposite facet of the trip. Yep, the half-day Ocean Safari journey units off from the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation and packs in snorkelling motion aplenty above a few of the most vibrant coral I’ve ever had the fortune to see.  Extra brownie factors go to Dr. Federico Vitelli, Ocean Safari’s marine biologist who strapped my seven yr outdated to him for many of the day, thus reworking her right into a dedicated water child and ardent environmentalist. 

Take a horse trip alongside the seaside

Live out your entire The Horses fantasies (each Australian’s acquired one) with Cape Trib Horse Rides, a neighborhood tour firm that not solely takes 90-minute rides by the rainforest and alongside the golden sands of Myall Beach, however will allow you to get away with singing (or buzzing) the Braithwaite traditional with out issues turning ugly. Kids as younger as 5 are fastidiously matched with a horse to swimsuit their dimension and temperament and the excursions (morning and afternoon) run day by day except for Mondays. Do it’s a must to know tips on how to trip a horse? No, they are going to take everybody, from newcomers to the expertise. You do must know when to cease singing, nevertheless.

Enjoy a jackfruit-flavoured ice-cream

There's nothing quite like ice cream in the tropics. Picture: Daintree Ice Cream Company

There’s nothing fairly like ice cream within the tropics. Picture: Daintree Ice Cream Company

If you’re going to attempt a dragon fruit, durian or jackfruit-flavoured ice-cream wherever, why not within the Daintree the place unique fruits develop with reckless abandon? You don’t need to go foraging your self, however pull into the lengthy and windy drive-way of well-liked native ice-creamery, the Daintree Ice-Cream Company – fairly presumably the one place you’ll discover a queue round these components. Famous for their four-flavoured cups (flavours change day by day however the day I arrived it was wattleseed, coconut, jackfruit and soursop), the crew make as much as 17 flavours onsite and provide a picturesque, self-guided orchard stroll to you possibly can see, and find out about, the fruits you’re having fun with. An enormous win with the youngsters.

Stay at Ferntree Rainforest Lodge

A two-storey loft set inside lush rainforest grounds sounds prefer it ought to value an arm and a leg, however Ferntree Rainforest Lodge – situated within the coronary heart of Cape Tribulation within the Daintree – stays inexplicably reasonably priced. Offering a spread of lodging choices (every little thing from mentioned luxurious lofts to cabins and normal rooms), friends arriving at Ferntree can anticipate a tropical landscaped pool, Balinese-style restaurant (the curries have gotten my vote) and loads of new mates in the way in which of extremely massive Golden Orb spiders who typically like to hold round and break bread with you at time for supper. They’re so massive, they really appear to be they’re smiling, which my arachnophobe daughter says ‘helps’.

Take a guided night time stroll

This adventure kicks off when the sun goes down. Picture: Jungle Surfing

This journey kicks off when the solar goes down. Picture: Jungle Surfing

Now that you just’ve heard in regards to the facet plate-sized golden orbs, you’re in all probability pondering, ‘How can my family experience those legends – and their mates – out in the dark?”  Introducing Jungle Surfing’s Jungle Adventure Night Walk, a two-hour journey that takes off after the solar units and showcases one of the best of the Daintree’s distinctive residents. Not to fret in regards to the Golden Orbs (they’re low-risk and extremely reluctant to chew); the excursions are absolutely guided by torchlight so you possibly can see tiny forest dragons camouflaged on tree trunks and branches and frogs leaping like popcorn as you take heed to the symphony of the rainforest come alive at night time. As there’s fairly a little bit of strolling on uneven floor, the tour isn’t advisable for kids underneath eight, however for those who’re eager to offer it a go, the operator provides personal night time walks for these with little ones.

Enjoy a spot of sundown crusing

Sailaway Port Douglas is the perfect activity as the sun goes down.

Sailaway Port Douglas is the right exercise because the solar goes down.

Prefer to look at the rainforest from the consolation of a surprising 25m catamaran? Admittedly, the give away for Sailaway Port Douglas is in its identify (embarkation and disembarkation is from Port Douglas), however the household pleasant vessel does sail alongside Cape Tribulation’s spectacular shoreline earlier than heading to the Mackay/Undine cay so within the Daintree listicle it stays. Offering snorkelling, glass backside boat excursions and a tropical buffet lunch (in addition to morning/afternoon tea), it is a great approach for youngsters to know the dimensions of the rainforest earlier than exploring up shut.

Check out the Daintree Discovery Centre

Learn about the local flora and fauna at the Daintree Discovery Centre.

Learn in regards to the native wildlife on the Daintree Discovery Centre.

When you’ve acquired 1200 sq. kilometres to cowl and over 130 million years of historical past to study, you’re going to be grateful for slightly CliffsNotes motion and that is precisely what the Daintree Discovery Centre gives. Located 10km north of the Daintree Ferry, this award-winning centre not solely permits little legs entry to each stage of the Daintree Rainforest from the forest flooring to the higher reaches of the cover, however gives enjoyable and attention-grabbing methods to traverse the area. Kids particularly will love the 23m-high Canopy Tower, the Aerial Walkway and the audio items for the self-guided excursions. Kids have their very own model, which provides snippets of attention-grabbing info at each audio station situated across the centre.

Dine at Whet Restaurant

“Did they identify it Whet as a result of ‘We’ve acquired the monopoly on this area so we’re going to cost premium costs for garbage meals’ was too prolonged to placed on an indication?’ my husband needed to know earlier than we turned as much as our reserving. True, I too had some reservations about restaurant eating round these components. Well, disgrace on us as a result of not solely is the meals at this picturesque eatery extremely good, in addition they had a well-priced and nicely executed kids’s menu. Expect a night out on the deck having fun with the rainforest in all its glory, with tangles of fairy lights thrown in for good measure.

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