Tiny funky little Daintree Village was originally a settlement created in the 1870's by timber-cutters and is now an unspoilt oasis in the midst of some of the loveliest and most varied scenery in the far north of Queensland. Today low-impact tourism and sustainable cattle- and tropical fruit-farming in the beautiful valleys beyond the Village form the lifeblood of this laid-back little township with all it's charm of yesteryear.
The mighty Daintree River flows past the Village and is home to many estuarine crocodiles which are frequently spotted from the safety of one of a number of wildlife-watching cruise-boats which leave from the Village jetty. Birds and butterflies abound - the Daintree Village region is a world-renowned birdwatcher's paradise and there are several specialist river- and land-based guides.
Daintree Village was the base for timber-cutters who came to log the red cedar which once flourished in the area. Today the timber industry is long-gone but there is an interesting timber gallery in the Village and there are a number of restaurants, artists' studios, locally-created souvenirs and picnic areas complete with free electric barbeque and picnic table.
Beyond the Village are scenic drives along winding valley trails which follow the courses of the upper reaches of the Daintree and into the valleys of Stewart Creek, Douglas Creek and Upper Daintree through rolling green cattle country and areas of lush tropical rainforest. The cattle are tropical breeds now bred for their beef whereas in earlier days there was a thriving dairy industry. The butter factory in Daintree finally closed down in 1962 when it was no longer profitable to produce butter there - The Shed at Daintree Valley Haven was built with timber from the old butter factory.
The Daintree River was only discovered by Europeans in 1873 when Scottish geologist and explorer George Elphinstone Dalrymple named the river and the first settlement, Daintree Village, after Queensland's Agent-General in London, Richard Daintree. Before the road to Mossman was completed in 1933 Daintree Village was an inland port with the only access being by river. Descendants of the original settlers still live here, some operating thriving beef-cattle properties.
The lush, dense tropical rainforest of Daintree National Park is believed to be one of the three oldest in the world and is home to many unique species of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Daintree National Park was added to the World Heritage List in 1988.
The Daintree rainforest stretches in sections between Mossman Gorge northwards past Daintree Village and the Daintree River car ferry up to and beyond Cape Tribulation.
About 430 species of birds live here, including 13 not found anywhere else in the world, making the Daintree one of the world's premier bird-watching destinations. 30% of Australia's marsupial, reptile and frog species are found here together with 65% of her butterflies and bats.
Daintree's coastline is bordered by the immense Great Barrier Reef which, extending over 2000 km, is the world's most extensive coral reef system and consists of around 2900 individual reefs. In 1981 it was added to the World Heritage List for it's unique natural properties and enormous scientific and environmental importance.
An amazing range of marine life inhabits the Reef, including an estimated 1500 species of fish, 360 of corals, 4000 molluscs and 1500 sponges plus a myriad other marine creatures.
The Daintree and Port Douglas offer the closest access points to the Reef along it's entire length so guests have the choice of a half-day snorkelling tour from Cape Tribulation to the north, or a range of full-, half-day and overnight snorkelling and diving tours from Port Douglas to the south.
The Daintree is bisected by several important rivers and creeks teeming with fish and home to the salt-water Crocodile - a magnet for fishing enthusiasts and nature-loving visitors.
The Mossman River is on it's southern boundary and runs through the magnificent Mossman Gorge. The Daintree River meanders through Daintree Village and the surrounding valleys to join the Coral Sea near Snapper Island. Coopers Creek flows through Daintree National Park half way between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation. The Bloomfield River marks the end of the famous 4WD-only Bloomfield Track which starts north of Cape Tribulation.