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A luxurious getaway at the Daintree Ecolodge was exactly what we needed.
The Daintree Ecolodge was our destination for a relaxing getaway. Situated in the heart of the magnificent Daintree Rainforest, it is the perfect place to escape the busyness of life.
Alongside the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest is the only place in the world where two UNESCO World Heritage Sites meet.
The Daintree is where the rainforest meets the sea.
What to expect when you visit the Daintree? Lush green tropical rainforest as far as the eye can see, stunning coastal views, cloud-covered mountains, crystal-clear creeks and refreshing waterfalls throughout the lush green rainforest.
We were excited to be taking a much needed, relaxing getaway. Our plans were to do as little as possible. We had no plans other than taking a few rainforest walks, a day trip into Cape Tribulation and take a river wildlife cruise for some wildlife spotting.
The Daintree Rainforest is the world’s oldest living rainforest and is estimated to be over 180 million years old.
Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988, the Daintree National Park was recognised for its natural value. The 1,200 square kilometres of tropical rainforest is home to tens of thousands of birds, reptiles, insects, animals and plant species. Many are unique to the wet tropics of the Daintree region.
The Daintree is a major destination for bird watchers world-wide due to the large number of unique species that inhabit the rainforest. Many are endemic to Far North Queensland.
Read next: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Australia
The Ecolodge deep in the Daintree
We were looking for an all-encompassing retreat offering a touch of luxury, elements of nature to provide an essence of peace and calm. The Ecolodge was that, and more.
Our plan was to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and rejuvenate body, mind and soul. It was a time to reflect and reconnect.
Trust me, there is nothing quite like waking up to the sound of the birds in the canopy above or being able to take a leisurely walk through the tropical rainforest to a private waterfall.
The lodge is a great open space with a number of cosy corners to chill-out and while away an hour or so. Read a book, strike up a conversation with other guests or challenge your partner to a game of monopoly or chess … or simply enjoy a cocktail or two.
The well stocked bar opens mid afternoon and is a great prelude to dinner in the Julaymba Restaurant on the balcony.
Dine in style
As a gentle reminder that you have come here to relax and unwind, breakfast doesn’t start until 8 am!
We started our day with a gourmet breakfast by the lagoon watching the turtles sunning themselves on the rocks as we considered our plans for the day. The a la carte breakfast was a great start to the day with locally grown produce and delicious preserves from the local Daintree region.
Evening dinner was also served on the balcony of Julaymba Restaurant with a choice from the a la carte or degustation menu.
Julaymba’s menu incorporates tropical fruits, vegetables and chocolate grown locally in the Daintree. Enjoy delicacies such as crocodile, rock-lobster and lamb. We particularly enjoyed the variety of flavours on the menu.
One of the best degustations we’ve experienced to date!
The 6 course degustation included a delicious selections of crocodile, kangaroo, snapper and lamb matched with an exquisite selection of wines to compliment. Not usually lovers of kangaroo (most likely because we’ve lived so long in the outback), but we both nominated the kangaroo selection as our favourite dish of the day for its delicate flavours and tenderness.
This boutique accommodation at the Daintree Ecolodge is unique. Nestled into hillside of the rainforest, 15 bayans or treehouses offer views through the rainforest canopy.
- Treehouse Bayans are situated high in the rainforest canopy, with views out to the onsite lagoon and the Jalayamba Restaurant.
- Canopy Bayans are located higher in the canopy and enjoy uninterrupted views of the rainforest.
- Rainforest Bayans are the ultimate rainforest experience for a luxury, close to nature stay.
Lush undergrowth, thick with gingers and heliconias, bromeliads and the exotic ancient King Fern. The resort boasts majestic Bull Kauri trees, a private waterfall and a number of dedicated walks throughout the property.
It is the perfect destination to reconnect with nature and the people you love.
What to do at the Daintree Ecolodge
Choose from a selection of offsite tours or relax and unwind in the wellness spa for a true rainforest retreat indulgence.
Swim in swimming pool, visit the private waterfall and take a dip in the rainforest steam or choose one of the many quiet areas amongst the lush tropical retreat to relax and unwind.
Enjoy a nature walk and learn about the local bush-foods, plants and nutritional benefits growing wild, or take a Daintree River Wild Watch Cruise to catch some of the most magnificent wildlife – perfect for bird enthusiasts, photographers and wildlife watchers alike.
Rejuvenate the mind, body and soul in an experience to enhance your sense of wellbeing in the Daintree Wellness Spa.
The local indigenous people of the Kuku Yalanji tribe named the rainforest ‘Wawu-karrba’ which means ‘healing of the spirit’.
The waterfall is a special place visited for thousands of years by generations of Kuku Yalanji woman for healing and spiritual beliefs.
Using the pure waters from the waterfall to create to provide a healing environment, the spa treatments have been curated to harness ancient traditions and enhance your wellbeing.
Decadent spa treatments are combined with unique wild-harvested products, pure Australian botanicals and organic ingredients.
Indulge the senses and re-balance the mind, body and soul.
Take a nature walk
The rain drizzled gently as Nina guided our 2 hour nature walk through the resort and towards the rainforest waterfall. An informative walk pointing out native rainforest plants and including tastings of edible flowers, nuts and berries. Nina also talked about the Indigenous people of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation region.
The steps along the path to the waterfall were uneven and at times a little challenging. The ferns were growing along the creek bank, washed clean by the light rainforest drizzle, brightly coloured fungi and lichen growing on fallen trees along the pathway beside the creek. The sounds of the rushing waterfall grew louder as we got closer.
We turned the corner in the track to discover the beautiful waterfall cascading through the rainforest into an inviting swimming pond. The timber deck built over the edge of the creek was the perfect place to hold yoga classes or share a picnic for two.
Daintree River Wild Watch Tour
Our 2 hour Daintree River wildlife cruise at sunset, took us deep into the reaches of the Daintree River. Alec our tour guide from Daintree River Wild Watch was well experienced in pointing out reptiles, birds and plants of the region.
We were able to photograph some of these beautiful creatures including a 4 metre saltwater crocodile sun-baking on the riverbank, green tree snakes and a large Amethystine Python (Australia’s largest snake which grows up to five metres).
Our photo of the day was the magnificent Azure Kingfisher, which was perched quietly on a low hanging branch, ignoring us completely!
Visit Cape Tribulation
Its an easy drive across the ferry, into Cape Tribulation. Expect to see pristine rainforest, stunning views overlooking the coastline, beautiful beaches, and if you’re lucky you will see cassowary’s and other native animals in the wild. We were lucky to see a Cassowary and her chick foraging for food in an almost dry riverbed. See the photo above of the mother.
Make sure you visit the Daintree Discovery Centre to learn more about the rainforest and it’s importance to the Earth’s eco-systems. Its a fabulous resource to learn about the rainforest plants, insects and the animals unique to this part of the world.
The multi-award winning, eco-accredited tourism centre provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in this ancient rainforest by taking an interpretive tour along the aerial Walkway and Canopy Tower.
The best time to visit
The Daintree climate is truly tropical with typical wet and dry seasons. Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, relax and soak up the energy of this magnificent ancient rainforest.
The Dry Season: May to October offers warm days and cooler nights with low humidity. The dry season tends to be the most popular season for travel.
The Wet Season: December to March will see monsoonal rain and the start of warmer days and nights, and often with higher humidity. The wet season is a time when the rainforest turns a lush green colour, and the creeks and waterfalls flow constantly.
We visited the Daintree Ecolodge in January, in the midst of the wet season and loved it. There is nothing quite like drifting off to sleep with the frogs croaking and crickets singing in the rain. It was beautiful to see the gingers and heliconia’s loving the rain and so many mountain streams and waterfalls flowing.
The rain didn’t bother us at all – it simply added a new perspective to our visit.
The Daintree Ecolodge is the perfect location to explore the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest and is located just 90 minute drive north of Cairns.
Depart Cairns and travel north along the Captain Cook Highway. Enjoy a stunning coastal drive to Port Douglas, through Mossman and head towards the Daintree Village. The Ecolodge is on the southern bank of the Daintree River.
Given the remote location, the best way to explore the area is by car. Free onsite parking is available or alternatively, take a guided tour and be picked up from the lodge.
- Port Douglas to Daintree – 45 minutes
- Cairns to Daintree – 90 minutes
- Cape Tribulation to Daintree – 80 minutes
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