Up Close and Personal with the Daintree Rainforest

Prehistoric and peaceful, the Daintree is a cathedral of green, from its magnificent dappled ceiling - like stained glass - to the altar of its palms, ferns, wrapped in the roots of other trees or encased in vines, and its ancient mangroves, like struts just outside. Springy, velvety moss seems to coat everything but the leaves and the smell of growth seems to sweat from everything in the humidity.

Daintree Rainforest

This magical place is like nowhere else on earth, home to an incredible array of plants and animals and edging right up to the white coral sands of the beaches which fringe the Great Barrier Reef. So it's no wonder that Daintree appears in a prominent position on many people's Australian to-do lists. And of course the best places to stay in the Daintree are the hotels close to the Daintree Rainforest - or even better, within the Daintree Rainforest.

Daintree Rainforest Frog

A number of our Guru's recommendations for hotels close to the Daintree Rainforest are eco lodges, which are fantastic options if you want to see as much of the Daintree's wildlife as possible. 30% of Australia's frog, reptile and marsupial species live here, as well as 65% of the species of bats and butterflies, but many of these animals are at their most active in the cool of the evening, or the very early morning when the rainforest rings with a cacophony of birdsong.

If you like your creature comforts as well as your creatures then you might be better off staying in Port Douglas or Cairns. Both are only a short drive from the national park, and there are several hotels close to the Daintree Rainforest, while still withing striking distance of the amenities of town.

Romantic Hotels close to the Daintree Rainforest

Silky Oaks Lodge

  • Silky Oaks Lodge is a luxurious eco lodge right on the banks of the Mossman River, set in 88 acres of its own rainforest on the edge of the Daintree. Accommodation comprises a collection of treehouses and suites in a larger house right on the river, and the decor is sumptuous and elegant. There's also a great restaurant and a pampering spa - so you can't find many more romantic hotels close to the Daintree Rainforest.
  • If you prefer to stay in town, the Shangri-La Hotel, Cairns is a five star luxury resort with all the trappings. You're right on the edge of the marina, with views over the water, the lush, topical hotel gardens or Cairns itself. As well as the peaceful location, there are excellent facilities, including a fitness centre, and of course, waterfront dining.

Relaxing Hotels close to the Daintree Rainforest

Bloomfield Lodge suite

  • If you want to really get away from it all, with no phones, wifi, TV or modern distractions, Bloomfield Lodge is probably your eco lodge paradise. And it's actually within the Daintree, looking out onto Weary Bay. Each individual lodge has its own private veranda (some with hot tubs) and stunning views.
  • If your idea of relaxation includes having access to all the mod. cons. then QT Port Douglas, just back from the beach, and out of town, might be more your style. Peacefully located amongst tropical gardens, the QT's decor is chic and retro, and the well lit rooms look out onto either the hotel lagoon pool or the gardens. They also have apartments with one or two bedrooms. So it's also one of the best hotels close to the Daintree Rainforest for families.

Getting the most out of the Daintree Rainforest

Once you've found your favourite hotel close to the Daintree Rainforest now it's time to follow some of its trails into the wilderness. You can easily get lost in here, the air rings with bird calls and the leaf covered floor often moves with the lizards, snakes and frogs underneath, but there are plenty of tracks and trails through this 135 million year old landscape. And if you do lose your way you'll find the rocky hills which catch the rainfall for the forest in one direction, and the thin band of mangroves bordering the beach in the other.

Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of the best hotels close to the Daintree Rainforest, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively you can widen the net and check out all our recommendations in Queensland.

  • Silky Oaks Lodge


    Luxury eco lodge on the banks of the Mossman River. Accommodation in stunning treehouses, suites and a riverhouse. Elegant interiors with hardwood floors, sumptuous en suites and verandahs overlooking the rainforest. Delicious food in the Treehouse Restaurant, and Healing Waters Spa for chilling.

    38 rooms from $257
    Outstanding location  -  Set in 88 acres of rainforest on the edge of Daintree National Park
    Restrictions on children  -  Must be 12 or over
    Great walks  -  Rainforest walks
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
  • Shangri-La Hotel, Cairns

    Cairns (Pierpoint Road)

    Five star luxury with all the trappings. Large and spacious rooms all with balconies with views either over the city, gardens or bay. Excellent facilities including outdoor pool, fitness centre and spa, and waterfront dining. A great spot on the Marina away from the main street.

    256 rooms from $123
    Lively area  -  Located on Marina
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
  • Bloomfield Lodge

    Cairns, Queensland

    This eco-friendly lodge is a hidden gem tucked away in the Daintree Rainforest and looking out to Weary Bay. Simple laid back luxury at its best - individual lodges have private verandas and stunning views. There's no wifi, phone signal or tv. The perfect place to switch off.

    17 rooms from $254
    Back to Nature
    Private Hot Tub  -  Book the Bloomfield Suite for a private hot tub on your verandah
    Restrictions on children  -  Must be 10 or over
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • QT Port Douglas

    Port Douglas

    Set back from the beach and away from the hustle and bustle of the town, QT is perfectly situated for a relaxing stay. Fun, light filled rooms, with chic retro decor, look out onto the garden or pool. One or two bed apartments are ideal for families or groups.

    170 rooms from $112
    On the beach  -  In front of the hotel.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

Written by  Kat Parr Mackintosh,
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