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What Is Daintree National Park?

Daintree National Park's Coral Sea contains the Great Barrier Reef.
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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2014
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Daintree National Park is located in Queensland, Australia. The park is split into two areas, the first being Mossman Gorge, which is located further inland, and the second being Cape Tribulation, which abuts the Coral Sea. Encompassing approximately 138,320 acres (560 sq km), Daintree National Park has been given special status as a Wet Tropics World Heritage Area since 1988. Considered the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aborigines' traditional country, the populace works under an agreement with Queensland to manage and protect the park.

There is a wide variety of terrain in Daintree National Park. The area has low mountains that are covered by lush rainforests as well as several beaches where people can experience the Coral Sea, which is home to the Great Barrier Reef. Swimming at the beach generally is discouraged, however, as caution signs warn of the abundance of stinging jellyfish in the water. Additionally, in the Mossman Gorge section of the park, there are rivers and creeks that form deep gorges.

Visitors also can camp in Daintree National Park, but only in the Cape Tribulation section. Specifically, the Noah Beach campground has 15 sites that are located underneath a rainforest canopy and about 160 feet (48.8 m) from the sea. The campsites can be reserved in advance, and the campground has water, but it should be treated before it is consumed. Visitors who do not want to camp can find lodging outside of the park as well.

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Hiking is one of the primary activities in Daintree National Park. There are several trails in each section of the park, allowing visitors to see the animals, plants, and geology of the area. For example, there is a boardwalk, taking visitors through the rainforest. There is also a suspension bridge, allowing visitors to get a bird's eye view of the Rex Creek below.

Guided or self-guided tours are available for visitors as well. The tours typically are available via four-wheel drive vehicles or by boat. Often, the boat tours float down the Daintree River, giving visitors the opportunity to look for crocodiles and other animals.

Many different varieties of plants, animals, and birds can be found in Daintree National Park. For example, there are tree kangaroos, cassowaries, crocodiles, and an animal similar to a cat called a spotted-tailed quoll. There is also a giant white-tailed rat that grows to about 15 inches (38.1 cm) in length.

Several species of rare primitive plants can be found in Daintree National Park as well. These plants include the Noahdendron, or Noahdendron nicholasii, and the Ribbonwood tree, or Idiospermum australiense. In addition, there are mangroves, stinging trees, and eucalyptus trees. People should avoid the stinging trees, as they will cause a painful stinging reaction that may require medical attention if they come in contact with human skin.

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