The Daintree Rainforest is not only one of the most popular landscapes in Australia but also the only place where two UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites meet each other, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. This magnificent region has been a drawcard for travellers from all over the country for years and thankfully it's easy to get to. Regardless of where you're travelling from, there are a couple of ways to get to the Daintree Rainforest including flying and self-driving. 

Flying to the Daintree Rainforest

While there's no airport located in the Daintree Rainforest, flying is still the quickest and most popular way to travel to this isolated paradise. The closest airport to the Daintree is Cairns International Airport (CNS), around 120km north of the rainforest. There are several flights available daily from all major cities including Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Hobart with the flight time differing depending on where you're flying from. Travelling from Hobart to Cairns will take you the longest at just over 6 hours while travelling from Brisbane will take the shortest amount of time at 2 hours. 

The prices for a ticket will also differ depending on which state you're travelling from and what season you're travelling in. The cheapest flight starts at around AUD$160 from either Sydney or Brisbane and the most expensive flight is around AUD$550 for a Hobart to Cairns route. 

From Cairns International Airport, you can choose to hire a car from one of six car rental companies (Avis, Budget Car Rental, Thrifty, Hertz, Redspot, and Europcar) onsite or catch public transportation to take you to the Daintree Rainforest. If you're self-driving from the airport, the journey will only take you 1 and a half hours, however, if you're catching the bus, the journey will be a bit longer at 2 hours. 

Driving to the Daintree Rainforest

Driving to the Daintree Rainforest is a big undertaking regardless of the state you're travelling from with many routes taking over 24 hours. While this option of transportation might not be the quickest way to get to the Heritage-listed site, it does make for one epic road trip and gives you the opportunity to see some pretty incredible landscapes along the way. 

All major freeways leading to the Daintree Rainforest are relatively well maintained and have good, bold signage. Be sure to watch out for speed limitations, traffic, and animal crossings (especially in rural or country areas) that may impact your journey. See below the driving times from major cities in all states:

  • Driving from Melbourne to the Daintree Rainforest takes around 34 and a half hours. 
  • Driving from Sydney to the Daintree Rainforest takes around 31 hours. 
  • Driving from Hobart (plus a ferry crossing) to the Daintree takes around 52 hours (2 days & 4 hours). 
  • Driving from Adelaide to the Daintree Rainforest takes around 35 hours
  • Driving from Perth to the Daintree takes around 59 hours (2 days & 10 hours) 
  • Driving from Darwin to the Daintree Rainforest takes around 31 hours 
  • Driving from Brisbane to the Daintree takes around 24 hours. 

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