The world's oldest tropical rain forest is an ecological wonderland: 85 of the 120 rarest species on earth are found here, and new ones are still being discovered. The 22,000-acre park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Wet Tropics region, stretches along the coast and west into the jungle from Cow Bay, 40 km (25 miles) or around an hour's drive northwest of Mossman. Traditional owners, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji, who live in well-honed harmony with their rain-forest
environs, attribute powerful properties to many local sites—so tread sensitvely. Prime hiking season here is May through September, and many local operators offer guided Daintree rain-forest walks, longer hikes, and nighttime wildlife-spotting excursions. Gather information and maps from local rangers or the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service's ParksQ website before hiking unguided, and stay on marked trails and boardwalks to avoid damaging your fragile surroundings. Whatever season you go, bring insect repellent.