Tropical North Queensland is a remarkable region where Australia’s celebrated Daintree Rainforest meets the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. At an estimated 180 million years old, the Daintree is regarded as the world’s oldest living rainforest with a fascinating ecosystem revealing ancient plants as well as hundreds of species of birds and wildlife. It’s also home to the indigenous Kuku Yalanji people who have a deep connection with the land. How do I get there?
Included in a stay at Silky Oaks Lodge are a range of signature experiences of the rainforest, while guests can tailor-design an itinerary including special interest tours that venture further afield to discover the mysteries of the ancient rainforest and richly diverse tropical landscape.View all experiences here.
Easy adventures and relaxed pastimes are on the doorstep, from gently guided rainforest walks and morning yoga to and snorkelling or swimming in the crystal-clear Mossman River.
Just a short distance from Silky Oaks Lodge is Mossman Gorge, where a series of self-guided walking trails and Ngadiku Dreamtime walks, led by the region’s indigenous Kuku Yalanji people, depart.
Located adjacent to the Daintree Rainforest, Silky Oaks Lodge is an ideal base from which to explore the ancient forest via self-guided hikes or road trips, or on specialty guided tours on foot, by boat, four-wheel-drive safari or helicopter.
Great Barrier Reef
Accessed via the pretty coastal resort town of Port Douglas, the Great Barrier Reef offers a boatload of aquatic adventures to discover the kaleidoscope of corals and marine life in the complex and magnificent reef system.
Located at the northern end of the Daintree, the magnificent Cape Tribulation wilderness attracts many visitors looking for a real escape. Incredible walks, four-wheel-drive safaris, swimming on remote beaches and snorkelling fringing reefs are all on offer.
Renowned as one Queensland’s most attractive coastal resort towns, Port Douglas is the gateway to adventures on the Great Barrier Reef and offers plenty of great dining options and boutique shopping.
Around an hour’s drive north of Silky Oaks Lodge is the attractive city of Cairns. Home to an international airport and cruise terminal, the coastal city is also the departure point for tours while the shorefront offers excellent seafood dining.
Heading west from Mossman Gorge along a spectacular forested mountain drive lie the Atherton Tablelands, renowned as a surprising food bowl for local produce and gateway to the vast Queensland outback.
Cradle of life
Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988, the Daintree Rainforest is home to some 3,000 plant species, while rare and diverse wildlife thrives in the region. Guests spot green possums and sly crocodiles submerged in the river. It’s a thrill to see the shy Boyd’s Forest Dragon or the striking Southern Cassowary. The region is home to a quarter of Australia’s frog population and more than a third of the nation’s freshwater fish. The Daintree also has one of the world’s largest butterfly colonies, making for exceedingly pretty walks through the forest.
The Daintree region, extending from the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast to the Atherton Tablelands in the west, offers a surprisingly diverse harvest of tropical fruits, locally grown coffee and chocolate, fresh-caught seafood and prime beef, vegetables and organic grains. The Silky Oaks kitchen team takes this premium produce and incorporates local bush ingredients used in traditional indigenous cooking to create sophisticated menus that deliver a real taste of the Daintree. Read about our Dining Philosophy.
Seasons of the Tropics
Part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, the Daintree climate is characterised by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the green season. Part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, the Daintree climate is characterised by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the green season.
(APRIL – NOVEMBER)
The dry season runs from April to November. Warm days and cool nights offer lower humidity and pleasant temperatures. The ocean is free of marine stingers during this time, so it's an ideal time to cool off with a swim or explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Boating adventures are a chance to spot majestic whales – including Humpbacks and Minkes – as they migrate from the south to chill-out in Queensland’s warm, clear waters.
Temperatures range from 19–30°C.
(DECEMBER – MARCH)
December to March is known as the green season, as the days and nights are hot with frequent cooling showers. Clouds hang low over the mountains and the forest landscape is refreshingly green. There are plenty of sunny, beach-going days during these summer months. Add epic waterfalls, active wildlife and the fact that it's mango and lychee season and there are plenty of reasons to give the go ahead on a green season stay.
Temperatures range from 22–32°C.
The lodge is easily accessed from Cairns Airport (CNS), with direct commercial flights to and from main touring gateways including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, Alice Springs and Uluru.
A range of charter flight options is available to and from Cairns Airport from most capital cities and to selected Great Barrier Reef islands.
Private airport transfers
Private vehicle transfers between Silky Oaks Lodgge and Cairns Airport or nearby Port Douglas may be arranged with a preferred operator. Scenic helicopter flights from Cairns Airport to Silky Oaks’ helipad offer an aerial perspective of the region and are a spectacular start or end to a stay in the Daintree. Additional costs apply for all private road and air transfers. Bookings are best made in advance – please enquire for more information.
Self-driving to Silky Oaks Lodge is a popular option. The journey by road cuts through Queensland’s trademark cane fields and winds along the coast overlooking the sparkling Coral Sea.
Taste of the tropics
The open-air restaurant and bar welcome in the peaceful sights and sounds of the rainforest, creating an extraordinary backdrop for relaxed fine dining. Menus are contemporary Australian in style with Asian influences, designed to be refreshing and light.Whet your appetite