Does the idea of relaxing in a "Bayan," or treehouse, nestled in the tall rainforest trees, surrounded by hundreds of species of native birds, trees, plants and wildlife in the world's oldest rainforest sound like a dream vacation? If so, Australia's Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa should be the next destination on your list of "don't miss" locations. This unique, family-owned lodging spot is the winner of dozens of awards, including "World's Leading Eco Lodge" at the World Travel Awards and "Best Spa on the Continent." However, the best part may be the once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the ancient beauty of this resort while immersing yourself in aboriginal art, cuisine, and history. Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa is the ultimate eco-friendly escape from the frenzied pace of modern life.
Although Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa is situated in a 135 million-year-old rainforest, it is easily accessible along a scenic drive from both the Cairns Airport and Port Douglas, the entry to the Great Barrier Reef. Daintree features a collection of just fifteen Banyans that are recommended for two people a piece. This means the retreat has a maximum of thirty total guests at any one time, making it the perfect spot for a couples' getaway. Families with children are also welcome, however, children under 6 years of age are not permitted due to the "treehouse" setup of the accommodations and the connecting boardwalks that allow guests to traverse the rainforest resort.
Even though the rainforest is a tranquil, relaxing setting, there are still plenty of activities to take part in at Daintree. The local native Aboriginal tribe, the Kuku Yalanji, have a peaceful and collaborative relationship with the owners of Daintree, and guests will be able to browse Aboriginal art, eat Aboriginal-inspired food, and take guided Rainforest tours with an Aboriginal guide. Other activities nearby include bird watching, where guests might spy one of the four rare species of bird: the Great Billed Heron, the Black Bittern, the Little Tern and the Beach Stone Curlew; 4-wheel drive adventure tours; fishing; horseback riding; and an exciting zip line tour of the jungle canopy. In a mere 40 minutes, guests can travel to the Great Barrier Reef to experience the wonder of the other World Heritage Area near this tropical forest. It's the only place in the world where two World Heritage Areas meet.
Eating at the Daintree is a unique experience, with it's beautiful lagoon setting and a menu that offers 'spa cuisine with a native twist.' Guests travel to the Julaymba Restaurant & Aboriginal Art gallery on a series of boardwalks, then are seated at the restaurant on a terrace overlooking a rainforest lagoon, or couples might choose a secluded table on a private deck. The menu features dishes based on native flavors and local delicacies, such as prawn, oyster, alligator and kangaroo. Some items served on the menu are gathered right on the property for the ultimate fresh eating experience. There are also healthy and fresh options for breakfast, light lunches, and Devonshire tea anytime. After eating, guests may bring a small piece of paradise home with them when they purchase an artifact or treasure from the art gallery.
When there is a world class spa on the premises, it becomes a priority to take advantage of it! The wide offering of spa treatments at the Daintree Wellness Spa are based on the native aboriginal practices of Wawu Karrba, or 'healing of the spirit.' The Spa is a treat for the mind, body and spirit, featuring ancient techniques and practices using native ochres and pure water from the Daintree's own waterfall. Guests of the Spa might choose the Wal-bull Wal-bull, the signature treatment, where they experience a massage while cocooned in healing mud and waters. The Wawu Dingkarr, or Spirit of Man, includes a lime and ginger salt exfoliation followed by a deep tissue massage. All therapies are an infusion of ancient techniques, local natural resources and spiritual mindset, for a new sense of health and well being. The Daintree also offers a menu of wellness activities such as yoga, meditation cleanses or bodywork.
While the Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa takes its responsibilities to its guests seriously, it also upholds a responsibility to the Earth. Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa is an active proponent of ecotourism and is mindful of the fragility and careful balance of the surrounding area. Caring for the ancient rainforest and all the creatures and plants that reside within is a top priority. Daintree has been honored as a top ecotourism destination, and continues to build upon this reputation with a strict adherence to policies and procedures developed internally to properly manage energy, waste and the environment in daily operations. Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa ensures that this luxury destination in the ancient rainforest will be cared for and protected for future generations.