Daintree Rainforest Animals

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The Daintree rainforest is home to a wonderful collection of Daintree rainforest animals. 30% of Australia’s marsupial species and all five Australian frog species including the giant White-lipped Tree Frog, the largest frog in the world, live here.

I grew up in Sydney but fell in love with North Queensland and moved here over 20 years ago. I have been working on the Daintree River for 15 years and I’m fortunate to have had many opportunities to photograph Daintree Rainforest animals over the years. When I first came up here, I worked on larger petrol-driven boats but wanted a more eco-friendly personal experience. Now I own Solar Whisper, a solar electric boat designed to be low impact and maneuverable.

I originally worked seven days a week running Daintree rainforest tours, but these days I have two days off to explore the river. I am passionate about wildlife and the environment and have a deep respect for this country and its inhabitants and believe we need to preserve it for future generations. Working with tourists daily offers me the opportunity to pass on this passion. 

Many of the Daintree rainforest animals that share our land are very misunderstood and my goal is to help others respect and admire these creatures and the habitat in which they reside. Most people want to see crocodiles and I am fortunate that due to the time I’ve spent on the river I can recognise many of the regulars and have watched them grow up.

I am familiar with their habits and deeply understand some of their antics. I have the best office and love taking photos of my “office” to share with the rest of the world. I have an interest in art and photography and I create art pieces from rubbish that I collect from the beach. Here are some photos of my “office” in north Queensland. I hope you enjoy my favourite pictures of these rainforest animals.

Daintree Rainforest Animals

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The Daintree Rainforest in Tropical North Queensland is home to several species, including the Musky-rat Kangaroo, Spotted-tail Quoll and the Southern Cassowary.

Green tree snakes, green tree frogs, and crocodiles are three of the most common animals in the Daintree rainforest.

Other Daintree rainforest animals are Boyd’s Rainforest Dragons, Peppermint stick insects, Spectacled Flying Foxes and Golden orb weaver spiders. 

If you’re visiting the Daintree rainforest, it’s a good idea to explore with a guide who knows what to look for.

1- Green Tree Snake 

daintree rainforest animals Green Tree snake eating a frog
Daintree Rainforest animals dinner time: A Green Tree snake eating a frog is an eye-popping sight.

Green tree snakes are one of the most beautiful animals in the Daintree rainforest.

I was fortunate to see this green snake eating a large white-lipped green tree frog.

Green tree frogs are the favourite food of this type of snake. 

It takes some time for the frog to be eaten due to the large size of the frog and the small size of the snake.

Though we often feel sorry for the frog, this is nature in the raw. Yes, sometimes it can be challenging to watch.

Recommended cruises:

2- White-Lipped Green Tree Frog

daintree rainforest white-lipped green tree frog
One of the animals in the Daintree Rainforest is the White-lipped Green Tree frog.

The tree frogs are the most adept at hiding of all the Daintree rainforest animals.

This is the largest of the tree frogs and can live for 13 years.

These frogs are so very green but I have also seen them grey and brown.

I pride myself in being able to find a camouflaged green tree frog in a mass of green foliage.

Over the years, I think I have mastered the technique of spotting them (and photographing them), though there are all the ones I don’t see and never know I missed, but I won’t talk about that.

3- Crocodiles 


crocodile in the daintree rainforest
The crocodile is one of the most dangerous animals of the Daintree Rainforest.

This is one of the regular crocodiles we see, I have watched him grow up over the last 13 years.

His name is Scuter on account of him missing some Scutes.

He climbed up on the bank one day during the last cruise, and the light was such that he made this stunning silhouette.

Lizzie and a baby crocodile 

animals in the daintree rainforest - crocodiles
Some of the animals in the Daintree Rainforest are very dangerous. Baby crocodiles might look cute but be careful of mother crocodiles.

Elisabeth or Lizzie is one of my favourite crocodiles, she’s the pin-up girl for the Days of the Daintree and is Scarface’s main lady.

You can only see her back here as she gives one of her children a piggyback ride.


crocodiles are top of the daintree rainforest animals food chain
Of all the Daintree Rainforest animals, the crocs would have to be the most impressive.

Scarface is the main man of the Daintree rainforest.

He is 4.5 m and is very chunky.

He is overweight, has no teeth and a face full of scars and the ladies find that irresistible.

He has many lady friends though his main girl is Lizzie.

However, he is known to be a bit of a player and there are often marital disputes between him and his main girl.

Other large males come and go but Scarface always stays and I’m very fond of him.

Baby Crocodile Hatchling 

daintree rainforest animals
This crocodile will grow up to be one of the most feared animals of the Daintree Rainforest.

This little hatchling had the most satisfied persona I have ever seen, he’s content and is a reminder to all of us to be happy.

He’s like a Zen master in mediation and if you look close, you can see his smile.

Eric the cannibal

daintree rainforest
Weaker crocodiles can get eaten by other crocodiles. That’s the natural order of the animals of the Daintree rainforest.

Eric is a regular crocodile that I have been watching for a number of years, one day during a cruise, Eric was catching prawns and fish on the edge of the bank then came across his friend (or perhaps a brother?) and decided to eat him too!

Hence he was forever called Eric the Cannibal and one of the scary animals in the Daintree rainforest.


daintree rainforest animals
Look into an eye of a crocodile and you’ll understand the soul of the animals in the Daintree Rainforest.

The crocodiles have the most magnificent skin, texture and patterns and I will never tire of looking at them.

Their eyes are liquid gold and every crocodile has a different unique pattern and colouration.

This is one of many close-up portraits I have taken.

This is Margaret.

You may like Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.

4- Green Tree Snake – Fred Bubblehead

daintree rainforest animals
This animal of the Daintree Rainforest is a Green Tree Snake.

This is a green tree snake with a water bubble on its head.

His name is Fred since I can recognise his kinked tail.

No one pays him much attention other than me, but he is so cute and I often find him watching me.

He lives in a bunch of native Hibiscus in Lizzie’s Creek and most of the time, people are fixated on the crocodiles and that’s when I often spot Fred being a bit of a joker and pulling some crazy face as he watches me.

5- Striated Heron 

daintree rainforest animals - heron
Not only will you see rainforest animals but there are also Daintree Rainforest birds, such as this Heron.

I was lucky enough to capture this bird in the right light just after it speared a fish.

I regularly see these birds foraging on the banks of the river and marvel at their beauty.

They are super patient creatures and remind me that patience is a virtue, especially when you’re a bird catching very fast fish.

For more things to do in Queensland, read:

6- Azure Kingfisher

Azure Kingfisher - daintree rainforest animals
This colourful Azure Kingfisher beats most of the Daintree Rainforest animals to win the prize for being photogenic.

The Azure Kingfisher is one of my favourite birds due to its vibrant colours.

I designed my uniform colours to match this bird, though it’s hard to find anything that brilliant blue.

The soft pink feathers are only found in the Queensland race of this bird.

I can hear their call usually before I see them so have a chance to sneak up.

7- Rainbow serpent

daintree rainforest animals - rainbow serpent
The Rainbow Serpent is one of the most stunning animals in the Daintree Rainforest.

This is the Amethystine python caught in the right light; the colours are magnificent.

The aboriginal people had a dreamtime story about the rainbow serpent and it’s easy to picture that in this photo.

The rainbow serpent story is about creation and the mother of all life.

She created mountains and rivers and her colours flew to the sky to become the rainbow and rainbow lorikeets.

I believe it’s important to acknowledge the First Nations people and to understand their attachment to the country.

8- Southern Cassowary

daintree rainforest animals southern cassowary
The Cassowary is a Daintree Rainforest animal that cannot fly.

There are between 1200 and 1500 Southern Cassowaries left in the world.

These large flightless birds live in tropical rainforests of northern Australia and New Guinea.

9- Ulysses Butterfly

animals of the daintree rainforest Ulysses Butterfly
The Ulysses Butterfly is a beautiful blue specimen found in the Daintree.

The Ulysses Butterfly or papilio ulysses is a brilliant blue and can fly very quickly to avoid predators. 

Seeing how a green and white caterpillar can emerge as a vibrant iridescent blue butterfly is interesting. 

10- Boyd’s Forest Dragon

daintree rainforest animal Boyd's Forest Dragon
Boyd’s Forest Dragon is one of the unique animals in the Daintree rainforest.

Boyd’s Forest Dragon (Hypsilurus boydii) is known as Jalbil by the Aboriginal people of the region. 

It’s the largest rainforest dragon in Australia and can grow up to 15cm (6 inches) long in the body, while its tail is usually twice that length. 

They can absorb water through their skin and do not bask in the sun. They keep warm by adjusting their body temperature to the air temperature. 

11- Sugar Gliders

sugar glider daintree rainforest
Sugar Gliders can be found in the Daintree rainforest too.

Sugar gliders can glide gracefully through the air. 

They are a cute Daintree rainforest animal that loves to eat sweet honey. 

12- Golden Orb Spider

The Golden Orb Spider is a small spider with long legs, with leg joints that are golden in colour. 

They weave large webs in the Daintree rainforest, so when you’re hiking, lookout for these webs, as walking into them isn’t a pleasant experience. 

13- Musky Rat-Kangaroo

The Musky Rat-Kangaroo has a strange movement that is a combination of a kangaroo hop and a rodent scamper.

It’s a small animal of the Daintree rainforest that makes its bed in the roots of trees, eats insects, leaves and forages for fruit on the ground. 

Daintree Rainforest Tours

David White owns Solar Whisper, a solar electric boat purposely designed to be low impact and maneuverable.

Book your Daintree Rainforest tour here

Also read:

Daintree Rainforest Animals

Daintree Rainforest Animals2

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david white
I have been working on the Daintree River for 15 years and I'm fortunate to have had many opportunities to photograph Daintree Rainforest animals over the years. I own Solar Whisper, a solar electric boat purposely designed to be low impact and manourevable.