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The Facility

The Daintree Rainforest Observatory is a recently renovated rainforest eco-monitoring site available to educators, researchers, and students.

Looking through a four berth dorm room to the adjoining six berth dorm room.

Group Accommodation and Amenities

Dormitory accommodation is available for groups of up to 40 people, in four- and six-berth rooms.  These have access to a communal industrial kitchen, and an amenities block nearby provides laundry, bathroom and shower facilities.  A BBQ deck is also available to visitors, and there is a large indoor space with audiovisual capability.

researcher-accomResearcher Accommodation

The Observatory offers two triple share rooms for visiting researchers.  Each includes attached kitchen and bathroom.


All building and rooms are accessible with ramps. Paths through the forest are gravel and have occasional steep gradients. Please contact the DRO with any specific queries. 

indoor-labTeaching Labs

Two laboratories are available.  The first is a teaching lab, with benches in an open-walled undercover area.  This is suitable for groups or individuals bring samples from the forest as it can be hosed clean.  it contains storage areas, ceiling fans, lighting, large sinks and a drying oven.

The second laboratory is the wet lab.  This is constantly air-conditioned and contains flammables and corrosives storage cabinets, a fume cupboard, a microscope bench with light and dissecting microscopes, and other sensitive scientific equipment.  It also houses plant, fungi and insect collections for visitor reference.

For researchers wishing to access a sterile laboratory, access can be arranged at the Cairns JCU campus.

open-shedForest Working Areas

Two working areas are available in the forest itself.  One is a open shed with electricity, work benches and overhead lighting.  This is available for visitors to carry out work while in the forest but is not for the long-term storage of equipment.

The other shed is fully enclosed and also has electricity, benches and lighting.  This contains sensitive electrical equipment required to run data loggers and other equipment in the forest.  It can be used as a work space if additional space is required, and has limited space for the storage of equipment for returning researchers.


The crane is a Liebherr 91EC freestanding construction tower crane.  The crane is 47 metres tall (154 feet), with a radius of 55 metres (180 feet).  It can rotate 360 degrees enabling access to 1 hectare (~2.5 acres) of forest.  A suspended basket known as a gondola is attached at the hook to carry people into the canopy.

Personal access to the gondola is at ground level.  The desired position of the gondola is achieved through rotation of the crane jib, movement of the trolley along the jib, and raising or lowering the gondola.

Information Facilities

Wifi is available in each building and three computers are accessible for visitor use in the office.  A reference collection of books and papers is also available in the office for visitors to peruse.  Internet access is limited and should be considered unreliable.

Further Information

  1. Sustainability The observatory facilities are carefully designed to respect the local environment more
  2. Visual facilities tour Photos show the observatory facilities in detail picture tour
  3. Book a visit See the booking calendar and book a trip to the DRO book 
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