Daintree Basin

The residential population of the Daintree Basin is low and population centres include the historical Daintree Village and the Aboriginal community of Wujal Wujal (population 326). The areas National Parks and coastal environments within World Heritage Areas attract substantial visitors from tourism.

Steep mountains and hills dominate with a narrow coastal plain at the foot of the ranges where agricultural production and other developments are primarily located. The majority of public and private land in the highlands is included in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Major waterways in the basin include the Daintree River which drains the southern catchments and the Bloomfield River with drains catchments in the north. Numerous smaller waterways flow from the mountain ranges to the coast.

The coastal lowland fringe is characterised by mangrove wetlands, sandy beaches and inshore fringing reefs. The Daintree Basin includes four National Parks and four wetlands listed in the Directory of (Nationally) Important Wetlands.

The Daintree Basin has an area of 2,107km2 and has a high proportion of protected areas (56% natural/minimal use lands and 32% forestry). The remaining area consists of 7% grazing, 2% sugarcane, 1% urban and 2% other.

The overall grade for the Daintree basin is good (B). Only habitat and hydrology contributed to this grade.

Scroll down for further detailed results for each indicator group.



very good








very poor


insufficient data


not applicable

Confidence surrounding the data used in the circle diagrams has been assessed using a multi-criteria framework.


Water quality

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

A water quality overall score and grade cannot be provided for the Daintree basin in 2014/15 due to insufficient data. A new end of catchment water quality monitoring site is being established through the Paddock to Reef program. The data will be available for future report cards.

Habitat and hydrology

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The overall habitat and hydrology grade for the Daintree basin in 2014/15 is good.
The habitat modification score of 100 (very good) is comprised of an impoundment length score of 100 (very good) indicating that less than 1 per cent of the total length of the waterways with a stream order of 3 or higher are impounded by artificial structures.

The fish barrier indicator method is still being developed and will be available in future report cards.

Riparian extent for the Daintree basin scored 100 (very good) with 0.01 per cent loss from pre-clear extent to 2013, due to the basin predominantly being in the World Heritage Area.
Wetland extent scored 100 (good) with 14.6 per cent loss of palustrine (freshwater) wetlands from pre-clear to 2013. These results reflect a historic loss, with the Daintree wetlands largely intact in the upper catchment.

Freshwater riparian extent and wetland extent are updated every four years and the figures in the pilot report card are the most current. The data for both are due to be updated in 2017/18.

The methods for the flow and invasive weeds indicators are currently under development and will be available for future report cards.


Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The fish index is currently under development and will be available in future report cards.

Further information on the methods used to produce the scores and grades and detailed results can be found here.