The unique combination of environment, climate and location are the basis for ground-breaking research.  We'll work with you to get the results you need.


We are part of the Rainforest Supersite monitored by TERN, Australia's Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network, and subsequently a member of the ILTER.

Highland Rainforest

The Observatory is within striking distance of the highly diverse upland rain forests of Mt Lewis, Carbine Tablelands and Thornton Peak, with their iconic endemic mountain-top biota.

Lowland Rainforest

Our location in the Daintree rainforest makes it the ideal place to examine all aspects of lowland rainforest.  Within the survey plot, every tree is identified and categorised.  A sophisticated sensor network constantly collects data covering tree morphology, sap flow, soil moisture levels, and other factors.

Canopy Layers and Above

Our canopy crane offers researchers access to the spaces beyond the rainforest canopy.  A weather station is continuously monitoring conditions at the top of the crane.

Precise control over the canopy crane's gondola gives researchers access to every layer of the Daintree's irregular canopy. Power and data connections are available for equipment installations.


Carefully constructed pathways through the rainforest provide simple access to the rainforest understorey, which is also extensively monitored for biophysical conditions. We use automated sensors and a wireless data network to closely monitor a hectare of rainforest. This data is available for research use.

Leaf Litter and Soil

Leaf litter processes form an important part of rainforest function.  Litter fall is monitored at across several hundred litter traps, providing information about phenology of fruiting, flowering and leaf fall. Sensors provide continuous information about soil moisture, with sites established for measurement of soil respiration.

Freshwater, Mangroves and Shoreline

Thompson Creek flows through the local region, bounding the crane arc.  This seasonally flowing creek with permanent water holes is home to a diverse stream frog and invertebrate fauna and has a notched weir installed for automatic flow measurement.

Less than 2 km away are the mangroves fringing the Daintree's beaches and 15 minutes drive will take you to extensive, diverse rainforest / mangrove systems along multiple estuaries.

Slightly further, 3 km away, are the iconic beaches of Cape Tribulation, providing access to littoral forests and a range of intertidal environments.