If you're thinking of heading up north to experience the pristine beaches in Cairns, you may want to plan for day away from the water, if you can bear it.

While it may be tough to pull yourself away from that white sand, those green palms and the luxury of lying by the sea, it's worth it to take a short drive up to the Daintree Rainforest. This rugged and untouched land is complete with dense vegetation, rivers, mountains and wildlife.

There are plenty of good reasons the wilderness has become a World Heritage Listed Rainforest, so it will be up to you to decide which is your favourite. Here are a few ideas that may guide you in the right direction during your visit.

With a tour, you'll spot hundreds of thousands of plant species, including trees that have been around for more than a century. Because of its isolation from modernity, the rainforest has become a hub for evolutionary biologists and experts in several sciences working to learn more about the origins of the human race.

But it isn't all work and no play. As Cairns Visitors Information Guide phrases it, "the beauty of the rainforests can't be explained – only experienced."

One activity that comes highly recommended is a river cruise on the waterways that snake through the rainforest. Or if you're looking to get a little dirty, go for a guided tour through the lush vegetation for up-close views of the trees and plants.

Be sure to arrange plans for a car hire in Cairns, and from there, head north up the coast for a scenic drive with the entire Pacific Ocean on your right. The whole experience, from hire to hike, is a perfect day trip from Cairns.