Ethereal green bamboo, dense entwined jungle and rows of evergreen pines, our Earth’s forests come in many shapes and sizes. Sentries of complex ecosystems existing to support and protect lifeforms of all kinds, it’s no wonder we have a decided fascination with them.
But where in the world do you go to witness these magnificent timberlands? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created a log of the most amazing forests to explore across the globe, now all you need to decide is where you wood like to go next!
Daintree Rainforest, Queensland
Just north of Cairns in the tropical state of Queensland, you can find one of the oldest living vegetations in the world, the Daintree Rainforest. Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast looking to observe the stunning wildlife, or a determined hiker set on following the winding forest trails - there’s plenty to explore at this World Heritage-listed destination.
The tropical wonderland is the largest in Australia, stretching across 1.2 kilometres and is not only one of the most biologically diverse rainforests on the planet, it’s also the oldest. Surpassing the famous Amazon by an astonishing 10 million years, the Daintree has been hanging with the dinosaurs and thriving for a whopping 180 million.
Packed full of unique animals and insects not seen anywhere else in the world and home to over three thousand types of plants, the opportunities to explore and discover are endless. Marvel over its diverse landscapes, from winding rivers and crashing waterfalls to ancient gorges and towering mountains. If it’s an adrenaline rush you’re looking for, you can swap your nature hike for an unforgettable zip line experience that will have you soaring above the magnificent. The best time of the year to travel to the Daintree Rainforest is from May through to September, with temperatures averaging a comfortable 26 degrees. Visiting the forest during the cooler, drier months can help you avoid cutting your trip short by getting caught in tropical downpours and heavy humidity.
But don’t just take our word for it. If there weren't already enough reasons to visit this cascading tropical wonderland, renowned knighted naturalist David Attenborough described the Daintree Rainforest as ‘unlike any other rainforest in the world’.
Gir Forest National Park, India
One for the animal lovers, Gir Forest National Park in India is the last remaining stronghold of the Asiatic lion. The reserve was created in 1913 to protect these majestic creatures after years of poaching that brought them close to extinction. In 1965 it was accorded sanctuary status and has since attracted tourists, animal lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
Several hundred Asiatic lions have been bred in the sanctuary since it was established so it’s the perfect place to see these creatures from a close (but safe) distance. Although it’s not just lions you’ll see, Gir’s hilly landscape of dry scrubland makes it a preferred habitat for jackals, leopards, antelopes and deer amongst other species. Jungle and wildlife jeep safaris are held regularly for visitors to experience the park and its wide range of wildlife to the fullest.
The most popular time to visit Gir Forest is from December to March, but it can become overcrowded during peak season. You’re more likely to see lions and other wildlife from March to May, just be prepared for some high temps this time of year!
Hallerbos Bluebells Forest, Belgium
Have you ever dreamt of frolicking through a forest that looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale? It sounds too good to be a true, but that dreamy wonderland is what you can expect to discover when you visit the Hallerbos Bluebells Forest in Belgium! Beautiful wildflowers flood the forest floor sheltering sleeping rabbits and filling the spring air with a sweet aroma.
Also known as the Bluebells Forest, this stunning destination is home to a sea of beautiful purple-blue hyacinth flowers, also known as bluebells or Halle. Each year in the early springtime, from April to May, millions of these bluebells bloom to create a sweeping sea of blue and purple stretching as far as the eye can see. Although well-known for its dense sea of stunning flowers, Hallebors is home to nature of all shapes and sizes, from giant sequoia trees to deers, foxes, squirrels and 100 different species of birds to observe.
Over the years, the enchanted forest has become a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers to take in its spectacular, vivid charm during the springtime in Belgium. Making it no mystery why visitors flock to this magical destination each year to witness the vibrant transformation of the forest floor. The Hallerbos forest can be found in the city of Halle in Belgium and is only a quick 25km trip south of Brussels. Whether you wish to take in nature by wandering the winding paths or hiking up to find the best shot for your photography—Hallerbos has plenty of tracks for wanderers, cyclers, hikers and even horse riders to explore and enjoy its magnificent beauty.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto
Located in the old capital of Kyoto, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the city’s most photographed attractions and one of Japan’s unmissable spots. You’ve probably seen pictures of the seemingly endless swaying bamboo boughs - along with the torii tunnels of Fushimi Inari Shrine - but no picture can capture how it feels to walk among this sprawling bamboo grove.
As you wind your way along the path that cuts through the middle of the forest, you’ll feel as though you’re stepping into another universe. Soaring stalks of bamboo rise up on either side of you and a sense of otherness takes over. These thick bamboo stalks seem to stretch endlessly in every direction, contrasting to the soft light that fills the gaps between them. For an even more mesmerising experience, visit the forest in winter when it’s covered in a thick dusting of pure white snow.
The grove runs from outside the north gate of the charming Tenryū-ji temple to the Ōkōchi Sansō villa, where you can stop and enjoy a cup of matcha tea and explore the classic Japanese gardens.
If you have any questions or would like to start planning your next holiday to one of these amazing destinations, reach out to your local Travellers Choice agent