The Wet Tropics World Heritage property extends from Townsville to Cooktown on the north-east coast of Queensland and covers almost 900,000 hectares. The area is a region of spectacular scenery with fast-flowing rivers, deep gorges, numerous waterfalls and mountain summits providing expansive rainforest views.
One of the largest rainforest wilderness areas in Australia centres around the Daintree River Valley. This is the only area in the world where two World Heritage listed areas meet, the rainforest grows right down to the fringing World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. The area includes the following:
- Daintree National Park
- Barron Gorge National Park
- Wooroonooran National Park
Many different opportunities are provided that allow visitors to experience the Wet Tropics, including luxury accommodation nestled in rainforest; four-wheel-drive tours; bird and crocodile spotting tours. Extensive bushwalking options include the Wet Tropics Great Walk, one of Queensland’s new world-class long distance walking tracks. It extends for 110km highlighting the natural and cultural features of this unique area.
The Wet Tropics is home to 30 percent of Australia’s marsupial species, including the small musky rat-kangaroo, which is the most primitive surviving kangaroo species.
The Wet Tropics also provides habitat for numerous endemic species of both fauna and flora. There are at least 390 species of plants that can be classified as rare or very restricted and of these, 74 are regarded as threatened.
Aboriginal occupation of the area is believed to date back 50,000 years to the earliest human occupation of Australia. The district was a rich environment for the Aboriginal hunter-gatherers who lived there. About 16 different groups occupied the area and the Wet Tropics area continues to hold great significance for the local Aboriginal communities who identify as rainforest people.