Rainforest and Wildlife

The Wet Tropics are the oldest rainforests in the world. They are thought to be 6 to 10 times older than those found in the protected areas of the Amazon. How special that we can still walk amongst the same ecosystem that stood 150 million years ago! 

Fast-flowing rivers, deep gorges, numerous waterfalls, mountain summits with rainforest views are just a taste of the magic that the Wet Tropics has to offer. This World Heritage area is full of so many out-of-this-world experiences, and is full of rare flora and fauna you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Local Wildlife

Go bird watching and spot colourful birds scattered throughout the wet tropics area. You can also get up close and personal with a kanagaroo or koala at a wildlife park or cruise down a river and spot large saltwater crocodiles.

Drive to Etty Bay, Cape Tribulation, Mission Beach or Kuranda for your chance to see the elusive cassowary in the wild. These dinosaur descendants can be hard to spot, but here’s where you can find cassowaries in the wild.

Start Exploring

Things to do

See the iconic Curtain Fig Tree in the Atherton Tablelands or head out on a safari and spot local saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitat. You can even jungle surf your way through the rainforest canopy at Cape Tribulation, float over the rainforest and the Barron Falls on a cableway or take a scenic train ride that weaves through the rainforest to and from Kuranda

Try one of the extensive bushwalking options including the Wet Tropics Great Walk, one of Queensland’s world-class long distance walking tracks or, learn about the Aboriginal hunter-gather history, dreamtime stories and tales of the earliest human occupation of Australia 40,000 years ago. 

Discover the Daintree River Valley where the rainforest grows right down to the fringing World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, the only place in the world where you can experience two World Heritage listed areas meeting.

Plan your holiday

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Mamu Tropical Skywalk

Innisfail, Cassowary Coast Area
From AU$22 - 26
The Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway is a spectacular walk through the canopy of World Heritage rainforest. It is an iconic tourist attraction in the heart of the Wet Tropics. With a 350 metre long elevated walkway through the canopy, a cantilever, a 37 metre observation tower and more than 1200 metres of walking tracks, this attraction is a must do for anyone visiting the region.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Smithfield, Cairns Area
From AU$55 - 82
Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and through the ancient Wet Tropics Rainforest. Enjoy a truly unique perspective of Australia’s World Heritage listed tropical rainforest, gliding mere metres above the pristine canopy before descending to explore the forest floor.

Lake Eacham, Crater Lakes National Park

Lake Eacham,
Free Entry
A serene blue lake surrounded by lush rainforest, Lake Eacham in part of Crater Lakes National Park. Take a refreshing dip and then relax in the shade, or wander along the viewing decks for uninterrupted water views.

Monolith Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Located on Ribbon Reef No.10, Monolith offers the diver the option of exploring a coral wall or a collection of scattered bommies, or both if you have time. In depths to 30 metres divers will commonly see nudibranchs, coral trout, sweetlips, batfish, pufferfish, moray eels and many colourful reef fish.

Snake Pit Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The Snake Pit is located inside the Ribbon Reefs, not far from Lizard Island, and is a dive site where divers are guaranteed to encounter an olive sea snake or three. Although highly venomous, olive sea snakes are fortunately quite docile and pose little threat to divers.

Edmund Kennedy, Girramay National Park

Cardwell, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
This scenic part of Girramay National Park features lowland rainforest, open eucalypt forest, paperbark woodland, sedge swamps and extensive mangrove forests as well as secluded beaches with island views.

Thetford Reef Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Thetford Reef, nestled close to the Cairns coast and just a short boat trip from the popular Green Island, is a two kilometre long burst of colour - with scattered coral heads, sandy floor areas inviting glittering schools of sea life, and lots of swim-throughs for adventure-seekers.

Lighthouse Bommie Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Lighthouse Bommie is a giant tower of coral that rises from the sea floor at 25 metres and stands 20 metres tall. Located on the Ribbon Reefs, north of Cairns, this impressive pinnacle is visited each week by liveaboard dive boats.

Pixie Pinnacle Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Situated on the Ribbon Reefs off the coast of Cooktown, hop on a livaboard dive boat in Cairns to discover Pixie Pinnacle. At 30 metres tall and about 15 metres across, Pixie Pinnacle is a pyramid of coral and marine life, with its peak sitting two metres under the water’s surface.

Frankland Group National Park

Deeral, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Surrounded by extensive fringing reefs, the five islands of Frankland Group National Park feature rocky outcrops, dense rainforest, mangroves and coastal vegetation, making them a haven for wildlife. A colony of spectacled flying-foxes roosts on Russell Island, while manta rays and sea turtles have been spotted in nearby waters, part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
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How to get there

This World Heritage Site covers an expansive area from Cooktown to Townsville with 79 per cent of the land protected by 31 National Parks, conservation parks, State forests and reserves including the popular Paluma Range National Park, Barron Gorge National Park and the Daintree National Park.

Take a tour or hire a car and self-drive to explore the wet tropics.

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