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 above the pristine canopy before descending to explore the forest floor.

Castle Rock Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Castle Rock is a tower of coral at the Agincourt Reefs, accessible from Port Douglas on a day trip. Rising from 25 metres to almost break the surface, Castle Rock is home to trevally, snappers, sweetlips, goatfish, fusiliers, surgeonfish and a very friendly Malabar groper called Colin.

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.

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.

Lawn Hill

Lawn Hill, Burke Area
Every year, thousands of visitors are drawn to Lawn Hill National Park to experience the true Outback. Encompassing the spectacular Lawn Hill Gorge with its imposing sandstone cliffs, and cool pristine waterways, the area is most famous for the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh fossil fields.

Goldsborough Valley, Wooroonooran National Park

Goldsborough, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Nestled below the rugged Bellenden Ker Range, the picturesque Goldsborough Valley is cloaked in lush lowland rainforest along the clear flowing waters and deep pools of the Mulgrave River. Enjoy a relaxing picnic by the river or set up camp in the spacious camping area.

Cape Tribulation, Daintree National Park

Daintree, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Cape Tribulation, in Daintree National Park, is famed for steep rainforested mountains sweeping down to long sandy beaches and turquoise coastal waters. One of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, this park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the coastal waters are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Cobia Hole Dive Site

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Free Entry
Located just off the shore of Lizard Island north of Cairns, Cobia Hole features a jumble of rocks, no bigger than a tennis court, decorated with marine life. With a maximum depth of 18 metres, this rocky outcrop is home to hovering sweetlips, emperors, cobia, estuary cod and more.

Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park

Rossville, Cook Area
Free Entry
Black Mountain, an imposing mountain range of massive granite boulders, is home to unique wildlife and rich in Aboriginal culture. The brooding Black Mountain resembles a pile of huge black granite boulders, some the size of houses, stacked seemingly precariously upon one another.
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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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