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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Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Smithfield, Cairns Area
From AU$53 - 215
Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and through the Wet Tropics Rainforest, home to the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical 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 at the Red Peak and Barron Falls.

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.

Lake Eacham, Crater Lakes National Park

Lake Eacham, Tablelands Area
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.

Goold Island National Park

Cardwell, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
Offshore from Cardwell, in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, this forest-clad island features granite outcrops overlooking white sandy beaches. Dugong and sea turtles feed on seagrass beds in shallow waters surrounding the island.

Barron Gorge National Park

Kuranda,
Free Entry
Rugged rainforest-clad mountains and gorges, tumbling waterfalls, varied wildlife, easy access and a fascinating history make Barron Gorge National Park one of Queensland’s most popular parks. The park extends from the coastal lowlands (Lake Placid) to the elevated regions of the Atherton Tableland (near Kuranda), and lies within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Josephine Falls, Wooroonooran National Park

Bartle Frere, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Josephine Creek starts as a gentle trickle high on the south-east side of the summit of Queensland's highest mountain, Bartle Frere. By the time it has travelled the 7.5 kilometres to the smooth granite boulders of Josephine Falls, it is a thundering torrent that will take your breath away.

Curtain Fig National Park

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
View a spectacular curtain fig tree from different vantage points along a boardwalk in this small but popular national park. This large fig tree is unique because the extensive aerial roots, that drop 15 metres to the forest floor, have formed a 'curtain'.

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.

Jorgey's Patch Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Accessible on a day trip from Cairns, Jorgey’s Patch features a variety of terrains for divers to explore, including bommies, ridges, gutters and ledges. In depths between 10 and 25 metres divers will find an abundance of reef fish on this reef, including fusiliers, angelfish, wrasses, anemonefish and rock cods.

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.
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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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