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 oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest on earth. Enjoy a truly unique perspective of Australia’s World Heritage listed tropical rainforest, gliding just metres above the pristine canopy before descending to explore the forest floor at the Red Peak and Barron Falls Rainforest Stations.

Challenger Bay Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Divers that love to watch fish, and plenty of them, will have a great time exploring Challenger Bay. Located on Ribbon Reef No.10, north of Cairns, Challenger Bay is a picturesque sandy bay dotted with small bommies and lovely coral gardens.

Murray Falls, Girramay National Park

Murray Upper, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
Murray Falls, within Girramay National Park, is one of north Queensland's prettiest waterfalls, with large volumes of water racing over naturally sculpted granite boulders. Rainforested mountains and tropical lowlands meet in the attractive foothills of the Kirrama Range.

Green Island National Park

Green Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
This small rainforest-clad coral cay is surrounded by coral reefs and is one of the Great Barrier Reef's most popular destinations. A true coral cay, it was formed over thousands of years by the build-up of sand and coral rubble deposited on the calm side of a platform reef.

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.

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.

Davies Creek National Park and Dinden National Park

Mareeba, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Davies Creek Falls, a magnificent waterfall cascading over huge granite boulders; the impressive Clohesy River fig tree; pleasant camping and purpose-built mountain bike trails are features of these national parks.

Tully Gorge National Park

Tully, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
Be delighted in the sights as the Tully River plunges down the Cardwell Range, carving a swathe in the lush, world heritage rainforest on its way to the coast. You can explore both ends of the park from a variety of locations.

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.

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.
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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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