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.

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.

Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park

Cooktown, 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.

Josephine Falls, Wooroonooran National Park

Bartle Frere, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Josephine Falls is a scenic waterfall fed by rains falling on Queensland’s highest peak, Bartle Frere, which looms above this popular picnic area in Wooroonooran National Park. Josephine Creek starts as a gentle trickle high on the south-east side of the summit of Bartle Frere.

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.

Tully Gorge National Park

Tully, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
The Tully River plunges down the Cardwell Range, through a densely forested gorge. Part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Tully Gorge National Park offers camping, picnicking in pleasant surroundings, challenging hikes and spectacular views.

Barracuda Bommie Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
With a name like Barracuda Bommie you would expect to see barracuda at this dive site, and fortunately it rarely disappoints. Located on the Agincourt Reefs, off Port Douglas, Barracuda Bommie is a giant pinnacle of coral that rises from the sandy sea floor at 26 metres.

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.

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. Featuring outcrops of weathered and eroded green and white metamorphic rock, the islands are part of the coastal mountain range which was separated from the mainland by a rise in sea level 6000 years ago.
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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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