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 world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest. 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.

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.

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.

Coral Gardens Dive Site, Flynn Reef

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Positioned 20 kilometres east of Green Island off the Cairns coast, Flynn Reef is home to several dive sites - with the Coral Gardens being just one of them. Located on the outer reef this site has consistently good visibility of close to 30 metres.

Two Towers Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Two Towers could be called Two Big Towers and Several Smaller Towers as this site is a wonderful collection of bommies on the Ribbon Reefs, north of Cairns. Rising from 25 metres, the two main pinnacles stand 20 metres tall and are covered in lovely corals and a great variety of invertebrate species and reef fish.

Mount Lewis National Park

Julatten, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Mount Lewis, one of the highest rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The beautiful upland rainforest dates back to the evolution of flowering plants on earth.

Three Sisters Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The Three Sisters, part of the impressive Milln Reef, can be found just a short boat trip from Cairns. The three large, colourful bommies are perhaps most famous for the Gorgonian Gorge, with the second and third sisters rising to within one metre of the surface - the three metre gap between them is constantly filled with schools of fusiliers and snapper.

Clam Gardens Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The name kind of gives it away, but divers will see a number of giant clams while exploring the Clam Gardens. Located on the Ribbon Reefs, north of Cairns, the giant clams at the Clam Gardens are set in a very pretty coral garden, dominated by a range of healthy hard and soft corals.

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.

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.
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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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