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.

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.

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.

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.

Cod Hole Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Possibly the most well-known dive site in the world can be found roughly 96 kilometres north of Cairns, at Cod Hole. Part of the string of long narrow Ribbon Reefs, Cod Hole is home to a group of very friendly potato cod, reaching up to 100 kilograms, that have become accustomed to divers over the past 30 years.

Djiru National Park

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
Djiru National Park, near Mission Beach, protects some of the last remaining lowland rainforest in the Wet Tropics, including a rare patch of Licuala fan palm forest. It is also one of the few places you're likely to see the endangered southern cassowary.

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.

Fitzroy Island National Park

Fitzroy Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Fitzroy Island National Park is rugged with diverse landscapes featuring granite outcrops, open woodlands, rainforest, mangroves and coral beaches. This island national park, close to the mainland, and its surrounding waters form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

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.

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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