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.

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.

Cooktown

Cooktown, Cook Area
With bitumen all the way along the 330 kilometre inland Mulligan Highway from Cairns, Cooktown is easy to get to. If you want a more adventurous route, go four wheel-driving along the coastal Bloomfield Track crossing rivers and creeks through World Heritage-listed rainforest and join the highway at the mysterious pile of rocks known as Black Mountain.

The Oasis Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Divers exploring The Oasis at Milln Reef, off Cairns, have a choice of exploring coral gardens in the shallows or a series of bommies in deeper water. The bommies are quite spectacular, rising from 20 to 30 metres and coloured by beautiful whip corals, soft corals and gorgonians.

Goldsborough Valley, Wooroonooran National Park

Goldsborough, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Nestled below the rugged Bellenden Ker Range, the picturesque Goldsborough Valley is cloaked in lush lowland rainforest along the clear flowing waters and deep pools of the Mulgrave River. Enjoy a relaxing picnic by the river or set up camp in the spacious camping area.

Green Island

Green Island, Cairns Area
Green Island is a coral cay north-east of Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. The island boasts an unspoilt rainforest, stunning beaches and surrounding reef ... so close that you can snorkel directly off the beach.

Mamu Tropical Skywalk

Innisfail, Cassowary Coast Area
From AU$21 - 25
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.

Great Detached Reef

Lockhart, Cook Area
Free Entry
Situated north of Cooktown, close to the Queensland cape, Great Detached Reef is a large complex of several reefs sitting on an old fossil mountain range. With roughly 46 kilometres of edge, wall diving is spectacular here, with steep cliffs dropping down to over 400 metres and small caves scattered across the reef walls.

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.

Snake Pit Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The Snake Pit is located inside the Ribbon Reefs, not far from Lizard Island, and is a dive site where divers are guaranteed to encounter an olive sea snake or three. Although highly venomous, olive sea snakes are fortunately quite docile and pose little threat to divers.
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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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