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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Lighthouse Bommie Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Lighthouse Bommie is a giant tower of coral that rises from the sea floor at 25 metres and stands 20 metres tall. Located on the Ribbon Reefs, north of Cairns, this impressive pinnacle is visited each week by liveaboard dive boats.

Eddy Reef Dive Site

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
Eddy Reef is located off Mission Beach and is accessible on day boats. Divers exploring this reef will find a maze of coral ridges in depths from 10 to 20 metres that are covered in some of the most beautiful corals – wide gorgonians, lovely pink whip corals and delicate soft corals.

Fitzroy Island National Park

Fitzroy Island,
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.
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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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