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.

Josephine Falls, Wooroonooran National Park

Bartle Frere, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Josephine Creek starts as a gentle trickle high on the south-east side of the summit of Queensland's highest mountain, Bartle Frere. By the time it has travelled the 7.5 kilometres to the smooth granite boulders of Josephine Falls, it is a thundering torrent that will take your breath away.

Thetford Reef Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Thetford Reef, nestled close to the Cairns coast and just a short boat trip from the popular Green Island, is a two kilometre long burst of colour - with scattered coral heads, sandy floor areas inviting glittering schools of sea life, and lots of swim-throughs for adventure-seekers.

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.

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.

Mount Lewis National Park

Julatten,
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.

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.

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.

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.

Tully Gorge National Park

Tully, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
Be delighted in the sights as the Tully River plunges down the Cardwell Range, carving a swathe in the lush, world heritage rainforest on its way to the coast. You can explore both ends of the park from a variety of locations.
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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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