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.

Barron Gorge National Park

Kuranda, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Rugged rainforest-clad mountains and gorges, tumbling waterfalls, varied wildlife, easy access and a fascinating history make Barron Gorge National Park one of Queensland’s most popular parks. The park extends from the coastal lowlands (Lake Placid) to the elevated regions of the Atherton Tableland (near Kuranda), and lies within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Southern Small Detached Reef Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Southern Small Detached Reef, 80 kilometres North of Lockhart River in Far North Queensland, is a remote but stunning reef. Sitting so far off the coast, the walls of the reef drop to over 100 metres, with the deep waters inviting lots of larger marine life such as turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays, pelagic fish and occasional manta rays.

Daintree

Daintree, Cairns Area
Stretching from Daintree Village across the river, the Daintree encompasses Cape Kimberley, Cow Bay, Thornton's Peak, Cooper Creek, Thornton Beach, Noah Valley, Cape Tribulation and the Bloomfield Track to the north.

Blencoe Falls, Girringun National Park

Mount Garnet, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Discover stunning Blencoe Falls, in Girringun National Park, where Blencoe Creek plunges 90 metres into a pool before cascading a further 230 metres to the bottom of Blencoe Gorge then joins the Herbert River in the spectacular Herbert River Gorge.

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.
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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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