Valley in wet tropics rainforest

Ancient Tropical Rainforest

The most extraordinary place on earth.
– Sir David Attenborough

Rainforests from the age of the dinosaurs

In Australia’s Tropical North, there’s a tiny pocket of tropical rainforest that has survived for millions of years, from the time dinosaurs wandered the Earth. It’s quite unlike any other place on the planet. Discover the rare plants, birds and animals that call this extraordinary, World Heritage-listed landscape home.

Curtain fig tree

Roam one of the World’s oldest tropical rainforest

The Wet Tropics is 80 million years older than the Amazon, a vast swathe of pristine wilderness running from Cooktown in the state’s far north to Townsville in the south. Within its 9000sq km (about the size of Cyprus), you’ll find an extraordinary array of landscapes and landmarks, including 30 national parks. Discover waterfall after waterfall on the Atherton Tablelands; witness where two World Heritage areas (reef and rainforest) meet at Cape Tribulation and Mission Beach; cruise the Cooper Creek wilderness within the spectacular Daintree.


A southern cassowary close up

A place more biodiverse than the Galapagos Islands

The Wet Tropics biodiversity is staggering – home to more than 650 species of vertebrates and 230 types of butterfly as well as hundreds of tiny creatures, reptiles and mammals. Sheltering 47 animal and 227 threatened plant species also makes this World Heritage-listed rainforest region an Arcadian ark of global significance. The Wet Tropics are also home to Australia’s own avian icon, the southern cassowary, the world’s second-heaviest bird. Not only is it visually striking, but it’s also fleet of foot, clocking up speeds of 50km/h.


People looking at fan palms above

A remarkable refuge

Eighty per cent of the Wet Tropics looks just as it did at the time of European settlement, as though these ancient Gondwanan rainforests have just emerged from a prehistoric time capsule. Rugged isolation has allowed ancient species to survive and evolve in this cool mountainous refuge, including rare and endemic animals such as the Thornton Peak skink and Kuranda tree frog. This land is also home to more primitive flowering plants – such as the native guava and the pepper tree – than any other place on Earth.



Learn more about what makes the Wet Tropics one of the planet’s more extraordinary places.

Daintree Discovery Centre
The Wet Tropics’ Famous Five Precincts and a guide to exploring them

If you’re looking to connect with nature and discover a rainforest that’s the oldest, longest and largest in Australia, go behind the foliage with this guide to the five precincts of the Wet Tropics.

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Beginners guide to rainforest evolution

The creation story of this ancient place isn’t simple, so here’s the abbreviated version of how the rainforest began some 200 million years ago.

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Cairns Botanic Gardens
Cairns & Northern Beaches
How to explore the rainforest near Cairns

Flying into Cairns, you can see the city’s close proximity to the rainforest so you know don’t have to go far to explore this wonder. In fact, you can even find it in an inner-city suburb.

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outdoor bath tub at silky oaks lodge
10 relaxing ways to sleep in the rainforest

This summer, swap your inner city stresses for cool, rainforest rejuvenation, checking into one of these accommodation providers in the rainforest.

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Emerald Creek Falls
20 waterfalls near Cairns

Mighty mountain ranges and Wet Tropics Rainforest create the optimum environment for a myriad of extraordinary waterfalls. Fall in love with these 20 waterfall wonderlands only a short drive from Cairns.

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Mission Beach & Cassowary Coast
12 things you didn’t know about Paronella Park

Riddle us this – where can you find a tourism attraction that’s eco-certified, heritage-listed, completely carbon neutral and just one-and-a-half hours’ drive from Cairns CBD? The middle of Mena Creek, home to Paronella Park.

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kid picking a mango
Why you should visit the tropics in summer

From cosy rainforest retreats to once-in-a-lifetime Great Barrier Reef reef events, epic waterfalls to spectacular outback scenery, this is why you should put the green light on your summer holiday.

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Waterfalls in the Wet Tropics
Jewel of the tropics

Tropical North Queensland’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is a landscape of astonishing beauty and biodiversity. Immerse yourself in this national treasure, the oldest tropical rainforest on earth.

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discovering the rainforest at mamu tropical skywalk
10 Things you didn’t know about the Wet Tropics Rainforest

Get to know our famous forest, which spans 8940 square-kilometers and covers more ground than Samoa, Luxemburg and Puerto Rico, with this list of 10 things you didn’t know about the Wet Tropics.

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zillie falls atherton tablelands
Atherton Tablelands
10 waterfalls to chase on the Atherton Tablelands

Hit the famous waterfall circuit, uncover those lesser known or stretch a little further and take a dip in Australia’s widest, single-drop waterfall on the Atherton Tablelands.

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How to shoot waterfalls like a pro

At the top of Tropical North Queensland’s ‘must-see’ natural attractions are undoubtedly it’s tropical waterfalls. You know the ones with the oh-so-silky water and the brilliant greens. Here are four tips from professional photographer, Andrew Watson, to help you capture your own slice of natural beauty.

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Cape Tribulation National Park
Daintree & Cape Tribulation
Choose your own adventure: Discover the Daintree & Cape Tribulation

Choose your own adventure with these unique tour ideas in Cape Tribulation; a place where Australia’s oldest, largest and longest rainforest collides with the only living organism seen from space.

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Mission Beach & Cassowary Coast
Riding the Misty Mountains Trails near Mission Beach

The Misty Mountain trails consist of a number of scenic rides from the coast to the rainforest. Ride the wilderness tracks and explore the Cassowary Coast with these hot hints.

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Riverside Walk Kuranda
Walks in Kuranda

Experience the famous village in the rainforest along a network of easy trails that introduce you to the surrounding Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Accommodating all types of walkers, discover the amazing scenery that exists a stone’s throw from Kuranda’s shopping experience.

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Pamagirri dancers at Rainforestation in kuranda
The Rainforest People of Kuranda

Known as the colourful village in the rainforest, Kuranda has a much deeper history that stretches way beyond its famous quirky markets. Learn more about the Indigenous people who have called Kuranda home for at least 10,000 years.

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GoldField Trail river
Southern Cairns
Goldfield Trail: Crossing rivers and cane fields

You live for adventure on two wheels in exotic landscapes. And the most exotic landscape of all, the awe-inspiring World Heritage rainforest of Tropical North Queensland, is calling out to you.

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Red Peark Station boardwalk at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
6 reasons to see the rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Welcome to Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, an aerial experience through Australia’s most famous rainforest, the Wet Tropics.

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Barron Falls flood
Embrace Summer in the Wet Tropics

Summer in the Wet Tropics brings a different beauty to the area. For locals, it offers a sense of nostalgia; for visitors, an understanding of why it’s affectionately named “the big wet”.

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A bird’s eye view

The Wet Tropics rainforest is a motley of textures and shapes featuring an endless expanse of greens. Disappear into the primitive world atop of the canopy, so close you can almost touch it.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway



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