Rainforest Adventures in Queensland
Mother nature dominates in Queensland. Our Sunshine State is one of the most naturally diverse destinations in the entire world! 5 of the 16 Australian World Heritage listed sites are here in Queensland – the world’s largest coral reef system, largest sand island, most extensive and richest fossils and, of course, our gorgeous tropical rainforests, the Wet Tropics and Gondwana Rainforests. There are over 1,000 National Parks across the state too. Natural wonders can be found around every corner in Queensland. The My Queensland Holiday Experts are here to help you explore the natural wonders and rare wildlife of Queensland’s rainforests!
Explore the Wet Tropics of the north
As described by Sir David Attenborough, the Wet Tropics of northern Queensland are “the most extraordinary place on earth”. The enchanting ecosystem truly is like nothing else in this world and exploring the phenomenal environment is something everyone should experience. This World Heritage listed site stretches from around Townsville to as far north as Cooktown, covering almost 900,000 hectares – that’s about 162 Sydney Harbours! The area is made up 31 national parks and state rainforests so 79% of the historic site is protected. The Wet Tropics are the oldest living rainforests on earth and exploring them is like visiting a living museum. The same flora and fauna have called the rainforests home for millions of years. The Wet Tropics are the most comprehensive natural example of the evolutionary process of Australia’s plant life. More than 700 different plant species aren’t found anywhere else in the world other than in our Wet Tropics – the closest relatives live as far away as New Zealand, New Caledonia and even South America! The Wet Tropics are also home to rare and exotic animals, including unusual species that can be found nowhere else in the world but our lush rainforests. Hailing from the days when dinosaurs walked the earth, the Southern Cassowary still roams the mangroves and swamps between Mission Beach and Daintree. The rare Tree Kangaroos can be seen taking a nap on tree branches, while the bright blue and black Ulysses Butterflies flutter around the rainforest openings and lookouts. From the fast flowing rivers of Barron Gorge and the dense forest of Daintree, to the Skyrail in Kuranda and where the rainforest meets the reef in Cape Tribulation, we have a rainforest adventure for you!
What a better way to discover the Wet Tropics than to wander the natural wonder at your own pace? The Wet Tropics Management Authority have created 150 easily accessible walks throughout the rainforests. You can wander beneath canopies, around lakes, through a mangrove, up a mountain or along a beach. There are walks to suit everyone too – you can even opt for a guided walk if you prefer! Explore a specific area of the Wet Tropics for a couple hours, cover some ground on a day walk or spend the night and sleep under the high treetops of the rainforest! Hiking enthusiasts can lace up their walking shoes and embark on the journey of a signature Queensland ‘Great Walk’. The Queensland Great Walks take you on the road less travelled, deep into the national parks, reserves and forests to discover a side of Queensland you may not know. The Wet Tropics Great Walk is a two day walk that takes you from Wallaman Falls in Girringun National Park, passed Herbert River and up to Yamanie pick-up point. The trail passes waterfalls, gorges, open forests, rainforest, creeks, rivers and more. It’s a 37.5 kilometre trek with steep decants, uneven surfaces, water and rugged terrain, so make sure you have great walking shoes and the equipment and supplies you need to survive 48 hours in the bush!
Step up the adrenaline and soar over top of the rainforests! Zip between the tree platforms and ziplines that are up to 20 metres above the rainforest floor. Each platform boasts spectacular views into the canopy, over the treetops, down into the creeks and out to the Great Barrier Reef. Ziplining is a perfect blend of fun and sightseeing, and is a no-experience-necessary sport so the whole family can come give it a go. The guides are all experts of the Wet Tropics too, so before you fly through the sky you’ll gain an eye opening knowledge of the stories and facts of the stunning forests. Get your heart pumping with a next level Wet Tropics adventure and hit the fast flowing rivers for white water rafting. There are a few world-acclaimed exhilarating rivers within the Wet Tropics that are perfect for white water rafting – read more about it here!
Rainforests of Queensland’s southeast
The Gondwana Rainforests, another World Heritage listed natural wonder of Queensland (and technically northern NSW), are just as remarkable as the Wet Tropics of North Queensland. It’s the most extensive subtropical rainforest in the world, comprising of a number of different national parks. The rainforests are inland from the Gold Coast and easily accessible if you’re staying in the southeast Queensland hub. The diverse environments of Springbrook, Lamington, Mt Barney and Main Range National Parks provides a home for a range of threatened plant and animal species. Ground dwelling birds, such as the very rare Albert’s Lyrebird and the endangered Eastern Bristlebird, found their haven in the sub-tropical rainforests in Lamington and Main Range national parks. While, the environment of the wet sclerophyll forests of Mount Barney National Park is critical for the survival of the Plumed Frogmouth. Hike up mountains, swim under waterfalls, trek along walking tracks and discover unique wildlife in the Gondwana Rainforests.
Drive 45 minutes from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast and find yourself amongst the dense greenery of Mount Tambourine. The peak of the mountain is nestled between the Gold Coast to the east, Brisbane to the north and Scenic Rim national parks to the west. There are picturesque waterfalls, rainforests, cliffs and rocky outcrops all over the mountain that are home to exotic wildlife like the Albert’s Lyrebird and the Burrawang. There are 9 walking tracks through the mountains national parks and each one leads to picture perfect destinations on the mountain including the famous Cedar Grove and Witches Falls. However, for a rainforest walking experience that is beyond compare, head to the treetops for the Tambourine Rainforest Skywalk. The steel-structured Skywalk Bridge stretches for 1.5 kilometres through the lush rainforest of Mount Tambourine. Walk above the rainforest and peer down and the diverse fauna and flora before descending to the lower canopy to the rock pools and the butterfly lookout point. For our adrenaline junkies, where the heights of the Skywalk are just not enough, challenge yourself to the ultimate treetop adventure and visit Australia’s largest TreeTop Adventure Park, TreeTop Challenge at Mount Tambourine. There are more than 120 challenges and obstacles hanging from the trees of the Tambourine Rainforest, spread over 6 courses across 9 acres. You don’t need to be extremely fit or strong to complete the TreeTop Challenge either, there are courses to suit each skill level. Fly along ziplines, balance at trembling heights and swing, climb and through the obstacles of Tambourine Mountain TreeTop Challenge!
The list of natural wonders in Queensland is so extensive that if we even tried to name them all, we’d be hear until next summer! Getting in touch with nature is easy at the destination that is home to world famous beaches, fascinating underground lava tubes, the world’s largest sand idea, the largest coral ecosystem on earth, ancient rainforests and so much more. Discover the picture perfect rainforests that take up so much of Queensland’s land and book a My QLD Holiday today!