lumholtz tree kangaroo

Things to do

Rainforest & Wildlife

Get to know the residents of the rainforest

The rainforests and grasslands of Tropical North Queensland are incredibly diverse ecosystems, home to 3000 different plant species, 400-plus birds and 100-plus mammals, many of which are found nowhere else on earth.

Meeting the local wildlife can be as easy as taking a stroll down Cairns Esplanade, where a rich range of waterbirds make their home. Hoping to spot something more exotic? Try one of the Daintree’s many walking trails, where you may see colourful birds such as the golden bowerbird or the Australian king parrot. Look to the treetops during a wander around the rainforest of Malanda Falls and you might spy the elusive Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo, that calls the Wet Tropics Rainforest home.

If you want to get close to a kangaroo or koala, head straight for one of the many wildlife parks: they include Kuranda Koala Gardens, Rainforestation Nature Park, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures and Port Douglas’ Wildlife Habitat. You’ll also find plenty of other Aussie animals to say hello to, from Tasmanian devils and dingoes to wallabies and reptiles.

The most famous North Queensland locals are two remarkably ancient species: the saltwater crocodile and the cassowary, both direct descendant of dinosaurs. To spot the latter in the wild, try Etty Bay (just south of Innisfail), where cassowaries are known to wander the beach, and in pockets of rainforest around Mission Beach, Kuranda and Cape Tribulation. They’re best spotted in the early morning and late afternoon.

Marvel at the strength and size of the saltwater crocodile at one of the TNQ’s wildlife parks or admire them in their natural habitat on an informative boat tour in the Daintree, Cairns or Mission Beach.

Wander around the boardwalk at the Curtain Fig Tree on the Atherton Tablelands

The iridescent blues of the Ulysses Butterfly can be seen in the lush rainforest of the Wet Tropics

Be Cass-O-Wary when driving in areas where Cassowary spotted

Go wild in the big green

These animal encounters will give you a natural high.

Wet Tropics Rainforest
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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Atherton Tablelands
A wildlife warrior’s 3 day guide to the tropics

Love animals? Love nature? Love khaki? If you answered yes, this guide has your name written all over it, and we’re calling you a wildlife warrior from now on. Trek to the tropics for three days of nature in the north with this itinerary.

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Kuranda
5 places to spot animals in Kuranda

Kuranda, the picturesque village on the Atherton Tablelands, is home to many of our tropical wild friends, so where better to go animal-spotting than at one of Kuranda’s many wildlife gardens and sanctuaries.

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Wet Tropics Rainforest
Jewel of the tropics

North Queensland’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is a landscape of astonishing beauty and biodiversity. Craig Tansley immersed himself in this national treasure, the oldest tropical rainforest on earth and one that visitors can easily access.

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Daintree & Cape Tribulation
Rainforest to reef

Visitors to Tropical North Queensland can experience two natural treasures in one amazing day — the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Jane Scott reports on a nature lover’s dream.

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Great Barrier Reef
25 Fun facts about the Great Barrier Reef

As you’d expect from one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is home to some weird, wonderful and just plain loveable creatures. Here’s 25 fun Great Barrier Reef facts about a marine world larger than Italy.

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