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Blog Post

Unlock the secrets of the rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Hannah Statham

TNQ Writer

Discover the history of this ancient rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which glides across the top of this World Heritage-listed wonder, 364 days of the year.

The world’s oldest rainforest might hide a few secrets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t unlock them during your next Cairns visit.

You’ll find evidence of life well before human existence – from ancient plants to animal species – which point to more than 400 million years of evolution.

Soak up a different perspective of this ancient world with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, connecting Cairns with Kuranda, immersing yourself in millions of years of ecological history.

Here’s just a sneak peek of what you’ll uncover with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

Explore the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics

Explore the Wet Tropics Rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Deemed the second most irreplaceable terrestrial habitat on earth, it would be remiss to visit Tropical North Queensland without a visit to the Wet Tropics Rainforest.

This rainforest area was awarded its World Heritage status for ticking the boxes of all four World Heritage-listed criteria, not least of all because it’s home to the greatest diversity of plants and animals in Australia.

Explore the forest from new heights, gliding over its famous foliage, some of which is 80 million years older than the Amazon Rainforest.

Discover the magical Barron Falls (Din Din)

Barron Falls in flood

When it rains in North Queensland, Barron falls.

The best way to see this thunderous waterfall is with a visit to The Edge Lookout. Position yourself on the glass-floor section to look out over Barron Gorge and Falls. From the walkway, exclusive to Skyrail guests, you’ll see sweeping views of the dramatic waterfall which trickles through winter, before turning into an energetic torrent each wet season.

Evolutionary and remarkable plants

Discover prehistoric plant life

Forget history books, look to the branches in this rainforest, which have survived on this planet for 298 – 385 million years. The plants of this forest tell stories of the time when all the world’s land masses were joined as Gondwana. Fast forward from the Neoproterozoic era to the Jurassic period, and the very conifers, ferns and cycads you can see today even pre-date the dinosaurs who once roamed among them.

You won’t be the first person to fall in love with the flora of the forest. The Wet Tropics Rainforest even captured the heart and mind of film maker, James Cameron, who’s design team (lead by Dylan Cole), visited Skyrail in the making of his award-winning film, Avatar.

One-of-a-kind animals

Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo by FNQ Nature Tours

It will come as no surprise that the world’s oldest rainforest is teeming with animal life. It’s oldest face, may not be its most famous, but the Musky Rat Kangaroo has called this forest home for more than 34-million years.

Evolution has proved the mother of all invention in the forest, with the rainforests own type of kangaroo, which swings through the trees like Tarzan with a tail. Your only chance of spotting the Lumholtz’s or Bennett’s Tree Kangaroos are here in the Wet Tropics Rainforest – although we should note, you’ll have to be incredibly lucky to spot them in the wild.

The animals of the Wet Tropics range from furry and friendly to those a little more slithery like the Amethystine Python (aka Scrub Python) which can grow up to 8.5 metres in length. You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for the living dinosaur bird of the forest, the Cassowary, best spotted by their colourful crest. This colourful survivor is responsible for spreading seeds throughout the forest and stimulating its growth. In fact, if it weren’t for the cassowary’s excrement, many of the plants you see today throughout your Skyrail experience (at least 70 -100 varieties), would not be in existence.

Rainforest Storytellers

Explore the rainforest on a guided Ranger tour at Red Peak

The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is home to the stories of the oldest tropical rainforest and the oldest continually surviving culture on earth. The Skyrail Rangers share the story of prehistoric plants and animals that have adapted and evolved over millions of years, existing before humans, ice-ages and even dinosaurs.

Gain an insight into the history of the Djabugay people, who lived in unison with the forest, knowing which fruits were in season and when to move to higher ground for the wet season, and discover how their life was guided by the cues of nature. Learn the story of this living green museum by drawing on the intimate knowledge of Skyrail’s ranger guides who are true rainforest storytellers. Find them and join a Guided Tour at Red Peak on your next rainforest experience.

Need more convincing to see the ancient rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway? Here’s six more reasons to visit.

Discover a prehistoric paradise

Learn more about the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics Rainforest.