Admire Australia’s own avian icon – The Cassowary
There is no mistaking the cassowary for any other bird. With glossy black plumage, a purple and blue neck and red wattles, its head crowned with a distinctive casque or helmet, this bird is a survivor. It is an evolutionary relic, having first appeared millions of years ago, and is believed by some to be the closest living relative to dinosaurs.
The cassowary is remarkable in a number of ways. For one thing, the males hatch the eggs and raise the chicks rather than the females. The cassowary also plays a key role in the survival of the rainforest. By eating rainforest fruits and excreting their seeds, it helps ensure diversity. More than 70 species of trees rely on the cassowary for survival.
Just 4000 cassowaries are believed to be left in the wild but you have a good chance of spotting them in various sections of the Wet Tropics Rainforest like the Girringun National Park near Ingham, Barron Falls National Park in Kuranda and in the rainforests of Daintree and Cape Tribulation. Mission Beach and Etty Bay are more great places to see a cassowary and while you’re here, the Big Cassowary at Wongaling Beach makes for a fun photo stop.
Fascinating as they might be, you need to be “cass-o-wary” when exploring their habitat. Keep a safe distance if you’re lucky enough to see one as they can be aggressive, especially if their chicks are nearby. Also, drive cautiously on roads that pass through known cassowary habitats or if you encounter an injured animal, be sure to call a local vet.
Click here for everything you need to know about cassowaries.
Say hello to Australia’s dinosaur bird
The cassowary is not like other birds. Discover why.
Everything you need to know about cassowaries
There’s plenty of reasons to visit Cairns & Great Barrier Reef in summer – balmy weather, crystal clear reef visibility and pumping waterfalls – but what you might not know is it’s also the best time of year to spot Australia’s living dinosaurs and their chicks, cassowaries.
Six animals who practise social distancing
Meet six solitary inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef & Wet Tropics Rainforest who were practising social distancing before toilet paper was a commodity & TikTok challenges overtook your newsfeed.
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.
Where to have a guaranteed wildlife experience near Cairns
You know what rates as highly as the reef and rainforest on visitor’s to-do-lists when they come to Cairns? Having a wildlife encounter.
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.
Things to do with little travellers at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
When you want to see Australian natives up close, it pays to visit an animal sanctuary who have perfected up close and personal experiences for more than eight decades, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.
Endemic species of the Wet Tropics to tick off your list
The Wet Tropics is a living museum, home to a myriad of animals; furry, feathery and scaly, some of which can be found no where else on the planet. Here’s the endemic species that you can only see in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest.
Rescued cassowary chicks return to the wild
A little bit cute, a little bit goofy, a little bit feathery, a little bit poofy: meet the rescued and rehabilitated cassowary chicks that returned to the wild just yesterday.
Explore Cassowary Spotting
Hartley’s Crocodile AdventuresView product
Wildlife HabitatView product
Daintree ToursView product
Skyrail Rainforest CablewayView product
Birdworld KurandaView product
Rainforestation Nature ParkView product
Billy Tea SafarisView product
Discovery Tours AustraliaView product
Daintree Discovery CentreView product
Etty BayView product