Valley in wet tropics rainforest

World’s Oldest 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 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
Wet Tropics Rainforest
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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Barron Falls flood
Wet Tropics Rainforest
Embrace the Wet Season in the Wet Tropics

The wet season 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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Wet Tropics Rainforest
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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Waterfalls in the Wet Tropics
Wet Tropics Rainforest
Jewel of the tropics

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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Jungle surfing at Cape Tribulation
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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discovering the rainforest at mamu tropical skywalk
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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Ellinja Falls in the Atherton Tablelands
Atherton Tablelands
10 waterfalls to chase on the Atherton Tablelands

Hit the famous waterfall circuit, uncover those less 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 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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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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