ad collaborative post // Cairns is one of Queensland’s most popular cities for tourists, which is for good reason. It’s a launching pad to one of the world’s most well-known natural attractions, the Great Barrier Reef. And while we completely agree that you can’t possibly visit this part of Australia without discovering the majesty of the Reef for yourself, it’s not the only amazing attraction in the area.
Cairns also happens to be in very close proximity to another natural attraction that also happens to be a Heritage Listed destination – the Wet Tropics Rainforest.
Today, we want to tell you about some of the amazing rainforest experiences you can have in this luscious tropical jungle region, but before we do, let’s talk about the Wet Tropics.
What are the Wet Tropics?
The Wet Tropics is a rainforest region in Queensland in Australia’s Northeast. The rainforest encompasses a huge array of wildlife, plants, and various landscapes. From woodlands to waterfalls, granite boulders to luscious green jungles and basically everything in between, when you visit you’ll be captivated at every single turn. It’s made up of 5 different precincts.
The Wet Tropics area was Heritage Listed in 2007 as it is a culturally significant place for the Aboriginal people, as well as it being one of the few places in the world where there is almost a complete record of the evolution stages of plant life. This is because the Wet Tropics is thought to be the world’s oldest rainforest – even older than the Amazon rainforest.
There are so many ways you can see the rainforest, like walking, hiking, boating, swimming, 4WD and even from above. So, let us tell you about some of our favourites.
1. Discover the Daintree
If you haven’t heard of the Wet Tropics before chances are you will have heard of the Daintree Rainforest. It’s the most famous area of the entire rainforest zone, and is actually the oldest part as well.
There are lots of ways to experience the Daintree. You can enjoy a self-guided walk or hike. Or you can make your way to Mossman Gorge. The Mossman Gorge Centre is essentially the gateway to the Daintree and will provide you with a simplified way to see the sights of the rainforest.
There are lots of walking trails that make the trek a lot easier, and even from just this area, you will get an idea of the true diversity of the plant and wildlife.
If you are going to go to the Mossman Gorge Centre, we highly recommend that you participate in a Dreamtime Gorge walk. You will learn a lot about the rainforest and in particular, the indigenous significance of the area. You’ll also be able to take part in a cleansing smoke ceremony to wash away the bad spirits as well.
Another way you can discover the Daintree is by taking part in a Daintree River Cruise. While you get to see the amazing forest around you, you also get to see a lot of the wildlife. The Daintree is home to lots of unique critters from various marsupials and butterflies to frogs, birds and crocs, there is something for everyone.
Lots of tour options include trained rangers who can educate you about these animals and make it a lot easier to spot them from the safety of your boat.
2. Glide Atop the Treetops
Imagine seeing the majesty of the rainforest from above the canopy? Well, that’s made possible on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway system that takes you to or from Kuranda – a magical rainforest village in the mountains.
The village of Kuranda is certainly worth a visit with wildlife parks and markets to keep you entertained, however, the journey getting there or leaving will have you captivated.
You will ride in a gondola and take in the sights around you from an unbeatable view. You will even have the chance to see the amazing Barron Falls Waterfall, which is a powerful display of nature. There is even a glass-bottomed gondola for the extra brave.
3. Explore a Rainforest on the Reef
Another amazing rainforest area to visit in the area is actually off the mainland on the gorgeous tropical island of Fitzroy Island.
Fitzroy Island is located about 29 km from Cairns, and takes about 45 minutes to get to. It’s almost entirely covered by diverse rainforest foliage, with 97% of the island a National Park.
If you love water, fun, nature, and adventure, then Fitzroy Island is right up your alley. This beautiful island is the active traveler’s playground. With various water sports like scuba diving and snorkelling available, as well as lots of walking trails that allow you to explore this rich natural world around you.
If you want to see both the Reef and the rainforest, then Fitzroy Island is the perfect option because this is close to Cairns accommodation resort, the Fitzroy Island Resort on the island offers accommodation options for all budgets, with options like camping, bungalows and penthouse suites available.
If you don’t have time to stay there, it’s still worth a day trip.