Where Rainforest meets the Reef - welcome to the Oxygen Factory
Tropical North Queensland is a rare place on Earth. Here almost one million hectares of protected Wet Tropics rainforest live, grow and breathe: Welcome to the oxygen factory!
The Wet Tropics Rainforests cover an area of 900,000 hectares (or 2.2 million acres) and are regarded as a "living museum" of flora and fauna. To protect, preserve and present them for future generations - Australia signed the World Heritage Convention in 1988, and implemented policies to care for this natural asset. Today, they are managed by the Wet Tropics Management Authority which regulates visitation levels through permits, provides interpretive signage and infrastructure.
The Wet Tropics Rainforest extends from the world-famousTouring through rainforest towards Cape Tribulation Daintree and Cape Tribulation areas north of Port Douglas to an expansive area on the Tropical Tablelands, south to the Mount Bellenden Ker range, including the scenic mountainous rim surrounding Cairns City.
The rainforest can be enjoyed by a guided walk on raised boardwalks which protect the delicate forest ecosystem. It can be viewed from a cableway gondola, hiked through on an approved trekking tour, or observed from a luxury four-wheel-drive travelling on designated roads. Perhaps the best known rainforest area of the Tropical North is the Daintree Rainforest. Here the velvety green mantle of the forest slopes plunge to the aqua waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park where fringing reefs grow almost to shore.
No where else can travellers experience these two natural wonders side by side, where World Heritage listed reef and rainforest meet. In the mystical lowland rainforest and Cape Tribulation tropical vegetation, pockets of primitive plants are home to species of unusual birds, insects and mammals which are the delight of scientists, nature lovers and avid bird-watchers from around the globe. Over 150 species of trees can be found - which is more than the entire continent of Europe or North America. Some individual trees have been dated at over 3000 years old
. The Daintree and Cape Tribulation rainforest species have survived almost unchanged for 110 million years. These rainforests contain several of the first flowering plant species (or angiosperms) from which all plants originated. They are a testimonial reminder of the ancient forests which once covered the earth's surface. In fact, the Daintree area rainforests are one of the largest virgin tracts of rainforest in the world after the Amazon Rainforest in South America. A little known fact is that this rainforest is actually older than the Amazon species.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the fresh air which these ancient forests produce for us to breathe!!