“...The Wet Tropics covers less than 0.2 per cent of Australia, but contains 30 per cent of the marsupial species, 40 per cent of bird species, 30 per cent of frog species, 20 per cent of reptile species, 60 per cent of butterfly species, 65 per cent of fern species, 30 per cent of orchid species. It is of great scientific interest and of fundamental importance to conservation...”UNESCO World Heritage Inscription, 1988
Let nature design your journey along The Tropical Coast where national parks, walking trails, waterfalls and beaches offer endless possibilities. Wetlands, coconut palms, eucalypt forests and thick rainforest add to the mix of landscapes where an enormous variety of birds and animals can be seen in a region that changes between the dry tropics of the southern end, to the predominant wet tropical environment.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest, most spectacular coral reef system in the world with 1500 species of fish, 4000 species of molluscs and 400 types of coral. Giant clams, turtles, and an array of colourful fish can be seen when you snorkel or dive through its coral gardens.
Enjoy an intimate visit without the crowds along the Tropical Coast where diving and snorkelling are a more personalised experience. Island national parks include the country’s largest, hinchinbrook Island National Park, where cloud covered mountains tower more than 1000m high over a landscape which changes from rainforest to fragile heath vegetation, eucalypt forest and mangroves.
There are many stunning and secluded beach locations along the coast and adjacent islands just waiting to be explored for the first time that day, or that month! You can go to sleep surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef with camping allowed on Hinchinbrook, Goold, Coombe, Dunk, High, Russell and Stephens islands, and many other locations on the Tropical Coast.
Designed by nature, The Tropical Coast walking trails, campgrounds, waterfalls, swimming holes and spectacular scenery are ready to explore. Admire Australia’s highest single-drop waterfall, Wallaman Falls, at Girringun National Park, or camp near pretty Murray Falls in Girramay National Park which cascade over massive granite boulders worn smooth by the water to become natural waterslides.
With around 75 per cent of the Wet Tropics World heritage area in this region, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the inner depths of some of the world’s oldest, continually surviving rainforests. The Wet Tropics is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its World Heritage listing. Identified forever as an area of “...outstanding value to humanity”.
Queensland’s highest peak, Bartle Frere is a tough climb, the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walk and Lacey Creek circuit track in Djiru National Park at Mission Beach are fun for families. The 32km Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island is rated in the top seven of the world’s great wilderness walks, while Josephine Falls offers a short, paved and wheelchair accessible experience. The Misty Mountains wilderness walking tracks are Australia’s first network of long distance trails in a high altitude rainforest environment. The area is recognised for its diversity with tracks extending from the coast to the Atherton Tablelands.
The World Heritage status of both the Wet Tropics rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef means The Tropical Coast is a sanctuary for native wildlife from brightly coloured insects like the Ulysses butterfly to shy mammals such as the musky-rat kangaroo. It’s also a bird watcher’s paradise, with nearly half of australia’s birdsfound in the Wet Tropics. As well as resident native species, many migratory birds travel vast distances to visit the region.
Eubenangee Swamp National Park alone is home to more than 190 species of birds with some, such as the jabiru, nesting there each year. Here you will encounter rare and protected species found nowhere else in the world. Crocodiles, cassowaries and marine animals such as dugongs can all be observed in their natural habitat.
The Cassowary, australia’s largest rainforest bird is an endangered species. Cassowaries and their chicks are regularly seen by visitors in many areas. Please be aware of following vehicles, and do not approach or attempt to feed these, sometimes dangerous but very precious creatures.