Understanding the wet tropics

A world not to be rushed...

You could spend a lifetime of learning and discovery amongst the complex landscapes, rich biodiversity and cultural mysteries of our Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and still barely scratch its ancient surface.

A place of great scenic beauty and an amazing living museum, the Wet Tropics rainforests are recognised internationally for their ancient ancestry and many unique plants and animals.


A world to be treasured...

Beneath its verdant canopies you’ll find Australia’s greatest diversity of animals and plants within an area of just 0.26% of the continent with many plant and animal species in the Wet Tropics found nowhere else in the world. In fact, it is precisely for this reason that Queensland’s Wet Tropics region first received UNESCO World Heritage listing and protection for its outstanding universal values.Today, those same outstanding natural and cultural values of our Wet Tropics World Heritage Area attract scientists, conservationists, tourists and host of other visitors from across the globe – all drawn to its ancient siren call of fascination and wonder.   

Home to numerous rare and threatened species, the Wet Tropics is a world where ancient landscapes of rain forested, mist-shrouded mountains; awe-inspiring waterfalls and plummeting gorges sweep majestically down to a jewelled sea. 


A strong and enduring connection...

The Wet Tropics is also home to the Rainforest Aboriginal people who have lived amongst its ancient forests for thousands of years and continue their rich cultural and spiritual connection to the land, its plants, animals and complex ecosystems.

These ecosystems of the Wet Tropics region have evolved over eons through active Aboriginal interaction with the land and management of its resources. Conservation of natural World Heritage values is inextricably linked with that of Aboriginal cultural and spiritual values. 

A rich biodiversity...

The Wet Tropics is home to about a third of Australia's 315 mammal species - 13 of these species are found nowhere else in the world. They include unique green possums, ringtail possums, fierce marsupial cats, rare bats, tree-kangaroos, a rat-kangaroo, a melomys and an antechinus. There are many spectacular insects to see in the rainforest and surrounds. It truly is a world of great wonder.

To begin your own fascinating journey of discovery into this ancient world, drop into one of our visitor centres or explore the many educational resources available on this website. 


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