Tropical Rainforest

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Tropical Rainforests. When people think of Australia they think of kangaroos and the dry Outback.  In Tropical North Queensland small pockets of dense Rainforest which once covered the continent of Australia have survived to become a haven for unusual and primitive plants, insects and animals.  One such bird, the flightless Cassowary which weighs about 80kg and stands as tall as a man has become an endangered species.  A Government funded conservation plan is fighting to save Australia's largest bird.  With only 1200  adults surviving they are also essential to the survival of the Rainforest as they help spread seeds from over 100 different plants, including the rare Ribbonwood; many of these seeds are too poisonous for other animals to eat.

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Near Cairns - Travel high above the Rainforest canopy in a gondola of the  award winning 'SkyRail' to visit  Kuranda village where you can spend time browsing through the market stalls and craft shops.   During the ascent you have the opportunity to disembark and visit the rainforest via two stations, which include guided walks and a Conservation Museum.  Return either by the SkyRail or the famous scenic Kuranda Railway, past the Barron Falls, to Cairns.

Port Douglas is the departure point for 4WD drive tours taking you on guided excursions into The Daintree Rainforest.  As you walk through the forest the temperature drops a few degrees  in the shade of  the twisting Strangler Fig trees, vines, palms, and huge ferns, their six metre fronds dwarfing other plants.  A short drive north from Port Douglas is Mossman Gorge.  Here the river has carved a steep sided gorge where the water cascades over huge granite boulders and into safe swimming holes in the cold waters of Rex Creek, such a refreshing respite on a hot day.  Mossman Gorge also has a well defined trail through the Rainforest which takes approximately one hour to complete.  The village of Mossman has a working sugar mill which processes all the cane from the surrounding farms.  Tours are available.

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Last modified: 12/10/03