A rainforest isn’t something that comes to mind when thinking of Australia. Australia inspires images of desert scrubland and kangaroos. Thinking of rainforests might bring to mind the famous tropical rainforests of Madagascar or the Amazon Basin. Much of Australia is desert scrubland, but Australia is also home to a rich variety of rainforests filled with life. The unique life in Australia makes for unique forests. Here are ten of the many amazing Australian rainforests.
The Springbrook Rainforest of Queensland is a mix of warm temperate rainforest and sub-tropical rainforest. The temperate parts of the rainforest are filled with coachwood trees, and the sub-tropical areas are composed of booyong trees. Many waterways wind through the forest and give way to multiple waterfalls.
One unique feature of this rainforest is the Natural Bridge. The Natural Bridge was naturally created by a waterfall. It cut out part of a cave leaving a natural arch stone bridge. The bridge is made even more magical by the colony of glow worms larvae. Visitors are allowed in the cave with a tour guide.
The Franklin-Gordon Rainforest is a cool temperate rainforest located on the island of Tasmania.
The rainforest’s tall, glacier-carved mountains border deep gorges and river valleys. The Franklin River, one of the only wild rivers in Australia, runs through the forest. The forest also stands out for its ancient 3000-year-old Huon Pines and other rare trees.
Mount Warning Rainforest
The Mount Warning Rainforest is a sub-tropical rainforest that surrounds the remnant of the world’s largest extinct shield volcano.
The rainforest is set apart from other for its large songbird population and the numerous lineages of ancient songbirds. The forest has more songbirds than any of the other Gondwana Rainforests. On rare occasions, visitors might get to see a pademelon, a rainforest creature similar to a kangaroo or a wallaby.
Central Highlands Rainforest
The Central Highlands Rainforest is a cool temperate rainforest. It’s a type of rainforest that is much rarer than the well-known tropical rainforest.
The Central Highlands Rainforest is a particularly beautiful one. The forest is filled with rare Mountain Ash trees, the tallest flowering tree on earth. It’s also home to many of the endangered species in Australia.
It’s advisable to see this forest as soon as possible, as it’s routinely logged and already highly fragmented. The patches of the old growth forest that are left are vibrant and full of life.
The Errinundra Rainforest is the largest of Victoria’s cool temperate rainforests. It’s the home of a wide variety of plant and animal life.
The forest is characterized by southern sassafras and black olive berry trees. Two world heritage rivers run through the forest.
The Errinundra Rainforest Boardwalk makes it easy to see the beauty of the forest up close. Other trails through the forest can be used for hiking, driving, and biking. Scenic lookouts give a spectacular view of Mt Ellery.
Mitchell River Rainforest
The Mitchell River Rainforest is an odd rainforest. It’s further south than any other warm temperate rainforest on Earth. The rainforest exists in the deep gorges of the Mitchell River National Park. It can exist in this area only because of the gorges’ protection from fires and drying winds.
There is an abrupt border between the rainforest habitat and rugged land outside the gorges.
The Limpinwood rainforest is a sub-tropical rainforest in a nature reserve. Much of the rainforest is untouched old-growth forest. It’s one of the most intact forests in Australia and all the more beautiful for it.
The forest might be hard for most to visit because it has little public access. The forest is as protected against human disturbances as is possible. No trails have been made through the forest.
The Lamington Rainforest is part sub-tropical and part temperate forest. The rainforest is popular for its numerous waterfalls and endemic plants.
It borders the Lamington Rainforest Reserve. The Lamington Rainforest is more accessible than its neighbor. The forest has boardwalks and many other walkways open to the public.
The lamington Rainforest is home to the famous bowerbirds. The male bowerbirds create an elaborate nest to attract a female. They clean and decorate their nest area with colorful objects. They use anything from flowers to colorful human trash.
The Kuranda Rainforest is one of the many wet tropical rainforests in Far North, Queensland. Most of Australia’s biodiversity is located in these rainforests. The forest is home to many species. Animals like Tasmanian devils, southern cassowaries, tree kangaroos, and Koalas live here.
The rainforest is a visitor-friendly natural wonder. It surrounds a popular tourist village, Kuranda. Visitors can stay in the village and view the forest through the impressive Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. The cableway gives a fantastic aerial view of the canopy. Tourists can instead choose to take a scenic railway for a more down-to-earth perspective. Both methods of viewing allow for a good view of the Barron Falls.
Like the Kuranda Rainforest, Daintree is another tropical rainforest of Far North, Queensland. The Daintree Rainforest is more intact than the Kuranda.
Daintree Rainforest is the oldest surviving tropical rainforest in the world. It’s over 130 million years old, and it shows. It is the most biodiverse ecosystem in Australia. It’s home to many endemic species. Many of the species that live there show primitive characteristics.
Many of these primitive species are plants. Daintree Rainforest has primitive flowering plants, ferns, conifers, and more. Scientists had known some of the plant types only by fossils before the plants were discovered in the rainforest.
One of the best things about the Daintree Rainforest is that its coastline borders the Great Barrier Reef. The coastline of Daintree is a magical place with miles of sandy beaches surrounded by rainforest on one side and coral reefs on another. The unusual combination of coral and rainforest is a sight to behold.