Mission Beach Rainforest
The Wet Tropics of Queensland is one of a handful of sites worldwide which meet all four criteria for World Heritage listing:
- it represents a major stage of the earth’s evolutionary history
- it is an outstanding example of ongoing ecological and biological processes
- it contains superlative natural phenomena
- it contains the most important natural habitats for conservation of biological diversity
What is rainforest
Whilst all habitat types on planet Earth are special, rainforest is the one that perhaps captures our hearts and imagination the most easily. It is the most luxuriant in terms of plant and animal life and also the oldest in geological terms, many species having survived in an almost unchanged state for an amazing 85 million years. It may surprise many people to learn that 30 million years ago, there were no Eucalypts or Gums as we fondly call them, anywhere in Australia. As the continent dried some rainforest trees adapted to the changing conditions and literally walked out of the darkness and modified their leaves and fruits to become the much loved ‘eucs’.
Tropical Rainforest Climate
Rainforest comes in many different forms from cool temperate to wet tropical such as may be found here in Mission Beach. Tropical rainforest is characterized by amazing floral diversity with in excess of two and a half thousand different trees, shrubs and vines recorded from the northern rainforests and over half of the continents native orchids.