Australia's rainforest is said to be about 100 million years old, and the oldest rainforest on Earth. In comparison, the Amazonian Rainforest is only about 10 million years old.
Australian consists of two million hectares of rainforests covering only 0.3% of the continent, however, it contains about 5% of all the rainforest species worldwide. Even though it covers only less than 0.5% of the continent, it contains 50% of the country's native flora and fauna. In contains about 20,000 flora species, of which about 15,000 are derived from tropical, sub-tropical, warm temperate or cool temperate rainforests.
The lushness and diversity is obvious to anyone who wanders through the rainforests. What isn't obvious, is that this lushness springs from a virtual desert. The soil quality underneath the towering giants and blossoming forest floor isn't much richer than you would find in the Australian outback. The rainforest plants come from nearly every soil type in Australia with the possible exception of high pH alkaline soils. While we imagine deep organic-rich soils to be the preferred habitat, deep sand and tough clays also support the luxuriant growth.
Queensland is the home of the most inspiring rainforests and waterfalls in Australia
In some areas it can be so thick that if you wander a metre off the track or road, there is a strong possibility you could get lost. It possesses every colour of the rainbow in flora, and has a wonderful biodiversity that native inhabitants still use as natures kitchen and pharmacy. There are many tours available to take advantage of the culture of the rainforest, or, you might be happy viewing its splendour from above in one of the may tours flights that will take you so close you could touch the tops of the trees!
Best experienced along a boardwalk, or with a walk lead by a ranger or local guide. A night walk is particularly memorable, during one we saw: Boyds forest dragon able to change colour to match its surroundings; a long nosed Bandicoot scurrying around the forest floor; wild feral pigs, and dozens of cane toads.
Northern Queensland's Rainforest has the highest diversity of endemic species anywhere in the world. Also known as the 'Wet Tropics' has, the terrestrial part of north-eastern Queensland, has Australia's highest rainfall and thus supports the continent's main tropical rainforest.
Indulge in some of the best local country produce and a number of wineries offering great wine tasting and cellar door wine tour experiences.
The Clare Valley is one of Australia's oldest wine regions, dating back 150 years, and home to some of the best Riesling wines in the country.