This is the second of a two-part series on Australia’s unique geological formations. Look back at the August issue of Home Review for part-one, featuring the red-landscapes of the Australian Outback.
In a stark contrast to the arid sprawl of central Australia is Queensland’s tropical strip. Stretching along the Pacific Ocean, it is home to a wealth of ecological treasures including the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
The latter is home to some of the oldest continuously surviving rainforests on earth, which predate the Amazon forest by millions of years and boast of flora and fauna not found anywhere else on the planet.
The isolation of the continent allowed the forests to be undisturbed over the centuries, leading to some unique formations such as the 500 year old Cathedral Fig Tree in the Atherton Tableland region. It’s a prime example of a sapling taking birth on the branches of a host tree only to eventually surpass and kill its host.
The diversity of tree cover is however best appreciated above. This is possible at the forest near Kuranda, thanks to a Skyrail that offers sweeping aerial views along a lengthy ropeway stretching from the mountains to the coastline.
The forests are also home to a variety of water bodies including dozens of rivers and waterfalls. Many of these are of mythological importance to the native tribes that were the traditional owners of these lands and inhabited the forests. Amongst such sites is the Babinda Boulders – home to a legend involving the lost love of a young woman from the local Yidinji tribe.
For further insight into the ways of life of the Aboriginal people, the Tjapukai Cultural Park in Cairns preserves and showcases their rich culture and traditions through performances involving music and dance, exhibitions of their arts and crafts along with a chance to interact with members of the community.
Text And Photos By Kunal Bhatia And Shuvajit Payne