Australia’s Most Amazing Rainforests
Australia is known for its incredible natural landscapes. From our endless coastlines to our rugged national parks, breathtaking reefs and vast deserts, Mother Nature has certainly spoilt us with the fruits of her bounty.
If you’re a family of nature lovers eager to soak up as much of the Aussie landscape as possible, make sure you add Australia’s most amazing rainforests on the east coast to your bucket list.
Budderoo National Park
Starting right here in your backyard, Sydney and its surrounds offer plenty of rainforest adventures, few more popular than the Budderoo National Park. Stretching for over 7,000 hectares in the NSW Illawarra Region, Budderoo National Park is so huge it’s hard to know where to start! Since we’re on the hunt for lush rainforests, the Rainforest Loop Walk is the best place to start, especially when adventuring with the little ones. Located within the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, the 1.6-kilometre loop shouldn’t take longer than an hour and will take you through a tranquil subtropical rainforest teeming with stunning flora and so much lush greenery you’ll think you’re in tropical North Queensland.
For more walking tracks in the Budderoo National Park, visit the website.
For a true taste of Australia’s (and the world’s!) ancient history, get up close with some of the most ancient and primitive plants and animals in the world in the Gondwana Rainforest. Apart from their size (the Gondwana Rainforests span across both NSW and Qld totalling 366,500 hectares), the Gondwana’s are truly spectacular because they contain the most extensive area of subtropical rainforests in the world. The World-Heritage Area is best traversed by foot, and if you’re exploring from the NSW side, Barrington Tops has the popular Gloucester Tops Circuit to spot some ancient rainforests, or the famous Crystal Shower Falls walk in the Dorrigo National Park is a must-visit.
For more walking tracks in the Gondwana Rainforest, visit the website.
Springbrook National Park
Nestled in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Springbrook National Park is an ancient rainforest ecosystem that was formed by a volcanic eruption 23 million years ago. Roaring waterfalls, weathered rock pools, freshwater swimming holes, and some of the oldest trees in Australia make up this stunning ecosystem that has family-friendly adventure written all over it. This nature lovers’ paradise has several kid-friendly tracks and lookouts, most notably the Canyon Lookout. This lookout is just off Boy-Ull Road and gives you a birds-eye-view of ancient lava flows, eroded valleys and waterfalls. Purling Brook Falls is just off Springbrook Road and will put you smack-bang in the middle of the rainforest in just 100 metres. Gwongorella Picnic Ground is also nearby for a quick pitstop.
To explore more attractions in Springbrook National Park, visit the website.
You simply can’t have a list of Australia’s most incredible rainforests and not include the extraordinary Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree is part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland Rainforest, which is the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest in the world. Aside from its sheer size and lush beauty, the Daintree Rainforest not only offers an abundance of tropical rainforest to explore but also white sandy beaches and fringed coral reefs, which is a rarity.
Walking and hiking tracks in the Daintree are plentiful and will take you across some of the most iconic and breathtaking landscapes in the world. Start your exploration on a kid-friendly boardwalk track such as the Marrdja Boardwalk or the Dubuji Boardwalk. Both tracks are signposted on Cape Tribulation Road, and the Dubuji Boardwalk is next to Myall Beach so you can stop off and see the only site in the world where a rainforest meets a coral reef.
Yarra Ranges National Park
Ancient rainforests, snowgum woodlands, towering trees, bellowing waterfalls and even snow in winter – Yarra Ranges National Park is one big beautiful enigma. Located in the Victoria Central Highlands, the 76,000-hectare park is famous for its Mountain Ash Trees, one of the tallest trees species in the world. The Yarra Ranges National Park is also home to plenty of Victoria’s ‘Biggests’, including the tallest trees, the highest waterfall, and the world’s largest known flowering tree, the 300-year-old Ada Tree. To witness these icons of Yarra Ranges National Park, your best vantage point is along the Cumberland Walk where you’ll get to see the Cumberland Waterfall, Cumberland Valley, the 85-metre Big Tree, and plenty of rainforest gullies. The 4-kilometre walk is a moderate one and starts at the Cambarville Picnic Area car park.
To put together your Yarra Ranges National Park itinerary, visit the website.
Great Otway National Park
Southern Victoria’s stunning rainforest region, the Great Otway National Park offers mountainous lookouts, rainforest walks, rugged coastline and even secluded beaches. Boasting one of the highest rainfalls in the state, the Otways offer generous waterfalls all year round, so you know you’re guaranteed an adventure when visiting. There are plenty of waterfall walking tracks for all abilities, even the iconic 100-kilometre Great Ocean Walk, but we’ll leave that one for a day without the kids.
For family outings, we recommend starting with Hopetoun Falls on Aire Valley Road in Beech Forest, where you can access the viewing platform just 20 metres from the carpark or take the 1-kilometre look track down to the base of the falls. For a longer trail, Triplet Falls 2-kilometre loop is an iconic site in the Otways and will put you up close to some of the oldest trees in the park as well as the beautiful Triplet Falls.
A trip to Great Otway National Park isn’t complete without visiting the California Redwoods. The tallest tree species in the world comes all the way from California and is thriving in the Otway since they were planted in 1936.
To explore more of the Great Otway National Park, visit the website.
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