A Nature Lover’s Travel Guide To Yungaburra

Yungaburra, in Queensland, has long been known as a nature and wildlife lover’s total paradise. This quaint and lovely heritage-protected area has untouched rainforests, gentle flowing streams, and many crater lakes that bring to mind Yungaburra’s volcanic past.

Getting There
You can reach Yungaburra by car in about an hour or so from Cairns, along the picturesque Gillies Highway. There are plenty of wonderful vistas along the route that offer breathtaking views of the Atherton Tablelands.

Places To See

Crater Lakes National Park
This park has two volcanic lakes, viz., Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine. They are surrounded by lush, thick temperate rainforests. This park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The volcanic craters that are now huge lakes were formed millions of years ago, when huge volcanic explosions superheated the groundwater.

Wildlife: Take a wildlife cruise on the lakes and look for eastern water dragons, pelicans, cormorants and huge eels. You can also spot Boyd’s forest dragon, musky rat-kangaroo,the scrub python, many butterfly species (including the blue Ulysses), and more than 180 species of birds. You can find saw-shelled turtles and eastern water dragons on the lakes.

Plantlife: Near Lake Barrine, there’s an abundance of large strangler figs, plus intriguing Kauri trees that look exactly like the fossilized kauris discovered in 300-million-year-old rocks! There’s also an abundance of buttressed trees. Near Lake Eacham, you’ll find woody epiphytes, strong vines and only a few buttressed trees.

Malanda Falls Conservation Park
The magnificent Malanda Falls is to be seen to be believed. There are several sign-posted rainforest walks, freshwater pools and amazing plant and wildlife here. You can find Yungaburra’s own variety of the Australian Platypus here.

Bonadio's Mabi Wildlife Reserve
You can view rare and endangered Australian wildlife such as tree kangaroos, platypus, possums and wallabies at this reserve. After dark, sit quietly by the glow-worm colony and watch the amazing natural light phenomenon of bio luminescence. Explore the rainforest and marvel over its amazing range of flowering trees and plants.

Curtain Fig National Park
The Curtain Fig National Park is owned and managed by its traditional aboriginal owners. This park has special spiritual significance to the aboriginal community. There’s a large100+ foot tall fig tree that began as the branches of another tree. This tree strangled its host tree, grew large, and dropped long aerial roots drop 15 meters to the floor of the lush forest, forming an enchanting natural curtain.

Lake Tinaroo
Bird lovers will delight in the amazing variety of bird species found at Lake Tinaroo. You can get up close to ducks, kookaburras, swamphens and eastern water dragons. It’s a great place for watersports too.

The Cathedral Fig
The Cathedral Fig tree a strangler tree, almost 800 years old. It’s is 50 meters tall and has a circumference of 43 meters around the base. This parasitic strangler fig has covered the original tree, slowly rotting it. Now there’s a huge hollow inside the original tree that you can actually explore. The canopy of this huge tree covers 2 hectares. A number of birds, mammals and reptiles flourish in the shade of this mammoth tree. 

About the author:
Teena Celis is a well-traveled backpacker, who contributes freelance articles to travel sites such as Adrenalin. She’s been around the world and back several times.  

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