Daintree Rainforest values have sustained an astonishing diversity of flora, mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, spiders, insects and fungi over a vast expanse of time. The last fragment of the oldest surviving rainforest in the world occupies the confluence of Australia’s highest rainfall landscape with the Coral Sea, where the contiguous Great Barrier Reef meets the world’s most diverse mangrove community. Remaining as Australia’s only extensive tropical rainforest continuum, extending from the heights of the Great Dividing Range down to the coast in an essentially unbroken gradient, it has also quite remarkably endured the ravages of Australia’s economic ascendency through logging.
Standing sentinel at thirteen-hundred-and-seventy-four-metres above the fringing coastline, Wundungu or Thornton Peak, dominates the upper reaches of the solitary place on the planet where Australia’s Wet Tropical Rainforests and Great Barrier Reef unite in a marriage of World Heritage splendour. Whilst both of these natural phenomena are individually superlative, taken together, they epitomise nature’s masterpiece.
Built around an anchorage of densely packed trees of varying diameter, many with exaggerated buttress roots, the ecological complexity of the entire landscape resounds of multiplicity. Every surface is festooned with botanical celebrity. Every conceivable niche reveals a corresponding occupancy and every intonation exposes depths of territorial successfulness.