The tall, cool rainforest of the Malanda Falls Conservation Park is part of the world’s oldest rainforest environment, the Queensland Wet Tropics.
Many of these rainforests have been listed as World Heritage. Older than the Amazon, they are home to plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. On the Atherton Tablelands, volcanic activity, fertile soils and high rainfall have created a unique set of conditions for the survival of some of our rarest species.
The Malanda Falls Conservation Park provides one of the best places to spot local wildlife such as the Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo, or Green Ringtail Possum. The forest has a bird list of well over 50 species, including some of the Wet Tropics endemics such as Victoria’s Riflebird and the Grey-headed Robin. (Click here for a birdlist of the Atherton Tablelands region, or use the birding app.) Platypus and turtles are regularly spotted in the river and swimming pool at the falls. There is plenty of information in the Visitor Centre about our local wildlife.
Have you seen Muppee?
As you walk through the Malanda Falls Conservation Park, you may see the tree branches move, you may see roo poo on the ground. This is a sign that Muppee may be around. Ask the staff at the visitor centre when Muppee was last seen. There are ways to catch a glimpse of this elusive local, so ask at the centre for some tips and you may go home with the unique experience of seeing Muppee.
One of the special events that takes place on the Tablelands each year, Crane Week is a community celebration of the ancient species of birds, the Brolga and Sarus Crane, who spend the tropical winter on the Atherton Tablelands. More on Crane Week at www.craneweek.org.
A highlight of Crane Week is the photography competition – this year’s winner of the Crane Behaviour category was Alison Faigniez with “Dancing Cranes”. Cranes are best spotted in our region from June to October.