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Cairns Cathedral Fig Tree and Curtain Fig Tree in Yungaburra, North Queensland


Nestled within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, these magnificent trees are just a 15-minute drive from Yungaburra in North Queensland.

Unlike most trees that grow from the ground up, these strangler trees have an extraordinary growth pattern. Birds consume the red fruit of the fig, and the seeds are dispersed, ideally landing on a healthy, tall host tree. From there, the seeds sprout extensive aerial roots, racing to reach the forest floor, intertwining and thickening as they descend.

Under the veil of darkness, these trees transform into bustling wildlife sanctuaries.

The Curtain Fig Tree in Cairns, Australia, is estimated to be between 500 to 800 years old and thrives in the endangered Mabi Rainforest. The term “Mabi” hails from the local indigenous Ngadjon-Jii tribe and refers to the rare Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo. This tree stands as one of the largest in Tropical North Queensland and is a well-known gem of the Atherton Tablelands.

The roots of Yungaburra’s Curtain Fig Tree have descended over 15 meters to form a captivating “curtain” of roots, while the host tree has been suffocated and drained of nutrients by the strangler fig. Upon closer inspection, you can discern that it was originally four host trees; one of which likely fell due to rot, contributing to the distinctive curtain seen on the fig tree walk.

The Cathedral Fig Tree is conveniently located just off the Gillies Highway, a short drive from Lake Barrine. Standing tall at an impressive 50 meters, with a canopy spanning the size of two Olympic swimming pools.

Both of these strangler trees are truly remarkable and well worth a visit. Whether you explore the Curtain Fig National Park or the Cathedral Fig Tree in Yungaburra, you’re in for an awe-inspiring experience.