Leave Cairns on an adventure, through World Heritage listed Rainforest, home to stunning waterfalls like Ellinjaa Falls, Josephine falls, Dinner falls & on towards some of the most beautiful locations in the Atherton Tablelands!
Cairns Cathedral Fig Tree and Curtain Fig Tree, Yungaburra
Located in the Wet Tropics (World Heritage Area) National Parks, these beauties are about 15mins drive from Yungaburra in North Queensland.
Unlike most trees that grow from the ground up, these strangler trees grow from the top of a tree down to the forest floor.
Birds eat the red fruit the fig and then the seed is dispersed (hopefully for the strangler fig) on a nice healthy tall growing tree… From there onwards the seed grows extensive aerial roots and tries to get these roots down to the forest floor as fast as it can, climbing down the healthy “host” tree. As the roots are racing to the ground they become interwoven and often thicken in size.
At night-time these trees make a great home for many animals as it is under the cover of darkness.
The Curtain Fig Tree Cairns Australia is somewhere between 500 years – 800 years. The Curtain Fig Tree rainforest is endangered and named Mabi Rainforest. The word “Mabi” comes from the local indigenous tribe Ngadjon-Jii, used to describe the rare Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo. It’s one of the largest trees in Tropical North Queensland, and one of the best known attractions of the Atherton Tablelands.
The Yungaburra Curtain Fig Tree roots have dropped over 15m to reach the forest floor forming a “curtain” of roots… Overtime the host tree, has been suffocated and sucked dry of all its nutrients by the strangler fig, which causes the tree to decay and rot. When you look at this tree from close and afar, this was originally 4 host trees, one of which has fallen (most likely from the rot) and this is part of its unique “curtain” we see today from the fig tree walk.
The Cathedral Fig Tree location is just off the Gillies highway close driving distance from Lake Barrine. The Cathedral Fig Tree Atherton Tablelands is an impressive 50m tall, with a crown as big as 2 Olympic swimming pools.
Both strangler trees are very impressive definitely worth checking out at least one of these… whether it’s the Curtain fig National Park or the Cathedral Fig Tree Yungaburra.
Whilst it does strangle its once healthy host tree, suffocating the host tree to its death, there is some good from the bad. These trees can be the breeding areas for birds, bats and other species. The hollow inside makes a good protection for some animals and can provide food to a variety of animals when in need.
The Curtain Fig Tree National Park is in Yungaburra, Tablelands Region, Queensland, Australia. You can visit the enormous tree by either driving 1.5hrs from Cairns or as a part of a day tour to the Atherton Tablelands Region like with Barefoot Tours.
To get here you need to head south of Cairns, along the Bruce Highway then head up the Gillies Range heading to Yungaburra. Shortly after the windy road comes to an end you will see a right hand turn up Boar Pocket Rd leading to Danbulla Rd where the tree is located. There is many signs along the way and fairly easy to find, or you can do a day tour with Barefoot Tours and visit as a part of their tour.