Subtropical Rainforest

The friendly forest of south-east Queensland and northern NSW!

The rainforests of Australasia dominate the island of New Guinea and extend into eastern Australia. There are variations, including steamy lowland tropical rainforest, cooler upland rainforest of the mountains, and this more southerly subtropical rainforest. There are patches of the latter found along the east coast of Australia until the northern parts of NSW. The most extensive and famous area is in south-eastern Queensland.  

The family Proteaceae is mostly a family of plants found growing in sandy soil heathlands in southern Africa and south-west Australia, but it also includes some interesting species in the rainforest along the east coast of Australia, including some of the dominant canopy trees.

alloxylon-pinnatum-oreillysAlloxylon spp. 'Waratah Trees' (O'Reillys, Queensland)

Of the over 400 species of butterflies found in Australia, nearly half of them are associated with the various types of rainforest in the northern and eastern parts of the continent. 'Birdwing Butterflies' are centred mainly in New Guinea, but also extend north into tropical Asia and south along the east coast of Australia. In the rainforest of New Guinea, there are species of Birdwing that are the largest of all butterflies. At some flowering plants, larger individual birdwings are larger than native birds such as sunbirds and Myzomela honeyeaters. Birdwings frequently glide and are often high up in the canopy. 

birdwing-richmonds-oreillys'Richmond Birdwing Butterfly', (O'Reillys, Lamington National Park, Australia)

The family Megapodiidae are mostly found in the Australasian region (with some spilling into Wallacea), and consist of large ground dwelling birds. The most distinctive feature of most species is their creation of huge mounds of decomposing vegetation to incubate their eggs.

turkey-australian-brush-maroochydoore'Australian Brush Turkey', (Maroochydoore).

The subtropical rainforest of Australia has a range of big beautiful parrots. 

parrot-king-oreillys'Australian King Parrot', (O'Reilly's Lodge parrot feeding area, Australia)

The approximately 19 species of bowerbirds and catbirds are restricted to Australia and New Guinea. They are primarily rainforest birds, although a number of species have adapted to live in the drier tropical and central woodlands and grasslands of Australia and southern New Guinea. Bowerbirds are so named because of the bowers that the males build for courtship. The males display near their structure to attract females. The bowers themselves include a range of structures, from poles to avenues to simple cleared stages. Many are also decorated by collected objects, some species of bowerbirds favouring particular colours. Objects may be natural, such as leaves, flowers, berries, or unnatural, including balloons, pens, string, straws or condom wrappers. 

bower-satin-bowerbird-oreillys'Satin Bowerbird', (Slaughterhouse, O'Reillys)

The small family Orthonychidae, the Logrunners, is endemic to Australia and New Guinea. One species, the Logrunner, occurs in the rainforest of south-eastern Queensland, as well as New Guinea, but is curiously absent from the rainforest in between. The other species, the noisy Chowchilla, is only found in the rainforest of North-east Queensland, where it occurs in the larger patches of less disturbed rainforest, and seems more common at higher altitudes.

logrunner-lamington'Australian Logrunner', (Border track, Green Mountains, Queensland).

Around the world, the rodents are usually the most diverse group. In the Australasian rainforests there are many endemic species, including: 

melomys-fawn-footed-eungella'Fawn-footed Melomys', (Broken River, Eungella, Australia)

Places to experience the Australasian subtropical rainforest

damon-next-to-buttressThe author leans his butt against a big buttress tree in the Australian rainforest, (O'Reillys Lodge, Queensland, Australia, 2021)

For a chance to stay in and explore the beautiful subtropical rainforest, there is the famous O'Reillys Lodge, with easy and great birdwatching, located in south-east Queensland, Australia.

The Atherton Tablelands hosts upland rainforest, which shares characteristics and species with the subtropical rainforest. There are great value places to stay, including: the Atherton Tablelands Birdwatchers Cabin,  Possum Valley, and the grand master himself: Chambers Rainforest Apartments Australia.

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