The Gondwana Rainforests, Australia, can be found stretched over an extensive area between Newcastle and Brisbane. However, it does not exist as one single rainforest! It is an umbrella term for 41 separate reserves which were once part of a giant rainforest.
The name Gondwana bears weight in the conversation about these rainforests. These reserves are named for their link to the ancient supercontinent. The Gondwana was a supercontinent that existed hundreds of millions of years ago. It broke up 180 million years ago! This resulted in some major continents we know of today. Most of the rainforests on the supercontinent cease to exist today. However, some areas in existence give us insight into prehistoric times.
They are home to a significant variety of flora and fauna whose lineages date back to the Gondwana’s existence. These pieces of history seek sanctuary in the reserves. Thus they tell us a tale almost as old as time about where we came from. More than that, the Gondwana reserves are habitats to an even larger number of threatened species, both animals and plants.
As you tread through the reserves, stories of the different ages Earth underwent will unfold. They have stood the test of time, from the Carboniferous age of giant animals and insects to the famous Jurassic period. Recognising that understanding geological history hinges on studying these relics, UNESCO awarded them a place on the list in 1986, with an extension in 1994.
Breathe in crisp air, unperturbed by centuries of pollution as you duck beneath the ferns whose giant ancestors appeared more than 60 million years ago. Admire trees whose trunks you can barely wrap your hands around and try to spot small animals scurrying on moist dirt. The intricate systems interlaced with shield volcanic craters are sights that demand to be seen. Wander through dense green walls and if you are lucky enough, you will spot a thunderous waterfall.
There is just so much to unearth about these reserves. If you are a geography buff or an avid trekker, these reserves should be on your bucket list. They can be found in New South Wales and Queensland. You will need some time to hop in a van and go on a road trip because it consists of numerous parks! Take several days to move in between parks to truly immerse yourself in the experience. The parks do provide you with pathways, boardwalks and skywalks for leisurely treks!