Skyrail Nature Diary

The Rainforest Palms

The Alexandra Palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) is another commonly seen species on Skyrail. Growing in dense groves, the Alexandra Palm is found in lowland and highland areas and flourishes in wet, swampy soils that are prone to periodic flooding. A tall graceful palm, the... read more

The Flowers & the Fox

Taking its name from its distinctive colouring, the Spectacled Flying-fox has patches of pale yellow fur surrounding its eyes, giving it the appearance of wearing spectacles. It uses its highly-developed sense of smell, eyesight and colour recognition to find its favourite... read more

The Fruiting Forest

The Bumpy Satinash (Syzygium cormiflorum) is an ancient rainforest species which flowers and fruits directly from its trunk and branches, giving it a ‘bumpy’ appearance and its common name. Its beautiful, fluffy white flowers attract many nectar-feeding birds and animals,... read more

Beware the Stinging Tree

Whilst the initial, intense pain will persist for several days before easing, it can recur repeatedly over several months whenever the affected area is exposed to hot or cold air, water and rubbing. Interesting, the toxicity of the silica-tipped hairs is not affected by age... read more

Cassowary Plum

The Cassowary is the only bird large enough to eat the Cassowary Plum fruits intact. It swallows the large fruits whole and passes them, mostly undigested, through its stomach, which is said to gently massage the outer layer of the fruits, helping them to germinate. In fact,... read more

The Bumpy Satinash

Bumpy Satinash flowers are white, fluffy and full of sweet nectar. During the day, these delicate blossoms attract an array of birds including parrots, honey-eaters and lorikeets. At night, the flowers attract a different type of visitor, including the Common Striped Possum,... read more

A Rainforest Delicacy: The Davidson’s Plum

The fruits are a popular food source for many iconic rainforest animals, including the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) and the Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius). They are also an important part of the modern Australian bush food industry. Davidson’s Plum... read more

Curious Caterpillars

The male butterfly is slightly smaller in size than the female and has rich upper wing markings in an attractive combination of jade, gold and black. The female is black and white in colour, with distinctive yellow markings on her hind wings. Life is short for the Cairns... read more

Green Tree Ants

To build the football-sized nests, the adult ants pull several leaves together and bind them into place with a white sticky substance, which is created by the Green Tree Ant larvae. Constructed in trees and shrubs, the nests are often difficult to see as they blend in with... read more

Beautiful Beetles

Beetles really are out and about at this time of the year! Summer commonly brings out the rainforest beetles, with large numbers emerging thanks to the warm weather and lots of rain. Beautiful and highly diverse, beetles are by far the most common type of animal on the... read more