Skyrail Nature Diary


Festive Forest Fruits

Growing anywhere between 5-20 metres tall, depending on soil and conditions, the Scarlet Bean has stunning, white, honeysuckle-scented flowers which are followed, many months later, by a very unusual fruit. The fruits are curled pods, which start green, before 'ripening' to... read more


Springtime Bounty

It is only found growing in wet lowland rainforests from Tully to northern Cape York Peninsula; there is an excellent example of it, easily seen at Skyrail's Red Peak Station. Growing as a climbing shrub, the Medinilla reaches 6-7 m high and has white to pink flowers, which... read more


Forest Figs

Did you know that one of the most important flowering trees in the Wet Tropics Rainforest is the fig? In fact, according to the Wet Tropics Management Authority, figs are a "keystone species" of the World Heritage listed Rainforests, as they produce fruit at different times... read more


Flowers of the Forest

The flowers of the forest herald the arrival of spring in Tropical North Queensland this month. Although native to the coastal rainforests and beaches of Australia, this is a hardy species which tolerates a range of conditions. This versatility has seen the tree spread,... read more


The Rainforest’s Winter Harvest

This month on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, you can see the bright berries of the Blue Quandong and creamy flowers of the Alexandra Palm. Did you know that palms are one of the world’s earliest types of flowering plants? They have inhabited the Australian continent for more... read more


Fruits of the Forest

There are two attractive rainforest trees bursting with fruit this month, the Onionwood Satinash and the Celerywood, both of which can be seen at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. The Onionwood Satinash (Syzygium alliiligneum) is a relatively rare rainforest tree with... read more


Rainforest Reptiles

Winter is the best time of year to see rainforest reptiles soaking up the sun. Recent sightings at Skyrail include the Amethystine Python and Freshwater Crocodile. Did you know that Australia is home to several hundred reptile species? This includes two species of... read more


Mighty Rainforest 'Oaks'

The Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest is home to many mighty trees, including the Briar Silky Oak and Bull Oak, which can be seen flowering and fruiting on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway this month. It should be noted that neither of these trees are true ‘oaks’, rather... read more


Canopy In Bloom

Finally this month, we look at the Black Wattles, which are flowering sporadically. Black Wattle (Acacia celsa) is also known as Brown Sandlewood, Brush Ironbark Wattle and New Guinea Wattle. Its bright yellow flowers start to appear in late summer, much to the delight of... read more


Rainforest Bounty

The stems of this plant are very narrow, about 3cm in diameter, and are not weight-bearing. As a result, this plant is often found sprawling along the rainforest floor, a tumble of spiny leaves and stems. The prickly, fruiting heads (pictured) grow up to 12cm long by 8cm... read more


The tasty rainforest gingers

Another species seen from Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is the Scott’s Hornstedtia (Hornstedtia scottiana), which grows prolifically on the Barron Falls side of Red Peak Station. When seen from the cableway, you will recognise this species with its large, lush strap-shaped... read more


Beautiful Butterflies & Beetles

Right now is arguably the best time of year to see some of the rainforest’s most beautiful beetles and butterflies, including the stunning Ulysses, the magnificent Mueller’s Stag Beetle, Christmas Beetles and some spectacular Jewel Beetles. The Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio... read more