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Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

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Bushwalking track in Lamington National Park

Subtropical rainforest at Lamington National Park

© Tourism Queensland
Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia (CERRA), are located predominantly along the Great Escarpment on Australia's east coast. They contain outstanding geological features around shield volcanic craters, and a high number of rare and threatened rainforest species. These are of international significance for science and conservation and these rainforests have been inscribed by the United Nations as a World Heritage site.

Area:

Gondwana Rainforests of Australia comprise a total area of 366,507 hectares — 59,223 hectares in Queensland, 307,284 in New South Wales.

Rainforest types:


Subtropical rainforest
Littoral rainforest
Dry rainforest
Warm temperate rainforest
Cool temperate rainforest

Subtropical rainforest:

Generally found where rainfall is more than 1300mm annually from sheltered gullies at sea level to about 900 metres. Major subtropical rainforests are found at Tamborine Mountain National Parks, Lamington National Park, Border Ranges National Park, the lower and more sheltered reaches of Mount Warning National Park, at Minyon Falls in the Whian Whian State Conservation Area and in the Nightcap National Park.

Littoral rainforest:

Similar to subtropical rainforest, but occurs when it is close to the sea and exposed to salt laden winds, considered more as a distinctive series of communities rather than a subform of rainforest, and combining the characteristics of both subtropical and dry rainforest types. The largest remaining intact stand of littoral rainforest in New South Wales is the World Heritage-listed Iluka Nature Reserve just north of Grafton.

Dry rainforest:

Distinguished from subtropical rainforest by scattered emergent species such as hoop pine, teak (Flindersia australis) and lacebark (Brachychiton discolor) trees in the upper canopy, and 10 to 30 species in the lower canopy. Very large vines are common. The Wilson Nature Reserve, just out of Lismore, contains the remaining recognised significant stand of dry rainforest in the region.

Warm temperate rainforest:

Found on poorer soils consisting of rocks such as rhyolite, trachyte and slates in the Tweed (Wollumbin) Volcano region, and on the more fertile eutrophic rocks in southern cooler regions. Warm temperate rainforest requires rainfall of more than 1300mm per year. Predominant in the parks south of Coffs Harbour, and also found in all the World Heritage national parks of the Tweed (Wollumbin) Volcano region between 450 to 1200 metres.

Cool temperate rainforest:

Noted for its commonest and most often only dominant species, the southern or Antarctic beech (Nothofagus moorei), which is testament to Australia's being part of the southern supercontinent, Gondwanaland, more than 130 million years ago. Major stands occur at high altitude throughout the Border Ranges and Lamington National Parks.

Gondwana Rainforests of Australia contain more than 50 World Heritage-listed national parks, flora reserves and nature reserves in a broken series of properties of various rainforest types for more than 500 kilometres. These extend from Boonah in Queensland close to the New South Wales border to Gloucester in the Hunter region of New South Wales.

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