This park protects a small area of an endangered type of forest, called mabi forest, Ngadjon word for the Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo. This forest type has several unique features, most notably the semi-deciduous canopy trees, which allow more than the usual amount of light to penetrate to the forest floor. This in turn supports a well-developed shrub layer. It is endangered because most of this type of forest has been cleared for farming.... more
The large fig tree found in this park is unique because the extensive aerial roots, that drop 15 metres to the forest floor, have formed a 'curtain'. Starting from a seed dropped high in the canopy, this strangler fig grew vertical roots, which gradually became thicker and interwoven. Over hundreds of years these roots have strangled the host causing it to fall into a neighbouring tree—a stage unique to the development of this fig. Vertical fig roots then formed a curtain-like appearance and the host trees rotted away, leaving the freestanding fig tree. The tree is thought to be nearly 50 metres tall, with a trunk circumference of 39 metres, and is estimated to be over 500 years old.
An elevated boardwalk protects the tree while allowing for uninterrupted views of the fig from all angles. Return at night to spotlight for the elusive Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo and other nocturnal animals.... less
There are no stairs on the elevated boardwalk around the Curtain Fig, but it does not meet the Australian Standard for disability access.
How To Get There
The Curtain Fig is on the Atherton Tableland, on the outskirts of Yungaburra, which is about 66 kilometres or just over one hour's drive from Cairns via the Gillies Highway. The Atherton Tableland is also accessible via the Kennedy Highway from Cairns, the Palmerston Highway from Innisfail or the Mossman-Mt Molloy Road from Port Douglas.
The Curtain Fig National Park sits 720 metres above sea level and the lower humidity and temperatures are a pleasant escape from the coastal extremes. Maximum summer temperatures are around 29 degrees Celsius while winter temperatures can fall below 10 degrees Celsius at night.
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