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The Australian Flora is a very interesting and unique world. Millions of years ago all of the flora had to be readapted. This happened because the Australian continent separated from New Guinea and Indonesia, and so all plant types had to adapt to their new environment. The new geographic position of Australia, which moved to the South, moved away from the Monsoons and Equatorial Rains, which were favouring the growth of tropical forests. This new position in a dryer and colder climate, under the influence of the frozen winds from the Indian Ocean, had transformed the West of Australia into a great desert, gradually expanded to East, in direction to the Pacific Ocean. 

With big desert areas, the Flora diminished and had to change to avoid animals and natural predators, concentrating in a narrow sea side. This short band follows the coast from Cape York in the most northern point, until the Island of Tasmania in the South of Australia. The mechanism of self-defence can be easily observed by the amount of poisonous trees and plants that repel many insects, birds, rodents, and other predators. The Department of Environment and Heritage, which is a government organization, has a complete website about Australian flora. Because that, we decided to list here only some curiosities. If you wish to get deeper in the subject, please check their website by clicking here.


Macrozamia Moorei - One of the oldest trees in the world, dating the age of Dinosaurs. It suffered many mutations and became extremely poisonous for its survival. Today it is found widely in some of the thousand Australian national parks.

The fruit of the Macrozamia remind a succulent pineapple, but it is pure poison, extremely toxic and causes cancer. Only Aborigines discover the process to make them eatable, leaving them one week in flowing water and later toasting them in fire (the seeds are hard and black, sizing like a blackberry). They are so toxic that not even birds eat the seeds!  

In almost all the state of Queensland, it still can be observed gorgeous tropical vegetation that contains the biggest bio-diversity of the world per square meter. This vegetation has been tremendously reduced by wood choppers and the early English settlers, but currently it is in total protection by the conservation laws. 

To keep this treasure, the conservation department established thousands of National Parks, all open to the public. Many of these parks had been created in the period after settling, when they did not have many cities and the population were still small. This could preserve many green areas from the real estate expansions. The state of New South Wales for example has more than 150 national parks and forest reserves which are absolutely the same as they were in the last century.  Mountains, Ravines, Gorges, Waterfalls, and even Deserts are bringing annually an enormous source of income to Australia, attracting thousands of tourist and ecologists looking to experience Australiaís, and the planetís beautiful environment.

In the city of Cairns for example, you can take a stroll in a national park, made totally in the air, not causing any damages to the forest. A cable kart takes you for a ride with magical and unique view of the forest. It starts close to the Airport, and covers a few Kilometres until get to the village of Kuranda. It is possible to walk through the forest stopping at the stations and going in the allocated tracks. Each of the stations has educational boards with detailed information about the local vegetation, including how this forest and bio-diversity was formed. One of them, show how animals such as Possums (marsupials looking like big rats) eat the seeds but they do not digest them for a while. As they run covering extensive areas looking for food, they evacuate the entire seed through their excrements, spreading and fertilizing in another part of the forest, contributing to the growth of a new tree, and the bio-diversity. Thatís why killing Possums (a practice that was common in the past because they damaged farms and the agricultural production), that one reason why today it has became illegal.

Another attraction very popular between nature lovers, are the Skywalks. The department of conservation has built aerial bridges inside the bush, preventing any damage to the vegetation. The Skywalks has become a great place for school excursions, and kids from a very early age have a direct contact with nature and how to preserve it. Beside that, Skywalks are a great way to observe and photograph birds and native plants. A variety of plants, fruits, and birds nests are located close to the top of trees, and with skywalks it becomes a bit easier to locate them. Most of the national parks offer facilities for the disabled such as people in wheel chairs.

Donít miss a visit to national parks while visiting Australia, is the opportunity to experience some of the most curious species of plants.

Australia's National Parks

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